Saturday, 16 September 2017

We've come a long way baby! How have you grown? In the Studio

Well I can't quite believe it myself but I have moved studio spaces yet again.  I reflect on how far I have come and I would have never have dreamed that I would be here.  I struggled in the early days when I kept complaining about not having enough time to create, I worked, had a young son and no space.

Humble beginnings on a small table

Here I am using one of the small tables I would use in the kitchen. I would go from this table to the end of my kitchen table and it all had to be cleared away by the end of the session.  I would stack my supplies in the bins that you can see and on the shelving below.

Using what space you have

Nothing was accessible, but I worked round things and stayed up late when everyone had gone to bed and was able to spread my supplies out a bit more.  I realized that it wasn't about how much space you had but how you used it.  I have seen other artists work in much smaller spaces and when I thought about it I had the space that I needed to create.

Box Room

When my stepdaughter moved out, my son got her room and so I decided to move into the box room and have a space I could call my own.  I dismantled the bed and took the carpet out before anyone could change their minds lol..

The bed was coming out to make way for the studio

I put down flooring

Chose the flooring without having to compromise

I took everything out redecorated and shared HERE   It was magical, my very first studio space and I didn't have to put everything away.  Being in a space that I could call my own I felt the growth

Many classes were videoed on this table

It was my creative heaven

And I worked it, it was packed to the brim, but it was a space that I could call mine and really get down to work.  After working on the end of a table this was 5 times bigger than I was used and it fit my needs at the time.  

Bigger Space - Time for more growth

When we moved a couple of years ago I didn't imagine that I would be getting a creative space 5 times the size of my previous space but I did.  I was able to have different work areas, one for sewing, crafting, office space all in the same room.  I was able to start working on sculptures and more mixed media pieces and so much more

Different work stations helped with the growth

I worked on many courses and exhibitions in this space and really appreciated being able to grow.  The hardest thing was to pack up and get my head around having a new space.  This has been the biggest hurdle, as I don't think I have quite caught up being in this space.  Getting my head around packing and unpacking the whole house and not having a ready made studio space wasn't something I looked forward to and I neglected myself and started to feel sorry for myself which I share HERE, but I knew that the new space would enable further growth. 

Saying goodbye to my old space

The Creativity Centre

Room with a view

Before we moved we agreed that this would be my space, initially temporary but it has now become a permanent thing, and there are three parts to the space that allows me to broaden my thinking and I have been calling it The Creativity Centre, and you will get to see it over time.  I couldn't get my head around how I would fit everything in the previous space into this and needed to think creatively.

I knew that I couldn't get every thing in and so Alan graciously suggested that I move my art books in one of the wardrobe spaces that we were to share (temporarily of course)!  That said and done meant that I didn't have to worry about my books for the time being, they are at hand and I could focus on what really needed to be in my space.

Wardrobe space houses some my art books 
It has been over 6 weeks now, so many things has happened to share with you both in London and Barbados, it feels like only yesterday, but strangely it feels has if we have always been in our current location.  I appreciate all the spaces that I have been able to occupy.  One of the things that I did to begin with was to paint the walls and I was able to design a pattern on the floor, which was the first time, bar putting lino in my first space that I had full control of.  I will share the process in another post.

Here is a glimpse for now

The long and short of it is that growth comes in many ways, whether the changes are big or small.  I have for the past 2 years said that I am on an adventure.  Life's adventure that can hold so many surprises, gifts, learning experiences - both good and bad and so much more!  What kind of adventure are you on?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Update - Survival and Triumph Online Auction - 24th Sept - 2nd October 2017

I am thrilled to have been chosen to be part of the online auction called Survival and Triumph.  The auction will occur from September 24th Noon EST to October 2nd at 3pm EST.

Me, Myself and I - Mixed Media Art

The artists include:

Donna Davies Timm, Lauren Rudolph,, Annie Hamman, Jennifer Bonneteau, Lara Provost, Renata Loree, Jennifer Albin, Lynda Fortin King, Mystele Kirkeeng, Donna L. Martin, Katrina Koltes, Jenny Doh, Dana Primrose Bloede and ME!  I feel honored to be part of the line up.

Each day there will be two artists. Dates for each artist are a surprise. Our auctions will run from 12 noon (first day), 1pm EST each day thereafter to 11:30 am EST the following day. Then the next two artists will begin at 1pm EST noon until all 14 artists are featured. Each artist will have approximately 15-25 pieces up for auction.

The auction is being hosted by Stephanie Gagos on Facebook and she has been sharing some of the work so far that will be included in the auction.

Here is a few of my pieces so far, I will be sharing more over the next few weeks.  If you would like to attend the auction you can do so HERE
Engage - Mixed Media Art Sculpture 

Remember to check out the other artists.  Our work is being shared on a daily basis on the Facebook group, and we would love to have you attend.

Me, Myself and I - Mixed Media Art

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Are you neglecting yourself? Where is the Love? 10 tips to get back on track

Are you neglecting yourself?

How many times have you neglected yourself in the past month, have you stopped treating yourself with kindness?
I have been there, it creeps up on you, and you have to make some decisions about how to get yourself out of the heaviness. 

When I have lots of different things going on it can be easy to forget about self-care and nurturing, and when caring for my mother who is living with dementia I found that turning to creativity, my art journal and a few other tips help me put things into perspective.  This last few months for me have been a challenge, some good and some bad.

Mixed media art Journal
The journal page says 
"The gentle breeze, the birdsong, the still small voice reminded her to step out of the self imposed barriers......she was enough"  

You are enough, have value, are absolutely brilliant and more!  We often put up those comparison charts, the "Not good enough Chart", "Self sabotage Chart " and "the 'Throw away' negative comments made by other people that hurt" chart and we put the breaks on our moving forward.  Which one have you used on yourself?

We forget ourselves don't we? and before you know it you have this ache....When I am out of balance and without routine or any scheduled 'Me Time',then things that I would normally brush off get on top of me. I find that comments that people say play like a theme tune in my mind, I try to put out fires and it is almost like a bottle that gets full to the brim and then overflows (well that's how it sometimes feels).

The Neglect Effect

Neglect effect can showcase itself in different ways:
- lack of exercise, 
- not allowing yourself to have a break, 
- taking too much of a break, 
- not eating right, 
- not spending quality time with loved ones, 
- sabotaging your work, 
- comparing yourself to others, 
- feeling stuck
-  self doubt, 
TV series binge, 
-followed by the cake and ice cream you wouldn't normally eat, 
- self loathing that follows and then beating yourself up for the work you didn't get done while you were watching back-to-back series of something you really weren't at all interested in before.

I am sure that you can think of other ways - the list goes on.  The knock-on effect is that it impacts on our commitments and relationships.

Admit you have a problem

The First step is admitting that you have a problem and that the pain of staying how you are is worse than the pain that comes from change!

My name is Amanda, a Mixed media Artist, and I have been neglecting myself.  For one reason or the next I allowed things to slide, became overwhelmed at the amount of work that I needed to get done around my art, commitments, my blog and to top it all I am in the process of moving again!

New Temporary Studio space

The move itself had stresses of its own, but then I started to stress about where I would put every thing, this is the new temporary studio space which is half the size of my current studio.

Current Studio space

This is my current studio space. minus the strapping young man (I will do a post-move studio tour on my YouTube channel in the next couple of weeks), just where would I put every thing, stay on top of things I needed to get done and I found myself becoming inactive while continuing to internally stress-out, secretly hoping somehow someone else would sought everything out.  

At the end of the day you have to realize your worth and value and what really matters and make the move, make a decision and take action, shine your light and be good to yourself.  

Here are also some quick and easy solutions for you to try and to get back on track, there are obviously loads more, but these helped for me and I hope you find them useful if you need them.

Here are 10 Tips to tackle the self-neglect and give yourself more love

  1. Admit you have a problem - realizing that this neglect will be a problem if you allow it to continue you have to put in the right ingredients to ensure that you can turn things around. 
  2. You have a choice - If you do nothing you are still making a choice, you can choose to start making the most of the situation, what are the ways you can see the good things that you have going. 
  3. Take small regular actions - What small actions can you make that will eventually create the big change.  
  4. Acknowledge your achievements - keeping an achievements book is a way of looking back at how far you have come, and celebrating those achievements, and the impact that you may have made on another persons life.
  5. Eat right - Make sure that you are getting the right nutrition from your foods, and take supplements were necessary.  I firmly believe that food has an impact on our health and well-being, and it might be some small changes that you have to make.  Check out my Smoothie Recipes
  6. Clear up your mess - Tidy up, and declutter, start with a clean room - sometimes being around mess will hamper your productivity.
  7. Get Fit - When was the last time you got some exercise? Go for a walk - get out in nature, this helps refresh your ideas, and keeps you fit.
  8. Creative Challenge - I usually kick off with a creative challenge, that helps me focus on what I really want to have in my life, and creativity impacts on our health and well-being as well.
  9. Share/Give -  Think of the needs of someone else, what could you do to help their situation? why not see how you can give of your time or other resource to be a blessing to others.
  10. Love yourself - show some self love, think about the things that you enjoy, going for a walk, beach, swim, visit a gallery, work in a journal, learn a new skill, read a book, achieve a life long goal

Feed your mind - listen to encouraging and positive messages feed your mind and get a shift in perspective.

Gratitude's - what are you grateful for in your life that you have been taking for granted?

OK, now what are you waiting for, you don't have to wait until your feeling off to put some things in place, but start something today!

Stay blessed and be a blessing

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Celebrating Your Achievements - Filling your Well

Picking up my Art Awards

How often do you celebrate your achievements or do you brush them under the carpet?

It is important to regularly celebrate the achievements and accomplishments that you make, it doesn't have to be anything big or lavish, but needs to be noted, so that in those times of doubt you have something to look back on, or you can as it were 'dip into the well' to remind yourself.

Do you quietly allow those momentous occasions to pass you by with other people getting more excited than you?  Do you hope your achievements will gain the approval of others, not valuing the importance of stepping out and knowing your worth?

When I talk about celebrating your achievements there are so many different ways in which you can do it, and the important thing is that you do celebrate in some way to mark the occasion acknowledging the work that you put in to get to where you got.

We can get in the mode of achieving things but not acknowledging them because other people feel insecure,  or are you the sort of person who waits for affirmation from others, and don't recognize what you have done as an achievement.  

Blow your own trumpet!

Not everyone grows up being told how great they are, how much talent they have or that the world is indeed their oyster which means they can have anything their hearts desire.
You can't wait for someone to see your value you have to see it first within yourself.  Why not make something of the hard work that you have put in there are others who would be happy to celebrate alongside you and would be inspired.

I shared some of the recent success I had with some of my work in Barbados.

Angles Walk Among Us - Silver Award 

I received 3 awards (2 Bronze and 1 Silver) in the The National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Barbados for 3 Sculptures I created. I shared my successes HERE.  It was great to be part of the exhibition and there were many beautiful pieces of work on display, both professional, and emerging. 

Mixed media art Sculpture - The Dancer - Bronze Award
The Dancer, which received the NIFCA Bronze award was snapped up and made its way to a home in the UK.  I shared my achievements, wrote down the date and how I felt about it in my journal.

The Dancer - in her new UK home
 My work is available for viewing and sale on my website -  

So why not blow your own trumpet, even for a moment, look at what you have achieved, write it down and give thanks for a new day to achieve something else, and the fuel that keeps you going in those times of doubt when you look back and see how far you have come.  

What about you?  what have you done in your life that you have brushed under the carpet?  what can you celebrate be it big or small? And without knowing it you could be that spark and motivation that someone else needs to celebrate their achievements. 

Stay blessed and be a blessing!
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