Seascape

The fine line between not liking your work to being constructive about what you’ve created is important. Actually, it’s important in life as well.

I was reminded of this boundary between my perspective of negativity versus constructive thoughts in regard to a recent workshop on painting seascapes. Not only did I learn how to paint waves I also learnt the value of looking at my work, seeing how I feel about it, by asking myself some questions.

Do I like what I see? Is the painting working? No. What can I do about it? What can I change?

It’s the last two questions which I found particularly helpful. Because the answers gave me positive action to take. By asking these questions, it also prevented me from spiralling down into a puddle of negativity that what I’m doing isn’t good enough.

Why were these questions so valuable?

Not only did the answers help keep my mindset positive but also allowed me to pause and consider how I could improve the painting. The answers gave me a positive focus. And a chance to try something with the intention of progressing the painting.

Whatever I do may not improve the painting (to my liking) but I can keep repeating these questions until I do. Or worse case, if I’ve tinkered too much or overworked the painting, then this becomes a valuable lesson for me to have learnt, which I can apply to the next painting I do.

How did I apply this process to my seascape? The big wave in the centre wasn’t turning crashing over like it is now. It was rolling in a white top across the canvas. This looked a little boring. I wasn’t happy with it.

step 4 seascape.jpg

With the help of the teacher the wave was changed part way across so that it was partly rolling over. It worked. It could’ve easily not have. And if that was the case, then I would’ve tried something else. Or learnt what not to do for the next seascape I painted.

 

Seascape Finished

It’s too easy to get down on your creative project, so it’s a good safety net as such to have process like asking yourself a few questions. “Am I happy with this? No. Then what can I do about it?” Because this can help generate inspiration and ensure the creativity keeps flowing.

New Skill Level

I’ve always found it difficult to read crochet patterns. It’s as if they’re written in some old secret language. I’ve only been able to start new projects with the help of YouTube.

By starting a new project where I can only finish by reading the crochet pattern, I found I’ve actually got a feel for what the pattern means, and I’m actually able to progress and reach a new skill level. It surprised me really. I’ve tried to read crochet patterns for many years and it was a skill I’d given up on ever understanding. It’s harder than trying to learn a new language!

What it reflects to me is that I’m getting a feel of what’s required when crocheting. I’m slipping into that creative flow, to a deeper understanding to where I can begin to make confident decisions on the stitching and knotting to produce what I want to (and if not then I can see where I’ve gone wrong, frog it, and start again).

img_8043.jpg

It’s a new skill, a new level, and it’s exciting because this opens up so many more possibilities for me to try and explore in the crocheting world. I’m looking forward to it.

When have you unexpectedly found your skill levels improve? Please share below in the comments.

 

Snatching Time to Write

Sometimes when and where I write isn’t planned. Today, I did my usual writing (which was actually editing today), then while at the shopping centre I went and did a few jobs. During this time, bubs well asleep. A deep sleep. One which I was very reluctant to wake him from, even though by this time I was more than ready to go home, and I was tired and not at all inspired to write.

cafe while bubs sleeps.JPG

I listened to my gut, which was to go sit at another café, and to write. I’m glad I did. Because even though I was tired, I managed to write quite a bit. A lot actually. So it was a very satisfying session as I hadn’t planned writing this book today. And I wasn’t visited by the muse. It was all about me using the time that unexpectedly came available.

writing inspiration at the beachWhen I got home, I decided some fresh air was in order, so I got bubs back in the pram, Kimba on the lead and off we went to walk along the beach. During this time my mind started composing an abstract I had worked on at the first café. Suddenly my thoughts were ordered. So I sat on a bench and wrote them in my phone capturing the essence. Was this the muse? Maybe or maybe not. I think it was more to do that I had worked on the abstract this morning and so it was in the forefront of my mind. Then while walking, my subconscious pushed forward the suggestions I needed.

So for a day which was going to be a bit unproductive writing wise, turned out to be very successful. Only because I was open to snatching time to write. This is the writer’s journey, going with the unexpected.

Lilliana

Art Classes with Bubs

As a new mum, there’s a lot to juggled. Maybe I don’t need to be going along to art class, I’m not sure I’ve got the time or if I can really afford it. But then my soul needs nourishment, and for me it’s natural to go along to art class with bubs. Can’t start them too young! So far bubs has been exposed to university, art classes, Pilates, and a creativity writing workshop I presented. His education is about to continue with an upcoming conference I’m presenting at. There’s lots of variety for him to experience, even now, just by me simply living my life.

During art class, Bub is in the sling, resting on my chest as I paint. He’s content. The other ladies in the class are amused, nothing like a little baby energy in the room to help with the creativity! Instead of a tea break half-way through the class, for me there’s a bottle break. I can use the time to chill, and also reflect what direction I want to take my painting (which I’m having to go to plan B because I’ve stuffed up! And Bubs has been such an angel I can’t even blame him. Completely my lesson to learn here!). I’m very grateful for Splashout to help accommodate by letting me come along with bubs.

my art in need of fixing

By going along to art class, I’m reminded that my mum did something similar. She had her baby daughters in the wicker bassinets, under the table, while she did her china painting. It’s what the women in our family do. It’s a tradition. And I’m glad to be continuing it. The quiet things you’ve learnt from mum, which you then pass down to your child; an unexpected bonus, which also helps keep my memory of mum alive.

Lilliana

Blessed

This morning when writing in a café I was interrupted by a lady. Nothing unusual for that to happen to me. I give off some vibe, or I’m like a light to moths, and people come to talk to me when I’m writing in cafés.

What was different about today was, that bubs wasn’t happy to be in his pram, so he was in my arms. It had been an effort to get out of the house, into the car, and to the café. But I had persisted. Left my phone behind which always causes me to feel naked. Also left one of the notebooks I wanted to write in at home. But I had made it to the café, the computer was open, and while not ideal I could sort of type one handed while holding bubs. What was really happening was that bubs was getting cuddles, and nothing was getting written. At least I could have my thinking time and ponder on what I wanted to write (which was a middle grade book, based on a story idea I had written about 7 years ago, so there was plenty to ponder).

Then when I was rocking gently side to side, cuddling bubs, staring at my screen, my mind deep in the world I wanted to create, an elderly lady came up to me. She said, ‘Bless you.’

I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I smiled. It’s a good thing to say to someone, right? Even if not religious. Then she repeated her blessing. ‘Bless you both.’

I responded with ‘thanks’. Then she said I’d made her day seeing us there.

She asked what his name was and thought Shephard was a lovely name. It connected deeply to her, and justified her actions in coming to bless us both. She told me we had made her day by seeing us.

It’s interesting the symbolic world that we live in. Shephard has a religious connotation (not at all why I choose this name for him) along with the lady’s action of blessing me. Something deeper here was going on perhaps. Either way it was a lovely interaction with a stranger.

Then she said it was lovely to meet us, and went on her way. All of us, her and me and bubs, with much lighter hearts as we continued the day.

(And do you know what I kid you not, as I write this and post it we’ve just received another blessing, this time from an elderly man. The angels are with us today.)

Lilliana

Replenishing my Stock

When going to get a new notebook the other day I discovered that I didn’t have many left. Well, actually I only had one. This is so not like me. Usually I have too many, to the point I begin to wonder if I will get around to using them in this lifetime and I need to stop myself from buying more.

It feels great to have filled so many notebooks with my creative writing. I felt even better having an excuse to go to the shops and buy more. And I can’t wait to fill them with words.

Lilliana

Forward Intuition

At the start of the year, when I was meandering though the sales I decided to buy a new quilt cover for winter. This very ordinary purchase was driven by my intuition. I know this because logically I could’ve made do with the quilt cover I had, it was only a few years old, and nothing wrong with it. So with a tempting discount on the price, I decided to once and for all to clear away the old and bring in the new. At the time it was all very straight forward, and a forgettable event.

Until now.

I’ve just put my winter quilt on my bed with the new cover.

Straight away I felt uplifted and happy.

It was as if my January-self knew that my June-self was going to be in need of a ‘pick-me-up’ and had arranged this to happen through the purchase of a cheap, ordinary quilt.

Forward intuition on my behalf.

And a message from my January-self?

To consider symbology, the quilt has butterflies on it. With a newborn baby, my life has been transformed and is taking on a new set of wings. And I’m now in a one cycle in numerology terms. New beginnings are starting and its apt the butterfly is here to remind me of this.

All thanks to my January-self finding her intuition and buying a new quilt cover (while ignoring the logical reasoning not to).

I look forward to seeing more forward intuition in my life!

Lilliana

The Walk

Nearly two months ago, I lost one of my dogs, Astro, to brain disease. There’s been big changes recently in my life, and it’s interesting when simply walking along a familar path how it’s the same but also different and filled with opposing emotions, happy and sad, at the same time.

The Walk

(C)  Lilliana Rose 2018

Today was the first walk,
as a new family
along the beach
Kimba on the left
pram on the right
me following behind
Kimba excited
Bubs sleeping
me remembering
today is the first walk
without Astro.

 

beach

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

Change is in the Air

This morning I decided to head into the Central markets, for a sneaky scrambled eggs breakfast, and for some time to write in a cafe. A trip that would normally take 15 minutes, took an hour because of traffic. And when I got to the cafe the chef was off sick.

I’m glad I still made the effort to go. The young girl at the cafe made some beautiful scrambled eggs, and I wrote. I began typing up a letter as part of my family research which is address to my unborn child – a letter I wrote over a year ago well before I was pregnant, and at a time when I’d given up all hope of having a baby.

I realised the significance of this trip into one of my favourite cafes in the Central markets. The next time is going to be very different for me. I’m not sure when the next time will be. But it will involve a pram, my baby, and quite possible not much writing.

This morning’s trip into the markets may not have been the perfect last time, but it was just as good to get the insight of how much change is in the air for me, and how different such a visit will be in the future. And to be reminded of the letter I wrote (stay tuned for more about this, but you’re going to need to be patient!).

Depending of course when baby decides to come!

Lilliana