As I haven’t created any ‘Weekly Snaps’ posts for ages, I should just say that they are almost entirely written in images; I always find wandering about, looking at things and finding stuff that matches up far more satisfying and expressive than words… The next few photos are from the brilliant new David Adjaye exhibition: Making Memory which opened at The Design Museum last weekend….you can find all the details HERE
It was a crazy few weeks before the New Year; I was planning and organising loads of stuff around my book launch, running workshops, sending out calendars and hosting my Artist’s Open House. It was full on to say the least, but kind of exciting at the same time. I was probably a bit too hyper to be honest, but I was enjoying a big old creative flow. However that basically resulted in major Christmas flu; spending hours in bed, coughing like an old fashioned smoker and just completely crashing for the first part of January. I had all sorts of things I was going to do as soon as Christmas was over; sort my photos, sort my emails, sort my house, fix the cooker etc, etc. But I found it SO difficult to rally any sense of urgency, any sense of practicality and any sense of getting on with things. It’s only been in the last couple of weeks that I’ve felt much better and now I’ve got creative things I’m desperate to do, but which I have no time to do, pouring into my mind and waking me up at 3am! One of the major ‘jobs’ I’ve had to address is that of new workshop dates…I think I sort of wanted all the information to just appear in people’s heads without me having to do anything. I lose hours working on the aesthetics of putting an Instagram story together for example; I absolutely love doing it, but the reality is that it always takes way longer than the half hour I hoped it would. I also think, as I’ve hit an Instagram Stories note, that they are in part responsible for me not keeping up with my blog consistently: they are so quick and easy and reach so many more people that it leaves blogging feeling clunky and not as satisfying as an instant response to my surroundings…Anyway, here I am, nearly at the end of January, just about catching up, or at least with all the workshop info and booking details ready to go. So this post is going to be a combination of January things; colours textures and general observations as well as a pointer to my next online course.
There are still various things I need to really catch up on: the next big job is getting some of my paintings listed in my online shop ( something I’ve been promising since September! ) and getting back into making some clothes again! If you haven’t already seen, my inner clothing imp seems to have been unleashed, and the stories of my handmade and thrifted clothes are shaking up my feed on Instagram! …and my old ‘Weekly Snaps’ posts are something I need to get back into too…as my Grandpa used to say: “We’ll see what we shall see…” And just another reminder about the online course and with more details in my shop here
When I began writing Chapter 7 of my book ‘The Senses and Synaesthesia’, I hadn’t realised that it would become the heart of what I wanted ‘Conscious Creativity’ to be about. I realised how passionate I was about getting people to connect to their senses and how acknowledging even the most everyday scents and sounds is crucial to developing personal creativity . I started to imagine what my book would smell like, the pages and the print, and then I suddenly realised that I actually wanted to create a scent that I felt represented the book itself.
I met Emmanuelle from The Experimental Perfume Club last year during the ‘Perfume’ exhibition at Somerset House ( there’s a post about it here ), and I asked if I could come to one of her Open Lab days in Hackney so that I could blend a ‘Conscious Creativity’ scent. Open Lab means you can spend time exploring and experimenting with the vast perfume organ in Emmanuelle’s workshop and create a unique scent of your own. One couple who were there when I was, were blending a scent for their wedding day and another for their honeymoon! It was a truly amazing and utterly absorbing afternoon and I could have stayed for hours…I experimented with mixing scents rather like I mix paint on a palette, the only difference being I had to look at the scents in my mind’s eye. Time lost significance at The Experimental Perfume Club and I was drawn into a visual and scented space inside my head, which in turn led me to creating an abstract image of the scent I blended with many essential oils including Birch Tar, Coffee and Eucalyptus.
So now ‘Conscious Creativity’ the book, has a corresponding scent and painting. I wanted the scent to be open and fresh, include a hint of citrus and have a strong woody note to echo my constant Instagram companion, the table. This is my visual journey of my inspirations, texture references and experiments which then became a painting of the scent of ‘Conscious Creativity’…
sketches and texture inspiration… Paintings often start off completely different to what the final piece actually looks like…I started with multi coloured layers so that I would be able to scrape back to reveal hints as I went on… You can order my book ‘Conscious Creativity’ here and please do email me if you would like any more information about my paintings. If you would like more information about The Experimental Perfume Club, you can follow them on Instagram and also look on their website where you’ll find more about their workshops, Open Lab days and fabulous new perfume collection ‘Layers’ ( which I am wearing constantly at the moment! )
The Summer; full of family holidays, days at the beach, treks up mountains, walks in the woods, sunsets, sunrises and of course all those fantastic photos you took… Are they still on your camera roll or have you settled them in nicely to some sort of album yet? If you’re anything like me, the answer will be one big onerous ‘No’.
I feel that I’ve got so far behind with stringing any sort of personal Summer story together that will represent any sort of anything on my blog, that it has now left me feeling that my images lack any sort of timely relevance. I’ve always liked posting pertinently to the months and the seasons, even the weeks, yet it’s September and those images from June are still sitting on the camera roll…haunting me yet somehow pleasing me at the same time!
The other week I found myself having a mini Instachat with Rida from @beforeandagain who I know has masses of lovely images to share…I was saying ‘just post images on your blog rather than worrying about any words’ …it must have sounded like that’s what I did all the time rather than something I have completely neglected. This time last year I was really on top of my ‘Weekly Snaps’ but for the whole of 2018 I have felt consistently behind on any weekly documenting…It’s probably because my mind has been so full of getting my new book together and collating images for that, but none the less I still have images floating around in a digital void which challenge me daily to a guilty chore rather than a happy endeavour. The Summer has clung to me; I haven’t been able to shake it off and engaging with the task of ordering any of my photos has felt like an imposition.
I think Instagram Stories ( which I love by the way ) may have something to do with the lack of impetus to post on my blog and to order my images, partly because I love sharing in the moment, or at least at the end of the day. I also enjoy the images on Stories feeling quite ephemeral; disappearing within 24hrs. But then after posting I always feel I’ve moved on, that everyone has moved on…onto the next day, the next texture, the next smell, the next colour, the next piece of domestic nothing. So, to go back to all of those images for the purpose of a blog post, can sometimes feels a bit ‘past it’…
But today things have shifted a little in my head and I have found myself quite literally taking a leaf out of my own book ‘Conscious Creativity’ ( which will be out in November.)
Rather than showing you any linear narrative I’m simply going to share lots of images which have being lying dormant on my camera roll for the past 3 months in a series of colour essays, starting with Red…My book has a whole chapter on colour collecting and colour ordering and so I’ve basically implemented some of my own advice in this post. I’ll be creating lots of different colour collections, hopefully over this week, but this will be the only post with words…
Obviously I know when and where all the images were all taken, you may even recognise some from Instagram, but these visual essays are there for you to create you own stories, prompt your own memories and simply indulge in colour…