Big Fat Art with Jane Davies

Meet Jane.

Jane is fun, quirky, straightforward, very creative and a whole lot spontaneous!

I had the pleasure of spending all last week with Jane Davies on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Three days of Big Fat Art and another two of Monoprinting with the infamous Gelliplate. I was definitely in my happy place spending long days just creating with no means to an end, making unexpected marks, combining new colours and exploring lots of layers.

A little ukulele playing did not hurt the process….

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

We spent the week exploring fast, carefree mark-making with various mark making tools, charcoal, water-colour crayons, ink and pastel. We combined unexpected colours, playing with opaque and transparent colours. We added texture through the use of paint and handmade collage papers.We learned how to add lots of depth to our work. We even added a few drips here and there.

We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun.

Most importantly though we silenced the inner critic within and created with no concern for what is right and what is wrong.

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

To be truthful, it wasn’t easy. It can be a little disconcerting to try new things and work against principles that have been ingrained in you by every art teacher and book out there.

What I loved about Jane was her constant encouragement to push past what we already know and try something different, and her love for the creative process versus the finished outcome.

For me that included No imagery – no flowers, birds or other whimsical things flying around and, gasp, maybe putting some purple in my work.

Ok, some things I just couldn’t manage to push myself past, BUT look how awesome it looks below with the reds and yellows!

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

This, once again, reminds me of the importance of keeping an art journal. A safe place to try out new marks, colours and techniques. A place to make some really bad art with hopefully some unexpected surprises of greatness!

Learning from Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

Here are a few of my works in progress. A few things I learned about myself:

I love strong, bold colour. I love texture, but not necessarily patterned texture. I love depth.I love discovering little marks hiding underneath different layers.I love organic shapes. I love a wee bit of black in my work. I love contrast.

I am a wee bit scared of the abstract. I still don’t feel comfortable with the tension it often adds to work.

I also learned that I need to add more areas of rest and lightness to my work. I need to take a deep breath and work on the details of each smaller piece within the bigger whole, to be more mindful and to slow down and sit with a piece before I call it finished. I need to add more interestingness to my work either by contrast, line or layering.

Learning from Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

What a great week! I could spend all day, everyday, creating.

For more info on Jane please visit her website. Do not miss out on her tutorials tab. Jane is very generous with her knowledge and discoveries and has dozens of great video tutorials to share. Small doses of creative inspiration!

She also offers online and real life workshops. Sign up for her newsletter for more info on upcoming courses.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an email.

Have a great week! I hope the sun is shining and the autumn leaves are in full color for you.

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Training my Creativity

There has been a lot of this going on everyday…

illustration,art supplies, paint, paper,ink

My desk is covered with little tiny pieces of cut paper, loose leaf with sketches of Santa and all his friends, some painted spring flowers and a mood board for all things coastal.

pastel colored pencils, illustration,

Life has been busy! The beautiful, sunny, winter that wasn’t, has not helped at all. It has been way too beautiful here in Whistler for all of February. Everyone has packed away their skis and taken to the trails. I think Mother Nature is going to slap us around silly with a big winter storm soon, but we would have to have snow for days on end and cold temperatures to get winter back.

I cannot lie. I am loving our balmy weather! Word in the village is that so is everyone else. I am hearing this daily..

best Day ever, illustrated quotes, hand lettering

A few things to share as I have been absent from here for one month. I am not really sure how that happened. I am still a bit shocked that it happened. It is the beginning of March!

I have to admit that sometimes I cannot figure out how to do it all. Find inspiration, sketch, design,think about work, run a household, feed and water my children,exercise, walk the dog, think some more about work  and breathe.

Amongst all of the above which I understand is just Life as we know it, I am finding it difficult to fit blogging in.I know it has an important place in my creative journey and I know I enjoy it, but I just haven’t figured out the recipe that works for me. Like all things in my life it demands a wee bit of creativity. Right?

sketch, sketchbook, floral, artjournal,doodle

I am convinced that we only have so much creative juice everyday. I know mine runs out after 6 hours and like coffee, it is best in the morning. I am trying hard to work at night, but it’s not the way my mind rolls. I wish it was. So I have decided to try to train it. We all know that sometimes it is just a matter of starting and doing..

So tonight I sit here typing away. I may just get this blog post out to you by morning. My other nightly creative training routine has to begin art journalling again. I am 4 days in to this training session and so far, so good. I know that habits take time to form so I will just have to give it my best shot.

art journal, work in progress, sketchbook

I have just recently discovered Creative Bug. It is an online instructional arts and craft site. It offers everything from calligraphy to sewing to jewellery making. It also has some art journalling classes offered by Lisa Congdon and Dawn Devries Sokol. At less than $5 a month to join, you can’t go wrong!

I am joining tomorrow night and plan to spend my evenings learning and doing. I will be sure to share here.

Also for your interest, The Strathmore  2015 Online Workshop series starts today. It is Free..yup, thats right! This year it includes printmaking with Traci Bautista, some loose acrylic painting with Patti Mollica and some exploration in ink with Maureen Wilson. I have been doing the series for a few years now and they are packed with new and interesting techniques. For more info go here

Do you have any tricks or routines for spurring on your creativity at night? I would love to hear them:)

See you again soon,

Inspired by…exhausted by…intuitive painting

Oh my goodness I am exhausted. This whole new brave, intuitive way of painting is slowly killing me. ..It is also cluttering up my home.

I am surrounded by canvas all begging for attention. All waiting for me to find something, some imagery in them. I must have at least 5 canvas on the go right now. Some intuitive style, some not. I think I am going to start turning their faces to the wall.

Pick me…don’t you see the huge orange poppy? your favorite poppy pods?..No, pick me I am so a birch tree….oh..and I have some birds in me too..What about me? Pick me, why dont you love me? I have been sitting here for over three months.. waiting…  I have potential, you’ll see..love me…..

There we go…silence.

My favorite is now, in desperation, asking my children to find images for me. I asked my teenage daughter what she saw in one of my paintings. All I got was a “seriously?” you expect me to find something in that mess. My younger son, on the other hand, was able to find an entire, very complicated NYC skyline.

If I see one more bird , tree or flower emerge from all of my mark making I may scream. Really now…why cant I find a lovely figure or maybe a sailboat?

It must all  boil down to the subconscious. What do I do when not painting and living life? I doodle.

I doodle big bold flowers, leaves and fields of dreams. I guess it is only natural that I then keep seeing these images emerge in my paintings.

doodle,art,big flowers, pen and ink,

I think it may be time to sit down and scan some magazines and books. I need to build up a repertoire of  new images in my art journal.

So, just because, I have posted a few progression pieces..work in progress, mind you. (There is no such thing as a finished painting around here..you are not safe from gesso until you leave the house:)

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

making marks

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

sorry…white balance a little off..but you can start to see images..

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

outlining images..choosing colors..

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

still working color…

Close to being finished, but not quite. Definitely inspired by Flora, but trying to make it my own. Adding lots of texture. I am not one for transparency. Still need to add all the icing…more outlining and images to draw all the colors together. Also need a smoother transition from light to dark.

Any other suggestions? Please……

Hold onto your hats for this one. This one is full of flowers and birds of all kinds.

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

mark making..warm and cool colors..

Amongst it all I was thrilled to have found this…

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

I see a barn!..seriously? do you see it?

In a 24″ by 24″ painting covered in marks, I found this little 3 inch section of what looked like an old barn and some rolling hills and now, all of a sudden, I have a game plan!!

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

I see a village coming on…

Sigh of relief…I can only take so much braveness…I am actually still not that brave as I am still finding images “precious”..I have to be willing to turn this canvas upside down and re-work it…that still makes me quiver in my boots..

This has hours of attention coming its way…

In a nutshell,I love intuitive painting. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is such a fun, free wheelin’ process. Everytime I work a painting this way I learn oodles of information~ be it a mark, a texture, a color combination or an image. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to just paint and see what happens. I am constantly surprising myself…and this, my friends, keeps the love for painting alive and well in me.

Only three more weeks until Flora Bowleys online course Brave Intuitive You. I can’t wait. I have worked with her in person and written about her here..and here..oh, and here too.

All of a sudden I feel like a bit of  stalker…

My weekend with her was all I hoped for and more, but I feel like I only scraped the surface of this whole intuitive painting style and my potential. I am so excited to explore this concept more.

I am open, willing…. and brave.

Join me!

For more info on Flora and her wonderful courses, take a peek here! Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}