Inspiration From Different Sources
Continuing on the theme of inspiration, from last week, where I was discussing the connection between music and art, I would like to share some surprising sources of inspiration for me.

When I began writing this post, I actually really needed to put my Thinking Hat or should I say my Memory Hat on, to uncover what does inspire me.

A starting point for me is often Photos, which may not seem very different or unusual.  However something I discovered recently, was that when you change your focus, you can go back to long discarded photos and find new sources of inspiration within them.  Sometimes we need to have gone through a previous journey of discovery in order to get to this place. A case in point is the recent change in my own work.  Below is a painting I did mid last year.

Cathedral Cove I 19x24" Oils by Kadira Jennings

Cathedral Cove I 19×24″ Oils

I spent much of last year painting caves and the inner workings of the earth you might say.  Now I am looking at her more visible outer beauty, which although readily available to everyone, is not always seen  by them. I returned to photos I had taken several years ago, not really ever thinking I would paint them, because at that point I couldn’t have done so, for two reasons –

  1. I didn’t have the necessary technical skills
  2. I didn’t have the viewpoint/vision that I now have.

Unveiling I sm


Part of this latter reason involves becoming more discerning, looking for the image within the image. In my next post I will look at cropping as a powerful tool to gaining a memorable image.  Some of this can be done with cutting tools, others requires working through and with an image in paint.  It is not until you have painted an image that you have drawn a particular essence out of it and discovered the possible jewel within it, that it can then becomes your next painting.

Next Thursday’s Post: Unveiling III

Next Monday’s Post: Cropping is a powerful tool

Posted By: Kadira Jennings


Enhancing Creativity II

So how did you go with enhancing your creativity last week?  Did you manage to toss TV for the whole week?  How did that feel for you? For some people it is really, really hard to do – it’s like giving up a drug for a week.  Did you feel a great sense of achievement at the end of the week?

We need to break the mold and make a new one.

So what now – you may ask?  The creative process often requires subtraction rather than addition in our lives.  This is what you have been doing the last week, if you followed my suggestions.  We often need to subtract in order to be able to add our creativity.

This week, I suggest you take this process a step further.  Ask your self the following questions and write down the answers, and do the following tasks.

  • Make a list of the biggest distractions in your life.
  • Make a pact with yourself to do without them for a week.
  • Observe how you feel when you consider doing this – do you get panicky, what fears come up for you, where do you feel it in your body?
  • At the end of the week, or even during your week  – write down your observations of what comes up for you.  What are the positives?  What’s on the downside?

What might some of these distractions be? Here are some suggestions….

  • Watching DVD’s
  • Movies
  • Email
  • Multi tasking
  • Reading
  • Music – unless you are a musician
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Your Mobile Phone
  • Your Kids, family or partners
  • socializing
  • House hold chores that don’t really need to be done – ie ironing handkerchiefs or teatowels

And I’m sure there are many, many more.

Subtracting your dependence on some of the things you take for granted, increases your independence.  It’s liberating, forcing you to rely on your own ability rather than your customary crutches.” Tywla Tharp.

Look For Thursday’s Post:  Southland

Next Monday’s Post: Art, fear and money

Post by : Kadira Jennings

Pix Credit: Inspiration Mind

Being Creative At Christmas.

Being creative at Christmas is one of the things I love about Christmas. Creativity and Christmas seem to go together.  This often seems to be a time when people make an extra effort to be creative.

There is a man near where we live, who just transforms his house at Christmas time.

Being creative at Christmas


Not only does he do this, he also makes up little packets of reindeer food and gives them out to the kids!

Being creative at Christmas


Other people will make their gifts, for the important people in their lives, or even make their Christmas cards.  In this day and age when we are surrounded by so much commercialism and cheap junk made in China, people are becoming more and more appreciative of hand crafted things.  To receive a gift that someone has taken the time out of their busy lives to actually make, to give us, means so much more. One of the most treasured gifts I have ever received was this beautiful hand worked bag my best friend once gave me.

Being creative at Christmas


This Week’s Question: How are you being creative at Christmas this year?

Look For Thursday’s Post: The Lovebirds

Next Monday’s Post: Emotions in art and Abstraction. How do these things relate to each other?

Procreate – Overcome some forms of creative block with this tool!

Procreate is a great iPad App that works in a similar way to Photoshop. This week I came up against a creative block in my current painting. I am working on an image that I have adapted from a photo. The problem I faced was converting a largely monochromatic image into one that celebrates colour. However as I was doing this, I didn’t pay enough attention to what was going on tonally and so ended up not being able to get the colour flow happening properly.  Below is a photo of the image at the point I became stuck.

Working with Procreate

Working with Procreate

After sitting and looking at it for a while, I suddenly remembered I had Procreate on my iPad.  So I took this photo and imported it into Procreate.

I then proceeded to try out some different colour solutions.  First I changed the colour of the sky…. put a pinkish brown rock in the front and coloured the rocks behind the figures…..

Yellow Sky in Procreate

Yellow Sky


I didn’t think this entirely worked so I changed the front rock to green and the rocks behind.

Green Rocks in Procreate

Green Rocks in Procreate


Nope….. not really happy with that either!  I decided to change the front rock to Orange next and see how that went…..

Orange Rock in Procreate

Orange Rock in Procreate

Ah now I’m getting somewhere!  This is as far as I have got so far.  But now it’s beginning to hang together.

If you are like me and have trouble visualizing in your mind’s eye, how something will look, this tool – Procreate is just awesome.  It saves so much time and paint this way. Of course it won’t look as good as when you actually paint it, however it can certainly help you solve colour and tonal problems.

The only downside to Procreate is that it doesn’t have a crop facility – really dumb! You have to export images into PS Touch to crop them.

Watch for the Thursday post in a few weeks to see how the painting eventually turned out!

This Week’s Question: Have you tried Procreate ? Are there any other apps you love that you would be willing to share with us?

Look For Thursday’s Post: The Dragon And His Mistress

Next Monday’s Post: Emotions in art and Abstraction. How do these things relate to each other?

How relevant is creativity to you?

There is so much talk about creativity these days, it has become the latest buzz word. First, everyone was on about innovation and now they are swinging the creativity axe.

Some businesses are even beginning to have creative think tanks and the more forward thinking ones are scheduling time for honing creativity skills, as they realize that
a. Creativity drives Innovation – and
b. That to keep up commercially these days requires Innovation in a market that is changing faster than anyone can keep up with.

How is this relevant to us as individuals? If you run your own small business how relevant is creativity? Consider this – there will always be some kind of competition out there. So how do you grab your slice of the pie? And if you are an artist – even though you may not think of yourself like this – you are a business person.  You run a small business.

The trick is to think differently. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. As Edward de Bono said, “You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper.”

Here are some ideas –
• Instead of looking at the problem straight on, come at it from a different angle. We have a technique in drawing called negative shape drawing.
• Take a look at this well-known picture below.

How Relevant Is Creativity - a different point of view

What do you see?

Can you see the white vase?  Most people can.  However can you see the two faces looking at each other?  This requires that you focus on the black space rather than the white one.  Therefore in problem solving ask your self what might my black space look, feel or sound like in relation to the issue I’m attempting to solve.  You must identify what your black space looks like.

This Week’s Question: How relevant is creativity to your life??

Look For Thursday’s Post: Heart Dancer – who is she?

Next Monday’s Post: How relevant is creativity?

Posted by : Kadira Jennings

Creating in a series,  leads to a wonderful unfolding of one’s creativity.

Creating  in a series leads to Cathedral Cove Lifting Off

What follows is the last in this series of Cathedral Cove paintings to date.  As I write this I am continuing to work on cave like images, but have since moved on to other places that inspire me.  Of all the athedral Cove images, these are I feel, the best and were only arrived at by creating in a series and painting my way through the other works.  So what we are seeing here is that series of works evolvingto a conclusion, and it is interesting to see how the subconscious flow allows somethings to emerge and take precedence, and others to fade away.

For example you will see in both of these works that the ground has fallen completely away and the angelic like figures have taken precedence.  These figures now dominate both works.

Then we can observe that the surrounding space, particularly in the Cathedral Cove VII,  has become almost womb like.

Creating in a series

Cathedral Cove VII 20″x16″

I have felt that presence very strongly while working with this cave in particular.  When you are standing inside there you feel, enclosed, almost cradled within mother earth’s arms, that you are within her womb in a sense!

Also this painting was a study really,  for the larger one and painted  on a much smaller canvas.  The brush work is more raw and the figures take up a much larger space in the picture plane than in the painting below.


Creating in a series continued - Cathedral Cove VIII

Cathedral Cove VIII

In the second painting as seen above, the figures are more elevated, they soar above us and are represented with a much stronger colour palette.  This is by far the more elegant of the two pieces. If you really want to push yourself, then creating  in a series is the way to go. I never dreamed I would end up with these paintings when I began my first left handed Cathedral cove painting.


Next Post :     The transition paintings




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