Lady at Café

As part of a three week project in art class, I had to measure a figure from an image, transposing it firstly on paper, the on canvas, and finally painting it with oils. Figures aren’t my strength. Neither is measuring. I’m much better at making things up…sort of.

Once again I found myself at the bottom of a steep learning curve. I learnt the importance of planning, measuring and taking the time to draw out the main outline of the image I was copying – a lady sitting at the table at a café. I was inspired by the image, hey it was a lady sitting at a table at a café! This is what I love to do, except I’m usually writing, or catching up with friends.

I managed to draw the figure on the canvas, I got the idea of using tones to build up the colours, yet it just didn’t feel like it came together for me. Why not? Just a week or so before I learnt a new technique, produced a Bunny and was inspired to go and try this at home. But with the Lady at the Café, it felt flat.

lady in cafe 2The photo here shows where I’m up to, and I’m not quite finished, but I’m so uninspired to try and do any work on the canvas at home. How can the Bunny work but not the Lady? Well, different teachers? I do understand the different techniques used, but I am struggling to apply tones with the oils. With these canvases there are two very different techniques. That could be an influence. For whatever reason even though I wanted to push through and try and point a figure using oils it just didn’t work. To me it feels flat.

Then I realised that in the last lesson of working on this painting I did feel flat. Maybe my frame of mind came through into my painting. After all, a week before when drawing the lady on the canvas, even though I had done her wrong (the measurements were way out), I felt inspired to go home and try and fix her up (I didn’t which perhaps was a shame, but life does get in the way sometimes and it’s just what it is).

But the final lesson of working on this project because of a variety of factors unrelated to the art (hot weather, looking after bubs, and writing) meant I was feeling a little flat.

While doing art or craft or other creative projects can help lift your mood, be good for wellbeing, and help process life, the reverse can also happen.

I think this is what could have happened in this painting. And it’s helpful for me to be aware of this. To be mindful, so that if it happens again (which is a reality, because it is part of the creative process), I can recognise it for what it is, not be judgemental on myself, and choose to work to fix the art, or move on to another project.

All is not lost with Lady at Café, I can still continue with this painting. I won’t as right now I’m not inspired too. But I might be in the future. Now at least the process of creating this canvas has given me insight on how my mood can influence my art, and that by being mindful I can gain valuable insights to how the creative process works for me.

Have you noticed a time or stage when going through the creative process where you have gained insight to your approach? Please share below in the comments.

Culling 1.5k words

I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but for the academic paper I’m writing I’ve somehow gone over the word count by 1.5k!

Kimba home from the vets.JPG

This is after a hectic weekend with a very sick dog (and going to the emergency vets twice and having poor Kimba stay in over 24hours. He’s finally recovered now thank goodness), hurting my hand so it’s difficult to type, crocheting a shawl, and mentoring two writing students. Oh, and I’m heavily preggers. I must have had a lot to say or something on the matter of the relationship between history and fiction despite all of these distractions being thrown at me! Either that or I’ve somehow turned into super woman! 😉 And I’ve got extra powers to get through everything… if only! 😉

virus shawl completed.JPG

Anyway, this morning’s job is to cull 1.5k words, so this paper can be submitted tomorrow. What better way to do this than at a cafe, and of course outside in the beautiful autumn weather. I can soak up the sunshine and use it to help as motivation 🙂 It’s the simple things that can help you keep going after a busy time. heart clipartAnd looking on the bright side of life. I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but I have, perhaps because I have lots of support from friends and family, so while I did this alone, I wasn’t alone. With one step at a time, I’ve gotten through the life’s challenges.

Now, back to culling some words…

Lilliana

Back to the Plan

The other day when I sat down at a cafe to edit a paper for my studies at University, I couldn’t because I hadn’t brought all the notes I needed. I completed a different writing task, so all wasn’t lost. But then it became difficult to find the time to get back to this particular project, because of course other jobs now got in the way.

Today, I got to go to a cafe and get back to the editing I needed to do. It felt good to be finally getting on with this task, and making progress.

 

Lilliana Rose

clip art coffee heart

www.lillianarose.com

Hectic Time of the Year

Often during the year there are busy moments, but I can’t help comparing them to this time of year – the lead up to Christmas. To me, this time of year feels more hectic than any other, especially in shopping centres, cafes, even simply driving around. It’s like there’s a panic in the air. Deadlines urgently have to be met, jobs cleared before people go on holidays, cooking treats made,Gingerbread.JPG and of course Christmas gifts bought. I find it hard to escape the chaotic energy buzzing around.

In amongst this busyness there are times when I find moments of peace within me, and in my own personal environment. This reminds me how this time of year doesn’t need so busy, and how restful and rejuvenating the sense of peace is when I don’t go into this hectic flow. Sure it’s busier with extra jobs of Christmas preparation but I want to approach this time of year with a harmonious mindset instead of being on edge with rushing around.Christmas tree

Peace on earth, had taken on a new meaning for me. While I’d like peace to be on earth, it’s a long way off and a challenge. What I can do is start with peace internally within me. And when I’m in this mindset I find it more harmonious to reflect on the year that was, releasing it to help make room for the New Year. Also in this mindset I find I reassess what’s important in my life, and how friends and family have influenced my year, and my life journey. I list off people and events to be grateful for, which enhance my inner sense of peace, which in turn evokes a sense of joy within me and I keep connected to my personal life flow. This all hits a deep root of what’s important for me at this time of year.

Merry Christmas, may this time be safe, peaceful, and a joyous time as 2017 comes to a close.

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

outside christmas trees

Desktop Clutter

I’ve been meaning to de-clutter my desktop on my computer for years. Uh-um. Many years. Over time the clutter; countless sticky notes, files I didn’t know where to put, images I needed quickly, the odd e-book on my tbr list, and Excel spread sheets that looked lost in the multiple files.

And it annoyed me, a lot.

Every time I logged on to my laptop I couldn’t face dealing with the clutter of information that at one point I deemed important, maybe even vital for my life. Turns out this information wasn’t that important, or it had been superseded by new files, or with new information in the ever changing world we live in. A lot of the information had lost its value. I had more recent photographs of myself to use in posts. I’d written new stories and increased the number of new releases on my tbr pile. So it sort of became easier to ignore the mess on my desktop and not deal with my filing. But it was silently irritating me. I’d become an electronic hoarder! Unused files sat on my computer, like an unworn dress in my wardrobe waiting to go to that party where there was no invite ever coming.

I’ve tackled clutter in my home, and regularly set aside clothes or items to sell, donate or throw away. Yet on my computer it gradually became more difficult to see the background image and even the files as they began to cover each other.

I needed help! But this was a job that only I could face. I had to otherwise the clutter would build up again. There’s so much electronic information to manage and I didn’t have the system in place nor could I work out one to implement.

What changed this situation around for me? I got a new computer. I had actually gone to the length of putting off getting a new computer because I needed to clean up my desktop. With my computer failing I was given the push I needed. For years I’d put off the job because I thought it would take too long, I didn’t have the time or filing system I needed to address the issue.

De-cluttering my desktop didn’t take long, especially considering the number of files and sticky notes I had to sort through. The task was made easier because having waited so long some files simply went straight to the trash. I wanted to do the job now because I knew the clutter was causing a noise in my head and mixing up my thoughts. I needed to clear the files to give myself some head space. Plus I needed to migrate files from the old to the new computer and I wanted this to be organised and not a chaotic mess. After all, when starting on a new computer I didn’t want to bring over the files that were no longer useful. I wanted to use this as a fresh start.

Even though I’ve spent a lot of time de-cluttering my house I was blocked with my computer. Instead of dealing with it I ignored and avoided the situation even when I knew better. It happens, things sneak up and stay with us not necessarily even hiding in our blind spots.

It took me a while, but I got there. I found the time and motivation to help me get the job done. Of course, now I’ve de-cluttered my desktop, I have extra head space, clearer thinking and feel more inspired every time I log on to my computer. Hopefully this will last and I won’t revert back to old habits!