Celebrating Creativity

Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.

I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.

My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.

''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
Martha Graham

Why being busy is killing your creativity

Why being busy is killing your creativity – this is a question you may not have considered before.

“Many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime and other forms of rest during the day,” claims a Scientific American article, relating to research on the subject. It seems that doing nothing now and then is is beneficial. In fact it is required to replenish motivation, attention, and creativity.  Science also shows that down time helps us to form stable memories.

.why being busy is killing your creativity

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times.

There has been much research done on the subject of napping. A study conducted by Amber Brooks and Leon Lack of Flinders University in Australia found that the optimum amount of time for a power nap is 10 minutes.  It sharpens responses and doesn’t leave a post nap grogginess to deal with, as in the case of longer 20-30 minute naps.

So who can’t find 10 minutes to zone out now and then during the day. It seems therefore that our brains need some down time to process and that is why being busy is killing your creativity.

Often Salvador Dali would sit in front of his work until he nearly fell asleep! He held a metal spoon in one hand so that if he relaxed too much the spoon dropped and it would clang into a metal bowl he had previously placed on the floor, beneath his hand.  This had the desired effect of rousing him and he would be stimulated to get up  and continue on with his painting. Once at the easel, with his intuition ready to go, he would immediately know his next brush stroke. This is a form of giving your brain a deliberate rest, and is a practice I have often employed myself – without the metal bowl and spoon.

This Weeks Question: How do you give your brain a rest on a daily basis – apart from sleep at night?

Look For Next Week’s Post: How to find Top Interior designers on Instagram



Photo by Doug Scortegagna

Navigating a New Land


Navigating a new land is the fourth painting in my current refugee series.  This work again developed from one of the misty hot pools at Rotorua. See below the photograph that this work developed from. Next to it I have also included the initial drawing up.


 Navigating a new land,refugees

navigating a new land,refugees,kadira jennings


Walking in a strange land, with new customs, a new language, the refugee is adrift, often homeless and alone. We see here a woman walking with great courage, holding onto her inner strength as she proceeds. She reminds me of the sculptures we sometimes see of women acting as pillars in ancient buildings. There is a certain grim determination to move forward no matter what the obstacles.

The curious thing I found about this work was the creature that appeared on her right shoulder.  Is it a combination of a few different creatures or something entirely of its own species?  What I love about it is the supreme contentment and trust it seems to radiate.  Could it be an external image of her inner feelings?

I trust you enjoyed this peek into my studio process.

It takes time to create a work of art, document it, video it and put it in a blog post. I invite you to make a comment, express your thoughts about this work.  Feedback is always awesome because I then get to see the work through someone else’s eyes.

This Weeks Question: Can you leave a comment  – what are your thoughts on Navigating A New Land?  I would love to hear what you think.

Look For Next Week’s PostWhy being busy is killing your creativity

how to collect art
How to Collect Art

This week I bring you  some tips on how to collect art, for beginning art collectors as well as experienced ones.

These are good reminders for anyone interested in art or already collecting art.

Remember that people collect art for different reasons.  What you need to be clear about first up, is why you want to collect art.  Some reasons people collect art are: they just love artwork, they want to make a long-term investment, some collectors see it as a way of giving back to the world by supporting emerging artists and others see it as a status symbol.

Here are some other ideas on how to collect art…….

  • Buy art because you like it and you feel emotionally connected to it.  In this way it will enhance your life.
  • Visit as many art galleries as you can.  Don’t be afraid to ask the gallery about art you like.  They can be helpful guides in your art education.
  • Get on gallery mailing lists so you’ll be invited to openings and special events.
  • Visit and join your local art museums and non-profit art centers.
    Curators sometimes give lectures on collecting art.
  • If you know any art collectors, talk to them and find out what they know and what
    they’ve learned about collecting art.
  • If you are interested in collecting artists from earlier periods, read books on art history and books about collecting art.
  • Subscribe to a few art magazines or publications like Art Almanac or Art Edit.


how to collect art

Ken Done Artist Talk

What about Art Critics?

Another thing you can do is read reviews by local and national art critics, keeping in mind that reviews usually just reflect one person’s opinion.  As a result you might gain a biased view-point if you only read one critic’s opinion of an exhibition. Therefore it is good to shop around so to speak.  Get more than one person’s point of view.

So now we have taken a peek into how to collect art, you can go and get started. Draw up a list of galleries you’d like to visit or just sit down and look at Instagram.  There you will find thousands of artists and some wonderful art.

This Weeks Question: What is the first step you can take towards becoming an art collector?

Look For Next Week’s Post: A new video, vlog  of the painting ‘Navigating a New Land’

Photo by a_marga

Photo by Mosman Council

Vlog – An Exciting New Refugee Painting – flows off the brush

refugee painting,vlog,The First Step,Kadira Jennings

As the new refugee painting emerges, this series of works is proving to have a lot more depth to it than I initially thought it was going to. Not to say that subject of refugees is not a subject without depth. However what I have realised particularly while working on this latest painting is that the painting itself, can be read on another level entirely. In other words it is not a painting just about refugees. As you can see from the completed image there is a figure taking a step into a large dark unknown area, moving towards a bright beckoning horizon.

This horizon might be a new land for the refugee, or the figure could on the other hand be, anyone taking that courageous step into a new land of possibility. This step might be, either a mental or physical journey.  In either case the person taking the step has similar emotional challenges. These challenges might include, overcoming ones fear. Of course can be fear of many different things: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, even fear of success, fear of being alone or fear of not meeting expectations, either one’s own or someone else’s.

I am considering the subject of refugee painting in a whole new light.  Are we not refugees in so many ways and at different times of our lives?  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to belittle the plight of refugees in any way. What  I am finding is a parallel, in emotional crises. For example, some one becomes divorced, is tossed out by their partner, their house burns down and so on, is now experiencing perhaps a similar level of anxiety and distress – they are homeless, don’t know what the future holds, where will they go or how will they manage? Some of us take these situations almost in our stride while others of us have no tools in our emotional backpack to deal with them well. Of course with  refugees there are the added layers of abandoning their Mother country and war with all its attendant psychological and physical horrors that have to be dealt with as well.

So I suspect that as this series unfolds there are many areas to look at in light of our unravelling societies and how we cope in the rapidly changing 21st Century.


This Weeks Question: What can we do individually do to help the refugee crisis at any level, whether it is international refugees, or homeless battered women in our town?  Please Share your thoughts…..

Look For Next Week’s Post: A look at what’s coming up next in the studio.

Challenges – My 8 day Instagram  Challenge

Challenges are an interesting phenomenon. Last week I took part in an eight day Instagram  Challenge which was called the #abundantartshow. The challenge was to try and sell something online within eight days. It had some interesting results for me, for although I didn’t sell any work in that time I realised that I still had a lot of pieces in the sales process that needed attention.

challenge,Abundant Art Show,cory huff,kadira jennings

It was the first time I had taken part in such a challenge. I think I have always been reluctant to enter challenges in the past because of a fear that I wouldn’t succeed even completing the challenge. However what I found from this challenge was that I was pushed to do things I might not have thought of doing previously. It also made me think about the process of selling art in a different light.
Another benefit received was that of attracting more followers to my Instagram account and gaining more social interaction generally around the works. One of the things we had to do during the challenge was to present our work in a different way. Since I am doing a series about refugees, I decided to post one of my paintings on a bombed out building, similar to the one you might have seen in my post a couple of weeks ago – Freedom and Art – The Art of Freedom

Below is my image, using last week’s post image.

challenges,abundantartshow,you are welcome here


This is not something I would have come up with on my own without a prompt to nudge me in a different direction.  So I would say one of the greatest benefits of challenges is that we force ourselves to extend beyond our paradigm, beyond our safe and secure comfort zone.  We are pushed into extending beyond our limiting beliefs of what we currently think is achievable for us.

This Weeks Question: What challenges have you been involved in and how did they benefit you? I would love to hear your experiences….  Please Share…..

Look For Next Week’s Post: A look at what’s coming up next in the studio.



Refugees in New Zealand have been warmly welcomed, as I mentioned in the previous post. As I worked my way through the first painting, ‘Refugee‘,  I thought more and more about the whole subject. What makes a person a refugee, is there only one kind of refugee and are refugees always created by forceful displacement?

The dictionary definition of a refugee is – “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.”  I believe there are degrees of refugees.  Those as described already, and people who have been displaced from their native environment by choice, only to find they cannot return, for various reasons. In my next post I shall examine these ideas further.

As the painting developed, you will see in the vlog below, the struggles I had to get the image to work.



In this painting the refugees have arrived and are being welcomed by their new country – New Zealand, in this case.  I am working very intuitively at the moment, and being constantly surprised at what is coming out onto the canvas.  The images are very powerful and I feel they are taking on a life of their own.  The large figure on the left – the spirit of the land ended up having such an amazing feeling coming from him.  I was really excited by  this piece and it is my favourite so far.

Something else that has me really fired up about this body of work, is that I am going to donate 10% of all profits from the works to The Syrian Refuge Crisis Appeal  ( Care Australia).

It is a way that I, as an artist can support the refugees, while at the same time, sharing that with those who buy my work. So if you would like to purchase this work you can do so here.

Refugees,Vlog,You Are Welcome Here,Kadira Jennings,abstract art

This Weeks Question: What are your thoughts on the refugee crisis? Please Share…..

Look For Next Week’s Post: My 8 day Instagram challenge.



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