Thursday, 31 May 2012

Look into my eyes

What to do this evening? Hmm...

How about spending a couple of hours staring into the compelling eyes of Damon Salvatore (who I am missing terribly since the last season of Vampire Diaries finished), or...

Paint a picture of a vampire for the Butterfly Effect challenge....

Now, I wonder, could there be a way to combine the two?

And if the end result doesn't look much like him? Well, who cares?  I got to gaze at the dreamy Ian Somerhalder for an hour or two which can only be a good thing! Shame I didn't quite capture that sardonic grin. Oh well, always next time...

He does look pretty creepy though, sneaking out of the darkness with all that blood-red light reflecting off his features. I don't think you need to see the fangs to know that this is no ordinary mortal. This is predator, danger, but at the same time there's something that draws you inexplicably in... Swoon....

I don't often draw men, but this whole exercise has actually taught me an important lesson. It's really rather a pleasant way to spend an evening! I'm off to practice some more. I do believe Hugh Jackman needs to be captured on canvas next...

Sharing for Paint Party Friday too.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Intuitive play

Can you tell where the photograph stops and the painting begins?

I looked deep into this abstract piece I'd been playing with and saw parrot tulips. And so I grabbed one I grew earlier and immortalised by camera.

I could tell you how I melded the two together, but then this post gets all clinical and instructional and I'm not in the mood for any left-brain activity this evening. So let's just say it was magic and leave it at that.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?

Photo credit - Lisa Wright (me)

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft' is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare

Follow that Lisa... Hmm... tempted to delete the Great Bard from this post since it is impossible to perfect any form of prose after reading his lyrical poetry. Oh well...


I scribble notes on scraps of paper sitting at the garden table. It is past 6pm and the sun still packs a punch. The birds are thoughtfully providing a delicate soundtrack now the mowers have retreated back to their sweltering sheds.

I put my feet up and lean back in the chair in a state of blissful indolence. The feel of the sun pouring its does of vitamin D into my skin is balm to the soul too. It has been a long time coming and doubtless will be all too fleeting but, for a few days at least, Summer is finally here!

And, before I forget... the winner of my giveaway is extremely appropriate. I did the Mr Random Number thingie and would should come up but... Sunshineshelle!! Serendipity :)

Image credit: Lisa Wright (me)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Trying too hard

I was looking for a quote for this sketch when a beautiful song began playing on my iTunes playlist and Will Young sang these words:

Sometimes you don't find the right lines because you're trying too hard to hear them

I had my quote.

Now Paul Weller is telling me I do something to him, something deep inside... Really Paul? Well, I never knew. I'm flattered...

Can you 'read between the lines' on this piece. There's something written using this page as something to press upon and leaving a message. The only words I can make out are 'please can...' It looks like my writing.

I'm lost for words tonight. Think I'll just post this picture for Sunday Sketches and have done with it.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

You have to watch this

You know how sometimes you just find something just at the right time. I don't have time for a blog hop, but in a moment of distraction I skimmed through the recent posts lists on my blogger feed and saw this from Geri at My Heart Art:
Something told me to watch. This week I have mourning the loss of my Auntie. It make me cry. It was incredible. Just watch...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Why the long face?

Because it's typical that when you're just doodling on some scrappy piece of paper-cut-off-from-something-else, you end up with a piece that you quite like, except that you don't listen to the niggle at the back of your mind that the proportion appears to be slightly wrong. No, you just carry on quite happily, until the following morning you discover that your girl's face has become elongated over night!

What can we learn from this?

Well, firstly that the fairies have clearly been at her. I'm sure she was fine when I went to bed.

Secondly, one should never give up. My motto is 'where there's a will, there's a way' and so I determined that her features would shrink (in the least painful way possible rendering no harm to the poor girl). An eraser was gingerly (and then somewhat ferociously) applied, but it would not oblige. Too many layers of prismacolour wax put paid to that idea.

So, I just drew over her in pen, restyled her hair - including a fringe covering the second eye line - added a dab of paint or two et voila!

Yet... there still seems something amiss. Is one eye bigger than the other? What happened to her torso? Do I like that green smudge to the right of her neck?

Well, let me tell you - the fairies were certainly present. Look what they bade me do. She squealed when I stamped her (but not as much as when I applied the beeswax!). I appeased her with the pretty crown sprinkled with pain relieving fairy dust and she has forgiven me for having one eye slightly higher than the other. Fairies are wonky though... apparently.... so that's OK!

I'm sharing with Sunday Sketches. Might as well post it now, as it's Sunday somewhere East of here...

Friday, 18 May 2012

Who am I?

I am me. Mother, Daughter, Lover, Writer, Artist, Dreamer.

I like me. She is fun to be around. She has fingers in many pies - sometimes they get burnt (she never learns!) and often sticky, but mostly delicious (that's the pies, not her fingers).

Me is the girl who found the part of her that was missing through blogging and art and has never looked back. Life just wouldn't be the same without paint down her fingernails and a dining table collapsing under the weight of art supplies!

Me is the girl who spends so much time thinking outside the box that she can't remember where the box is anymore. Who needs a box anyway?

Me can't drink more than a couple of glasses of wine without getting extremely tipsy.

Me is the girl who dreamed of running her own eCourse to share her approach to creativity with others. So she went on ahead and did it! It launched this week - it's so exciting!

Me dreams of a house in the country complete with an ENORMOUS art studio. I went from being a Town to a City girl to a Country girl and back to a town girl. I think country girl wins (but not too far from London.... so I can get my fix).

Me isn't very good at walking in high heels but likes to wear them when sitting still.

Me likes to dress like this - but most often can be found in jeans and a flowery top.

Source (it's not actually me in the picture!)

Monsoon dress - my favourite shop

Me is very untidy - my mind is often in chaos, so I can I possibly be expected to put away my shoes or file those papers?

 Me has learnt that being yourself is the route to happiness and that we must have faith in ourselves. Me knows that there's nothing wrong with dreaming so big that your soul grows wings!

Me likes bad jokes and corny word play

Me has actually organised a piss up in a brewery - on more than one occasion!

Me loves being a member of this inspiring online creative tribe that support each other helping all to grow and unfurl their wings.

Me believes in magic and fairies, God and true love.

Me believes that in a former life she may have been turquoise.

Source - me!

This piece of self love (well, you have to do it sometimes!), is for a wonderful blog hop that arty Amy has organised. Find out more about artists and dreamers across the globe in the All together now party where we are all to dress in our best frocks, look in the mirror and like what we see. Leave a comment on this post and I'll enter you into the competition to win the piece of art at the top of the page - the one about whispering hearts.
I created this piece for Inspiration Avenue's Art with Heart weekly challenge.)

This is me

Find me here, there and everywhere:

Facebook - personal
Facebook - creative biz
Facebook - messy book group
Twitter - personal @lisawrightstuff
Twitter - creative biz @wrightbrains
Creative biz site

A postcard from The Gambia

You might think a photograph is cheating as this is my entry for the Postcard Challenge. However, I did take the picture - albeit 20+ years ago. I was hoping to draw one of these faces this week, but time got the better of me. I thought it would be a shame not to share this image though. It actually won a prize back in the day...

I studied Georgraphy at University and was lucky enough to visit this tiny corner of West Africa on a field trip. While I was there we spent most of our time away from the tourist beaches having a wake up call on 'how the other half live.'

I wonder if much has changed for these children who will now be around 30 years old. I doubt that suddenly every home has clean running water and a toilet. A generator was a rare commodity - you can't imagine the joy us Western travellers felt when we came across a shack in the middle of nowhere selling Sprite chilled by a fridge.

Well, back to the point of this exercise. It is of course for the postcard challenge. Remember our last correspondence - when the ink 'spill' covered up X's true identity....

Thursday, 17 May 2012

She had many faces

Models do have many faces don't they, though I suspect they probably suffer from the stereotyping brush as much as the air one.

Playing with a different type of media this week. I haven't collaged for a while. This is my output for one of my course lessons that we've been working on this week. (Don't worry, not all the lessons involve dismembered body parts... though we will be taking ourselves off-kilter quite a bit.

I hope it's as much fun taking the course as it is writing it. It feels such a pleasure to be sharing within our group

I've just noticed that the neon pink paint I used as eyeshadow and blush hasn't been picked up by the scanner! Clearly I'm just not used to the bright lights of the catwalk and needed to adjust accordingly. I'm a bit too tired to try again - you'll just have to use your imagination. It's bright and it's pink - honest!

How many eyes can you count in the picture?

Sharing with the gang at Paint Party Friday.

Monday, 14 May 2012


Once upon a time, there was a creative soul who sat day after day, night after night pouring her soul forth into her art and writing. She believed in the power of creativity and took trips with her Muse into the deepest secrets of her imagination. It was such a wonderful place that she wanted to share it with others, so she began to write the words that would map out a journey into the creative soul via the right side of the brain - where the magic happens. Today the first of her students are rising to flex their creative muscles, load up their joy in experimentation and most certainly leave behind any self-doubt.

What to expect

This course is not an instructional 'copy what I do' course. I won't show you how to paint or write like me. What I will do is guide you through a series of exercises and teach you techniques to find your own creativity. I want to you to be surprised by what you find.

I'm giving all my students top marks from the start - because they all deserve it. They are here to open up their hearts to possibility. We will banish the 'can't do that demons' to the abyss where they belong. We will draw, paint, write, photograph - whatever our creative Muse wants to do; but at the same time if you just want to paint or write, then that's fine.

We are looking a different ways to find inspiration, to see what's before you and to express yourself.

It's not always going to be easy. At times students may find all they have created is a mess, but that's where the learning really starts - where's the fun in getting it right first time? We will also be working through these exercises collectively and sharing (if we wish) through our group. We will support each other on this creative journey as we find our own Muse and develops different styles. We will start to realise that the mess was just the starting point!
This course is for anybody that wants to try something new and challenging, who dares to be different and who wants creativity bursting into bloom from every pore!

The guarantee

Why not try it and see if you like it. I will offer full refund to anyone who doesn't believe it is helping them dig deep into their creativity by the end of week 4 - can't say fairer than that!

More information available on my website - including the all important sign me up button. What's stopping you?

Take the leap with me (don't worry, I'm holding your hand very tightly and will be with you all the way!).

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Knowing where to look

I woke to a blinding light that pulled me sleepy perplexion. What on earth could it be? Drawing back the curtains and gingerly twisting open the blinds I was astonished to be greeted by an azure blue sky with not even a wisp of cloud. Could it be? Surely not? Had it actually stopped raining?

Not willing to waste a moment of this rare sunshine, we headed out countryside-bound. Armed with camera and wellington boots, we sneaked off to Coton Manor, and her magical English country garden. It's very special at any time of year (owing to the fairies that live there); but for a couple of weeks in May, when the rain stops long enough, your eyes can intoxicate themselves with the spectacle that is the Bluebell Wood.

It's hard to stop taking photographs in such a beautiful landscape and I already have hundreds from previous visits, but this time I'd set myself an extra special challenge. You see, in this ocean of beauty I was looking for mess.

I look for mess much of the time these days. If I can't find it, I make it. I'm addicted to my Messy Book Group. It is utterly liberating to be making wild, free, abandoned art!

I thought that given the amount of rain (and the 'wellies required' warning on the website), I would get some great shots of gloopy mud. It actually wasn't that bad. So, I was forced to find my own mess and this is where I realised that nature creates some beautiful compositions where you least expect them.

I soon got over my disappointment that we'd missed the best of the wisteria, when I realised what a pretty pattern the petals had painted on the paving!

And was that really a heart in a sticky bird poop?

(As an aside, why does bird poop tend to be white when they mainly eat brown things?)

Nature creates happy accidents too

Intriguing compositions

and... just to prove I didn't just look for mess...

A little artistic adjustment to this one... (messed it up a bit!)

This is Rodney. He's 20 and says "Hello Rodney"

Saturday, 12 May 2012

You're gonna need a bigger...

I've been dreaming away the hours on Pinterest. It's easy to lose oneself in the boards of fellow creatives with a soul's yearning much like my own - especially when you're supposed to be doing something else... notably something difficult that requires much thinking (I'm putting the finishing touches to one of my lessons!).

I keep trying to convince myself that if I had a bigger house (with hundreds of cupboards and my own art studio), I would be so much tidier. It is true that half of the problem with the Mess in this house (note capitalisation - it's serious!), is storage - and space for the storage.

However, I have to confess that I'm also not terribly good at putting things away. I like to have everything to hand when I'm working on a project. The only trouble is, that I tend to work on at least a dozen projects at any one time, then that's a lot of 'things' to have around me.

I can barely reach the keyboard to write this. Those that have have had the 'pleasure' of working with me in the past will know that desks, in particular, usually resemble the contents of my jumbled brain after a particularly viscious roller coaster ride.

As I type I am looking at several piles of books (reference and inspiration for my course - these include everything from my Mess Journal to Marketing and Business texts and stuff about fairies; There's an empty box of champagne truffles (bought, consumed, and partly the reason for, my diet!); a laurel leaf in shades of green and brown that looks like it has been polished; various works of art; a baby blanket; notebooks; scraps of paper covered in hastily scribbled notes - there's even a post-it with the number 8280 written on it (no idea what that refers to); a pile of receipts that need to be logged for my accounts; pens; a camera; wireless headphones - big chunky ones and a packet of chia seeds. For once there are no mugs - but there are three on the windowsill, and two glasses (all from today!). There's a half-used packet of cress seeds up there too, a CD and a very tiny cardboard model of a Boeing 747.

I could tidy it up I suppose, but I'm supposed to be writing course content... That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

And it was in fact...

Drum roll... the mystery ingredients were actually fairly tame for me.

I pre-heated my oven to 200 degress centrigrade, then greased and lined a 12" cake tin. These had nothing to do with the mess I was about to make, but I'm on a diet and acting out making cake helps with the craving.

Next I spread some lovely and thick PVA glue over my page, trying to completely cover the large Question Mark sitting in the middle (that looks like gauze, but isn't). I sprinkled over a light mixture of salt and sugar. This makes interesting dents in the glue and looks like the surface of the moon.

This seemed a little mundane. It needed a certain something... I hit upon it at last. Bicarbonate of soda - it reacts with vinegar, I wonder what happens when it comes into contact with PVA? The answer was not much, so I sprayed a touch of water on which made a bit of fizz.

Once the whole concoction was nice and dry - having spent a cosy evening in the airing cupboard - I drizzled over a heady mix of alcohol inks which slipped over the glue and sank into the sandy texture. Lovely!

Can you imagine a whole painting completed in this method! My mouth is watering at just the thought. I see am abstract bunch of tropical flowers dripping with hummingbirds.

Well onto yesterday's competition. Nobody guessed quite exactly right (frankly, I'm not surprised!). So I went for 'nearest the bull'. Congratulations Giggles - you win a place on my course which starts on Monday! I'll be in touch by email.

(I ended up posting this on both my blogs - most of the comments are on the other one).

Friday, 11 May 2012

It's not often I go a week without blogging and I am sorely missing the opportunity to scribble and share. However, with just a few days to go until my eCourse starts and plenty of other work and commitments then something had to give.

I've come up with some great posts while in the car, but the witty gems just didn't want to come back to me once I was in front of a keyboard. I've also been hitting the gym!

One of my 'other commitments' has been the Messy Book Group where we continue to experiment and push the boundaries of what the uninitiated might call chaos, but we call art. This week has seen car tyres painted brightly and then driven over the book, a snake persuaded to make mud paintings and some mysteries involving unknown substances.

I'm in the unknown substance camp. What on earth do think I used to make these interesting textures and patterns?

Anyone that guesses correctly goes in the draw to win a free place on my creativity course which starts on Monday. There are five 'components' to guess! I'll pick tomorrow morning (UK time 9am-ish... it's Saturday.... I might sleep late...).

If you don't win, fear not. For just £42 (that's around US$67), you could join us on an 8 week playful journey to the island of Inspiration, on the trail of Technique with the excitement of Experimentation! We will be making art, writing magical prose and generally having a picnic of a time.

(Forgive the shameless plug... I'm just excited to be doing this at last and am a gregarious soul, so would love lots more people to join those already signed up!

Hmm.... What can they be?

Sharing for Paint Party Friday.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Don't be scared...

And keep scrolling... the painting gets (marginally) better I promise...

But... before I start... may I just say how THRILLED I am to be the featured artist on Paint Party Friday this week! Huge thanks to Kristin and Eva for pouring the champagne week after week (sometimes I struggle to get my Muse out of there....).

Where was I?

I'm learning so much from my mess!

Take the other evening. I was all set to create a beautiful whimsical girl. Soft flowing tresses, delicate English-Rose skin and a sweet smile. I dropped in the first layer of skin tone and then... from nowhere, came a little Imp intent on mischief.

The rascal put shocking pink paint in my hand and bade me colour her hair, then of all things begged me to splatter her now glowing locks with blue paint - in several shades - whatever next?

Well, it got worse as we sprayed with water, twisted and dripped, then when the deep pools of paint weren't keen on drying, we spoldged into them with rubber stamps with no care or thought. A few drops of alcohol ink and she was transformed. My beauty was now a zombie. Poor lass.

What could be done? Well, nothing until she'd dried out that was for sure... Then I very nervously (and carefully) brought her in for an examination. You know what... there were actually some bits I really liked...

I saw the beauty within and coaxed it back out of her...

(Zombie version was a photograph. This one was scanned and keeps the true colours)

OK, I admit that she still retains an element of the creepy supernatural. Nobody said bringing anyone back from a zombie-fied state would ever be easy - look how long it took Will Smith. The point of the exercise was to find wonder in the destruction; to find pattern and linkage; to see 'with my eyes closed'.

I made mental notes of how much I loved the mix of colour and florals on her cheek and will almost certainly be using the techniques again in future.

We don't just have to do this in art. The right side of the brain is set up for finding pattern and crafting what you might think unrelated ideas into original thinking. Have you tried painting to music? I don't mean just listening in the background, but really letting the music conduct your brush?

And what about playing with your words? Listen to a great piece of music and let the notes and movements dictate you the story. It's all there if you only listen hard enough and open your senses...

I'm getting all this from my Messy Book Group. I might not be growing cress again in my forthcoming artwork, but do expect to see more drips and free stamping!

I'm a crazy girl in love with pattern, texture and colour!

A postcard from New Zealand

My how X and Y do travel the world. Apparently X was supposed to be in Norway last week, but she got called to New Zealand last minute... If only we could find out what exactly it is she does...

I thought we were nearly there this week, but it seems as if some slight inky mishap blighted the back of the card and both our and Y's chances of learning more about her mysterious travels...

As the text is a bit under the weather (aren't we all this week), I'll rewrite for you...

The 'Lesser Spotted' Kiwi
South Island, New Zealand

Do you remember the black & white parrot you sent me from Brazil?
When I saw the rainbow kiwi I knew you'd love it!"

Stop being so coy about who you are and what you do... It's time
to tell you that I work in...

Alas... we may never know....

What on earth will Y think when he gets this card?

Posting for the Postcard Challenge. Full back story can be found here (it's getting kind of long now...)

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