Creative Practice – Part II

Creative practice  is incorporated in a theme that I have often spoken of on the blog, this is the idea of the Artist Date. The issues I spoke of in the previous post speak directly to the value of the artist date. Why, because when you are on an artist date,  you are a lot more present and you are consciously seeking things that are going to fire your inspiration. You are putting yourselves in environments that you love, or sometimes that challenge, but generally are going to ignite your creative juices.

So to return to how one works up in image, in my own art practice I will often put an image into Photoshop and then play around with it until it feels right, and I may or may not do drawings from this. Sometimes I will print the images out and then do draw on top of the printed images for things that I haven’t been able to deal with in the computer space.

Creative Practice

Creative Practice in action

When I’m happy with the composition, I will then begin drawing the image up on the canvas.

Here is the finished painting…

creative practice,Kadira Jennings

Suspension oil on Canvas 40×40″

Another element of art practice that relates directly to creating images is looking at other art work, whether this is work of the great masters, children’s art, or works on display in a local gallery. Our inspiration comes from many sources. We can look at how another artist has dealt with, for example,  light on fabric and apply the same principles in our own work. In fact in Europe there is a time honoured tradition for artists to go into galleries and make sketches and copy the works of the great masters in order to learn and study how they executed what they did. This makes life a lot easier, because you don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel. So we all have much to be thankful for in terms of our  predecessor artists and their contribution to our understanding of how to create an art work.

This Weeks Question: Have you identified the elements of your creative practice that work the best for you?

Look For Next Week’s PostArt Processes – a look at uncertainty as part of our art practice.

The life of an artist

The life of an artist is a subject I’ve been discussing recently on the blog, taking a look at what that entails. Last week I looked at some of the more negative aspects of an artist’s life. This week I’m going to take a look at the positive, what is the upside?

The Life of an artist

I guess like anyone in a small business an artist can actually do whatever they want whenever they want.

The Life of an artist

Whether that’s walking on the beach or if you want to sleep all day, that you can do. You can work whenever you wish to whether it’s through the middle of the night as some artists do and indeed I used to, or whether you get up early and do the main bulk of your work early in the morning. This is a decision that is entirely up to you. You have no boss to answer to and the only driver is yourself. That in itself of course, can be a problem.  If you are not a good driver it can be easy to veer off course, or even start reversing your bus and go backwards.  This is one of the reasons why it is important for any solo entrepreneur to have a support system in place. More on that in a later post…

What are the benefits of being an artist?

  • Actually there are many.  I believe one of the biggest is being able to spend much of your day doing something that you love. How many people can say they are doing something they love during their working hours?
  • Yes there are times, probably half of the week, when there is the challenge of putting your marketing hat on and getting out there and having your work seen. However it is necessary or I’m not going to become recognized without doing it. Artists need to understand, that this part of their business needs to have just as much loving attention as the paintbrush on a canvas receives.  
  • Another benefit is the flexibility I have, not only with working hours, but being able to do things I like, such as an artist date, which is part of my art practice. This is a  time you take out to go and experience something in the world and endeavor to be very present during the experience. It is something that you do alone and is an important part of the creative practice where you are subconsciously collecting data and storing it away.
    I find it actually quite challenging to get myself out of the studio as there always seems to be something else to be done.  However when I do throw myself out the door I thoroughly enjoy it.
  • I don’t know if it’s just me but it seems that the human condition is often a contrary one. Why is it that we have such a hard time doing the things that we love and yet a sense of duty and commitment makes us hang in there, day after day doing something we don’t like? Strange don’t you think?

This Weeks Question: What elements about the life of an artist, do you think are most appealing?

Next week look for:  Whats happening in the studio?

Art Express

The Art Express – an exhibition worth seeing.

The Art Express is held every year in Sydney. It is a collection of works from HSC students and contains a pick from the best students.

 Here are some of them to whet your appetite.


There was a great variety of work from Digital Media to clay work, drawing and paintings

The exhibition runs until April 19th so there is still time to take a look if you can get there.








The the work above, took out the Julian Ashton full Scholarship prize. So if you can manage it, you might find some inspiration and it is a great place to go for an artist date.


Not to mention the wonderful bookshop they have there…… I managed to come out $200 poorer after I had seen this exhibition.  I found some wonderful books, some of which I will share with you in up coming posts.


This Weeks Question: What was the last thing that really inspired you, and what was it about that thing that got your creative juices flowing?

Look For Next Thursday’s Post:  What’s hot off the easel now?



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)


Artists need space in more ways than you might conventionally interpret that. Of course we need space to create in – a studio or designated space that is ours for only that purpose. You cannot get by for too long just using the kitchen table, if you are serious about your art.
Top of my ‘wouldn’t it be nice if’ list right now is a beautiful studio….

Beautiful Art Studio

Beautiful Studio

I love the grand space in this room! Big sigh of Appreciation…..

When you move into the head space of being more than a once a week painter at art class, you need to begin honouring the artist within you in a more conscious way.
The first way of doing this is to allow a space that is just for ‘you’ to create in, wherever that might be. Do not be tempted to allow others into it to do ‘their thing’.
By doing this you are sending your creative self a message that it is important and worthy of its own special considerations. This is not selfish. it is entirely necessary in nurturing your fledgling creativity.
We nurture and protect other young things do we not? Why then do we sometimes feel guilty for taking ‘time’ and ‘space’ that nurtures our baby creator? If other people have a problem with that they are not honouring you and your creativity, which also more than likely means that they are not owning their own either!

Artists Studio

Another Beautiful Artists Studio

I digress. The other kind of space we need as creative people is ‘head space’ . What does this mean exactly?
It means we need space alone to connect deeply to ourselves. We can do this through different things like meditation, walking in nature, listening to transporting music.

One of the main hurdles that we have to overcome these days is that we are constantly confronted with a barrage of information. Our world is filled with sensory stimulation, cell phones, car phones, TV, radio, music and all forms of media, magazines, advertisements, internet and on and on. How are we ever to hear ourselves think or feel in such an environment?

So the key here is to go on a media diet. Limit your self. Can you go a week without watching TV? What might you do instead in that time? If you are constantly saying you don’t have time to create – now you do!

How much time do you spend watching ‘The News’ or reading the paper? What effect does all that ‘bad press’ have on your sense of well being? Think about it……

How might you instead nurture your creativity?

This week I have a task for you. Well a challenge really. Go the whole week without watching the news on TV or via the internet, or reading the paper and use that time to give yourself positive creative stimulation. Some ways you might do that are:

Go on an artist’s date
Read a book about your favourite artist/ creative person
Look at other artists on line who create in the style and medium of your choice
Listen to some uplifting, beautiful music
Buy an art magazine and read it

This Weeks Question: What did you do to nurture your creativity?

Photo Credit: Pinned from pinterest originally.

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