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

minimalist mindset,blame game,not enough

How To Avoid The Minimalist Mindset Trap

The minimalist mindset trap?? What the heck is that you might be thinking. Well, this week’s post takes a look at the creative mindset and the different traps we can fall into as creatives.

Let’s begin with the minimalist mindset trap. This is a mode of thinking where you have pared down so much in your life and your work that you have little room left to move. Now, what does that look like in your daily life?

There are different ways this shows up – here are two of the main ones.

  1. There is not enough – is the main catch cry of this particular aspect of the minimalist mindset. This can encompass a whole range of things such as there’s not enough – time, money, support, materials, space, light, inspiration and on and on.  There not being enough of something is the perfect excuse to either not do something or fail at it. 
  2. The blame game. This goes hand in hand with the not enough syndrome and falls into one of three categories – you either blame yourself, others or circumstances.  Of these three the last two are the perfect way to self-sabotage. Why? Because if the blame lands on someone else or outside circumstances, you have no control over it and therefore can’t fix it. If it falls on yourself, you can either let it cripple you or you can say, ‘ there is no blame, only consequences.’ Realizing this you can move on to looking at those consequences and seeing how a different set of actions might lead to a different outcome. Blaming anyone or thing or yourself for a particular outcome is truly a waste of energy.  Rather, expand your mindset, allow the ‘failure’ to drive you on to better efforts.

So what do these two ways of thinking have in common?  They keep us from our creative birthright.  They stop creativity in its tracks. They pare you down, limit your choices and narrow your possibilities and once you are in that minimalist mindset, it is so easy to give up. 

How do I know this? Well, you guessed it, I’m very familiar with this beast.  We’ve been on intimate terms for a lot of my life. Only, now I recognize when it is creeping up on me and take steps to nip it in the bud before it gets a chance to spread its poisonous pollen all over me. 


This Weeks Question: Can you see a minimalist mindset working against you in your creative life?

Look For Next Week’s PostRamping up to the may exhibition


Photo by Karva Javi

Traps and Tricks In Seeking Gallery Representation

Gallery representation is no longer the be all and end all for artists.These days we have so many different choices available to us when marketing our art. Even 10 years ago we did not have much choice. Traditionally the artist has to rely on the art gallery, or even further back in time the salon.

gallery representation,art gallery photo

Of course there are still bricks-and-mortar galleries, but an artist  no longer need rely on this one outlet for people to see their art.
Let’s make a list of places where your art can be seen, or sold from. This is by no means a closed list. In no particular order, these are some of the better known places you might display your work.

  1. Bricks and mortar Galleries
  2. Online galleries
  3. Facebook
  4. Twitter
  5. Instagram
  6. Pinterest
  7. Flickr
  8. Tumblr
  9. Your own website/gallery
  10. Ebay
  11. Etsy

There are so many different options now available, that it can often be difficult to decide which road to take.  Of course they all have different advantages or disadvantages associated with them.

Out of all these choices, however there is one that stands out as absolutely essential for the modern artist and that is number nine on the list.  You must have your own website. This is not really a choice in today’s world.  The first thing people who are interested in your work will do is google you.  If you don’t have your own piece of internet real estate, you will not generally be perceived as being professional and serious about your work. 

So even if you haven’t been painting long, this is something you can begin working on. Now you may ask, why can’t I just put my work on Facebook or some other online gallery?  Well you can certainly do that, however the risk with only relying on a space that someone else owns, is that if they decide to close that space, there goes your representation. I have exhibited in several galleries that no longer exist, one of which ran for over 20 years. There is more and more art being bought on-line these days, it is convenient and easy for buyers to research the artists they are interested in.

Also a space you control, can be set up to however you like.  You determine what happens in that space.


This Weeks Question: What are your top three choices for showing your art?

Look For Next Week’s PostMindset – How To Avoid The Minimalist Mindset Trap


Photo by Paul Stevenson

Beginning A New Painting – A review of this month’ s work in the studio

Well what is exciting about beginning a new painting? I think that perhaps the most exciting thing about it is the potential. A famous Artist once said that the greatest painting you will ever do is your next one. So that’s pretty exciting really, because it means whenever you start a new painting you have the possibility of it being better than  the last one. Not only that it might be best one that you will ever do.

Matheson Bay, beginning a painting,NZ seascape

Detail of Matheson Bay painting


So I’ve had a few exciting moments over the last month or so, with four new opportunities for beginning a new painting. Of these, three are now completed works and another one is on the way.  The subject matter is one of my favourite subjects to paint – New Zealand.  I haven’t done any landscapes for a while, so it makes a nice change to do something like these works.

The inspiration for some of the paintings comes from my trip to New Zealand around this time last year.
Also a friend kindly allowed me to use one of her photos as source material.
Although I have painted many landscapes I haven’t actually painted very many Seascapes. So it’s been an interesting exercise to work on these paintings which so far all contain a lot of water. The painting above is the last one that I completed and probably my favourite so far. What inspired me to have a go at this one was the amazing colours in the water and sky. I have to say that trying to mix the colour for the water was pretty tricky. I think I had about 20 different shades of blue and green on my palette at one point.

I’ve never been much of a one for painting sunsets or sunrises, as I think they often tend to look very Chocolate Boxy, and kind of fake. This little scene however, has something very special about it. The delicate shade of pink in the sky, with the amazing shades of aqua water below create a scene of great serenity. 


The other works I’ve completed are of the inlet near Colville on the Coromandel peninsula. The fascination for these  two works was the misty hills and the beautiful reflections in the water. 

beginning a painting,NZ,seascape,Colville

Snippet of Colville II


The works are almost monochromatic.  There is colour in them, but very subtle.  When the mist is heavy on the hills much of the colour leaches out of the subject, as there is no strong sunlight to bring it out.  However I think there is always great beauty in these landscapes.  They are serene, gentle and quite meditative.

beginning a painting,NZ,seascape,Colville

Snippet of Colville I


If you would like to see the whole paintings, pop on over to my website for a better look at them.  Or you can come to the group exhibition Nature’s Expression, in May for an even closer look.  I will be posting details – next month. 

This Weeks Question: What is your favourite thing about beginning a new painting, or other creative work?

Look For Next Week’s Post: To be or not to be? The age-old question about gallery relationships and whether to choose representation or not. 


CREDITS: I would like to acknowledge Kai Engel for the music in my video – thanks Kai.

What Is The key to a Great Studio Practice?

Studio practice,in the studio,kadira jennings,

In the Studio – At Art classes Central Coast

Studio Practice – Is there really a key to having a great studio practice? And if so, what would the number one thing be to facilitate that? Well above all else….

  • It is showing up
  • But wait – is showing up enough – well on its own – no of course not.
  • Once you have placed yourself, body and soul inside the studio you must work

All of this might seem incredibly obvious, and yet spending time working at the easel regularly is so important.  Forming a habit of time spent on a weekly basis, means that you  create a discipline for working, initially, which later becomes a habit.

What other things are key to having a great studio practice.

  • I would say that number two on the list would have to be organization

For example, what happens if you don’t clean your brushes and palette at the end of a days work.  It is such a drag to arrive in the studio next time and have to set about doing those tasks, instead of getting stuck into painting when you are feeling fresh and motivated. I always feel inspired when I see my partly finished work there ready to go and my pristine palette ready and waiting. Other aspects of your studio which can be organized is the general space, de clutter it. Creativity requires space physically and mentally. When either of these spaces are cluttered with unnecessary stuff, it is always harder to get that creative flow going.

That’s all very well, you might be thinking, I know how to declutter my space, but how on earth do I declutter my head?  This is where morning pages comes in. For a more in-depth look at morning pages see last weeks post, if you haven’t read it already.


This Weeks Question: What is your priority for your studio practice?

Look For Next Week’s Post: Studio update. What’s rolling off the easel now?

morning pages,fountain pen photo,kadira jenningsUnlock The Magic Of Morning Pages

Morning Pages – what are they? Why all the fuss about them? You may already know about Morning Pages but for those of you who don’t I will fill you in.
Before I do that however, if you do know about Morning Pages my question to you is, are you doing them still? If not – why do you think that might be?

Morning pages are simply 2-3 pages of freehand writing, done first thing in the morning. The idea behind them is that they offer a place to get rid of a lot of unneeded thoughts that roll around in your head and fill up your memory space. Morning Pages allow us to write whatever we want. Since they are for your eyes only, if you want to gripe about your partner, whinge about your kids or generally feel sorry for yourself, this is the place to do it. Morning Pages allow you the luxury of being truly honest in how you feel about yourself and others. This freedom can lead to great Insights and Clarity about what is going on in your life. 

I find that even if I don’t have time to write three Pages longhand that I might only do one or two. The still gives me an opportunity to get some thoughts down.
I have also taken to having a highlighter or red pen with me as I write because sometimes I glean great information as I go along and want to be able to get back to that place quickly. It is amazing some of the Insights and inspiration that can come to you when you are doing this practice.

I use the word practice quite deliberately here.  It is a practice – something you need to do over and over again.As you do them you find out what is really important to you and  what is not.  They can comfort and prioritize for you, as well as giving you a safe place to vent. 

There are only two rules really.  The first is to be real and honest.  Don’t pull any punches.  If you feel undervalued, ignored or sidelined say so.  If you are proud of your achievements, praise yourself.  How often do you do that? Praising ourselves is kind of frowned upon in our culture, but why shouldnt we be proud of what we’ve done. So Morning Pages are a great place for self acknowledgement.

The second is that you must write longhand, with a pen or pencil in your hand. The reason for this is that there is some strange magic that happens when we put pen to paper. There is a tactile energy that we do not awaken when we type. Even if your handwriting is pretty bad like mine is,  allow yourself to practice.


I would like to acknowledge that I was not the person to dream this process up, rather it was world-famous author, Julia Cameron. She has written many books on creative practice some of which I will review in later blog posts.

And that my friends is the wonderful tool of Morning Pages.  


morning pages,fountain pen photo,kadira jennings,writing photo



This Weeks Question: When will you begin your Morning Pages?

Look For Next Week’s Post: What is the key to a great studio practice? 

Photo by mrsdkrebs

How To Find Your Perfect Exhibition Space

Perfect Exhibition Space,Community gallery - Gosford Regional Gallery

Community gallery – Gosford Regional Gallery


The perfect exhibition space is not the same for everyone. Here are some things to consider when looking for your perfect exhibition space.

  • Do you want to exhibit in your home town, or are you looking for representation further afield?
  • Do you want a solo show or a group exhibition?
  • What type of space to you want to exhibit in?
    • An artist run cooperative
    • A main stream well-known gallery
    • A coffee shop type gallery
    • A  vanity gallery
    • A space you hire and set up as a temporary gallery
    • A studio exhibition
    • A pop up gallery
  • What budget do you want to allow for your exhibition 
perfect exhibition space,art gallery photo

The Louvre


  • Do you want a bricks and mortar exhibition or a virtual one with an online gallery?
  • How big are your works, are you going to need a large space to exhibit them or will a smaller one do?

As you can see there are many different options and you need to consider all of them to find the perfect exhibition space for you.

This Weeks Question: How Do You Unlock The Magic Of Morning Pages?

Next Weeks Post: An update on my new series?

Pix Credit:  Unsplash (Pixabay)


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