This week I have been pondering my Big Why as I consider the Commissions offering of my unique Body Celebration Portraits...also, Maps and how did I get to where I am as an artist, right now.
Body Celebration Abstract Portraits...why do I offer these commission works?
One year ago, during a 100 day creative project, I started to draw myself...as I do with life models, in all my naked vulnerability. I have though that this would be a horrifying experience as I was feeling very insecure about my body and all it's lump, bumps and wobbly bits. But I found that in the drawing process I was focused purely on each inch of skin I was drawing, on the shapes, the shadows, they highlights, and the colours of the emotions. When I looked at the sketches, I was looking at an artwork, not judging my own body as I would in a mirror....and as I looked at myself in art, I could see the beauty and the emotion. It has had a huge impact on my own body positivity and I want this for you too.
I created my own body celebration painting from these sketches. I created it with love and joy and a sense of my own power. This painting acts a a visual anchor to these emotions. It boosts me every time I look at it...every day! I want this for you too.
Our bodies are incredible and if you feel to celebrate yourself in art in this way, a dressed or nude as you feel, all bodies and all genders are welcome.
This weekend, 22-24th May, see the new Art Maps Challenge taking place in the Creative Hands Tribe, our private Facebook group.
In this we will be exploring what maps can mean to us, how we can use the physical printed map in our art and making our own expressive map art.
Maps show us a great deal of a place and the history of the people living there. We can also use them to depict anything we desire. They can be a story or love, a life's journey, the simple pleasures of a favourite walk or the journey to work.
We use maps so much in our day to day too. From floorplans, to sat nav, from family trees to indices!
Two books come to mind for me that have been about a journey, an exploration. First is the wondrous "Masquerade" by Kit Williams, which was a huge part of my childhood. A map of riddles and exquisite images full of clues to lead you to buried treasure.
More recently I fell in love with "Griffin & Sabine" by Nick Bantock...again, a story by an illustrator and artist. This book (and it's series) tell the unfolding of intrigue and love through art, across the globe. It is told through the correspondence of two strangers. One in London, one on a remote island in the South Pacific. There are envelopes to open and reveal letters to take out and read. Imaginary postcards and hand-painted stamps. Magical and absorbing. This is the kind of alchemy we can bring to our Art Maps Challenge. Do come join us.
All my challenges live on in the Creative Hands Tribe as a library, or a pot for you to delve in when you want a new creative project. Do join us.
So perhaps my map project this weekend will chart the winding route I took to reach where I am today, as an artist...what will it reveal and where will it lead off to?