If you missed my post last week, I am doing posts only on Thursdays for now.
However I will make a quick headliner here on Mondays each week so you know what to look forward to – this week it’s about making art.

This Thursday I begin a series of posts on artistic processes – The internal Journey of Making Art. Read Thursdays post for more……

I leave you with an image of a place which has provided much inspiration for me.

Making Art Cathedral Cove

A favourite place of mine – Cathedral Cove in NZ

 

Photo Credit: Kadira Jennings

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

The craft of painting – what is it?

Well it has many aspects to it not the least of which are having courage and being brave.
Painting, painting, – and then there was more. Well, one likes to think so anyway.
I started back at John Morris’ class this week. One has to challenge ones-self you know.

craft of painting,John Morris

John Morris

 

And it is – challenging to throw yourself into a class where there is no quarter given – really – if that’s what you ask for – which I do. Still, you have to be prepared to not be precious about what you are producing or bringing along for a critique.
Do you have a teacher like that? If you don’t, you need to get one. If you really want to get serious about the business of art – you need to get over yourself enough to accept critical help, sign posts and pointers along the way.

Next Thursday’s Post: Preliminary drawings

Next Monday’s Post: Art Marketing ?

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

What Shall I Create?

This is for some artists, harder than doing the work itself and the ‘What shall I create question really comes back to why are you painting/creating? I think at some time or other that all creative people struggle with this issue, and the truth is, that the more disconnected you are from yourself the harder this question is going to be for you.  This week, a girlfriend Prue, and I, began a series of Thursday night Skype sessions to help us stay connected with our own creative processes. Our first session, scheduled for half an hour ended up taking two hours instead. However we finished with a great result.

What shall I paint - partnerships photo

One of the things that came up in the course of the conversation was the issue of being blocked, where to get inspiration and so on.  As a result of this conversation, we have decided to make  a series of short videos, only 30-60 seconds.  Just very short bytes of the creative’s life.  Now the main reason we have embarked on this process is to help her, a budding film director, get past her screen writing block and begin doing some of the stuff that she loves to do instead of getting overwhelmed by a huge project.  Of course it will also have a great result for me as well as I will have 6 beautifully crafted short video bytes I can use in my own career as an artist.

The other benefit for both of us in this partnership is an interesting journey and story to share with our social media friends and followers.  So perhaps you can think of a friend you might partner with to help push both your careers forward.  Prue and I live 80 Kilometers apart – not too far to collaborate physically, but easy to stay in touch through technology.  We are also working in different media – which can be an asset, as we are both creative, yet bring different ideas to the table. Collaboration can also serve to keep you motivated and on track and help you to extend your own network, opening up new markets, collectors and mavens.

collaboration photo

Next week I will talk about this same issue from a couple of different points of view in terms of a visual artist.

This week’s question:Who can I find to collaborate with?

Look For Thursday’s Post: Mt Taranaki III revisited.…

Next Monday’s Post: More on Thursday evening’s chat…..Creativity Conversations

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

Creative blocks – childhood events that can cause them

So let me tell you what put me off art at a very young age, the thing that formed one of my major creative blocks.  You might think I took a shine to painting from the time I could manage to hold a paint brush.
Sadly, this was not the case for me. When I was around eight I remember sitting in class one day. We had been asked to draw a portrait., which I had nearly finished doing. In fact I was feeling quite proud of that fledgling art work. The little artist in me was alive and well for about twenty minutes. Until the teacher arrived at my desk.

catholic nun teaching photo

The picture above pretty much embodies the feeling I got from the nun looking over my shoulder as she came around the room.  She stopped and remarked on everyone’s work.  However when she got to me she just stopped and said nothing.  Standing there for several moments before moving on.  Well my little artist felt the world crashing down in a deafening silence.  I felt like I’d done the worst picture in the room, it being so bad that it wasn’t worthy of any kind of comment – good or bad.

It was a long time before I tried drawing and painting again. However there were two fundamental lessons I finally learnt from this incident…..

  • One,  that we can give any meaning we like to an event and that you can therefore go back and change your perception about that event.
  • Two, that at that time I began a pattern of needing others approval to feel good about myself. At the time I felt judged and found wanting. Lack of self-worth and self-criticism crept in, two terrible twins of resistance that followed in many areas of my life  and certainly on the creative path.

However shining a light into this memory, helped me understand my error and grieve for my little artist self, which in turn enabled me to move on and begin feeling proud of my work.

This week’s question: Have you gone back and mined your childhood for information about your blocks yet?

Look For Thursday’s Post:   A different kind of abstraction

Next Monday’s Post: Fun in France!! 

Photo by www.audio-luci-store.it

The calling to create can be stunted so long as you are sitting inside an invisible box that has boundaries of unworthiness –

The Calling To Create - invisible boxes

The Tattered Box of Unworthiness that hems you in and you can’t see.

 

 

it is very difficult to believe in yourself enough to take up that brush or pen. The older you get, the more responsibilities you have, the harder it is,  yet again.

You see, the minute you acknowledge that you are a creative being, is the minute that you start down the road of  – society, religions, families and tribes perceiving you to be selfish because you can no longer be devoted solely to them. And you know what – creativity is a selfish pursuit. IT IS!!

However, stop a moment and consider this…. what is selfishness?  Is it a bad thing, and what is the difference between that and self-worth. Are they mutually exclusive or inclusive?

You know most of us have grown up with the idea that putting yourself first is a bad thing, it is wrong and even worse it is soul damaging. This immediately creates all kinds of emotional problems for the aspiring artist within you.

Enter – Stumbling Block Number One!…. by its very nature the creative process is often a solitary one. We need time to be alone, to process and allow interaction with our muse.

The Calling To Create

Finding Inspiration

Now to follow this path, I am immediately forced into a decision that will take me away from the twin distraction demons of Family and Friends. You ask your self if you are being selfish by leaving your partner to mind the kids while you spend an hour in the studio. However, also ask your self, if you are not being selfish, by refusing to develop your unique talents and gifts, that, I might add, no one – ie NO ONE else in the world has.  You are unique.  What right do you have to deny the world the opportunity to experience the creations that no one else can make?

This of course creates another whole set of questions, feelings and problems which I will discuss in the next post.

This Week’s Question: What is your invisible box, that is hindering your creativity?

Next Thursday’s Post:Studies for the Southland Series

Next Monday’s Post: Selling Your Art

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

Pix Credits: Box of Inspiration by xJason.Rogersx , Pixabay

 

Creative Processes – talking about Resistance

Unfortunately most of us don’t recognize our resistance. Instead we sit safely in denial, in our illusion, pretending that the art class or the lessons in stage makeup are just something else that we are filling up our lives with. I know this because I spent 40 odd years of my life pretending I wasn’t an artist. I know all the distractions, excuses and rocky stones on this path of Resistance.  They are old well-loved friends, hard to leave behind. Here’s a list of a few of the things that will stop you from doing your true work in the world.

  •  I’ll do it later – when I have time
  • When the kids are going to school – I’ll have time then
  • It would be selfish of me to spend that money when my partner needs a new widget for his car
  • I’ll just do (x) before I look into it
  • Who am I kidding – me, a film director, dancer, artist ………. fill in the blank
  • I’m too old now
  • Everyone else has a head start – they will always be better than me
  • It’s just a pipe dream

This True Work –   It’s what I call SOUL WORK.

This has nothing to do with religion.  It has everything to do with developing the deepest core of your self, which is why we are all so afraid of it.

Now Resistance and Self worth kind of over lap, because often resistance occurs owing to our lack of self-worth.  How does this manifest?

Well unfortunately, often owing to religious beliefs, we have been taught that we are worthless. We have been conditioned to decry our gifts, to exalt our unworthiness and so give away our power. This is why creative people are often found on the fringes of society.

Sadly we often, must disown our tribes, be they familial, political or religious, in order to move forward, free from the strictures that want to contain our creative spirits.  Creativity threatens the tribe because by its very nature it is perceived as anarchy.  It brings with it change and horror of horrors GROWTH!!  And Growth ALWAYS  challenges the status quo and threatens those in power.

creative-freedom resistance

creative freedom

 

You see, creative spirits need to be free. They cannot create within the bound confines of strangling political and religious systems. It is the work of creatives to push at the boundaries of human understanding. Which of course why so many of them are not recognized as a genius until after they are dead. Society takes a while to catch up and because it does, and for all the reasons stated above, creatives and free thinkers are considered revolutionaries ( which of course they are) and are often persecuted.

Stepping out of Resistance

Stepping out of Resistance

Therefore we have resistance.  We want to hide.  We don’t want to be different. The call of the tribe is strong.  We don’t want to take up the responsibility because it means admitting who we really are and then doing something about it. Sometimes hiding from ourselves seems a lot safer.

This Week’s Question: Can you list at least 5  forms of resistance you are currently using to avoid your creative calling?

Next Thursday’s Post: Waitete Revisited

Next Monday’s Post: Colour Mixing – The Blues

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

Pix Credits: Creative Freedom, Business design

 

Get Adobe Flash player