art, creative, Editorial, gallery, Inspiration, Local, Supporting Locals

Daring to enter Galleries

When you think of an Art Gallery, what images are conjured in your mind? A white washed, spacious room filled with hushed tones and knowing whispers? Perhaps a little classical music emanating from the background, huddles of smartly dressed folk discussing the composition and hidden meaning behind each piece?
Whatever the vision, its true to say that the humble art gallery – a building dedicated to embracing art and showcasing artists – has become something of a foreign world to the general public. When asked how many galleries or exhibitions friends of mine visit, the number (much to my dismay) is startlingly few. The consensus seems to be that galleries are becoming unfriendly, unfamiliar and unwelcoming to the passer by.. rather pitching themselves to a lofty few who, champagne in hand, speak of the avant garde nature of the pieces, of linear or neo expressionism and the emergence of the artist as one of the great idiosyncratic talents of contemporary art which, (oh to our delight!) sits starkly juxtaposed with the nearby turn of the century works.  *Sigh* My heart sinks when I think that galleries (thought I must stress not all galleries) have lost the interest and love of a large portion of the public. That said, there has recently been a movement in my home city of Swansea to promote art by means of edgy, towering banners strewn across buildings. Snappy slogans pushing its importance and advertising the latest exhibitions in and around the city centre. But is it working? Are the slogans enough to get the numbers through the doors? Enough to inspire anyone to buy originals or prints of the art they love?

Art is so important that everyone should feel motivated to visit their local gallery. I’m fortunate enough to know some fabulous galleries across South Wales and to have exhibited in many of them. Relaxed and bright environments that welcome the nervous window shopper with open and unpretentious arms.  Just like a museum, the work is there to behold, to inspire us and to maybe, just maybe, make us love it enough to buy it.. but this is by no means a pressure set upon anyone who steps foot inside. We may not all be able to afford the sometimes hefty price tags but that shouldn’t stop us from wandering around it’s walls, marvelling at the talent. What’s more, galleries should be a place that you feel you’d like to take your children to. Don’t get me wrong, like anywhere else children need to be well behaved so as to not damage any of the work, but they also need to experience art firsthand. Don’t attempt to baffle them or each other with complex theories or in depth descriptions of the artists thought process.. start simply by deciding whether or not you like a piece. Remember, it’s just as fine to dislike something as it is to love a painting. Then decide why it is you love or hate it. How does it make you feel? What do you think off the colours? What does it remind you of? You could even discuss what you think the artists were trying to say by painting the pieces, but please, PLEASE don’t get caught up in the la dee dah business of trying to sound like a professional art critic. Often the pleasure of standing in front of art is lost by too much fuss and contemplation. Keep it simple and remember that for most artists, all we want you to do is look, love and maybe be inspired to own a piece yourself.

Now get yourself to your local gallery, walk in boldly and be part of the varied and fabulously inspiring movement of art that this country is home to. Good luck! x

 

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Adventure, art, beach, Coast, creative, Dream, Editorial, Eye Candy!, Gower, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, Local Magazine, magazine, photograph, Supporting Locals, Wales

Creative Gower – Why Buy Art?

It’s a situation we all find ourselves in. There’s a birthday, anniversary or celebration looming. We’ve busy lives, have totally forgotten about it and now, it’s upon us! We indulge in a spot of hasty internet shopping or pop out and grab the closest affordable thing to us… But are we happy with it? Well, not really.
It happens time and time again where convenience shopping for presents is, well, just simply more convenient! We would all rather the simplicity that supermarket shopping brings us and yes, on the odd occasion that includes me too. Now it’s not something I’m particularly proud of especially when you consider that I spend my days trying to promote the benefits of shopping with local artists and craftsmen. So what if shopping was different? What if when we looked at the calendar and noticed it was dads birthday, that we went online and found a local artisan to do all the hard work? Why should we bother, especially when so many major companies offer speedy next day delivery and a wide range of products? Well,  other than doing your bit in this harsh economy to support and protect the local ‘creatives’ around you, you’re getting a unique and beautifully crafted piece that’s tailor made to your needs. Something bespoke. You’re telling your friends and family that you’ve really thought about the gift you bought them; an original work that was created by hand with care, consideration and oodles of talent.. Not a mass produced item that they may already have.

“When buying from an artist, you’re buying more than just an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation. You’re buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You aren’t just buying a ‘thing’ – you’re buying a piece of heart, a piece of soul and a moment of someone’s life. Most importantly, you’re buying the artist more time to do something they’re passionate about.” ~ Rebekah Joy Platt

Lets take out the feel-good-do-good part of this equation and just look at how it benefits you. When you contact an artist or crafter you have a choice. You can buy an item that they’ve already created (great for a bit of last minute shopping and you’re still getting something that’s one of a kind) or you can commission them to produce a totally unique piece and usually, you can dictate the budget you’re working with. That’s it. You pick up the phone, have a chat about the product you’re hoping to achieve and voilà, they do all the hard work for you!
‘So let me get this straight’ you say… ‘I ring the artisan, tell them what I want and how much I can afford and they create, wrap and post it to me or the lucky person receiving it?!’ Well, yes! It’s as easy as that. No fuss, no hassle, no rush hour traffic to contend with. Simple.
Yet, for some reason, artists and craftsmen are constantly having to persuade people of their worth and convince them that the ‘art’ they produce (in all its forms) is a worthwhile purchase.

Here in the Gower and Swansea we have a remarkable variety of talent. Whether it’s fine art or illustration, sculpture, glass works, jewellery, textiles, pottery or photography (to name but a few), we have it in abundance. I simply cannot stress enough how rich the community of local ‘creatives’ is, and it’s right on our doorstep at our disposal.
Speaking as an artist, I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to own an original piece of art. Something that inspires emotion, sparks memories or ideas and becomes a central point for positivity, pride and conversation. Paintings we see that we can’t forget. Paintings that draw us in and won’t let go. Whatever the reason behind it, we know we don’t buy art because of its practicality, we buy it because it speaks to the soul.

In an age of fleeting digital photographs, television advertisements and rolling billboards, there’s little visual stimulation quite like the permanence of painted art. An object that lingers and waits until you’ve finished looking – not something that flicks on, off or over before you’ve had a chance to compute. This is why we buy it.
Art for some is nothing more than a display of wealth or the process of adding a splash of well coordinated colour to a room. To others it’s a dream. It’s a framed conversation starter, an escape from reality and a chance to get lost. We all wish we owned an original piece of art, but few of us ever get the opportunity. In fact, few of us realise we can all own art, it just depends on how far we’re willing to venture into it. “Art is expensive” (I’ve heard this a thousand times) but it’s really the thought of art that is expensive – in reality, it doesn’t have to be. Though many people buy works with thousands on the price tag, most art is and will always be, affordable. Ok, ok, you may not be able to get yourself an original Botticelli (or I’d have a dozen all over the house) and its true that some art really does have a hefty value, but there are a million pieces out there by artists, crafters and designers that create because they can’t imagine doing anything else. Look for these people. Look for those who love what they do and know why they do it. It’s not for the money – that’s the ‘result’ – but for the simple reason that they need you to see, feel and be a part of their work just as much as they are. These people want you to be part of their journey and don’t ask you to re-mortgage your home to achieve it.
As an artist I strive to give people the chance to be part of this exact journey; to immerse themselves in the all encompassing creative process. I work and produce art that’s affordable, because it’s more important for me that everyone has the chance to buy, own and pass down a piece of art. Its an investment for the soul. I consider my works to be vibrant, bold, expressive and free, but like the multitude of arts and crafts that are produced on the Gower, what they inspire, is entirely up to you..

Rhiannon x

'Harbour Dreams'
‘Harbour Dreams’
art, creative, Editorial, Gower, Inspiration, Local, Local Magazine, magazine, photograph, Supporting Locals, Wales

Catch up with ‘Creative Gower’

As many of you who follow me on Facebook know, I’ve recently started writing for a magazine based in the Gower / Swansea. I write the new arts and crafts section and for those of you not local enough to get a copy of my articles, they’re all here for you to read. Just in case you’re interested :)

April / May issue:

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Creative Gower

With its staggering coastline, rolling farmlands, dramatic sunsets and wonderful variety of wildlife, the Gower has captured the minds of artists and creative folk throughout the ages. Designated as the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s little wonder that this pretty peninsula has been the inspiration for some of our literary greats and remains adored by walkers, surfers and sun seekers to this day.

But it’s not just the aesthetic side of the Gower that has captured the imagination. With dozens of ancient monuments ranging from burial chambers to hill forts and castles, the Gower’s heritage spans over tens of thousands of years. You need only a picnic, a map and a sense of adventure to enjoy the 70 sq miles of breathtaking scenery, history and wildlife that this place provides.

I have always wanted to live in the Gower. From an artists perspective it’s an inexhaustible source of inspiration and the perfect base for a family obsessed with the coast! Whatever the season, the Gower has always presented me with new colours, textures and natural forms of art which I use in my everyday work. A year ago, I finally made the move and now live a stones throw from the beaches I used to spend all my spare time on. Whether I’m walking the dog or setting up camp with my easel and coffee next to the shoreline, there’s always something to sketch, paint or photograph, so I’m never without a pencil and pad of paper.

For me, its the white washed cottages dotted throughout the landscape with the smell of wood fires on the air and the endless stone walled lanes that weave through quiet villages. Its the colourful fishing boats that bob quietly off shore and the sound of seagulls overhead. There’s aspects of the Gower in every piece of my work, whatever the commission. Since most of my paintings are based around the coast, the Gower Peninsula was the perfect place to settle.

Working from my home studio, I get to enjoy this fabulous place on a daily basis. But it’s not just the scenery that gets the creative juices flowing. The people of the Gower are as diverse as their surroundings. For such a small area, this little peninsula contains hundreds of talented artisans from painters to photographers, potters, jewellers, sculptors and designers – the Gower really has them all! What’s more, with such a friendly and connected community, the range of local organised markets, fayres and craft stalls available throughout the year ensure that you’re never short of advice or inspiration to get you started.

So do you need to have a natural flair for art to enjoy arts or crafts? The simple answer is no. Time and time again I hear the same thing ‘I wish I was artistic, but I’m rubbish at art’. Perhaps you’ve used the line yourself? But, you couldn’t be more wrong. We all have an area of art that we’re good at. It’s not always the ability to paint photo-realistic pieces or carve a magnificent sculpture to rival Michaelangelo’s Pieta, but there are so many other areas of crafting that you could successfully indulge in.

Which craft is which?

If you’re having trouble finding the right creative craft for you, here’s a list of some of the things you can do or try for free over the spring and summer months,

Photography ~ You don’t have to spend a fortune on an expensive SLR camera these days, since most modern phones are equipped with a camera that’ll tackle the job. You don’t have to be a professional either as when you consider the beauty of the Gower, you certainly wont run out of breathtaking subjects to practice photographing. Use the weather for added drama or attempt a wildlife shot. You’ll be surprised with the results!

Print making ~ Though there are a number of products available on the market that would allow you to start printing on a budget, there’s also a number of great ways to start yourself off without spending a penny on cutting tools or lino blocks. You may think that potato printing is reserved for the kids but you couldn’t be more wrong! Cutting out a set of simple shapes into an old potato will give you a great base to start making your own wrapping paper, wall decorations or layered, colourful works of art! You don’t have to be a creative genius, just pop it in a frame and watch it brighten up your kitchen! If you’re all out of Welsh spuds, why not enjoy a walk on the beach or in the countryside and collect shells, flowers and leaves to paint and press onto paper for a more detailed effect.

Creative Window Hangings ~ Known for its white sandy beaches, the Gower is the perfect place to spend a few hours collecting sea glass. Tumbled and in a variety of beautiful colours these little ocean worn gems look fantastic strung up in the window or add a touch of beach chic to the room when collected in glass vases.

Rubbing’s – Armed with a pad of paper and a pack of coloured pencils, you can spend a Saturday wandering this perfect peninsula taking rubbing’s of tree bark, plaques, fences, shells or even headstones to produce a fabulous mix of designs. You could simply collect them or even use them as the basis for future print ideas.

Clay impressions ~ Clay impressions are a great way to start your journey into Home-made gifts! All you’ll need is some air dry clay (Which is relatively cheap and can be bought from most craft shops), some paint, some ribbon and a want for the great outdoors! Collect items such as cockle or periwinkle shells and press them into a rolled out sheet of clay (about a cm thick). You can then use a cookie cutter to cut the design out, leave to dry, paint and thread. These are super little personalised gifts that look great when hung up and can be as simple or complicated as you like. Just don’t forget to let the clay dry completely before painting and pop a little hole in it when wet to feed the ribbon through!

If all of these sound great, but a class is more to your liking (and a great opportunity to meet new people whilst learning new skills) why not try your hand at one of the following;

Glass working ~ A chance to embrace the inner magpie and indulge in all things shiny! Workshops are available at the Gower Heritage Centre.

Life Drawing or Creative Painting~ Study and draw the human form or learn to express yourself through the medium of paint. These classes are available at GOWER GROUP in Penclawdd.

The Gower’s creative community really is second to none, so whether you’re looking for home made gift ideas or a new hobby, you’ll find it here. Over the following months, you can hope to see interviews with Gower artisans, tutorials and news of up and coming craft events in your area. I’d also love to see your own creations so feel free to send me a photograph of your work via email and maybe I’ll get to include it in the next issues.

Rhiannon x

hello@moogledoo.com
http://www.moogledoo,com

art, beach, Coast, creative, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Inspiration, Local, Nature, Penarth, Penarth Pier, photograph, Pier, Seaside, Wales

‘Snowy Pier’

My latest piece – ‘Snowy Pier’ was inspired by the fabulously and recently renovated Penarth Pier. The brand new silvery roof and domed arches remind me of those crisp and cool winter nights, while the snow capped spires take me back to times walking along the promenade with the stars glittering overhead and the black waves lapping against the harbour wall. In stark contrast to its cold metallic feel are the colourful fairy lights that dance along the pier, adding a delicate pop of warmth to the often dramatic ocean backdrop.
The length and winding walk to the Pier’s end are all aspects that I loved recreating and exaggerating! For me, there’s nothing better than painting a snow capped coastal scene against a rich blue winter sky! There’s so much to capture with a subject like Penarth Pier and it’s little wonder it remains so popular with tourists and locals alike. Having lived there for 7 years, I never tired of watching the seasons reflect on the pier and this winter will be no different. I may have moved away, but I’ll be quick stepping it back along those salty, sea-worn boards armed with woolly hat, scarf and camera before too much longer!

I guiltily admit too, (especially in October) that I do love the festive feel that this piece has!

This particular original painting is 20 x 29cm or 33 x 43cm framed and is available as an introductory offer for only £100! It won’t be available at this price for long though, soon it’ll return to it’s on-line price of £185 so if you’re interested, do get in touch asap by email; hello@moogledoo.com

Rhiannon x

'Snowy Pier'
‘Snowy Pier’
art, Cardiff, Cardiff Bay, Coast, Commission, creative, Harbour, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, Nature, Penarth, photograph

From Cardiff to Penarth & back again!

Its a lovely thing to be able to produce a painting for a customer. It’s a fabulous thing to have that painting given to their loved ones as a surprise present.

The following work which is known as ‘Jess’s piece’ (since it was a private commission by a lovely lady called Jess – original right?!) was an anniversary present to her fiancé. She came to me with a list of places in and around Cardiff Bay that she felt meant a lot to her and her partner. The list was as long as my arm but beautifully thought through and proved to be a real pleasure to construct. Take a look at the list;

To Include:

~ Jess and her finance Ella
~ Their dog Cooper
~ Their beloved cars and vans
~The Welsh, Danish and Irish Flags
~The time and date of the proposal
~Their fab fold away bicycles
~Cardiff Bay and it’s main attractions (The Corn Exchange)
~The Norwegian Church
~Penarth Pier
~The Millennium Stadium

The list was hefty but gave me so much to work with. The end result proved to be a vibrant and bold rendition of Cardiff and Penarth’s finest buildings with a chance to add in some of my own ‘best loved’ details about the spots – the twisting Taff river, the fairy lights of the bay and Penarth’s winding pier walk. It really does go to show that you can get anything you want from a commission as long as the artist has an open mind and a willingness to see the importance of your requirements.

Thankfully, Ella was over the moon with the end result which (once framed) has taken pride of place in their living room. Super pleased!

So here you have it, the finished article, something I really am happy with!

*Don’t forget, if you have a commission in mind, just get in touch. Almost every budget is achievable – you simply have to ask! Why not get hold of me now at hello@moogledoo.com*

Rhiannon x

Jess's Piece
Jess’s Piece
Adventure, art, beach, Coast, Commission, creative, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Inspiration, Local, Nature, photograph, Seaside, Tenby

Building Tenby South Beach

There are lots of stages that go into creating a finished piece and sometimes it’s great to see how things came to be. Though I do always try to photograph every motion of a painting, sometimes (okay okay, most of the time) I forget about the initial sketches and only remember half way through applying the paint! Nevertheless, here’s one of my latest commissions of Tenby South Beach; a beautiful stretch of coastline set in the heart of one of Britain’s most beautiful and iconic seaside harbour towns. Tenby – or ‘Dinbych Y Pysgod’ in Welsh (meaning Little fort of the fish) is a fabulous mix of architecture dowsed in the most wonderfully vibrant colours.  From its pink, blue and yellow sea front houses to its bobbing fishing boats, 13th century walls and romantic cobbled streets, Tenby is steeped in history, folk lore and mystery! A magical place to immerse yourself in and somewhere that’s inspired artists for generations!

Here’s a few images of how my own Tenby South Beach commission came to life (minus the original sketches – oops!).

Rhiannon x

Blocking in the colour (Copyright Rhiannon Thomas)
Blocking in the colour (Copyright Rhiannon Thomas)

 

Adding in the detail (Copyright Rhiannon Thomas)
Adding in the detail (Copyright Rhiannon Thomas)
The finished article! (Copyright Rhiannon Thomas)
The finished article! (Copyright Rhiannon Thomas)
Adventure, art, beach, Coast, creative, Harbour, Inspiration, Local, Nature, photograph

Pretty Porthgain

After a recent and fabulous 4 day break to the beautifully sunny Pembrokeshire, I was inspired to recreate one of the most prominent sites of the trip. Nestled along the Pembrokeshire coast between St Davids and Goodwick is the fabulous little village of Porthgain. The small, once commercial harbour exported slate from nearby quarries – an industrial heritage not easily forgotten with the presence of the now ruined lime kilns, crog lofts and pilot house. Yet for all of its historical significance, Porthgain is so much more than echoes of its past; with its breathtaking coastal walks and wealth of wildlife, this pretty little harbour is a welcomed sight for anyone wishing to escape from the chaos of daily life. I was only there for a few minutes – a quick drive in to get some photographs – but then, I’ve spent more time than I care to remember exploring the fishing villages of Pembrokeshire and Porthgain is an old friend of mine. While I pulled up in the usual spot to dash out of the car and take a quick snap of the sea, something caught my eye. It was nothing particularly unusual, but a single, colourfully painted fishing boat tilted on the sand. It looked almost lonely, as if it were sitting patiently waiting for the tide to return. The sun was glorious and the sea was a beautiful  powder blue. Against the harsh browns and the greens the little white house and blue boat looked so inviting. I just had to take a photo.

When I returned home, I set about painting it – though not in its sunshine glory but rather as I had imagined the little boat in my mind. Sitting or sleeping peacefully under a large crescent moon, waiting patiently for the morning.

Pieces painted like this are always the most fun. There’s something very natural and unique about the end result and it’s something that I absolutely love.

Rhiannon x

Porthgain Harbour, Pembrokeshire
Porthgain Harbour, Pembrokeshire
'Porthgain Night' ~ 17x21" Framed. Available to buy. £265
‘Porthgain Night’ ~ 17×21″ Framed. Available to buy.
£265
Adventure, art, Coast, Commission, creative, Dylan Thomas, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Inspiration, Local, magazine, photograph

Canvas, Paints & Midwives!

So here’s the thing, the last 4 months have been – well, a bit chaotic to say the least. In May, I found out that myself and my lovely other half were going to have a baby in January! Yup, that’s right, our own little artist! *Yey!* Since that day, the rest of the past 4 months seem to have disappeared into a colourful blur of hospital visits, scans, midwives, extreme exhaustion (a bit of sick) aaaand of course, canvas, paint and contracts. It’s been a super exciting time filled with apprehension and happiness, panic and an overwhelming realisation that I might have to grow up a bit now (just a bit mind).. So basically, I’m hoping that this is enough of an excuse for you to forgive the quite distinct lack of blogging.
Nevertheless, now is the time to get back on the blogon (Blog-wagon) and update you on all things creative..

There’s been lots of work on and a super exhibition opening night that I attended not so very long ago – which I thoroughly enjoyed! The exhibition has a range of my most recent pieces in it and will continue to show in the Victoria Fearn Gallery (Rhiwbina) until the 30th August. But wait, there’s more… As part of the advertising for this lovely gallery, the owner has put a quarter page piece in the super Welsh Coastal Life Magazine – and guess who’s work they used! (Ok so it’s mine!) Since it’s the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas (Swansea’s own superstar poet), they’ve opted to use my version of ‘Llareggub’ as the header. It’s so good to see my work in there again! I can’t wait to get myself a copy next month!

'Llareggub' in the Auguest edition of Welsh Coastal Life Magazine (2014)
‘Llareggub’ in the August edition of Welsh Coastal Life Magazine (2014)

With this going on quietly in the background I’ve concentrated on the commissions at hand, thoroughly enjoying the diversity they bring and loving seeing peoples reactions once they’re framed and delivered!

In fact, I have a few photo’s, but I’ll pop those up tomorrow for you to see – save making this post a giant essay.

So things continue to go well. There’s been quieter spots (all of which make me panic. naturally) but somehow it all seems to pull itself together in the end. There’s loads of new work on the website too, so if you get chance (go on, do it now while you’re online) have a look at the fine art section!

http://www.moogledoo.com

Big thumbs up to everyone who does, thank you! Let me know what you think :)

Rhiannon

Adventure, art, Coast, Commission, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, photograph

Why Bother? Why Buy Art?

Its a situation we all find ourselves in. There’s a birthday, anniversary or celebration of sorts. We’ve got busy lives and we’ve totally forgotten about it all and now, its upon us! Argh! So we ‘nip’ out and grab the closest affordable thing to us… But are we happy with it? *sigh* ..no

What if it wasn’t that way? What if, when we looked at the calendar and noticed it was dads birthday soon we went online and got a local artist to do all the hard work? Why bother? Well,  other than doing your bit in this harsh economy to support and protect the local creatives around you, you’re getting a unique and beautifully crafted piece that’s tailored perfectly to your needs.  You’re telling your father, mother, brother, friend, husband, wife etc that you really thought about this gift and that you wanted to buy something for them that no one else in the world has. An original work created by hand with care, consideration and talent.

Now take out the feel-good-do-good part of this equation and lets look simply at how it benefits you. When customers contact me about work, they have a choice. They can either purchase an original that has already been created – for the asking price – or they can commission me to create something unique for them – at ANY price. Strange as this seems, its true. I work on an affordable art basis and am constantly pushing for art that doesn’t break the bank. If its £30 or £3,000 you have, I’ll work towards most budgets. I’m not saying you’ll get a meter long framed fine art piece for £50 but you’ll certainly get a canvas original! You’ll also get free delivery!

‘So let me get this straight’ you say… ‘I get hold of you, tell you what I want (ideally) and how much I can afford and you create it, wrap it and post it to me OR to the lucky person receiving the gift…?!’
Yup! It’s as easy as that.

Surely we would all love to give gifts like this all of the time? Yet, for some reason, artists are constantly having to persuade people of their worth and convince them that ‘art’ is a worthwhile cause. Art is an investment but you don’t have to re-mortgage your home to get hold of it.

So with this in mind, why would you go through the stress of having to drive into the city and find a gift that a million others have, only to be unsure of its suitability and irritated that you’ve spent more than intended.. Doesn’t make sense does it?

If you’re interested in getting something unique and affordable (of course! you tell me how much you want to pay) then why wouldn’t you get in touch?

Take the stress out of the gift and visit http://www.moogledoo.com or have a quick mooch round my facebook page for more ideas http://on.fb.me/1lPxQo3 – I’m super friendly don’t worry! So you can approach me about ANY sort of project! :)

Here’s a look at a few things you can have ranging from £50 – £500+

Tenby - 10x10" box canvas. £50
Tenby – 10×10″ box canvas. £50
Cobbled Rows - 10x10" box canvas £45
Cobbled Rows – 10×10″ box canvas £45
Bolthole - £235 (framed)
Bolthole – £235 (framed)
'Treledydd Fawr' Framed £295
‘Treledydd Fawr’ Framed £295
'Dinbych Y Pysgod' 30x20" - Framed £545
‘Dinbych Y Pysgod’ 30×20″ – Framed £545
Llareggub 20x30" Framed £545
Llareggub 20×30″ Framed £545

 

Adventure, art, beach, Coast, Commission, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Illustration, Inspiration, Local, Nature

Find it, Grab it, Feel it!

We all need to have some form of inspiration in our lives. For me it HAS to be a daily occurrence – not just for my work, but for my general well-being. Like so many other creative’s I thrive off emotion and that ‘good feeling’ you get at the height of an inspirational bout. A sunny day, a familiar smell, a new commission, a dog walk, good breakfast or even a good storm can cause the soul to swell with excitement and ideas.. But what happens if its raining, the bills are in, you’re full of cold and you’ve run out of coffee?!

For me, the bills don’t stop flooding in just because I’m unwell, feeling a bit pants or stressing about work. Far from it in fact. So how (when there seems to be no happy spark available) do you create that spontaneous inspirational moment that’s sure to drive us on?  I know, I know, you can’t ‘create’ spontaneity – but you can generate that vibrant ‘on top of the world’ feeling if you think carefully about what it is that makes your tick. It’s important to realise that although we all have ‘those days’ where we just can’t be bothered to do anything, we should never accept defeat or chalk it up as lost.

Inspiration is a fundamental part of my life. I need to know how to get it, so it can work its magic on me and help me to achieve efficiency in my day and quality in my art. There’s no room for giving up. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.

It’s different with everybody, but perhaps my ‘triggers’ might help you work out how to recognise your own. Here’s a list of some of the things that I do to push that inspiration out when it seems adamant to remain firmly hidden.

First things first – know you’re loves. They’re all sensory so pick them apart and try to achieve them individually.

Sight: For me it’s bright colours and calming blues, the sea and little British harbours.
– So get out for a walk, photograph wildflowers on your journey. It doesn’t matter if you wont use the pictures again, but the act of taking a photograph makes you sit up and take notice of your surroundings in detail. It helps you focus.
– If you can’t get out and about, jump onto Pinterest – its full of beautiful images that are a feast for the eyes. Trawl through fashion, architecture, wildlife or anything that tickles your fancy. It’ll spark memories, generate ideas and get the creative juices flowing.
– Paint your nails! Sounds daft but that splash of colour always cheers me up!
– Nip out with the intention to buy yourself the brightest flowers you can find.

Smell:
– I love the smell of the coast! Seaweed, wet sand and fish and chips! Yet, though I live by the sea, I often don’t get the chance to just pack up and go out. Instead I’ll grab some fresh air by pottering in the garden, smelling the herbs or opening up the garage and getting a whiff of the wetsuits that are hanging up – they remind me of days in the surf. They might be small things, but they stimulate the senses.

Touch:
– 
This ones easy! – Bare feet. Take off your shoes and walk around the house. Walk into the garden over the patio, onto the grass and explore with your feet. Poke the soil with your toes and let the air get to them. Just the act of kicking off your shoes and peeling off your socks will give you a sense of freedom and let you relax. Perhaps you can spare 20 minutes to read a magazine or your favourite book, but do it with those toes out!

Taste:
– 
Icecream, fruit, chocolate, chips – oh dear! If its that summer/sunshine vibe you’re after, make a smoothie, a herbal tea (and drink it outside with your bare feet), treat yourself to a little bit of what you like. It’ll give you a sense of indulgence and you’ll feel better for it. I like to make a coffee and enjoy an Amaretti biscuit (or three).

Sound:
– Herring gulls! (Seagulls) – I can’t get enough of the sound. It’s like the sound of the sea, the coast and all those places I love in one shrill shriek! But if they’re not there, I jump onto youtube and look for a documentary on Harbours or the Welsh coast. Pop on your favourite music or just open the window and listen to the world going by :)

There’s a million things you can do and ways you can stimulate inspiration. It’s simply about knowing yourself. Why not try some of these ideas, or your own. What makes you tick? If you have a list, I’d love to hear it and it’ll be great to have a list of others ideas for us all to try!

barefeet
Free you feet and the rest will follow!

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Rhiannon x