Saturday, 25 January 2014

Speaking words of wisdom.....

When I find myself in times of trouble,
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be'

This week I found myself working in my Daily Art Journal, in which I ponder the week and thoughts of the present moment. I play with materials and images,  not always certain what the outcome will be and what is calling to be expressed. As you can see, my childhood roots have crept through!

I grew up in a household which was filled with Catholic Iconography, we had a Mother Mary statue in every room and somehow as an adult I still create Mother Mary corners in my home, even though Mary sits beside the local Chinese equivalent goddess of compassion and mercy, Kwan Yim and various other icons of general lovingness.

So Mary is a comforting presence  the Beatles told us, and we also know, she speaks those three little words of wisdomA great mantra for me this week as I roller coaster through a turbulent week of active night time brain........
"and in the hours of darkness she is standing right in front of me, 
speaking words of wisdom, 
Let it be.................."

I did create my own Mother Mary some years ago, I called her the Solstice Madonna and I love her grandeur and how she 'presides' in our house, a steady and familiar presence with a "Let it be" reminder...........
"and when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
Shines until tomorrow
Let it be...."

Have a great week Wild and Arty friends,
we say goodbye to Year of the Snake Energy 
and get excited about the upcoming Horse!

Hurrah !


Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Amazing Stine Baska

This weekend I was blessed to have a visit from the 'Amazing Stine Baska'. Stine is a truly global citizen, having been born in Norway, currently lives in Sydney Australia and has had a stint living right here on Lamma with her gorgeous family. Stine is famed for her extraordinary photography, she specialises in family images taken in outdoor settings and I have witnessed her abilities to bring smiles to a sulky 16 year olds as well as distracted 3 year olds!!!  
Check her Website:

Last April Stine attended our 'Wild at Art Retreat' at Tao Fong Shan and created her very first handmade book......

She then spent 4 weeks in Norway with family and proceeded to create a further 8 handmade books!! Using the basic techniques of hand stitching one signature, she adapted to the materials she could lay her hands on whilst there and ended up using the old pages of children's story books that she found along the way to make family book for her mother and new journals.

Stine has remained a prolific book creator, featuring many of them on Facebook. Here are pages from her Journey Book, exploring the notion of physical journeys as well as the spiritual and emotional pathways that we all take. Using found objects and old books, Stine blends text, memorabilia and images upon her pages.

This Saturday found Stine around the table at Flowers Towers sharing some Saturday Journalling moments with some of the other Art Journaling members of the Gin and Tonic Art Club.

Stine has now flown away to Norway for another winter sojourn and I am sure she will return having produced further copious tomes filled with impressions of her own inner world as well as the world around her. 
Making Art in books?
Thats the gorgeous beauty of this Art Journaling thing, is that you do not have to be an expert in any special art method ! And you do not need an art studio. Art Journaling can be Art-on-the-Go, Art in-Small-Spaces and Art for absolutely anyone at all who fancies a dabble and a play and of course it can be as shareable as you like……you might not wish to share your journal pages with anyone at all !!! Books facilitate a kind of intimate art making dialogue which can be  private or not!

If you’re put off by the word ‘journal’ and imagine tomes of self-reflective writing, don’t worry! 
Art Journaling is 50% of “Play” which means experiments with materials, colours, textures and patterns and 50% of “Something to Say” which really means to give a voice to something calling to be expressed.

Maybe its time to buy a small sketchbook/ notebook and few small art supplies and start doodling or sticking or experimenting.......

Why not make a little art time....
1. Put it on your to-do list this week.

2. Commit to the smallest doable amount of time that feels possible, can be a five minute doodle.

3. Set up a small space with some supplies so that you are ready to create and don't have to spend time finding materials. You don't need a lot of supplies: pens, a set of paints, a paint brush, glue stick and a few favourite poems, pictures or magazines..... and it's a super compact and portable hobby!!

Go to it friends !!

Till next time

Katie xx

Friday, 10 January 2014

Holiday Doodlage!

Mandalas on the RE-Bound!

Have you ever tried to buy a square sketchbook? Very tricky! Hard to find one and harder still to find one with decent paper for mixed media work. I wanted to create a book that I could use for the delightfully meditative activity of making mandalas.

I found the solution in RE-Purposing and RE-Binding a young child’s “board” book and converting the pages into usable spaces, combining a second book: a much loved copy of “ My favorite thing” by my lovely friend, poet Madeleine Slavick.

I wanted to cover the children’s images with a text that would suggest moments of contemplation to me as I built mandalas within the pages…….

Madeleine travelled around Mainland China on behalf of Oxfam in 1998 and interviewed people asking the question, what is your very favourite thing in life…… the responses range from ‘My pen’ to ‘My family’ and ‘Nothing’.

Here it is now : "My Little Book of Mindful Doodlage"

The great gift is that the headings on each page suggest ideas and themes and thoughts to me, as pause each day to draw and doodle 
the layers in my mandalas………….and you know what, that’s my own very favourite thing to be doing ! So this xmas holiday when I was travelling in the Philippines I continued my Doodlage....out and about in all sorts of lovely spots.

If you fancy finding a few gorgeous Mandala Doodles why not check out the related Pinterest Pages......

and check these two Amazing Mandala Doodles created in a brand new square sketchbook by my very own artistic cousin Berni, hard to believe that this is her first ever dabble into this technique !! Stunning, complex and confidently executed!

Why not start a new 2014 creative endeavour.....pop to your stationary store and pick out some coloured pens and get started! 

Enjoy your foray!
Till next time