I Want To Go On An Art Date With… 9 Amazing Artists

Art-Date

Being a part of this wonderful online community of artists means being continually inspired by the people around me. There’s a wealth of people just doing their thing, making their beautiful art and sharing it with all of us to see and let it enrich us.

Art dates are one of my most favouritest things in the whole world, but I definitely don’t get to do enough of them. So I thought it would be fun to share with you my ultimate art date wish-list! I’ve chosen these people not just because I love their art, but also because they really appeal to me as beautiful human beings. Their being, messages, humour and individuality resonates with me on a deep level.

Go check them out, I promise you will be super inspired! And don’t forget to let me know in the comments who would be on YOUR art date wishlist!

Tamara-LaporteTamara Laporte – Willowing Arts

To me Tam is like an art celebrity (heehee!) who I feel so lucky to be able to call my friend for many years now. She is such an inspiration and example for me in art, life and business! I have wanted to organize an art date with her in forevaaaaa but circumstances have conspired against us until now. This year it’s gonna happen!

Sara-The-Rosy-LifeSara Torbett – The Rosy Life

I met Sara through an online group and I felt an instant connection to her due to her awesome attitude and us both having young kids of similar ages. Every time I read Sara’s blog I get so inspired, not just by art but by life itself. Her site is so aptly named, because she is able to see the rosy in everything. I have this dream of visiting her farm in Arkansas with my family and Sara and I will make art and chat while our kids run around and get muddy in the garden!

Marieke-BloklandMarieke Blokland – Bloknote

I came across Marieke’s quirky videos several years ago and I was an instant fan! She evokes such a sense of cheer through the dolls she draws and the way she edits her videos with uplifting music. We’ve actually become good friends and accountability partners (she kicks me up the butt when I’m slacking off on my goals lol) and she helps me keep my Dutch up to scratch. Although we live in different countries our art date is imminent, I just know it!

Donna-DowneyDonna Downey

Who doesn’t love Donna Downey? She’s totally my kind of silly. I discovered her YouTube series Inspiration Wednesday and she always has me in stitches with the way she expresses herself. I think an art date with Donna would be hilarious fun! Plus, she might even love turquoise more than me (might) so we’re on to a winner here.

Erin-Faith-AllenErin Faith Allen

I had the absolute privilege to attend a workshop facilitated by Erin Faith Allen. Wow. If you can ever attend a workshop with Erin in person DO IT, DO IT NOW. Her art is not so much about technique, it’s about releasing the TRUE YOU in art. She is wise and it comes across in a way that brings out your own wisdom. She’s simply a master facilitator. Creating art in her presence is a soul changing experience and I can’t wait to do it again someday.

Jane-DavenportJane Davenport

I recently encountered Jane in a Life Book lesson and as soon as she likened drawing arms to drawing sausages I was sold! She seems like such a fun and laid-back person (sorry is this me just using an Australian stereotype…? Lol!). Her art is so colourful and always includes faces which is totally up my street. Having an art date with Jane would be such a lot of fun!

Alena-HennessyAlena Hennessy

When I watched Alena’s lesson in Life Book 2014 I just got goosebumps. I felt I found someone who was speaking my language, someone who could really help me access a part of myself that I was ready to uncover. Her calmness and intuitive way of working are so soothing. An art date with Alena would be so immensely inspiring.

Effy-WildEffy Wild

Have you ever encountered a person who writes things where you think: omg how were you inside my mind?! Effy is that person for me. Often I read her blog and my head about falls off from the fervent nodding that I find myself doing. Her approach to life, self-care and self-development (all with a wonderful arty flavour) are so close to my own.

Flora-BowleyFlora Bowley – Brave Intuitive You

I love watching Flora paint. She paints with her whole being and you can see it’s a process of letting things emerge, letting things go, intuition taking over. I love her message of braveness and intuitiveness, they are both things I am seeking and practicing. I watched an interview with Flora in which she advocates being brave on your canvas as a way of practicing so you can be brave in life. I love that! I do hope to someday take an in-person class with Flora and learn from her face-to-face!

Now tell me, who would YOU like to go on an art date with?

Why Do I Create Art?

why-do-i-create-art[image by Fré Sonneveld]

The simple (and slightly vague) answer is, because it fills my soul. I can’t not create art. I live a full life raising two kids and running a business so it often happens that I can’t create art for a few days. When that happens I just don’t feel quite right, I start getting frustrated and I just feel that pull of needing to create!

I guess that all sounds lovely and divinely inspired, but I want to level with you:

It hasn’t always been this way for me

For years I dabbled with art, stopping and starting, struggling to find a groove, not finding it to be that amazing creative holy grail that I thought it would be. I looked at other people creating their amazing art in their own unique style and it felt SO FAR REMOVED from my reality. It was pretty disheartening.

I kept coming back to it though. There was an attraction to art and to creating art that I couldn’t deny, but I had to do some work on coming to it from the right place, even though at first I didn’t even realise I was coming to it from the wrong place. That ‘place’ I am talking about is how you approach making art in your mind and in your heart.

And I’ll tell you a secret:

It has nothing to do with whether you can or can’t draw

I didn’t fully grasp until the beginning of 2014, when I picked ‘journey’ as my word of the year, that I had been approaching art in a results focussed way, rather than as a process. I wanted to create certain paintings, inspired by what I loved seeing other artists create. I thought the joy was in the completed piece, in the end result. I never thought about how I wanted the creating process to feel or whether that could be something enjoyable too.

Or I thought it was one of those elusive things reserved for other people. They know how to enjoy creating art, but I don’t. Or I attached it to skill: I will start enjoying creating art when I can draw a photo realistic portrait.

I started focussing more on the process. What did I like doing, what materials did I enjoy using, what was it I needed to let go of, what was it I needed to invite more of into my heart & mind? The biggest change that this brought was the realisation that what other people do or like or use does NOT have to be same same as me.

That realisation set me free

I admit that I still get tripped up with this sometimes. I look at the work of artists I admire and I start thinking that because I LOVE their work, somehow my art needs to be like theirs.

It doesn’t.

Asking myself what I like doing and the other questions above, has been transformational. Your answers will probably be completely different from mine: CELEBRATE THAT!

Get to know your own unique loveable fallible quirky amazing self

I realised my passion is doing faces. I don’t like ‘colouring in’ (illustration-type work). I ADORE acrylics but I don’t care as much for watersoluble media. I need(ed) to let go of perfection and the wish for my art to look like other people’s art. I needed to invite more trust in, that my work is just right, right now.

Reading back what I’ve written above makes me feel so excited and amazed that I’ve come so far! It also makes me hopeful that if you are on any stage along a similar journey that you will find reading my story helpful and it will help you be a happier person and artist!

Why do YOU create art?

Let me know in the comments below.

Art Journalling – A Safe Place

After creating Hetty & Dimitri‘s painting I wanted to do art more regularly, but found doing paintings quite intimidating (especially if they’re just ‘for me’, rather than a present). So I decided to get back into my art journal. I neglected art journalling for over a year due to judgements swirling around in my head. Thoughts about not feeling good enough, or not creating ‘pretty’ pages, or other people out there being better than me.

Then I thought to myself that I should really try to work through those negative thoughts, and not let them control me. An art journal (in theory) is the best place to do that. It’s much more of a ‘safe’ place than for example a canvas which leads me to pressure myself into having to create something ‘good’ (whatever that means, I am hyper critical of my own work, I’m sure other artists can relate). I am definitely learning to be more accepting of what I create and to take pleasure and satisfaction from creating in the first place rather than judging myself for creating something that looks rubbish and then punishing myself by feeling badly and not doing more art.

I especially like the whole ‘creating & moving on’ style of working. It’s all about the process and expressing yourself, not about a perfect finished product with not a hair out of place. It’s such a great platform for experimenting with technique, composition, materials, colours etc. Love!


Permission To Be Me
Aesthetically I don’t love this piece, but it is important to me because I was able to accept it and move on from it. The whole theme of the page is about giving myself permission to do and be, and not punishing myself for whatever arbitrary reason. It’s funny, because I am always so scared of negative comments or feedback, but the most negative and critical person to evaluate my art is me!


Worthy
I started this page back in 2008 (I think ‘worthy’ was a prompt from SuziBlu) when I painted the mice and the house with the girl. There were lots of words scribbled in the empty space and I hated the whole thing! Then the other week I decided to go back to it. I added the background and the stamped words and now I actually really like it. Such a simple addition but it made all the difference to me.


Princess and Her Castle
Not much of a story behind this one. I wanted to draw a whimsical girl and already had the idea in my head for a castle in the background. I initially had a sticker of a rose in the entrance of the castle but I got rid of it because I preferred the darkness/scariness of the black hole. I bought this amazing butterfly stamp which you can see in the background, it’s so pretty.


Doodles
Just some doodles I did for fun while on the train (which is why some of the lines are anything but smooth!). If you want to learn how to doodle I would highly recommend this video by Marieke Blokland. It’s awesome!


Growing, Learning, Loving
I had been thinking of doing a pencil sketch. I wanted to try a 3/4 face according to the things I had learned in Tam’s portrait class. It’s my first attempt at doing a non-front facing portrait and I found it quite difficult. Also I think I got confused and switched light sources about 4 times throughout drawing so the shading doesn’t necessarily make sense lol. Nevertheless I really do love this page as it was fun, good practice and I can see progress in my technique and I also like the composition.

Being Average

(I have to type really quietly because Andrew (the husb) is still asleep and gets very grumpy when woken up. Good luck to me, because my massive G15 keyboard is anything but quiet)

I have such a love/hate relationship with the internet. On the one hand I love it (I could extol the virtues of the internetz and modern technologies for a long time) but on the other hand it allows me to feel baaaaad about myself.

On the internet I encounter people who are just so much funnier than me, better writers than me, prettier than me, better artists than me etc. Some people when encountered with ‘competition’, will strive to do better. Me, I’m like the opposite. I get talent overload paralysis (real condition. No I just totally made that up but it sounds official) and just sit here staring at my screen unable to CREATE for fear that it will be AVERAGE.

Now I’m a pretty rational person. Logic > all, for me. I’ve been told by people they like my painting, they like my writing, they think I’m pretty. AND YET. 90% of me doesn’t believe it (the other 10% of me is a person with a superiority complex the size of Europe). So I continue to look at people who are ‘better than me’ and feel bad about myself. It doesn’t make sense… IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE PEOPLE!