I was listening to a talk on time management, By Rich Schefren, this morning and was struck by something he said. He was speaking about procrastination and discussing the way some people find it hard to stick to a time table. He suggested that you write a list of fun things that you would love to do and then schedule them into your week. The idea behind this is that there is a two fold benefit:

  • One is that you get to have more fun in your life and of course when you are having fun, you often find that your creativity  kicks in. This is because you are not focusing on the problem and thus allowing the subconscious mind to find solutions for you.
  • The other benefit is that you work more efficiently as you now have less time to get your activities done in.  Also once you begin using this strategy on a regular basis , you become eager to get through your work load so you can get to the fun.  That’s not to say that you don’t enjoy  your work, but this adds another dimension to your life.

Sometimes we can snatch an hour here or there. I love to take photos and the other week after work instead of going home, I felt called to the beach 5 minutes down the road, so I went – and had great fun.  Here are the results-

Umina Beach

Before The Storm

Swan Song

Swan Song

Ebb Tide - sea foam on the beach

Ebb Tide

To assist you in thinking about these ideas a little more, here are some questions you might ask yourself-

  • If you are currently engaged in creative work are you really enjoying it?  If not what can you do about this?
  • Is there a particular part of your work that you find especially enjoyable and would it be possible to do more of this and less of something else?
  • Do you have fun at work and what are your feelings around that?  Is fun even allowed in your workplace?  Some businesses frown upon it – little realizing that this is one of the gateways to tapping into people’s creativity.
  • Have you any hobbies or leisure activities that you love to do? Are you doing them?
  • When was the last time you took a day off and spent all of it having fun? Did you feel just a little bit guilty about that?

In the course of pursuing my other passion – InnerPrinting, this week,  I came across an amazing creative achievement by Nek Chand who created his ‘Rock Garden’ in Chandigarh, India.

This is one man’s life’s work, and what is astonishing is that he pursued this project with little or no external recognition, monetary or otherwise, for a period of more than 20 years.  That is a pretty powerful creative urge. For a detailed history of how he built his rock and recycled material garden and sculptures , visit NekChand

We are all creators.  We create the fabric of our lives every day with the power of our thoughts and emotions.  In the same way an art work unfolds, our lives unfold from moment to moment before our very eyes.

The creative urge is so strong within, that even though many of us deny loud and long, that we have not a creative bone in our bodies, it will have an out somewhere!  Or for others of us our lives become too busy, so we think we no longer have time for our creative interests.

A case in point is my daughter and her cup cakes, of the last post.  As a young mum she no longer manages to find the time to paint – but her cup cakes were a work of art!

One week to go!  What a week it has been.  A computer crash the week before a main event is tragic. I temporarily lost my gantt chart with my whole exhibition plan and time line. Now THAT really threw a spanner in the works.

So apart from running around getting a new motherboard and re-installing all my programs, it has been a busy week with press interviews, gathering students works for the photo shoot, making last minute necklaces and earrings and generally attending to a bunch of  important details.  Add to this,  painting, running classes, travelling to Sydney 3 times and minding grand kids and well – time management becomes pretty important!  And to top it all off,  it’s Easter and everything is closed down till Wednesday – which of course means too much chocolate and not enough exercise!  Do I sound a little frazzled?  I do don’t I.  Ok – deep breath, stillness and – upward and onward!

Student Works at Unfolding Creativity

A compilation of student works from the Vine Art Affair to be held next week.

I thought it was time I shared my latest work with you, just to let you know that yes I do get creative now and then.  Actually this series of paintings I am working on at the moment is very complex  and they are quite time consuming.

Anyway, I’m keeping it short and sweet this week.

This work is titled – The Liquid Deep.  It is a painting of memory and mystery.  It contains past, present and future while seeming at the same time, beyond time – it seems to sit in a timless space, that teases at the edge of our awarness.  Then as you watch, things unfold before your eyes.  You see figures, unseen before.  This is not a work for quick glances, it needs to be absorbed and experienced.

The Liquid Deep, Oils on canvas

The Liquid Deep Kadira Jennings ©2011


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There is an Annie Leibovitz exhibition running in Sydney currently. It is well worth the visit if you get the chance.
Part of this exhibition is a biographical video of her life. Fascinating stuff! What really piqued my interest was that it seemed to again raise the issue I explored in my post on ‘The Black Swan’ a few weeks ago.

How far are we willing to go in pursuit of our creative vision?  Annie spent a lot of time at one part of her life living and touring with The Rolling Stones while she chronicled their lives through the lens of her camera.  After all how  can you act naturally around a camera unless it becomes such a fixture that it no longer impacts your conscious awareness.  For The Rolling Stones it was almost as if Annie became a part of the furniture.

Annie-Leibovitz

Annie-Leibovitz

Pix Credit: Alex Waterhouse-Hayward’s blog ( Alex has a great post on Annie Check it out)

But what was the cost to her ?  Her health, arguably one’s most precious resource.   She  was living the Rock life style, which for so many results in addictions and drug dependency.  She finally checked into a detox facility, dried out and got on with her passion.

Art becomes life – where is the separation? It seems that one of the prices so many great creatives pay is found living at the edge in a place where others cannot go.  It is a personal exploration and also a sacrifice to their art because the road is often extremely difficult and I believe great courage is required of those who walk this road.

  • The courage to be different,
  • To not live up to others expectations
  • To step into unfamiliar territory which often flies in the face of societal convention
  • To remain true to ones self without sacrificing ones values in order to “get the shot/story” etc.

If you get a chance to see this exhibition it provides a fascinating insight into the lives of people of our times.

Here is that link again for information on the Annie Leibovitz exhibition.


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I recently met an amazing woman, Ellie Walker, whose background is a science degree. Ellie and her partner Peter Buteux have been involved in making fruit wines for the last 25 years.

Elly Walker Fires Creek Winery

Elly Walker Fires Creek Winery

Ellie has done many different things over the years and is one of the most creative people I have met.  Her and her partner Peter live on a beautiful property in Holgate on the Central Coast of NSW in Australia, about an hours drive from Sydney. This post is the story of how Ellie and Peter got started in their wine making venture.

I met Ellie by chance after seeing a notice she had posted on a local library notice board, offering free gallery space to artists.  Well you can imagine my surprise when I rang her and she said she had only had a couple of responses to her notice and so far no one had turned up!  Consequently I went to see her and we have now organized to have 3 exhibitions in her exhibition space.

A week or so after meeting with Ellie, I rang her back and said, ‘would you be open to me doing an interview for my blog?’ and she was – so here we are….

Kadira: “So Ellie, would you mind introducing your self and telling me a bit about your background?”

Ellie: “….we started off making wines when we were first married, we had a little organic orchard and began making wine from the fruit produced. ”

Kadira: “So have you always used organic fruits and things?”

Ellie: “Well as much as we can.  Anything we grow is always organic.  We can’t always guarantee what we buy in, but sometimes I manage to source some organic fruits, but not all the time.”

Kadira: “So what started you making wine in the first place?”

Ellie: “We bought this 1/4 acre block with the second house that we owned and the previous  owners had removed all the grass and planted fruit trees.  So it was full of fruit trees and underneath they had chickens grazing and fertilizing it.  There were plums and apricots, and figs and oranges and lemons, every possible fruit you could imagine.

At that time we had a young family and didn’t have a lot of money.  We wanted to use all the produce that we had.  We’d come out of the university mindset of making do with what you have and at the time some other university friends gave us these magazines – Grass Roots Magazine ‘

Kadira: ‘I know that magazine, I used to read it myself!’

Ellie: ‘You know that magazine?’

Kadira: ‘ Yeah  yeah!’

Photo of unusual cork screws

An Eclectic Collection Of Cork Screws At Fires Creek Winery

Ellie: ‘Well that was a real turn around for us then, for we found a direction I guess as young adults we found a direction of what we wanted to do and how we wanted to bring our children up. So I used to read all the magazines, and in the magazines there was fruit wine making, and I had all this…. making jams and chutneys – and putting it out on boxes and giving it away, just as my parents did when we were kids.

So we struck on wine making to use up all this fruit.  There was a little wooden cabin in the back yard and we started making wine in there.  Our first little winery, which was not much more than a garden shed.  It was our own miniature winery and after that we moved out into the country to near Wollombi.

We were very much involved in the earth gardening and building and we built a mud brick house out there.’

Kadira:’Oh wow – did you?  That’s a lot of work!’

Ellie: ‘Yeah – it took us about 4 years to build the house.  I think we moved about 150 tons of mud .  We were on solar power only  and had no mains water  so the water supply was very limited. We couldn’t develop the winery as we wanted to because of this.’

Kadira: ‘So how did you end up coming to the Central Coast and starting up your winery here?’

Ellie: ‘ Well by the time our children were approaching high school age we wanted more opportunity for them and a possibility for them to attend university if they wanted to, so we moved to the Central Coast.’

To be continued …. find out how long it took Ellie and Peter to establish their winery in Holgate and what else they are doing.

Fires Creek Winery Today

Fires Creek Winery Today

If you would like to visit Fires Creek Winery and see Ellie and Peter’s wonderful place for yourselves,

in the beautiful Matcham/Holgate Valley.

192 Wattle Tree Rd, Holgate. NSW

Cellardoor Wine Tastings :

Wednesday to Sunday.

10am- 5pm DST

10am- 4pm EST

Checkout Ellie’s website Fires Creek Winery – which she built herself, no less – I tell you she really is a woman of many talents!

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