Welcome to #moon2mooncreative cycle
I am so excited to be offering this month of interacting, playing and sharing ideas and art.
My intention is to be completely open and to freely spread the positive effect that living creatively can have on us. Many of the exercises suggested here are my old friends and the methods I use to connect and get into the flow. I truly believe that every human is a creative being. Nourishing and nurturing this in ourselves can enhance our lives and those around us.
The daily suggestions offered here are open to interpretation and can lead to unlimited possibilities. I have tried to include varied medium choices. Please feel free to use absolutely any form of expression, materials and your unique personal touch.
Exploring line, colour, nature, observation, awareness, self love and personal expression.
open to everyone.....no previous experience necessary
Join me for a 28 day cycle of art & play...
Every day I will post in the facebook group & email an idea & every day you are invited to share your visual response.
Practical information for sharing your images and thoughts
If you're on Facebook please join the open group Art of Flow at home so we can all enjoy each other's posts.
If you want to post to instagram include the hashtag #artofflow30days
You can find me there @gabbilancasterart
You can share on both platforms if you like.
You are welcome to participate in as many or as few days as you like...
My wish is that you have some fun, explore, connect with new people and make some new discoveries. Some days you might only take a few minutes to respond to the suggestion and on others you may choose to focus for hours. If you have friends or family around you it's wonderful to create together. Children really love getting involved too. There is no right or wrong way and there is no pressure to do it all.
A sketch book is probably an easy way to get started. Any drawing or painting tools you like... pencil, pastel, markers, crayons, ink, acrylic paint, watercolours, brushes, big paper, canvas, painting board, collage materials.....
Week one - Nature is my Greatest Teacher
Week two - Living in Colour
Week three - Reflection… Loving Self Portraits
Week four - Animal Love
New beginnings…a fresh start
A walk in nature…in the garden, park, bush or beach (take a sketch book with you). If the weather is warm you might like to be bare foot and feel the earth beneath you. Enjoy some deep belly breaths, slow down and look around. Take your walk… What is the light like? Are there shadows? Does anything attract your attention? Do any words, thoughts or feelings arise? What are your hopes and wishes? You might like to take a photograph or sit down and draw or write…
"The modern illusion concerning painting.......is that the artist is a creator. Rather s/he is a receiver. What seems like creation is the act of giving form to what s/he has received"
John Burger 2001
Feeling with your eyes (blind contour)
You will need paper and pencil, pen, marker or crayon.
Choose any natural object; it could be a tree, leaf, flower, branches, vine. Something with a lot of detail is ideal. Your own hand is also perfect for this. Sit in a quiet place or maybe play some soothing music to help focus. We will be drawing without looking at the paper. If you're right handed place your object on your left and your paper around to your right. If you're left handed do the opposite. Make sure you can see your object and not your paper. Focus your attention near the centre of the object and place your pencil in the middle of your page. Now we are ready. Soooooo slowly, with a continuous, descriptive, sensitive line, begin to move your eyes and your pencil at exactly the same rate. It can help to imagine that you are a tiny little ant crawling all over and around your natural object.
These drawings are all about the experience, not so much about the result, although I often love the pure quality in the line, the honesty and sensitivity (sometimes hilarity).
It is vital not to look at the paper! It can be very tempting…you might ask yourself “why do I want to look at the paper?” See what happens if you resist the urge to peek.
The more you do this the easier it gets and the more enjoyable it becomes. Try to really SLOW it down… do a second blind contour even slower… Notice how your line can move across the surface contours and details as well as around the outer edges. You could set an alarm for 10 minutes and really take the time to SEE MORE. Allow yourself to enjoy the sensation.
We will revisit this (one of my favourite things) again a bit later.
"Creativity takes courage" Henri Matisse
A Leaf or two... design
Choose a leaf or small branch of leaves that interest you. They may have beautiful colouration, veins or shapes. Fill your page or frame in the most interesting or unusual way (draw, paint, collage, photograph or…). To create strong composition allow your design to touch two or more edges of your page or frame (cropping the leaf or branch). This could be really simple (a pattern of shapes) or it could be full of intricate detail.
"Every leaf speaks to me, fluttering from the autumn tree" Emily Bronte
Feel the spaces (negative space)
Shift your attention
A moment to understand negative space... We usually perceive things like a tree, leaf, face or hand and identify them using words. Negative spaces are shapes with no names. Seeing the spaces between these things can be a valuable tool for seeing in a new way. Look at your hand, spread your fingers and notice the spaces between your fingers. Look closely at the shape of one of them. really focus on the nature of the shape of the space, not the finger. Does it feel different? Does it feel a little dreamy? How many spaces can you see?
Trees are perfect for seeing the negative spaces, the shapes between the branches. Draw a square or rectangle frame on your page. Slowly, with a similar sensitivity as we used for blind contours start to draw (or paint) the shapes of the spaces between the branches. Let your lines touch the edges of your frame filling it with a design of shapes. You can paint or shade the shapes and leave the branches empty.
Extra idea... you can prepare a page by covering the whole space with colours, then looking at your tree, search for the negative spaces between the branches, mark the shapes and paint the shapes black (leaving the tree your original base of colours).
"Do not be afraid of mistakes. There are no mistakes" Miles Davis
You can use any natural objects (leaves, seeds, flowers, sticks, pebbles, sand, crystals….). You might like to go for a collecting walk or you might have collections in your home already (sometimes fun with food) or you could draw, paint or collage. Starting, either in the centre or the outside edge of a circle place your pieces and radiate in or out using symmetry..
“Openness…aliveness…sensitivity…allows creativity to take possession of you” Osho
Just a moment of time out... You can sit or lie down or walk...
For 5 or 10 minutes or more be In silence or with meditation music.
Here is a link on spotify to one of my favourite meditation tunes
You might feel like continuing with creating an image of a word or thought or feeling...
"Sacred space is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen." Joseph Campbell
An egg or a shell, piece of fruit or a gumnut or seedpod.... any natural object that is roundish and curved. Begin in a darkish room, illuminate your object from the side with a single light source. This could be a desk light or sunlight shining on the side of your object. We need a beautiful and simple shadow on our subject. This is great for feeling the form, watching the light gently curve into the shadows. This is an exercise in tonal variation. If you are painting, keep it simple by using one colour and white. Pastels are ideal and if you're drawing with pencil it's important to draw tonally, not using too much line. If you feel inspired to try this with multiple colours....go for it!
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” Mary Lou Cook