Category Archives: workshops

Thursday…with Yellows ( and a last chance Earlybird )

August 31, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Autumn - Brighton - colour - My Home - Summer - texture - workshops

I was working with yellows today; a sort of burnt, yellowy gold collation , and a sort of homage to the end of the Summer and the approach of Autumn… It’s all in the positioning of the pears…( I should have thrown these out ages ago but I loved watching them grow more and more golden every day! ) I wanted to create one of my ‘classic’ tables with this particular chair…which meant that Cheeks was moved, still on the chair, to the other side of the room…he didn’t even notice!

I also just wanted to remind anyone who’s thinking of booking a place on my Consciously Creative Online Course, which starts on Sept 11th, that tomorrow is the last day that you’ll be able to use the Earlybird discount code…please email me using the form at the bottom of this post if you’d like me to send it to you. ( There are only a handful of places left now, so do let me know soon )

Sunday…with the ‘Consciously Creative’ online course coming soon

August 27, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Autumn - Brighton - colour - Summer - texture - The Shed - workshops

I’ve been working on some of the details for my new online course starting in September and wanted to share them here first with a few images to give you a taste of the sort of thing I’ll be teaching ( There’s also more information on this page here )

So Consciously Creative will be a 6 week online course designed to help you develop your creativity in a type of online art class.
Over the 6 weeks there will be homework and creative tasks which will encourage you to experiment and experience ways of working and looking which may feel out of your comfort zone but which will allow you to be more open to different inspirations and techniques.

I want the course to feel personal so I will be demonstrating and chatting live each week for an hour via the private course instagram account and will try to answer any questions which may arise. The course will also have a limited number of places so that I can maintain that personal input.

I will be working primarily with my iphone; creating work through photographs, but if you prefer to work with paper, pencil and paint,for example, that would be perfectly ok too. However it would still be good to create a photographic document of your process and work throughout the course as it’s good to share and receive feedback even if it’s nerve wracking.

The course is meant to help you identify how you can develop your own daily practice of creating…it’s meant to inspire that creative impetus rather than tell you exactly how to do it. It’s about being inspired to do your own thing; follow your own path; taking away the pressure of having ‘clickable’ content, and by the end of the course I would hope that you would feel more confident about your own ways of seeing and doing or at least have a firmer starting point. I will encourage you to also start a personal project which will serve as a spark and act as an anchor, or even a hobby, for much more work to come.Week 1:
Introduction to a Way of Working
One of the main elements of how we will work is to focus on deep observation and hopefully slightly alter or shift your way of seeing and looking at things.
I will try and help you increase your sense and recognition of natural symmetry, colour coordination and composition.
I will steer clear of ‘styling’ and too much considered manipulation which can definitely create a sense of beauty but often lacks a deeper meaning or atmosphere.
WEEK 2:
Texture
We will cover aesthetics of texture, how important it is not to overlook it and how useful considering the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi can be.
WEEK 3:
Colour
We will focus on colour and how to develop a greater sense of the life of colours as well as learning how to identify and sense them in far more places than you thought. We will forage for domestic colours, look at colour wheels as well as noting how natural lighting can aslo impact on colour.WEEK 4:
Mood and Atmosphere
We will look at how we can add a further sense of atmosphere into your images…trying to enhance the way you ‘feel’ about something and how that leads onto the way you develop your editing skills. I will also create tutorials for making a very simple film and stop frame animation. WEEk 5:
Composition
Having focused on detailed elements in the previous weeks, we will now look at composition, focusing on a natural, organic style which I personally use, as well as some universal tips for points of focus, symmetry and asymmetry etc. WEEK 6:
Conclusion, continuing practice, re-cap and play
We’ll talk about everything we’ve covered over the last 5 weeks and work out which ones feel more natural or easy, which ones perhaps need more attention, which make you feel happy and which maybe make you feel at a loss. It’s important to feel that you will be able to carry on experimenting and being open, so starting a personal project in this last week will definitely be a benefit to developing your continuing practice.
I will work out a loose worksheet which you can print out as a creative stimulus and hopefully you will feel more equipped to create a continuing creative visual sense or response to who you are and how you see the world around you.Before the course begins I will provide you with a list of useful editing apps which I personally use, and each week I will suggest other inspirational Instagram accounts, artists, books and films which you may find interesting, helpful and relevant to the week’s topic.

I love working with other people and seeing how a collective of ideas and creativity can be so inspiring and motivating, so really look forward to meeting you if this course sounds like it’s your cup of tea…

You can buy your place in my online shop here  but please do e-mail me at 5ftinf@gmail.com if you are interested in taking a place as I will then send you an Earlybird registration discount code which will last until 1st September. 

Looking forward to meeting some of you soon!

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Monday…with Reds and Yellows

August 21, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Autumn - colour - Summer - texture - workshops

I woke up today needing, or maybe just feeling, something of the reds and yellows…I don’t plan things, colours just sort of happen, and while I think it may have been the small arrangement of  oddments on the mantlepiece which I brought back from my Mum’s a couple of weeks ago which triggered things, I realised pretty soon after I started placing the objects that the colours together felt really representative of the end of August…a shifting or re-alligning of the seasons; a warmth and vibrancy alongside a fading glow…And even though the dahlia’s petals are falling and they’re looking all crinkly…I still love them and don’t want to throw them away…not before a table arrangement anyway!
Putting the arrangement together was a bit like doing a free form jigsaw…

I’ll be including a colour module in my ‘ CONSCIOUSLY CREATIVE ‘ online course which starts in September, where we’ll cover how to embrace, look for and see colour more clearly, particularly in the more ordinary and domestic places. We’ll also look at recognising colour patterns as well as colour opposites and how important colour makes us feel whether in positive or negative ways…The course will launch at the beginning of September and there’s some information about it HERE with more specifics to follow with the launch.

Saturday…with Turkish Delight ( and an Online Creative Course Teaser )

August 19, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - colour - Summer - texture - workshops

It always kind of takes me by surprise when I see something out of the corner of my eye and then suddenly know I have to get to the table and create a new composition.

The table is the best blank canvas I’ve ever had, I suppose because it’s never really blank, it’s always living and has now become an essential part of my creative and domestic life ( it’s currently living with a blueish accidental paint mark which I’ve become quite fond of ).

I think of my compositions as visual maths…everything is in the right place but everything is also variable. It’s an improvisation in colour and texture and atmosphere.

I have days where I’m obsessed with colour and others where I’m obsessed with texture ( I even have another Instagram account @outsidesense where I can indulge my abstract texture collecting ) but the most satisfying days are when I can bring it all together. When I paint I have to work at bringing it all together and I often consider my photographic compositions as sketches which always inform my painting at a later date.

So, I thought I’d share some of my rather ad hoc inspiration…

…and yesterday, it was this shelf in Asda…I stopped, as I always do, and looked at what is my domestic equivalent of an art shop. These are the shelves I love most in the Winter; when my garden is barren and brown, when everyone’s going on about how little colour there is…these shelves in the ‘foreign foods’ section are my life saver.

I found a couple of new ‘textures’ today. I’m always looking for colourful food textures but today I was taken with white sago and clear sugar…and then I saw the turkish delight, which sort of reminded me of some of the dahlias from Thursday and also some roses in my garden, and that was that…

I have a special case where I keep all my foody textures…it’s sort of akin to my big bag of paints but which has a much spicier smell! I like being quite selective and choose things which I instinctively want to work with so today the ingredients were:

Red peppercorns, Juniper berries, Sumac, Popping Candy, Breadcrumbs, Tapioca, Sugar, Star Anise, Dahlias from the fride ( the ones whose heads had come of on the car journey ), Rose, Valerium, Marjoram, Perennial Pea, Japanese Anenome, Rose hips, a plant I can’t remember the name of ( please let me know if you know it! ) and Turkish Delight…

I take lots of pictures as I go as more often than not, it’s the textures and items themselves which lead the composition… I also like to play around with the formats so take photos in landscape, square and portrait as sometimes I’m surprised by how different the atmospheres are within them… I also take pictures when I feel I finished as, again, the ‘ingredients’ can still surprise me, and it always somehow feels less pressured when I know I’ve got one in the bag anyway…

…and that happened today…I was about finished when I took the photo below and realised that it had all the feeling and colour nuances I’d wanted to create in the first place…I added some extra sugar…slightly altered the composition…

and then felt I could leave it.

Editing the images is the part which I consider brings my images to life; it’s another artistic element which feels to me a lot like painting. I don’t have a recipe which works every time as I like to consider each image in it’s own right and then tease out the atmosphere and how I really feel about what I’m working with. The image on the left is how the iphone sees the table, the image on the right is how I see and feel about the table…

I often think of that Helena Rubenstein quote “ There’s no such thing as an ugly woman, just a lazy one “, as I kind of feel the same about photo editing…If I think I’ve taken a rubbish photo I don’t dismiss it until I’ve edited the life out of it first!

This is a recent example below…I was on the train walking down the aisle and suddenly noticed the sky and St Michael’s Mount. I rushed to the window and took the shot as we raced past not very hopeful I would catch anything useable. However with a bit of editing I was able to pull out the colour and composition much more clearly to create a cleaner image.

Sometimes, as a bit of a treat, I also play with Instagram Layout as it always turns up something I’m not expecting…

I never think of my table compositions as just something a bit pretty, and to be honest I quite like adding a potentially ‘ugly’ element; maybe it’s because I like a bit of a challenge as well as some instinctive yin and yang…‘Consciously Creative’ – A New Online Creative Course

I’ve been asked a lot over the last few years about my working practice, my influences and inspirations, my techniques and tips, and I’ve been able to share lots of them during my one day workshops and one to one coaching, but I’ve felt for a while now that although these workshops are a lot of fun, I can only scratch the surface of how to work creatively. So, I’ve spent some time recently putting together a 6 week online creative course which will lead you to discover more about looking, seeing, colour, texture, atmosphere and all your senses as well as equipping you with a feeling of your own personal, ongoing creative journey…one which isn’t just about social media, but one which is about creating more of a daily practice and encouraging you to feel the importance of experimenting and process rather than focusing on clickable content.

I’ve been a self employed creative artist for over 20 years…many of those years really didn’t feel very fruitful at all, but all of those years, in some shape or form, have directly influenced what appears on my table, in my photographs, my paintings, my products and the way I live…it’s an ongoing process, like life I suppose, and I really want to be able to help people start that practice of creative ‘doing’ .

It will be a very personal course where I’ll demonstrate and chat Live on our private Instagram account for an hour each week as well as answer questions, set and assess homework, create weekly inspirational Pinterest boards, have a group Facebook page ( although you’ll be able to post and comment on our Instagram account too ) and also remain flexible and open to inspirations which may crop up during the 6 weeks. Because I want it to be as personal as possible, the course numbers will be limited and the 6 weeks will cost £300 per student and will run from 11th September – 16th October 2017. ( If you feel you would prefer a one to one version of the course I’m also happy to discuss that option via email ).

I’m planning to have the course ready to launch in the next couple of weeks so if you already know you’d like to be included on the course or want to be notified just prior to the launch date please send me an e-mail via the form below.

It’s a new project for me and I feel genuinely excited about sharing my work and exploring areas I love with other interested and inquisitive minds.You don’t have to have to be an artist or even someone who’s always been naturally creative to do this course…it’s a course to help anyone, artistic or not, to reconnect to the excitement of creativity, look at things with new eyes, see new colours, and inspire confidence and clarity to your own personal projects.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions..and look forward to meeting you!

Wednesday…with a Weekend Workshop

March 22, 2017

Filed Under : Arrangements - colour - Cornwall - Spring - texture - trips - workshops

This weekend I hosted a bespoke workshop in Cornwall and made sure I packed in as much creative inspiration into 2 days as I could.

I wanted to highlight how lots of different elements influence my table compositions; texture, colour, atmosphere and weather, as well as sharing some of my favourite places in the South of Cornwall.

We took in texture in Newlyn,  Mousehole and Tremenheere, colours in Penzance and nearby daffodil fields, and atmosphere in a local pub and The Leach Pottery and also managed to find time to create some compositions.

Below is a visual journey of our weekend…
Please e-mail me at 5ftinf@gmail.com if you are interested in a bespoke, private workshop.

You can see the Steller Stories album of this post here

Wednesday…Weekly Snaps

October 19, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Autumn - Brighton - colour - cycling - My Garden - My Home - Shop Discounts - synaesthesia - texture - Weekly Snaps - workshops

photo-04-10-2016-12-06-17I’ve been completely distracted by getting my new 2017 Calendars and jigsaws in and forgot to post my Weekly Snaps…which are a 2 week batch anyway! ( You can read the post about them here )

Ever since I was little, I’ve always found Autumn really busy, beautiful and exciting; it’s almost like there’s too much to fit in!

…Anyway here’s the catch up!
photo-03-10-2016-12-42-10 photo-04-10-2016-09-44-40 photo-03-10-2016-15-50-26 photo-03-10-2016-15-49-13 photo-03-10-2016-16-06-07 photo-04-10-2016-11-21-14 photo-04-10-2016-10-33-43 photo-06-10-2016-09-29-11 photo-06-10-2016-11-59-04 photo-07-10-2016-12-53-52 photo-08-10-2016-09-00-21 photo-08-10-2016-11-08-19 photo-08-10-2016-13-28-17 photo-08-10-2016-14-15-55 photo-08-10-2016-17-18-52 photo-08-10-2016-14-18-28 photo-08-10-2016-14-20-08 photo-08-10-2016-14-20-53 photo-10-10-2016-12-43-37 photo-10-10-2016-12-40-29 photo-10-10-2016-16-55-05 photo-11-10-2016-08-48-26 photo-11-10-2016-08-55-12 photo-11-10-2016-11-26-17 photo-12-10-2016-16-28-52 photo-11-10-2016-08-59-21 photo-15-10-2016-17-28-53photo-11-10-2016-12-45-46 photo-12-10-2016-15-46-19 photo-14-10-2016-15-25-05 photo-15-10-2016-08-22-30My new calendars are in my shop here, and if you use the checkout code: 5FTINFAUTUMNALORDER you’ll receive a 10% discount.photo-14-10-2016-17-12-40

You can see the Steller Story of this post here

Sunday…with Weekly Snaps

September 25, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Autumn - Brighton - colour - cycling - exhibitions - London - My Home - short poem films - texture - The Shed - Weekly Snaps - workshops

photo-19-09-2016-13-34-27-1

I’ve not been quite on the button with my Weekly Snaps since the Summer for some reason..I’ve been having to play catch up on a few weeks, this being another…anyway, here’s 2 weeks worth of them!

photo-12-09-2016-09-54-33 photo-12-09-2016-10-00-18 photo-12-09-2016-11-35-18 photo-12-09-2016-11-58-32 photo-13-09-2016-15-28-35 photo-16-09-2016-17-27-21 photo-16-09-2016-17-29-36photo-12-09-2016-11-51-18 photo-20-09-2016-09-57-56 photo-20-09-2016-10-00-11 photo-22-09-2016-08-36-14 photo-22-09-2016-08-35-15photo-15-09-2016-07-48-17photo-17-09-2014-07-46-04photo-17-09-2016-17-33-48 photo-22-09-2016-10-49-29 photo-22-09-2016-10-22-04 photo-22-09-2016-10-35-44 photo-22-09-2016-11-08-40 photo-22-09-2016-11-13-01 photo-22-09-2016-11-13-22 photo-22-09-2016-11-39-52 photo-22-09-2016-11-43-19 photo-22-09-2016-11-46-52 photo-22-09-2016-11-47-11 photo-22-09-2016-11-55-03 photo-23-09-2016-13-28-22 photo-23-09-2016-19-27-07 photo-23-09-2016-19-31-29 photo-23-09-2016-21-23-48 photo-24-09-2016-16-35-14 photo-03-03-2015-18-41-32photo-20-09-2016-14-16-50photo-25-09-2016-15-25-37photo-25-09-2016-15-30-14-1photo-25-09-2016-16-21-54 photo-25-09-2016-16-26-17

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You can see the Steller Story version here and book a December workshop here

 

Friday…with Winter Workshop Dates

September 16, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - Autumn - Brighton - colour - My Home - Winter - workshops

photo-16-09-2016-17-39-53I am always, always surprised at how long it takes me to organise what seems like something very simple, and then always even more amazed when I think I’ve actually achieved it…but at least now there are tickets available for my Christmas Workshops in Brighton, even though at the moment it seems miles away!

If you’d like to come you can book a place here, and also have a look at my Workshop page here, and also do feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions at 5ftinf@gmail.com

I only have a small place here, therefore tickets are very limited, so if you miss out and would like me to run either a one to one or a small private workshop, please just ask and I can always try and sort something out.

This year’s Christmas workshops will be a little different from last year’s but you can have a look at this post from last December to get a feel for things…
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Saturday…with Moving Stillness

August 13, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - moving stills - short poem films - Summer - workshops

Photo 13-08-2016, 11 46 16For a while now I’ve been playing around with movement within a still image…I had been inspired by an absolutely incredible Instagram account @ncour where he combines collage and extraordinary movement.

I’ve always been a massive collage fan and whenever I have a bit of a creative block, collage always helps as the images always dictate the composition, rather than relying on an initial idea from me…and they are invariably funny and slightly suggestive so I usually end up being really silly with them which helps…as you can see below! 

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I also saw this post here on the @lockhatters Instagram account, which I completely fell in love with.

So…I endeavoured to find a way of working to create moving stills…

I spent days and hours googling and testing and trying to find ways of making it work which was really hardcore computer slog. I was surprised that there didn’t actually seem to be an app out there which was exactly what I wanted…it seemed like complicated photoshop methods on YouTube were the only way I was going to achieve what was in my head, and I’m not that skilled in photoshop and don’t have the time to spend going on a course, ( although it is tempting when you have visual ambitions! ).

Then when I fiddled around with a very simple app I found, I felt like I had found some sort of magic; like a ceramicist who’d suddenly developed a unique glaze…hence my ‘magic circle’ type silence on the situation!

But I’ve been asked such a lot now about how I create them, that it sort of feels churlish not to share some of what I’ve found, and with the rise of ‘Stories’ on Instagram, I’m enjoying the shake up it’s rattled inside me, and has reminded me that Instagram has always been my virtual art class where I started, early on, with some really wonderful and inspiring visual voices; to name just a few  @famapa, @kbasta @sandrajuto @elf_girl @passeggiatayu @msuze @pardalote and @piccolotakesall…these were my class mates in the early days. @kbasta for example was one of the original single tree photographers on IG and always seems to combine a Mark Rothko-esque composition within beautiful natural contexts from Chicago, @passeggiatayu was one of the people who opened the door to Japanese photographic aesthetics, @famapa just has the best and unobtrusive contemporary eye on everyday life and @sandrajuto has always seemed to me to quite simply be the template for every creative lifestyle account I see.

What I would say is that being inspired is always a double edged sword…it invites a degree of plagiarism which is often quite frustrating and difficult to handle, but which, in this digital and always ‘positive’ virtual world, we must process silently…the world of image and idea sharing opens you up to all this and when those big brands do it to small designers it always makes me feel sick…and I think the only way to combat it in a creative way is to keep moving creatively, keep looking and discovering and as soon as you feel like you’ve ‘got it’, move on, even in tiny steps ( this is advice to myself as well by the way! ), so what I would say, is take some of my still movement tips here but play around loads with it; make it your own…make it unique!

I’ve never been very good with hashtags but I thought maybe I could for this so we can all share the ‘art class’ and feel like we’re all connected…so I thought perhaps #gentlemoving_stillness could work, so please do use it if you decide to create one of these #moving_stills ( there’s another hashtag! )

 

So, finally… the apps I use are: GifX, Flixel and more recently Lumyer. I won’t give a tutorial because I think playing around with an app in your own way is the best way to discover your own style…

GifX: this is a really simple app but you have to be prepared to be creative with both the gifs and the masks they provide you with and I would also recommend getting the in-app purchases. Don’t just look at the gifs on face value; manipulate them to within an inch of their giffness! The steam in the moving still below for example was made from a circle of moving feet!

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  2. Flixel: This is a very sophisticated app which I haven’t explored enough yet. To get the most benefit from it you have to use a tripod and get the Pro version, but I sort of think it’s an investment into the future of my moving stills.
  3. Lumyer: I’ve only recently started using this app, but it’s brilliant, so I would suggest if you wanted to start playing with moving still, this is the app for you!

And that’s it really, although I also like to use sound as well, so you can add that after you’ve created your moving still.

Here are a few more of mine so you can look at how I’ve played around:

 

So the order of the day is be creative, mix it up, app-mash it up and find your own way!

Also a couple of other accounts to look at who use this sort of thing are as I mentioned before @n_cour, and also @this_is_the_house and @me_and_orla and @finelittleday You can follow @flixelphotos on Instagram too, for  lots of inspiration, and if you want to work more with making films generally, the Instagram queen of time capsules and boomerangs is @Xantheb who runs great online courses.

Happy stillness folks! 

( if you think a workshop on all this would be useful, just drop me an email at 5ftinf@gmail.com )