Weekly photography Challenge: Chaos

I’m in the process of moving 15 years accumulation of art supplies from the sunroom studio out to the shed studio, inspired by an increasingly mobile and curious grandchild to remove all those interesting and possibly hazardous things from her sight and reach. This process has produced plenty of chaos for this weeks photography challenge!

I found the Martha Beck quote scrawled on an index card, appropriately, amidst the chaos of the old order.

Meanwhile, in the garden, a much more pleasant version of chaos. I read a quote somewhere from a children’s book writer who said that a good story needs a balance of “chaos and control”, and I firmly believe the same rule applies to gardens!

Creativity: Escape XXIII

DSCF9433 (Large) (2)

Back this week with my altered book, “Escape”. I am almost at the end of it, but not quite. The list on this page comes from Martha Beck’s book “The Joy Diet”, which has almost nothing to do with food, and everything to do with living a joy filled life (which is not necessarily the same as being happy all the time). All the original text was obliterated with two colours of acrylic house paint (sample pots rule!), and I’ve painted swirls of various colours of watercolour over the top of it. A bird sticker, from Kikki-K, completes the decoration, and then I wrote the list with a sharpie, using a playful style of lettering.DSCF9434 (Large)

The following page, also painted over, has an image torn from an art magazine stuck in the centre. I added earplugs and another skull to illustrate the ideas, plus a thought about Creativity versus Duty, which is my constant bugbear. There is quite a lot of colour on this page, but in random blocks, unlike the swirls on the previous page.

Creativity: Escape V

Here’s a page of my altered book “Escape” that has been painted with house paint, rubbed over with pink pencil and embellished with little rings meant for reinforcing holes in paper. While they were on their original backing they were used for printing dots on fabric, leaving the rings nicely coloured and perfect for decoration.



The text isn’t exactly about creativity, not directly anyway…The bookmark is the packaging from chopsticks, and too nice to toss away.Escape 17

Between two ‘normal’ pages is a leaf of translucent parchment paper, with a little stamping on it. It is held in place with common-or-workshop duct tape, and excellent and versatile material popular with artists and home-handypersons!

Escape 18


More yellowish paint, and coloured pencil. You may notice that the two pages stuck together while the paint was wet (ooops) and tore off a layer – that’s where the rainbow pencil came in. Always go along with your mistakes – in art – maybe not so much in life….The stamp I used at the bottom is long and narrow, with an image of rough stitches – at least, I think that’s what is intended. However, the ends look a bit like stylised trees, and that is how I often use it. It also works well in the context of textiles, of course.

Rubber stamps are great for altered books and other mixed media creativity, so it’s good to have a broad collection (and to keep them fairly orderly). Look  for them in bargain shops! It is probably impossible to have too many…

3 Arty Quotes

I saw this quote recently on the cover of a book filled with beautiful photos of windows, and had to add it to my collection…I would of course, prefer if she had said “person” rather than man, but it was the deep, dark past…

“Art is the window to a man’s soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world, nor could the world see the man within.”

Claudia Lady Bird Johnsonrainbow window

“The map of your right life is written on your soul at it’s most peaceful, and the only sure compass is your heart at it’s most open.”

Martha Beckblue door

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”

Kurt Vonnegutsavour the moment

“Just do it” – we’ve all heard that somewhere before, if only in an ad for sports shoes. You may well have heard it from your mother, or some other authority in your young life, and, of course, it’s the rallying cry of the punk movement. I don’t know how many times I’ve read that the Sex Pistols ( or the Neo Boys, or some other just-do-it band) “couldn’t even play” as a dismissal of everything they ever did. Truth is, they learned by doing, in front of other people, having, bravely or foolishly, booked to play shows without spending years practising first. They couldn’t play much when they started – but they sure learnt fast.

Everyone learns by doing, including art.

If you have art in you, don’t wait to become an artist – just do art!

(Insert dream of your choice).

It will grow your soul, lead you where you want to go, and reveal your best self to the world.