Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The end of another Magical Journal Journey


I can't believe that we've reached the end of our third year of journal swapping. Me and my little tribe of artist friends have been creating our books, devising our themes and passing them round the globe.

This year's theme was Inspired by Artists. We chose such a wide selection from old Masters like Matisse (my choice) to modern surrealist artists like Duy Huynh - Tammy's choice, whose journal I have just sent flying back across the ocean.

Huynh paints surreal portraits and landscapes often inspired by stories. So that's exactly where I took my creative thinking. I've been reading a series of books by Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy. The main characters are a girl with blue hair and a chimera - half woman, half deer. Sounded pretty perfect to me and the best thing was I got to create them exactly how they appeared in my imagination.

Madrigal came first - in a scene in the book, her lover magically 'weaves' a cloak of hummingbird moths to cover her shoulders when her dress is ripped. Then Karou's streams of blue hair came cascading from my paintbrush!

The second set of pages feature a little paper doll performing acrobatics at the circus - in day and at night. She unclips and moves from scene to scene!

 Finally, we collaborated on the back cover of the journal - I am not sure where the cat and the fiddle came from to be honest. One minute it was a half-finished canvas and then suddenly a moggie was playing a merry jig! I added a few clouds too just for the hell of it (and to distract from the contorted paw holding the neck of the violin... maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that!)

Sunday, 5 October 2014


Life is not a rehearsal. How many times have I heard that? Of course it’s still a true story and, as I romp through my 44th year, it has become an ever-louder nagging voice increasingly making its message known from the back of my subconscious.

My half-formed characters are screaming at me from the scrappy drafts that languish in the pits of my hard drive. If I don’t do something with them soon, they will be packing up their meagre possessions, escaping their stifled dungeon and setting off an adventure of their own choosing. Their fate was in my hands but there are many other writers’ imaginations out there, perhaps they will find their place through another pen.

Then there’s paint and colour and pattern and paper... Every time I pick up a paintbrush or look at a fellow artist’s piece of work, I feel this yearning deep within my soul to place art firmly in my working life. Why have I listened to the voices that would tell me I’m not good enough for so long? Perhaps they are the ones that deserve to be banished to a corrupted computer file.

But all is not lost for this particular biopic. The winds of change are finally wrapping their tendrils into my lethargy and pushing me forward into a new Act. Last month seemed like an awakening in many senses – most of all my intuition. I have focused more attention on my writing, rediscovering the joy of paragraphs that don’t require the corporate spin that pays my wages and the art-related business my friend and I have been slowly planning is almost ready for her debut performance.

I realised that I’ve turned up, learnt the script by heart, practiced and honed and even danced the boards in a series of dress rehearsals. It’s time to take centre stage and have my moment as the leading lady that I know I can become. Watch this space!
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