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




Cathedral Cove – Te Whanganui-A-Hei

Firstly I’d like to share a photo of this magical place, Cathedral Cove, which I visited earlier this year and is a favourite place of mine from my childhood. My second post in this series is to bring you the next two pieces in the three painting,  left-handed challenge that I have begun. Cathedral Cove Below is the second painting, which incidentally was painted from the first painting, which I turned upside down first.  I then proceeded to paint it, continuing with the left hand again.  I also used a palette knife in this painting as can be seen by the very textured appearance in the upper right hand corner of the work. When I had finally finished it, I turned the painting up the right way, as you see it here and was fascinated to observe that the cave had lifted off the ground in the process!

Cathedral Cove II

Cathedral Cove II 18×24″

The next one was a little larger and in it I worked to convey the idea of the interconnectedness of the elements, rock and air.

Cathedral Cove III

Cathedral Cove III 38×27″

Next Post: The beginning of the five paintings in a week challenge!


We spend hours and hours every day thinking, however is all this brain energy necessarily productive?  Is it always positive?  Thinking is another of  the qualities of an artist that we need to pay attention to. You would be surprised perhaps if you were able to capture every thought you have in a day and look at…

a. How positive is that thought ?

b. How constructive is it?

c. Are you over thinking?

We are educated to think in certain ways, which are actually detrimental to the creative process.  As creatives we need to learn to think all over again.  Truly original thought is a difficult thing.  Within the creative process we need to develop the skill of being able to think both for yourself and against yourself.

What does that mean – thinking against yourself?  As a creative you must develop the ability to think outside your habitual channels. Creativity requires discernment – the ability to recognize one’s own mistakes and not go into emotional meltdown over them.  More on that later….

You must be able to hold up the mental mirror and see and analyse that reflection for flaws and then look at ways to improve.

Right brain thinking - Left handed painting

Cathedral Cove – Left handed painting

Many times, over thinking can be one of our biggest impediments or stumbling blocks on the creative path.  Why is this?

It usually means that we have gone from right brain thought to left brain thinking patterns.  When thinking in a left brain mode, we go into analytical, judgemental and critical  thought patterns which distort or block our creative flow.  I find it fascinating, that since I have begun painting with the left hand, my non dominant hand, my work’s quality has increased in it’s emotional intensity, impact and spontaneous flow of energy.  The minute  the paint brush goes back into the right hand, I begin striving for perfection again and it really loses something indefinable but intrinsically present.

This seems like a paradox, and its true nevertheless. Take a look at some other paintings that were painted with my dominant right hand – you will see the difference right away. You will notice these works are much more detailed, have a design element and are much more highly structured, yet less emotional.

This Weeks Question: Have you noticed how your thinking process affects your creative process? 

Next week look for: Active qualities of an artist  – Gathering

Posted by: Kadira Jennings

Today’s post continues our discussion on making time for creativity. There is really only one thing in the world in which there is true equality and that is TIME. We all get to have 24 hours in a day – no less no more. The all important question is – What do you do with your 24 hours?

A good way to think of time is to pretend it is money.  Here are some things to think about….

  •  How do you spend your time?
  •  Are you thrifty with your time?
  • Do you squander your time?
  • Do you have a savings plan?
  • Who steals your time – or rather – who do you allow to steal your time?

Now of course we all lead busy lives and so we often find ourselves far too busy to get our creativity out of the back pocket, dust it off and see what it looks like.

pocket 1

Why is it do you think that you can’t find the time to be creative? I can hear the million and one excuses (no apology for the word) bubbling into your head right now. The simple truth is that if you are not being creative it is because you are choosing not to be. It is not because you don’t have the time, rather it is because other things have a higher priority for you, and that is OK – you just need to acknowledge it, allow it to be what it is and not beat yourself up about it.

If it is not OK with you then you need to sit down and do a time map. How do you do this. Beginning NOW, and for the next week make a note of all the activities you do in a week and how long you spend on each one. MOST IMPORTANT! Please include things like Time spent –

  • Chatting with friends
  • Chatting on the phone or to the neighbour over the back fence
  • Hanging out or doing washing • Answering emails!!!!!!
  • Work work
  • Preparing meals
  • Showering etc. etc. etc…… you get the idea.

WHY is it important or even useful to do this? When you make time to do this little exercise you can then see over the course of the week where most of your time goes and look at how some of those activities might be condensed or even eliminated. Then build yourself a list of all these activities and prioritize them into 4 categories –

  •  Things that Have To Be Done – ie. Meal preparation, work – work, cleaning house/garden – weekly or daily repeatables etc
  • Things I’d like to do if I had time
  • Creative Time
  • Everything else

I can tell you that in all likelihood, your creative time will be quite minimal unless you have really dedicated your life to your art. It might be interesting for example to compare how much time you spend answering emails and browsing the internet, to how much time you spend creating – that could look quite scary. I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with my INBOX. It eats up way too much of my time and when it gets like 50 unanswered emails and I don’t have time to get to them – it’s a clunky rock I carry around in my subconscious all day or even for several days until I can get to it. This uses up my precious energy and creates a cycle of depletion. So what is to be done?

There are a million and one time management systems out there and guess what -NONE OF THEM WORK until you recognize that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TIME MANAGEMENT. WE CAN ONLY MANAGE OURSELVES. If you really DO want to be creative and are currently overwhelmed by your life, then there is only one thing you CAN do. You MUST set aside a space of time somewhere in your week that is for your creativity. THIS TIME SLOT MUST BE NON NEGOTIABLE in terms of your availability for other things, people etc. The biggest temptation will be to do things like – have a coffee with a friend in this space because “there is no where else in the week and you haven’t seen them for ages. ” Or similar things. As soon as you begin allowing this erosion of your precious creative time, pretty soon it will be all filled up with other things and you will be wondering why you can’t seem to get your painting or creative project finished.

This Week’s Question: What time will you put aside for your creativity every week, beginning this week?

Next week look for: Exhibitions – Letting your work go.

My eldest daughter recently became a mum for the second time.  This of course means little time for ones self.  Gopala has always loved to paint, but not done much over the last few years, her creativity has gone into renovating and having kids.

Last week it was beautiful to see that although she has stopped painting, her creativity is just busting out regardless.

It was Levis third birthday….

Yellow Cup Cakes

Cup Cake Birthday Cake

And his favourite colour is …. you guessed it – yellow!

She made this gorgeous cup cake tree of yellow cup cakes – and what a great idea for littel kids.  Much more maneagable.  All the trouble she went to with their own little marshmallow decorations  and pretty yellow cups etc.

And then there were the lollie bags.

Lolly Bags

Lolly Bags


It is amazing how our creativity will always find a way to flourish even if we don’t have time to follow our preferred choice.

Baby and Cousin

The Girls

And of course then there’s the really little things we create which turn into big things and keep on going for the rest of our lives –  works  in progress.



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