10 Arting Books to read/have a look at over Christmas to get arting in 2018

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Arting Manifesto, photograph, 2017

Christmas as you would probably agree is one of the best times for reading. So before it finishes, why not check out these books, even if you may not have got them (there is Amazon, oh no, I did not say that! or the local library). So which books should you read/have a look at to get arting (more serously or with more fun) in the new year?

Here are my top ten

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I know, I know… if you are really feeling stuck and combating those inner demons and blocks this will help.
  2. How to Become an Artist by Michael Atavar if you are already taking it “seriously” and need a bit of pep talk.
  3. Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp if you need to rock your creative habits, obviously
  4. LifeLines by Dion McInnis if you need some more interesting ways to dig biographical inspiration.
  5. Foundations of Art and Design by Adrian Piper to revisit the basics of visual language, even if you are only looking at the illustrations and consider the headings of each chapter.
  6. Make Mess by Keri Smith to get a bit more playful and irreverent, any of her books, really.
  7. Women, Art and Society by Whitney Chadwick to appreciate, even if  not that perfect, gender relations in the field.
  8. The Tate Guide to Modern Art Terms by Simon Wilson and Jessica Lack to get your head around some of the art books, magazines and art gallery labels. Or approach it dada style – pick a random term and create around that.
  9. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, check it out really really, if you have not already.
  10. 100 Artists’ Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists as selected by Alex Danchev to get inspired (or steal like an artist) to pen your own one.

These are my top ten for artists at any stage, shape or form, plus of course…read anything AND everything BY your favourite artists. No harm in that. Not necessarily ON them, but BY them, says I as an also trained art historian.

What would you add up to the list? To help your arting itch? Let me know

And if you want to take it more seriously (arting itch) with a bit of fun (a lot actually), why not join me on the #becometheartistyouare course in February or take the self-study option anytime? Let’s get arting in 2018!

Irena Ellis is an artist/educator living in London, running her own Arting online and offline workshops and art practice aimed at photography, painting and butterflies.

 

 

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Merry and Happy

Wishing you a merry festive season and a happy new year. May all our creative seeds sprout and grow!

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If you want to get an arting start in the new year, why not join me on the Arting webinar on 28th December at 6 pm GMT. Just let me know on irena.ellis.arting@gmail.com that you want to join.

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I shall be teaching overcoming arting fear and inhibitions and finding inspiration within and outside. A kind of arting kickstarter. Hop on! Looking forward to seeing you there.

 

10 easy ways to fill your creative well…and feel better too

Photo on 26-02-2016 at 09.55Well…let’s go down to business. Not necessarily in the “right” order. Take your pick. Try at least one and report results.

  1. Look and feel around you. Make a haiku (poem of seventeen syllables, 5-7-5) about your here and now. Use your senses.
  2. Fill your cup (with something nutritious and nice)
  3. See/k the Truth
  4. Look for Beauty…and failing that Truth, even if ugly
  5. Listen to what is around you. What can you actually hear right now where you are? Make tinystories or tinypictures for the sounds.
  6. Smell the roses. They are there. Everywhere.
  7. Make bread. And eat it. Honestly, try this.
  8. Tidy up your bookshelf…and see what happens.
  9. Giveaway your favourite books to your local café with a note what you liked about them and an invite for a friendly cuppa, and see what happens. Fear not.
  10. Stretch your body, move to the music, even if (only….only? only?!) your inner one, sing along to it. Hum at least. Use your voice to voice the body feelings. See what happens. You may end up dancing, crying, laughing…or just slumping and resting. All is allowed.

P.S. My favourite books are already here (The HillStation Cafe…SE14 on the top of Telegraph Hill, London)…hint hint.

How arting saves my life…when I do it. Are you ready to join me?

Over the past few weeks I have been arting as part of the #becometheartistyouare challenge I run online.

It is my own mix of art theapeutical experiential challenge and an art programme.

I am coaching others on the journey, yet the way my own is unfolding is magical. Well, I kind of knew it…would happen…still…had to do it first.

My intention for the month of May was to turn up and do the arting work, follow the #becometheartistyouare prompts that I had devised over the past couple of years (ten). Every time I do the process, it goes deeper, and I become fuller. Fully me.

From feeling split and unsure which way to go, reconnecting with my childhood self and giving it what it needs, to coming full circle and devoting myself to “total artist’s participation”, I ventured outside and discovered the tools to do the dirty work (call a spade a spade and wear wellies :-)). Celebrating with Confetti of Life. Every single bit, every single breath, the drizzle of life.


Not bad for a first week, right?

In the second week we had been exploring the Inspired By process. Learning from our currently favourite artwork, artwork we have been drawn to. Mine: Object by Meret Oppenheim from 1936.

The week two has taken me on a rollercoaster of exploration – different facets of the work and perspectives on it. I created a fluffy lump of sugar, a sketch for my paintings of a doe drinking from the cup, conceptual photograph inspired by Oppenheim’s quote that “Art in not about decoration, but spirit.” and dressed up my own cup of coffee in different ways. Wrote poems about it all as a way of integration.

 

What emerged from week three which explored the elements of visual language as we do our twenty minutes of arting practice, were these two paintings I am still digging, making a small film from them and seeing where week four with the guiding principles of visual language takes me.

 

And that was my own process only.

Other magics have been happening in other’s lives, as they did the work, too. Discovering the boldness, courage and fearlessness, and stepping stones of action and tools to take it. To name a few.
The #becometheartistyouare challenge is on. It is not too late to join in. You can take it a day at a time and join us in the process in a safe and friendly environment of a closed forum. I am there: nudging, supporting and cheering you on, depending on what you need most.
Join us on here.

What the #becometheartistyouare process does for you…

…is unknown until you start!

It depends where you are…and it helps you understand that and move you in the best possible direction for yourself.

See, art is a powerful tool…for exploration, for undestanding, for moving forth. And #becometheartistyouare process utilizes this. Somewhere between an art-therapeutic discovery session and creative challenge, it moves you.

By creating daily, for twenty minutes minimum, following the gentle, yet powerful prompts, magic starts happening.

The process takes you from realizing what has been blocking you all those years, to seeing how you see, and what you are drawn to. Inspired by your favourite works, you retell your own story using whatever is at hand. Learning and exploring the visual language elements and principles to create your own piece to show the world (or to a segment of your choice) you stand in your truth. All in a supportive and understanding cocoon of a closed forum, for a month.

Circumnavigating the language, yet utilizing it for reflection, it mixes up the best of the beyond-conscious and conscious worlds.

Following the process of creating from within yourself, and exploring your world, you not only #becometheartistyouare, you become more of yourself, consciously.

Here, you can join us www.arting.me/becometheartistyouare.

No prior art/ing experience necessary…just the itch, the hunch, the being drawn…to it. Honest. All you need to start with is a camera, pencil and sketchbook…and yourself

Becometheartistyouare: Day 2

Inspiration from within…this is the piece I created with Day 2 prompt. By drawing a line and drawing inspiration from it.

The outcome is a neverending mobius strip in a starry background…which turns out to be made of paper too. At the same time they are black and white and waiting on colours to be brought in, thinking about it.

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Looking at it I get a sense of completion, yet journey ahead of me. And a child-like urge to colour in the stars in the background. Perhaps I should do it. What do you think? 🙂 The more I look at it, the more a right way it seems. Will keep you updated.

 

33 Days to #becometheartistyouare

In May I am running this unique mixture of visual art training and art therapy self-experiential challenge: #becometheartistyouare.

For a month, in twenty-minutes a day (minimum) you will unblock, find, explore and develop your own arting inspirations and learn more about your world, yourself and the things in between in the process.

#becometheartistyouare challenge prompts and pieces

This is how (a curtain pulled, syllabus revealed).

All you need is yourself, your phone camera, a pencil and a sketchbook. That will do to start with.

Week One is all about getting rid our our arting fears and finding and developing our own ways of seeing

Day 0 — Looking at where we are

Day 1 — Making a baad drawing

Day 2 — Drawing a Line

Day 3 — Looking and Seeing

Day 4 — Seeing some more

Day 5 — Write up your Seeing manifesto

Day 6 — Show and Tell

Day 7 — Arting Reflection

Week 2 is all about learning from your favourite artist’s work, which speaks to you the most currently. You learn authentically from them and about yourself.

Day 8 — Inspired By: Your choice

Day 9 — Inspired By: How was it made?

Day 10 — Inspired By: What does it mean?

Day 11 — Inspired By: What did they mean?

Day 12 — Inspired By: What does it mean to me?

Day 13 — Inspired By: Show and Tell — My Inspired Answer

Day 14 — Arting Reflection

Week 3 and Week 4 are devoted to developing the material you have created using elements and guiding principles of art and design…and looking at what it all means for yourself too.

Day 15 — Nothing/ness

Day 16 — Point and Line

Day 17 — Shape

Day 18 — Texture

Day 19 — Space

Day 20 — Time and/in Motion

Day 21 — Value

Day 22 — Color

Day 23 — Unity/Harmony

Day 24 — Balance

Day 25 — Scale/Proportion

Day 26 — Contrast/Emphasis

Day 27 — Rhythm

Week 5 is about preparing to Show and Tell, to share authentically what you have created. And…deciding how to move on.

Day 28 — Looking at it all and seeing what it means

Day 29 — Choices, Choices

Day 30 — Preparing to show/share

Day 31 — Show and Tell: #becometheartistyouare

Day 32 — Celebrate and Reflect

Day 33 — Where next?

Daily I am sending out the arting prompt direct to your inbox. When you put in the arting work, and follow/spend time on these arting prompts daily, you are guaranteed to get your arting juices back, develop a creating habit/discipline and take your arting to the next level. As well as discover things about yourself you did not know or did not acknowledge fully. You #becometheartistyouare. More of herself.

There is a friendly and safe community in place to share your ahas, questions and observations. Ready to join us? Go here.

I look forward to arting the May away with you!

Let me know if you are in!

How to…creativity (Day 21): Count your blessings <3

 

AportraitadaykeepsthedoctorawayCultivate attitude of gratitude…and see how it feeds your heart and mind with warmth, love and increased creativity.

Today I am grateful for breathing…for my painting practice and people around me. For my sanity.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been painting #aportraitadaykeepsthedoctoraway series. Check it out on instagram. It is a journey there and back along with my cycle. I kind of knew it but this made me fully realize how much it affects my mood, my way of doing things.

Now in incubation phase, I shall take it easy again.

And…did you know? We are starting the #becometheartistyouare challenge in ten days! Pwyw offer on until the end of weekend, which is my birthday. :-). Join in here.