Lessons from a Travel Diary II

Travelling and The Creative Process…..

Well isn’t all of life a journey really? Aren’t we travelling through the cosmos on a huge ball of matter, hurtling along at incredible speeds? It’s all about perspective really.

Travelling through the cosmos

Travelling through the cosmos

Our exterior journey reflects the interior journey. One of the great things about travelling and the development of your creativity is that it offers you a different perspective and not just the obvious things like, culture, scenery and customs. It also takes you out of your comfort zone, away from the familiar, which can totally unnerve you or you can surrender to the adventure of it all and dive into the new world you find yourself within.

Travelling  through the world

Travelling through the world

I don’t know about you, but I always find myself  so charged up and eager to create when I come back from my travels.  I think this is what Julia Cameron has in mind when she asks you to take yourself on an Artist Date every week.  It is like a mini vacation, a small hiccup taking us from the humdrum of life into the possibility of discovering something extraordinary. After all, as artists and creators, is that not what we are trying to accomplish when we birth a creation, be it a book, a film, a poem or an artwork? Aren’t we offering others a small step into the alternate universe of the world we have created?

So travelling allows us to bring back a bit of something else from somewhere else.  To add to our creative store house in the castle of our memory. Here are some snippets of things I’ve bought back with me from this trip. You can focus on the big…

Travelling, Old Puriri Tree

Old Puriri Tree

From the Macrocosm to the Microcosm…. or the detail, each have something to offer and a different kind of beauty in their own way.

Travelling, Bleaced Leaves and Weathered Wood

Bleached Leaves and Weathered Wood


Look at the amazing, subtle tones and colours in this picture above, of flotsam washed up on the beach. The things in Nature, always complement each other so beautifully.

This Weeks Question: By travelling to somewhere new this week, what can you find in Nature to be amazed by?  Please share your thoughts below.

Look For Next Thursday’s Post: News From The Studio

Image Creds:

Photo by WikiImages (Pixabay)

Photo by Hermann (Pixabay)


Using Mirrors In Painting

Using mirrors can be a very useful tool to apply your looking skills. How is it done?

The first thing you need to do is to set up a large mirror behind you in your working space.

The second thing is to turn around frequently as you work and look at the work in the mirror.  I would have to say this is the single most useful tool that I continue to use on a daily basis.

I use this technique  frequently as I paint.  Using mirrors serves two main purposes.

Firstly it helps me to see what is wrong with what I’m drawing or painting.  Why is this? Well, looking in a mirror means you are seeing the work from a reversed perspective and also at a greater distance away from the work than you would normally view it. This is particularly important when you only have a relatively small studio like mine is at the moment. Below you can see my studio.  I have taken the picture standing at my easel and looking into the mirror.  The chair is situated where I can  sit and look at the work as it progresses.

Using Mirrors - My studio and Mirror

My studio and Mirror

Secondly, because of what is happening in our brains as we do this, our left brain tends to overload and shut down, allowing the more creative right brain to shine forth and offer us  a more insightful perspective into what we are looking at.

My motto is ‘When in doubt – Get your Mirror Out!’

Look At Things From A Different Perspective

This is another handy trick you can also use when you are stuck.

Turn your painting round – upside down first and then if you are still having difficulties, look at it sideways from both sides. In my experience this can make a huge difference to a painting.  In one instance it was the difference between a painting being finished or not!

Look at the difference in this painting.

using mirrors - a different perspective

Original way painting was painted

What I discovered on turning it around…..

using mirrors - a different perspective

Turing the painting – a different perspective


To read the story of how this work evolved take a look at my previous post.

You could also say that looking at something in a mirror is looking from a different perspective, which of course it is.

Also falling into this category would be viewing things through a magnifying glass.  This expands the view of something while narrowing it at the same time.

Sometimes if you are experiencing difficulty in drawing something up, and you are working from a photo, turn the photo and your work upside down as well.  This can really change your mindset.

The final tip here is to STAND BACK!

Get back from your work. This is especially important when you don’t have a mirror.

This Week’s Question: Do you have a mirror set up in your studio yet and if not when will you get one by?

Look For Thursday’s Post: Two more paintings – ‘Satin Sands’ & ‘Into The Light’

Next Monday’s Post: How relevant is creativity?

Posted by : Kadira Jennings

In the last post I kicked off this Painting Tips series with a word or two about looking after your body. Now let’s look at some ideas that can help the painting process using some other art techniques.

Tip 2: Points of View

There are things that we can do which alter the way we see our work of art. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Get Back From It: In order to get a better perspective, or overall view of what we are doing, it is important, from time to time to step back from the work and look at it from a bit of a distance. This serves the purpose of allowing you to have more of an overview of what is happening.  You see the problem is, that as we are painting we become absorbed in the few square inches we are currently working on and can tend to ignore the effect of what we are doing in terms of the bigger picture – so to speak.
  • Tiny Telescope: This is a trick my dad taught me many years ago. If your studio space is a bit cramped and you can’t get back very far from your work you can do what I call the ‘Tiny Telescope”. Rather than trying to explain what this is have a look at me doing it in the picture below. Holding your hand in this way look through the tiny space in your hand at your painting. This cuts down a lot of the information entering your eye and gives you a simplified view of what is going on. Give it a try…

Tiny Telescope Technique being demonstrated by Kadira


Pix Credit:  www.myfreewallpapers.net

For a long time this amazing woman has been a major artistic  influence in my life. Not only do I love her paintings but I also admire her immense courage.  She dared to walk her own path, to live HER life.  She was able to step into her own vision.  How fortunate for us that she did – filling the world with a new perspective, embodied in beautiful art works.

Georgia O'keefe, Blue and Green

Georgia O'keeffe, Blue and Green Music

Pix Credit: Wikipedia

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