Friday, 30 March 2012

A postcard from Turkey

Text reads:

Dear Y
Have you missed my postcards? I confess I have been out of sorts since Cuba, though your postcard from Heidi did cheer me a little. I have been trapped in my Turkish hotel for a few days and amused myself by sketching this card of the pattern on the bathroom tiles. I thought it would be easy but it isn't quite the likeness. Funny how much you may try to follow a line, the end result doesn't always turn out as you wished... Where have you been? I dreamt of you beside a Windmill!

My poor characters X and Y have been left floundering on their global travels with no mysterious postcards to break the monotony of airport and hotel. I have been so busy launching my new business (very exciting - click to read all about it) that I'm afraid I had to let them amuse themselves.

X does not sound herself. Clearly the incident with the Cuban heel has left a scar. Now, why is she trapped inside the hotel. Is she a prisoner? Is someone stalking her? Is she just too polite to mention an unfortunate digestive problem... (she has spent an awful lot of time in the bathroom after all!).

Reading between the lines, our heroine is not happy with her lot. Can Y save her?

Posting for The Postcard Challenge - the full back story is here (with a couple of cards that seemingly got lost in the post....).

While I've got you here - this week as I say, I launched my new business - an eCourse where we'll working through inspirational techniques to create words and pictures that sing from your soul.

I've also launched a free book group working through Keri Smith's Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes. We're going to let rip with our creativity and have a great deal of fun - I'd love it if you joined us!

I'm also having a giveaway - don't miss out!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Stormy weather

There should be more creative challenges with this theme - as it seems to have prompted the opposite in reality. The past week has been a positive delight - a taste of Summer, teasing us into our t-shirts. Bliss!

So I'm back to painting. I am getting acrylic all over the furniture and up the walls. I have very dirty fingernails. It feels good!

I've had an amazing week. I've launched my eCourse through my new creative business - The Wright Brain Stuff. I've also kicked off a book group picking up where us 'wreckers' left off a couple of summers ago when we destroyed our Keri Smith journals. We're going to attack another of her books this year - I'd love it if you got messy with us too - all the joining details are here.

Back to the art... These were really free and loose. I googled a couple of images of stormy scenes as my inspiration then just got messy with paints and oil pastels. No paintbrushes allowed. Although I loved the final results (below), I couldn't reist a little enhancement with some textures and extra layers in PhotoShop (above).

I can't believe I paint like this now - so carefree. Just a few years ago, the same painting would have been trying very hard to look exactly the same as the original photograph. I just couldn't 'see' the way I do now. It is so much more fun! It's why I wanted to run my course - I feel I have so much passion to share - I want to inspire you all to create words and pictures.

Posting for the Inspiration Avenue 'Stormy weather' challenge and Paint Party Friday.

I'm also having a Giveaway - don't miss out!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Let's get messy

I'm copying this over from my new creative business blog. It's a bit of free fun and a wonderful challenge for you all! I would so love it if you joined in!

Three summers ago I joined a group that helped change my life. I  know that sounds a bit far fetched - and you'll be even more dubious when I tell you what the book was - but it's the truth. It awoke something inside me that had been lying dormant for a very long time.

The book was Wreck This Journal: To Create is to Destroy by Keri Smith and the group was run by coach Jamie of Jamie Ridler Studios. Over the summer of 2009 around 40 of us destroyed our journals in the most creative ways imaginable and underwent a transformation. Suddenly we realised that art did not have to be about carefully positioned paint or strategically structured design. Art could be the messy stain left over after you squashed your spaghetti between the pages of the book. Art was words, dirt, stickers, fluff. Creativity was burning, cutting, smearing. Supplies were everywhere - from the long forgotten impulse buys from the craft shop to flora and fauna or even your own hair picked up off the floor of the salon!

We mixed in some guts and a whole heap of fun and just let go. Our Muses were given free rein and they loved it! We shared our wrecking each week on Jamie's blog and inspired each other to be more revolutionary, daring and downright dastardly to our books. 

Our friends and families, at first bemused, began to join in too. By the end of our adventure we each held something really special. I for one, was truly inspired. I knew that from that day forward, my house would never again be tidy and nor would I ever be far from a tube of paint. Magic had happened!
  • Does that sound good to you?
  • Do you fancy quite literally letting rip?
  • Want your creativity to be let loose to have a mash up with your Muse?
Well, let's do it! Join me for a couple of months of messy play with another of Keri's books Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes. Every week we can return to my blog and share our creative adventures, inspiring each other onto more daring devilment with every page.

Are you in?

Just subscribe to the list below, so I can email you the details you'll need. All you need to play is your imagination, somewhere to post your week's mess and plenty of wild, crazy abandon! Let's start sharing our first forays into letting loose on Friday 6th April.

 Please spread the word Tweet: Join the Wright Brainers for a Messy Book Club

Buy your copy

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A Special Announcement and a Giveway


I am bursting with excitement, nerves are tingling, butterflies tickle my tummy and my eyes are bright with anticipation.

The time has finally come to announce my new creative business venture! I'm still working hard on finalising content, but today I woke up and just knew that today I just had to launch. Maybe there's some alignment in the stars, or the Universe is just getting fed up with waiting. So, I draw in a deep breath, pull myself up to my full height and invite you to...

Please open your minds to The Wright Brain Stuff. We begin our adventure with an 8 week eCourse designed to set fire to your imaginations, open your inspiration and bring your Muse out to play.

I would love if you popped over to my website to find out more and discover how, for the weekly price of a coffee and a cake, you could find the resources to dig deep into your creativity.

While you're there, if you want to become a follower and sign up to my mailing list I'll also enter you into a giveaway to win this little lady. Her name had to be Sophia as, if you look very carefully, you'll notice it written across the bridge of her nose! It's also rather appropriate as I'm sharing her with Sunday Sketches hosted by.... Sophia!

Friday, 23 March 2012

If you go down in the woods...

Every evening this week, just before lights out, I have been taking a trip into the Nevernever - the land of Fairy and Elf where you have be careful what you promise to talking cats and danger hides behind every tangled trunk in an enchanted forest. It's a parallel universe whose entrances exist only where there is belief... Do you believe in magic? Be careful next time you open your fairy tales... you may just find yourself falling in... The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.

If you wonder why you've never seen a fairy, it's because they are so well camoflaged. I'm warning you though - try not to look too deeply into those dark eyes. This one is looking for a new plaything and I'd advise against it being you...

I've also been sucked into devouring episode after episode of The Vampire Diaries... After watching the first couple of shows and laughing at the absurdity and craving drama with 'grown ups', somehow I became mesmerized... Must be something to do with those beguiling eyes... Sorry Twilight fans - but, much as love Edward's broodiness, this one gets my vote!

It's Paint Party Friday today. Zip on over and enjoy the fun!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

An outpouring

It's not alway easy to come up with something to blog about. Indeed sometimes I'm not sure who I'm doing this for. Is this a diary that just happens to be shared with the Universe or an editorial, a magazine page where subscribers visit expecting to be entertained?

It doesn't really matter either way. This blog is a place for me to hone my craft. At first that was just writing, but then the tendrils of creativity crept right through me and it became a gateway to my soul.

Necessity has forced me to restrict my visits here in the past few weeks and also my art output; but to be honest I just don't quite feel the same without it - it's rather like cutting one's arm off! I need this introspection, this sharing, this tribe. It's like family and with today being Mothers' Day here in the UK, I find myself coming over all maternal.

I know that many of you who read this blog are just like me - souls for whom art and creativity play an almost magical part of your lives. It's your get-up-and-go. I'm working hard on my creative business but constantly felt like I was hitting a wall. There was some vital component missing. Turns out it was the simple act of creation. I've spent the last two evenings sketching and painting and I am as soothed as a week of perfect sleeps. The grit has been swept away and there's a smoother passage for train of thought.

I'm ready to take the final leap and get this business launched.

Sharing the output from last night today with the lovely crew at Sunday Sketches. Mixed media portrait - prismacolors, water-soluble oil pastels, oil pastels, acrylics and watercolour - if you've got it; use it!

Friday, 16 March 2012

The Crimson and the ... Scarlet

I just love those adjectives. Don't they just ooze lush and sensuality? What is it about red that makes us wish to lose our inhibitions? To inbibe fermented fruit; to turn up the volume and just dance like nobody is watching?

OK, I admit it. I did actually do that this evening - but nobody was watching... so who cares?

This is Donna. I'm not sure she actually looks very Donna-esque, but I painted her from a Donna Karen advert so felt obliged to give a nod in that designer's direction. I think I once owned a Donna Karen skirt (but that is pretty irrelevant to this post).

I'm having a personal soirĂ©e of music, art and dance ... with a drop of Sauvignon Blanc.

Some red art for The Butterfly Effect... which for some reason makes me think of making toast and marmite... can't think why?

The scariest thing in this wood

There's a monster under the bed. I can hear his soft growls as he plots his strategic attack. He is licking his lips and flexing his claws. He's a wily beast. He knows that just his presence will keep me in my place. But is he right?

Will that terrifying growl stop me from taking tentative steps away from my security? Will the imagined feel of his claws ripping at my gut push me back away from my goals?

I have a whole tribe of monsters under my bed. Fear and his brood - Procrastination, Rejection, Shame, Self-worth - they're all there nipping and scratching at me, but you know what? It's time for change.

It's time for the Big Bad Mouse to show his face and put that Gruffalo back in his place.

I will not allow Fear to rob me of my dreams. Do you hear that you great ugly lump, you over-grown ball of disgruntlement and underachievement. You've met your match.

Be off with you!

Silly old Lisa... Don't you know? There's no such thing as a Gruffalo...

Monday, 12 March 2012

Just a little something

Within you by Cameron S. Reutzel

OK, so less than 48 hours of supposedly locking myself away to focus on my business plans, here I am back blogging again!

Well, this is just a fleeting visit. I wanted to share something that inspires me every day and is helping me kick butt this very afternoon.

The time has come for me to stop 'researching' and planning and mind mapping and PROCRASTINATING... and start doing.

It is all within me. I have been given the key. Time to let it out.

This painting is by Cameron Reutzel from Paint Myself Pretty. As soon as I saw it on her blog, I just knew I had to have it! You know how sometimes art just speaks to you. Well, this one positively sang!

Everything in the Universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.
~ Rumi ~

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Normal service will resume shortly

Readers. I totally need to focus on my new business plan and avoid all distractions until I can come back here and properly tell you all about it.

I'm going to slip off the radar for a week or two, best rest assured I'm thinking about you all and working on something I hope you are going to love!

Back soon!

Friday, 9 March 2012


OK, I admit it. I've been saving this artwork for this post for one of those weeks where either the Muse was sulking or 'other stuff' got in the way of creating art. Well, I have to tell you that the Muse may have pouted and postulated all she wanted this week; I've been far too busy and distracted to even notice! Secretly I think she's been hanging out with her arty Muse friends. I went to London on Tuesday night and I'm sure I saw her skulking off in the direction of the Royal Academy. Still, at least if she got to see the David Hockney show, then maybe she can bring back some inspiration for me - what's a Muse for after all?

I trod the red carpet on Tuesday readers. I nearly skulked in the side door until the delightful doorman at The Mayfair Marriott reminded me that the red carpet had actually been rolled out especially for the likes of little old me and that I really should make the most of it. So, I duly pulled myself up an extra inch or two and came over all 'Helen Mirren'. I worked that carpet so hard ... it's just a shame that the paparazzi had gone to the wrong hotel...

Assume a virtue if you have it not... For use can almost change the stamp of nature
William Shakespeare, from Hamlet

I was at an awards dinner for one of my clients. Rackspace was finalist in the UK Customer Satisfaction Awards - well deserved. Not quite the BAFTAs or Oscars but frankly much more important don't you think? I was wearing Monsoon.

Back to the art. These are tiny fragments of other paintings which I've cropped and blown up in PhotoShop to create something new. I hate to miss a 'do' and Paint Party Friday have rolled out their own red carpet this week in honour of their birthday. I wonder if there will be cake?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Recurring dream

I'm either back at University and it's the end of term or I need to pack up to return from holiday. The trouble is... I seem to have amassed an enormous amount of... well... stuff! But it's mainly books. Hundreds of books weighing down shelves, under the bed, inside cupboards. Words and pictures. Academic, children's picture books, fiction.... there's no rhyme nor reason. Well, there probably is among that pile. I'm sure I spotted a book on the romantic poets the other day.

So, there I am in this dream and on a deadline. I need to move out, load up the car, but I have nothing to put all these books in and no space to transport them. I can't bear to part with them. I panic, I rush, I wake up...

Amy prompted us to creatively depict our dreams for The Butterfly Effect. It's been a bit of a week, so this quick digital play is all I've had time for this week, but if I didn't get to make at least one piece of art this week I was going to fade away! I'm lacking in energy and willpower, so will quickly post and link this, then I'm off to bed.. Night night....

The books are coming to get me..... Help!!!!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Entrepreneurial me

Yeah yeah, it's another girl on a book page... What can I say? I like drawing girls on book pages. I find the whole process soothing and restful.

Chill time is definitely something I have to make the most of these days - as well as ensure I make time for. I'm on a roll with launching my new business plans. I'm already self-employed as you know, but I've got a few new irons in the fire in addition to the work I do out in the corporate world - I'm branching out into the fairy-tale magic of creativity.

When I was made redundant three years ago I had a number of sessions with a career advisor and at the time she said she saw me owning a portfolio of businesses; that it would suit me. These thoughts have simmered gently at the back of my mind but then the gentle bubbling began boiling over as the urge to embrace the creative tribe forced its way to the surface.

I can't see myself being anything other than an entrepreneur. The thought of being tied to one company now sends shivers down my spine - the kind where bunch of ramblers take an amble over my grave! At last I am in the vocation I was born to do. It surely explains those old Sunday night feelings of dread as I contemplated another week at the grindstone of my employers. They are long gone! At last I am free to do what I love. For my corporate clients I write and advise. I let rip with creativity and my heart and soul into doing the best work I can.

And now, I am on the cusp of an additional venture. I want to take what I've learned and inspire others to write and paint, craft and create. I want to work with this creative tribe I have found online and weave magic together.

I'm finalising my offering and will be sharing it soon, I promise. In the meantime, you can sign up to the mailing list (see the box in the top right of the sidebar) and I've also created a separate Twitter account @WrightBrains.
Follow WrightBrains on Twitter
Sharing this piece today with Sunday Sketches - pop over to Sophia's blog and check out what everyone has been creating this week!

Saturday, 3 March 2012


I have to say I am absolutely chuffed at how this came out and, as is typical with my creations, it wasn't quite what I intended at the start - which is kind of me all round really!

This is actually two pieces layered digitally on top of each other.

You might need to enlarge her to see all the details. Background is made from collaged papers layered with acrylics, watercolours, alcohol ink and glimmer mist.
Girl is a mixed media piece on old book page.

I was truly inspired by Priti Lisa's post on Inspiration Avenue this week. She invited us to investigate:

The allegory of Spring
Something with a hidden meaning
Something from your soul
When I draw these girls they do truly come from the soul. There's a magic in creation. Willow is a daughter of the Spring, born under a sap moon. She brings light and life and is bursting with energy, but also spends time in quiet focus nurturing the seeds within her.

Here's the background on its own.

Friday, 2 March 2012

A postcard from Switzerland

I loved reading Heidi when I was a girl - there was something delightfully romantic about the notion of sleeping in a hayloft high on the alpine pastures and running around barefoot with the goats and a sweet boy called Peter!

Clearly Y has romantic notions. I think that secretly he was a bit put out by X and her Cuban dalliance last week - even though it came to nothing. I think we need to read between the lines on this card...

I was all set to draw a cuckoo clock this evening; but with our Welshman was feeling a bit pushed out of the nest after X's behaviour in Havana, I felt he didn't really need reminding, so we went with Heidi instead. Plus, knowing Y's sense of humour I have a feeling he chose this card just so he could include the opening line - given its Welsh connotations. (You may need to be a Brit of a certain age to appreciate the humour here!!)

This is Heidi in her Sunday best. We all know that she wouldn't stay looking this neat for long - see how her eyes are peering out the door and watching the sunlight dance on the edelweiss... She wants to be outside chasing goats.... and goatherds...!

The Postcard Challenge is run by delightful Darcy - back story here.

Also posting Paint Party Friday. Someone pour me something cool with bubbles... Did you know that carbon dioxide has a flavour? That's why we don't get fizzy milk.
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