Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – paintings of realistic and stylised animals


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Painting, not Cut-Outs for Me.

Despite the fact that I live in a smallish town in the Cotswolds UK there is a significant population of artists.  I nearly said thriving artists.  They are thriving as far as their art might be concerned but I doubt that they are thriving as far as their contribution to their cost of living. There just has to be another job in the mix to enable most artists to “indulge” themselves their creativity.   I digress…..

Matisse Lithograph Painting of flowers

Stroud in the Cotswold Hills (UK) is a town of artists and creativity, music and alternative therapies, alternative remedies and alternative people.  We have Open Art Studios in May and festivals of Music in the Summer and all sorts in between.  Our Museum is the best ever for a small town, and within the same building is an exibition room which celebrates art of all varieties.  We are lucky enough that the  local Museum is  currently hosting a selection of art from Matisse.  Cut-outs (collage shapes cut with a scissors) was Matisse’ form of art which he made during the 1950’s.  

Art exhibition Matisse Cut outs

Matisse Lithograph

To be honest, this work which must have been quite a revelation in that era does not do alot for me.  But it must have been quite a development for that time and the evolution of different creative expressions have enabled us to have the freedom to create across all sorts of media and mix them up too,  the ultimate in this being Mixed Media.

Still, even if Matisse is not your bag it is good to be in the presence of original art and have feelings toward different styles and media from the art world.   You might want to buy only what you like, but witnessing and processing what art history and contemporary art has to offer will help develop your own view about your art and your art process and where it sits on the spectrum of creative expression.

My artist friend here is using her creative expression to mimic the art!

Exhibition of Artist Matisse Cut Outs


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Creativity for New ACEO paintings in the New Year

My creativity shut up shop for the Christmas period.  I could sense my focus slipping as extra festive activities took hold.   Rather than wrestling Christmas photo of Toy Santabetween the two I gave myself a break.  I let myself off the hook.

Creativity is often seen as an easy kind of self indulgent luxury.  Those that feel they have not been bestowed any creative talent imagine the enjoyment and loveliness of making pictures.   Perhaps it does come easily to some, but I would imagine that like me plenty of artists procrastinate, heading off down the  path of least resistance, that is any other activity except creativity.

Even washing the car has an easily perceived outcome…you wash it, it looks clean.  With shopping, you shop and hey presto you have food you can cook with.  What about a bit of decorating? Assuming you buy the right paint, paint it on in a sensible fashion, the room looks completely renewed.  Having done all these things before there is no real danger of me straying into unknown territory and making a complete hash of this lot.

As for creating art, well only hundreds of decisions have to be made as you progress, tiny but important ones, the outcome of which make or break the painting.  One of the hardest decisions is eliminating your options, what should one do next?   And when things are not going right do you keep on with it or bin it?

Sketches for ACEO paintings by artist Diane Young

So enter creativity as a discipline.  I gave myself a Chrismas break,  now I have to reintroduce my creativity.  Like a daily supplement.  It needs to be rated as essential, like fruit, or vitamins to let it grow, grow, grow.

Today being the first day on my renewed creative path I have gathered some ideas and started on something new.   There are polar bears, hares, wolves and owls, cats and mice.  Harvey the Aardvark is still hibernating, but only for a short while, he will be back soon.

Wishing anyone taking the time to read this a very Happy New Year for 2014.  And for anyone wanting to be creative and not quite getting around to it,  do a little bit each day and make it essential,  just like your daily fruit and veg.


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Artists Creativity on Holiday – Where is that sketchbook?

You often hear of artists heading off to the coast to get away from it all and give their creativity space and time and to further render their craft.  Each year we drive to the Welsh coast, and I pop my transportable art equipment into my bag ready to grab all that inspiration that is about to descend upon me.  A day or two would go by and with all the organising that went on before the holiday there is not much more to do than make sure kids were  occupied and that the ready prepared meal was defrosting.  By this time I am wondering why I am not using my sketchbook or getting out the watercolours.  Holiday sketchOver the years I have made a few nice informal drawings and paintings but the truth be known  my creativity evaporates on holiday. Perhaps it is because I am not a landscape painter or  just because the heart of my creativity is figurative and so the quiet coastal locations we choose just don’t rock my creative boat. But then surely I would still be brimming with ideas?

Writers Block?

More likely then I am suffering from a form of writers block with all that leisure time. Perhaps it is because an example of the theory that when you do nothing in order to focus on being creative it then  hides away in an inaccessible corner of your mind, waiting until you start to hoover or cut the hedge whereupon ideas will pop up effortlessly knowing you have not got a notebook to hand!  This post relates to content in a post that I made in June called Accessing Your Creativity Whilst Watching TV? which describes how the brain prefers to be occupied with undemanding tasks in order to be able to explore different avenues.  So instead of chasing my creativity into a corner by relaxing, I will be encouraging it out with a mundane task or two when I am back at home.  And as for my holiday I have found I can quite happily write for my blog ready to post when I get back.  As for the  rest of the time it is  fresh air,  sea walks and sunshine.

My breakfast last week!

Holidays


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Accessing your Creativity by Watching TV?

Chewing the Pencil or More Washing Up?

Wash up?Sometimes it feels hard to be creative and other times it comes quite easily. The barometer for this may be the number of teeth marks in the pencil end as you sit there chomping away with not very much else happening. I recently saw a program by the BBC where it was surmised that mundane tasks or doing something that requires minimal thinking like taking a shower,  or washing up allows the brain to be more creative.  Whilst solving a creative problem or trying to come up with new ideas or solutions a mundane task allows the brain to meander around the thousands of kilometres of connections.  Under pressure to be on task  to do a job in hand, whilst sitting chewing the pencil in an attempt to be creative, forces the brain to concentrate and fast forward on the most direct route to the supposed answer, without paying attention to any other possible junctions along the way.  In this instance if no solution comes to mind  this presumably is the equivalent of writers block.  In its simplest form less brain  efficiency  means more creativity.

Barely Legible……but A Good Reason to Watch TV

Ideas

I subscribe to this theory as ideas come more readily to me when I am watching TV in the evenings and I will just scribble them down for another time.  Of course I do not mean whilst watching a film where it is critical to pay attention, and definitely not where subtitles are concerned!  Even if the ideas are hardly legible, they at least have been captured and logged ready to work on properly in the morning.  In the morning the need for that elusive idea forming creativity gives way to a more strategic approach and putting the idea to good use.  Here the brain can concentrate fully and hopefully without too much distraction (except for the odd blog write up of course!).

BBC Article – Five Ways To Be More Creative