Out-of-the-Box Arty Outdoor DIY

Country Bumpkins Make Good

See photo journal at the end of blog!

Well, we’re 2 months into our ‘country move’ and loving it.  We (Mike and myself) started running out of our renovation fund within about 2 weeks of our move — which was, to say the least, unsettling.

We had to come up with cost-effective solutions and fast!

In an attempt to continue with our plans on the cheap, we decided to erect (and design) our own fence and gate.  This was no small task as neither of us are exactly carpenters or builders.  However, we both have a bit of artsy fartsy in us, so….

The Natural Look

We wanted a front fence and gate that blended in with the garden.  The plan is to eventually grow something nice and smelly, like Jasmine, all over the fence.  So we just needed a structure for now.

We sourced a local genius who makes 2m long fences out of branches and that looked really stunning, so we ordered enough lengths for the job (it worked out to roughly $20 per fence and we needed 10).

So, no, we didn’t make the fencing ourselves but we did erect it.

We then sunk our own wooden poles (a job I would wish upon no-one as we had to dig half a meter holes — 10 thereof — and we hit bedrock at about 10cm!).  We then attached the fencing to the poles.

The property is on a slope — so that was also challenging.

We had to raise the fence slightly off the ground so it wouldn’t rot and I neatly packed slate stone at the bottom for it to rest on and because it looked nice! ;)

The Gigantic Task of a 4.6m Gate

We were, at this point, really happy with the fence but we needed a gate to finish off the look and to secure the yard for Purdy (our little tortoise-shell kitty).  The budget was dim and we needed ideas fast.

I ordered some wood from the local co-op and built the frame for the 2 gates (2.3m per side) and we got to work filling it in with repurposed materials.

I used some wood from my empty stretcher frames (from my paintings that were rolled and sent went sold) and some reeds that my in-laws said we could use that were just lying about their garage.  I also had some metal sheeting tucked away in my studio for a rainy day and it was storming outside!  lol…

Well, instead of me going on and on about the process…let me show you how it all took shape:

Sinking the poles

One side is up

Other side up

Pavement view

Pavement view 2

 

Fence from outsideSlateWood is ReadyGate frameMike and gateAssembling reedsPriming woodScrew it inOne side of the gateHanging the gateGateOur new gate and fenceI hope you enjoyed taking the visual journey with us! :D

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Feeling a Little Uptight Lately?

I sure have been!  That’s why I started doodling again (sounds rather dubious, doesn’t it?).

I used to draw fantasy pictures when I was younger (in my teens) to relieve anxiety or tension and it really worked.  I found myself reverting back to it again this week and it really helped me to unwind.

I know this might be a strange blog for me (or maybe not?  Can’t seem to figure out who I am anymore anyway…lol) but I thought maybe you will appreciate it.  I finished creating this ‘fairy garden’ picture (see below) last night and I wanted to get you and/or your children/spouse/best friend/neighbour/dog/cat/hamster to join in with printing it out and colouring it in!

Go on!  Let’s have some fun, for Pete’s sake (Pete could really use a bit of shits and giggles right now).

Dust Off Your Pencil Crayons, Khoki’s and Paints!

So, your homework (or colour therapy work) is to print this out and splash your unique version of hue onto it (scroll to the bottom to see some of the finished pictures I’ve received from y’all).

Then, I would love you to e-mail me the finished version (cheriedirksen@yahoo.com) and I will put them all together in a blog for the whole wide world to see (you can remain anonymous or let the globe know who the genius is behind the crayons!).

Get In-Touch With the Inner Sense (Innocence) of the Inner Child!

Is this a glorified colouring-in blog?

YES!!!  It damn well is and you’re going to have so much fun doing it :)…so without anymore procrastination, here it is (just click on the picture to take you to the bigger version and then ‘save as’ and ‘print’):

Fairy Garden by ©Cherie Roe Dirksen

Fairy Garden by ©Cherie Roe Dirksen – Have fun colouring this in!!!

Have oodles of fun (because that’s the point and don’t lose sight of it!) and I will publish the finished results in a few weeks, so do try to get me your finished piccie within the next week or two.  I am also going to colour this in, in case you were wondering — so don’t feel alone and overwhelmed! :D

Oh yes, and see if you can spot the 10 fairies, 2 bees, 2 snails and 8 ladybugs.

Isn’t it great to be a child again?

Adios!

UPDATE:  Here are some of the beautiful colour renditions I have received from you and your families!  Don’t forget to send me your finished product and I’ll post it here :)

Fairy Garden 3

Received from Anna (5 yrs) — Cape Town

Fairy Garden 1

Received from Mandolin — Durban

Fairy Garden 2

Another version received from Mandolin (Durban)

Thank you for your lovely, colourful and bright masterpieces!

Want to see more of my ‘fantasy art’?  Click on link below:

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Book Cover CARPE DIEM OR BUST

‘Dangerous Love’ — Skunk Anansie Rock Art Painting No. 5

You can recap on the whole Rock Art Series HERE — a page dedicated to the process of bringing this musical art collection to life.

Bloody Hell!

Whoa.  This painting was a difficult one to physically manifest.  Just when I thought that the Pink Floyd Rock Art painting had done my nerves in, this one came to slam dunk me in a vat of excrement!

Not only did this piece take me close onto 3 months to complete but I felt like I was resisting finishing it right up until the last moment.  In hindsight, I think I know why…

First Things First

Before I get into the personal details of my past-life drama karma (yes, you read right, this painting started ripping into my own akashic records — how riveting!), I want to go through the emotions that came up for me whilst painting this and, of course, reveal the painting itself.

*Drum Roll* — here is the painting and below you’ll find the list of emotions.

Dangerous Love - Skunk Anansie lo res

You can click on the picture above to enlarge.  Click here to buy the print.

List of Emotions:

  • Anger
  • Hurt
  • Resentment
  • Female Pain-Body
  • Discordant
  • Regret
  • Sorrow
  • Broken
  • Blood, Shit and Umska

Phew! Now you might start to get a clearer picture of why I struggled through this process.

Feeling the Music

Firstly, I have to say that I absolutely love and admire the sexy and sassy Skin (lead singer of Skunk Anansie) and the entire band — bloody (no pun intended) brilliant music!

I’m going to scatter a few YouTube videos in this blog.  So — if you aren’t familiar with this Brit band — you can get with the programme.

Skin has an awesome voice and an enormous stage presence.  I was lucky enough to see them when they were in Cape Town — well over a decade ago now.

However, this Rock Art Series is diving deeper than audio enjoyment, humming a happy tune or head-banging.  This series is pushing past aesthetics and striking at the core — the emotions/energy behind the music (as interpreted by me).

Self-Love or Bust

close upSo, the strong emotions/feelings that I was picking up on was a dangerous kind of love, or should I say, a conditional love.  A love that is incomplete and destructive because it’s missing one fundamental principle — self-love and respect.

Possessive relationships are doomed.  You enter into them incomplete and want the other person to fill the void inside you that can only be filled by, you guessed it, YOU.

Instead of looking within to find the answers, we look without and turn on the one we love with a deepening resentment, sorrow and a pain that can’t be quenched.

Long and short is:  You can’t truly love anyone else unconditionally if you can’t totally and fully accept and love your self (self love is not to be mistaken for ego-based love or narcissism).

My Part in This Epic Blood-Stained Musical Dramatization

The anger and frustrations that came up for me were almost unbearable.

I have a current marriage made in heaven (yeah, I know — lucky me.  You can read all about it HERE) but with the deep retrospection I had to undergo, I realized that I had to face a past relationship.

Such a far flung past coupling that it comes from a different lifetime altogether.

It was difficult to go through this in the ‘dark’ (i.e. not quite knowing the in’s and out’s and just going on gut instinct) but I had dreams that helped me along and let me pick through the metaphors of literally having shit dumped on my head by this phantom past partner.

In another dream I also displayed signs of stigmata and bleeding from every orifice while he looked at me and said, ‘Go clean yourself up!’.  The most bizarre thing is that he was being cut and I was bleeding which I found to be quite a remarkable analogy.


Above — ‘Brazen (weep)’, Skunk Anansie 

Ripley’s Believe It or Not

When I was compiling the video’s for this blog, I realized that it was the first time I had ever seen a Skunk Anansie music video.  I have only seen them live and on live performance DVD’s. So, it goes without saying, that I was quite shocked to see that the above and below video were very in sync with the painting style, theme and colours.  See for yourself…

  Above — ‘Charlie Big Potato’, Skunk Anansie

The Phantom Menace Was Me

close up 2Who was this past-life persona?

It doesn’t really matter.  The details are mere semantics, what was more important was my understanding of what was being brought up in myself.  The ‘people-pleaser’/’don’t rock the boat‘/‘take it up the ass‘ person in me just had to go.

What I got from my ‘past life’ scenario was a sense of being out of control in the relationship but not being strong enough to leave.

I felt oppressed, spoken down to, controlled, literally ‘shut up’ (emotionally and verbally — which is why I think there are bolts in the painting — keeping ‘her’ in place; tape over her mouth and eyes — keeping her gagged in silent pain) and made to feel deep guilt whenever I did pluck up the courage to have my say.

Although, all she/I had to do was step into her/my power and say, ‘No more’ and walk away.  She/I displayed signs of being weak (and, yes, Skunk Anansie do have a song called ‘Weak’...LISTEN/VIEW HERE) and not loving and respecting herself enough to walk away.

This all boils down to self-inflicted trauma.  The inability to stand in ones power and to have enough self-love to pick up and leave a rotten situation.  This is a dangerous love — fear disguised in the wrappings of ‘love’.

The Mysterious Identity of the Unknowable Known

Other things I noticed at the end of this process was that the ‘face’ had smeared lipstick, undeterminable eyes, skin colour or race — she could be anyone from anywhere.  She could even be a man (well, maybe one in drag or from a pantomime?).

Another interesting fact is that I picked up the colour purple right at the end and dabbed some of it onto the eyelids, face and a few streaks at the bottom.  Could this be a form of mitigation?

Purple is usually connotated with good judgment and spiritual fulfillment.

I Open at the End

Well, Skunk Ananse, thanks for opening a wound that needed to be scraped clean.

Even though I’m still in the process of releasing and realigning to this new found truth, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to actually live through one of my paintings and seek out a deeper personal truth to this collection.

Below are photographs of the painting process:

SK 1 SK 2 SK 3 SK 4 SK 5

SK 06

‘A Dangerous Love’ by Cherie Roe Dirksen
28″ x 22″ x 1.5″
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas
Click on the picture to take you to the print store.

Other articles you may find interesting:

How I Got ‘Raw’ With Jeff Buckley

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

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The 12 Hour Saatchi Art Competition Challenge — Start to Finish

Your Untypical Typical Artist 

Print 2I’m usually quite organized, not like the stereotypical ‘last-minute’ kind of artiste.

However, on the 16th April 2013, I had a hunch to go and ‘check’ the due date for a competition I wanted to enter.  I thought it was due on the 30th April but to my surprise, it was due the very next day — on the 17th April.

Aaaaah!

What To Do!

I had already bought the canvas, got the prelim sketch idea.  Heck, I’d even thought out the description and had the perfect title!

I had but one choice.  Do or die!

I locked myself up in the studio that afternoon and didn’t emerge until way after 9:00pm.

Here’s the photographic process:

1 2 3

4And then I put the final ‘blue wash’ on…

The Monotone Rainbow City

Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas
15″ x 30″ x 1.5″
Prints available (click on picture)

Never Say Never!

I had done it!  The next day I submitted all the info and gave myself a pat on the back.

It just shows you, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!  As long as you have the will, the drive and the hootspa.

The Story Behind the Painting

Print 1This scene is taken in Loop Street, Cape Town, looking towards Table Mountain (a little bit of the mountain can be seen in the background).

The painting tells a story about the grey area of our (South Africa’s) rainbow nation.

Here we have a simple street scene but hidden within the paint is a history of greed, opportunity and division.

I have used gold and silver spray paint as the base coat of the buildings (the connotation behind the colour gold is that of wealth and prosperity) this depicts South Africa’s mineral wealth — the foundation that built the nation.  However, the buildings are now covered in the grime and dirt of time.

I have two main characters in the scene.  One is a street person, sitting on top of a wooden crate.  His clothes are baggy and don’t fit him properly.  He is staring at the young black student on his iPhone.

This young man, the second character, represents the opportunity that the black youth have today as opposed to what might have been under the Apartheid regime.  He is wearing the latest fashion and seems to want for little.  He is not even conscious of the man sitting on the crate.  He is too wrapped up in social networking.

The man on the crate has not had the same chance in life.  He is the same age but his story is one of poverty and misfortune.  He is not yet experiencing the new rainbow nation of opportunity.

He is one of the many South African’s who do not benefit from the new system.  Both these men are the same age yet their lives tell two completely different stories.

South Africa is a growing third world nation but it still has to iron out a lot of socio-economic problems.  This painting depicts the divide in the culture that exists today.

Yet there is hope and to denote this I have given the painting a blue wash.  The esoteric meaning behind the colour blue is that of youth, spirituality, truth and peace.  Which is what I wish for this nation.  To truly become the rainbow.

TO VIEW THE PAINTING AT SAATCHI ONLINE PLEASE CLICK HERE (ORIGINAL AND PRINTS AVAILABLE)

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‘Dancing in the Void’ — Pink Floyd Rock Art Painting No.4 Photographs

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Healing Through Art — The Gates to Wonderland Just Got Flung Wide Open

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

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How to Artfully Get into Your Element

Life is the power that’s greater than I can ever comprehend. The way life runs through everything, even the tiniest elements of nature – that makes me humble.” 
— Michael J. Fox 

Handel - Elements 1Handel With Care

No, the sub-heading is not a typo.  I decided, this week, to paint to the music of classical composer, Handel.  I’m not too familiar with his work or his life story but just decided on a whim that he was the one to explore this week.

I did have a slightly pre-conceived idea that I wanted to paint 2 separate landscape paintings but how these landscapes turned out was beyond my reckoning.  I seem to have stumbled onto a very elemental theme with these 2 pictures.

Earth, Fire, Water and Air

“The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we inhabit are not only critical elements in the quality of life we enjoy – they are a reflection of the majesty of our Creator.”  — Rick Perry 

I used a lot of mixed-media — such as bits of the Giant Redwood bark that I had picked up in Tokai forest to metallic strips of foil that give this painting a unique ‘elemental’ feel.

I started off listening to his ‘Water Music Suite’ which I think lent to the overall theme (there is an aquatic feel in the first painting in the blue ‘lake’ and in the second painting where it looks like there’s a waterfall toppling into the earth’s core).  However, as soon as I stepped back and viewed what had come out, I saw all four elements immediately.

The final touches of this painting were the cloud high-lights which gives a peaceful calmness to the painting.  The hand in the clouds (in the first painting) was not intentional, it just kind of popped out as I was working on the sky.

So what interested me about these pieces was the running elements theme.

  • Why are these 4 things so important to us?
  • What do they represent for us?
  • How do we embrace them?

Getting Into Your Element

Handel - Elements 2Most of us are living in the rat race, going from one building to another via a freeway of hustle and bustle.  Then we are stuck to electronic devices pretty much most of the day having little or not time whatsoever to embrace the sheer splendour of the great outdoors.

What is missing from a lot of our lives is that raw connection to nature.

Wouldn’t it feel grand to…

  • get buffeted about by a strong wind, swirling around our body as we stand with no resistance and let it tickle our skin and gently blow into our ears.
  • make a bonfire — pile up the wood, strike that match and be mesmerized by the eternal grace of the flickering flames as they lull us into a state of hypnotic awe.
  • skinny dip in the buoyant bliss of deep blue waters — wading, swimming, floating, bobbing about in the supportive delights of this glorious element.
  • stand with our feet growing roots into the soil as we feel the connection to our beautiful planet and all the life she supports.
  • let go and let the awesome symphony of nature penetrate every crack or opening of your being.  Let your soul soak up the splendour of mother nature and revel with appreciation for our beloved Gaia.

Can You Handel a Bit More?

“And the truth must finally lie in that which every oppressed individual feels within himself but hasn’t the courage to express”   Wilhelm Reich

A fellow creative and confidante was the first to see the pictures a day after I had painted them.  He told me straight off the cuff that he was no fan of Handel but when he saw the paintings, he bought both immediately (thank you, because I know you’re reading this!:D).

He said that, in his opinion, the paintings represented the truth behind his understanding of the origin of the music.  He went on to divulge the most remarkable story behind Handel — the very reason he didn’t care for him.

It went something like this (the regurgitated succinct edition):

His music was ‘tailored’ for British aristocracy and therefore very ‘stiff upper lip, old chap’. No passion allowed, no blatant display of emotion.  And all this paved the way for the onset of a new rigid era.  

So, on that note, my friend and I took a deeper look into the grandiose tale of this composers life…

Georg Friedrich Handel (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) supplied music mainly for the English nobility which influenced his style to be more aligned with religious and social ethics.

Handel’s music was almost opposite to the music of Bach (they were around at the same time).  Handel was a conformist which was deemed favourable at that specific time because England had descended into a frivolous decadence.

He supplied music with structure and conformity, reintroducing social etiquette.  Glorification and the fear of God was what his music aimed at on a surface level.

His pious music injected a very tightly bound corset of primness, formality and ceremoniousness into the English society.  The aristocracy welcomed this due to the growing debaucherous behaviour in British society.

The direct result of that was Victorianism.

Fake, Plastic Tunes

Now, it’s interesting to take note that people who hide under the cloak of righteousness are usually hiding something of this nature in themselves.  Handel seems to have forged a pious world where his music perhaps tamed his own passions, his own story.

It’s interesting to also note that the structure of Baroque music was mostly stringent, however, bubbling underneath this composer was a burning passion — a passion that was never revealed as his private life was extremely hush-hush.

Another interesting observation is that Baroque music has also been known to connect the left and right hemisphere of the brain.

To read more about and to listen to Handel, click HERE.

The Extracted Essence

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”  — Albert Einstein 

Both these paintings (above) show a remarkable resemblance pertaining to this bit of  rigid but saucy history.

There seems to be a very ‘fake’ landscape painted on top of a what feels like a bubbling inferno (Handel’s passion?).  Could this represent the suppressed passion for life that was stifled into forced subjugation — pomp and ceremony as opposed to naked truth?

I hope that this painting is an opening for the observer to see that all forms of artistry can reveal the innate truth if one is persistent enough to dig deep.  There could be contained emotions lurking beneath even the most austere of displays.  So what is the message here?

Don’t judge a book by its cover?

Or, perhaps, feel free to express who you truly are — it’ll save you a lot of time, hassle and stress.

On that note…here is your free poster/quotation of the week:

To download, click on the picture and then ‘right-click’ and ‘save image as’ to your computer. I don’t mind if you share this on your social networks or print it out for use around the home or office. Please can you leave the copyright notice as is, thanks.

If you would like to purchase a full-sized poster of the above quote, please CLICK HERE.

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How to Gift Yourself with Gratitude

The Attitude for Gratitude

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I was thinking about how all global citizens can catch a ride on this American holiday wave.

Gratitude is something we should express every day, not just on one particular day — obviously.  However, having one ‘big’ day to truly express your thanks is not a bad thing.

Taking Leaves Out of American Books

So, why not mark off Thanksgiving Day as a special day for you too — no matter where you are in the world — to give thanks for all that you have.  If you already make this part of your daily routine, my hat is lifted to you.

If it is something you just haven’t got around to thinking about yet, or, you have given it some thought but somehow that chemical reaction in your brain runs out of electricity as it is passed out through your ear.

In other words, you know you have mounds of things to be grateful for but you haven’t the staying power to run through the list every morning.

Making Your Own Gratitude Board in Seconds!

I have the solution!  It’s called a gratitude board and it goes straight onto your fridge — the one place you are guaranteed to look at least once day!

You can make it out of cardboard, you can print it from your computer, you can make your own at Zazzle or you can buy it ready-made HERE.

However you decide to go about making this board, I suggest you set a goal to have it up and running by a certain date and hold yourself accountable.  Better yet, pair up with a friend and do it together — that way you can hold each other accountable to get it done!

Suggestions and Tips to Get the Ball Rolling 

These boards make great gifts too, especially if you are looking for a meaningful token for that certain someone who needs a little nudge in the right direction.

“When children are immersed in a creative task, the underlying lesson sticks like glue.”

You  can also present them to your guests as a parting novelty at Thanksgiving dinner — a heart-felt gesture like that is sure to go down a treat!  Or, if you are not hosting this special occasions yourself, why not give one to your whomever happens to be your gracious host at Thanksgiving lunch/dinner.  Heck, they even make the perfect birthday or Christmas gift!

If you don’t feel like getting the magazines, photo’s, glue and cardboard out to make your own board from scratch, you can make a gratitude dry-erase board on Zazzle and customize it to your heart’s content — CLICK HERE (they start at $16.95).  You can dress them up with your own pictures or photo’s of loved ones that you are grateful for — go mad!

Get the Kids On-Board the Gratitude Express!

You can even get your children or grandchildren involved with this project — it will be a valuable lesson for them to see just how much they also have in their lives to be thankful for.  When children are immersed in a creative task, the underlying lesson sticks like glue.

Just remember to leave some room on the board for expansion.  This is something that you are going to have to get used to along your path of gratitude because the more you give thanks for what you have, the more you will have to be thankful for.

You don’t feel like making your own or you just don’t have the time?  Click on the picture below, I have already made up one for you.

Other articles you may enjoy:

Why is Gratitude so Important when Creating Abundance?

7 Helpful Pointer to Activate the Flow of Abundance

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

If you want to recap on my last article about beginning this Beatles project, please CLICK HERE.

If you want to recap on the whole ROCK ART series BEGIN HERE

Let’s get on with the big reveal…

Whimsical, Colourful, Bright and Vibrant

The title just encapsulates the outcome of this project.  It is just dripping with juicy hues, abstract sensations and psychedelic fantasy.  But what would you expect from a painting inspired purely by listening to the Beatles — non-stop?

I really felt quite taken back to my youth with this one (no, not quite to the swinging ’60′s — I’m a 70′s baby).  There was just so much reminiscence going on with this painting that a bit of child-like play surfaced in the making of this bold artwork.

Compared to the Last

When I put the Radiohead painting up next to this one, I really get a sense of what I’m trying to achieve with this Rock Art project.  They couldn’t be more different!

I am going to have a pictorial comparison at the end of this blog for all you curious types.  Please feel free to share your views.

Without Much Ado…

Here is the final product:

Here is that comparison between the Radiohead painting and The Beatles one:

    

As you can well see, the difference is quite apparent.  So there really is something in this whole experiment with painting to different types of music.  My curiosity is peaked and I am now really looking forward to doing the rest of this series.

Because Muse has just released their 6th album (2nd law), they are going to be next in line — can’t wait to see what cosmic waves are going to come out of my paint pots this time.

The Title — Help!

Before I sign off, I haven’t come up with a title for this yet.  I was wondering if perhaps you could contribute any suggestions you may have that would befit this painting — the title needs to sum it all up.

Please leave your suggestions in the comment section below.  Any feedback, critique or just general banter are welcome!

UPDATE:  The title is ‘Metamorphic Dilatation’ (the process of changing and expanding)

Albums that I listened to in the Making of This:

Rubber Soul

Magical Mystery Tour

Abbey Road

Sgt. Pepper

Help!

Revolver

My husband told me that it’s John’s birthday soon (9 October)…so,

‘Happy Birthday, John’ — missed but never forgotten, your music lives on in all of us! 

Related Articles:

What Radiohead Looks Like Through The End of My Brush

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

Yes, I know I have kept you waiting for the second piece of this series but wait no longer!

For those of you who have not been following the ‘Rock Art’ journey, you can check out what’s been going on (within you and) without you here: 10 Bands, 10 Paintings — Let the Rock Art Begin!

I’m Such a Tease!

Well, this is just another teaser pictorial blog because the painting isn’t quite finished yet. However, the groundwork has been laid and we are good to go in the colorizing department.  This painting is done a bit arse about face (an idiom for arranging the opposite way to the way it should be) but that is typical of someone who has their head stuck in alternate realities.

I have inked out the content and now I’m going to be adding the delectable and bright colors that are just waiting to burst forth onto the canvas.  It’s going to be a bit like a coloring-in book, I guess.  How exciting and unprecedented this Rock Art series is turning out to be — such toe-tingling excitement!

Painting No. 2 — Let Me Present….

I have decided it is the turn of The Beatles to rock ‘n roll their way onto my second canvas in this series.  As I’m sure you’ll notice, the effect is rather different from the Radiohead painting.  Well, it should be!

They’re both great bands but worlds apart.  I really got a feeling of animated abstract fun and foolishness when I went into ‘Beatles’ mode.  It brought back a lot of childhood memories and whimsical, magical (mystery tours?), experimental modes.

A Girl with a Plan!

This time I was savvy and started writing out all the emotions that were coming up as I was setting out the drawing (I squiggled them down on the side of the canvas — pure genius even if it does look a bit untidy).

Here are a few keywords I wrote down.  Yes, some are rather strange, I admit — but this is what came up for me:

  • Fun
  • Candid
  • Innovative
  • Serious
  • Rigid (?)
  • Abstract
  • Exciting
  • Mentally Delicious

I like the last one, I think that sums up The Beatles quite well…maybe not mental, but certainly aurally delicious.

I am not revealing the picture as a whole but have cut it up into segments to add to the intrigue.  Here are some sneak peeks of the painting :

    

You can see it in its entirety when it is finished.  If you think it looks busy now, wait until the hue shows its face!

I hope to have the full color version for you within the next 2 weeks, so do tune in to the Tuesday Art/Creativity blog here by hitting that ‘follow this blog’ button in the left-hand sidebar of the homepage or at the bottom of the page (yeah, that wafty ‘follow’ button-thingy that should be following your every move).

For All You Shy Little Sausages

Oh, and one last thing…so many people write to me privately and tell me about the creative projects that they have undertaken.  I love to hear about your experiments but please share them with everyone!  It would be great if you could tell us what you are getting up to in the studio or what you have done in the past that’s new and innovative — don’t be shy, we’re all eager to hear about your creations.  Leave a comment… :D

TO VIEW THE FINISHED PAINTING CLICK HERE!

Song Playlist — Radiohead Albums That Made The Art

What I Listened To…

As promised in last weeks blog, I will reveal today the albums I listened to during the creation of ‘Escapism’.  If you have been following this Rock Art Series blog then great, if not you can recap by starting here.

“As we were walking and talking about this I caught a glimpse of my companions face under the hood — yes ladies and gentlemen, it was a very young and blonde Thom Yorke …”

In no particular order, they were:

Some of my favourite songs at the moment are ‘Lotus Flower’ (fan-blooming-tastic video!), ’15 Steps’, ‘Little by Little’ and ‘Bodysnatchers’.  I have also had the great honour of seeing them live in London on their ‘Hail to the Thief’ album tour in 2003 — what an experience!

I unfortunately did not have enough time to listen to ALL their albums (as I would have so loved to have done), so what I listened to in the above track-list must have been relevant in some way to the picture.  I just went with the flow and stopped when I felt it necessary.  I like to think that everything has a quantum reason for taking place, which brings me to my dream…

Bloody Weird or Maybe Not!

I had a dream a few days ago about the painting.

I was walking with a hooded figure who was discussing the painting and linking it to the root chakra (what I like to call the poop chakra ’cause you usually associate that one with letting go of the crap).  For those of you who don’t know, the root chakra is associated with your anus.

‘Escapism’ by Cherie Roe Dirksen (below)

As we were walking and talking about this I caught a glimpse of my companions face under the hood — yes ladies and gentlemen, it was a very young and blonde Thom Yorke (the ‘Pablo Honey’ days look).

We then stopped at the painting and he said that it had a coded message in it, one that I subconsciously painted into the picture and it had to do with letting go.  Particularly for parents of daughters who were finding it hard to ‘let them go’.

Interesting…it’s like one of those ridiculous stories from Ripley’s ‘believe it or not’…lol.  Or maybe not.  I have witnessed and experienced enough hoodoo lately to make this just a drop in my ocean of the weird and inexplicable.

So if the dream is true — great!  If not, well…‘nice dream’...he he.

Emotions While Painting

Okay, I jotted down a few things that were coming up for me or going through my mind as I was painting.  I’m going to list it in point-form so you can better understand the end result of the painting:

  • Other worldly/out of this world
  • Expressing and experiencing emotional pain and anguish
  • Also experiencing pleasure
  • Loss and frustration
  • Chaotic sound that blends into perfect harmony/order
  • Orgasmic sounds in the mix and off-beats
  • Being unconventional/out-of-the-box living
  • Being different and yet fitting in anyway
  • A celebration of being different

I absolutely love their production and orchestration of complete chaos and bizarre beats that amalgamate to produce the tastiest, funkiest songs I have had the pleasure to bathe my ears in.

To end of with:  My husband and I (yes, I sound like the queen) went to see a horror movie over the weekend and the ticket man said ‘Why are you going to see such a creepy movie?’,  to which I solemnly replied, ‘We are creepy people’.

I am proud to be different and, thanks to Radiohead, we can proudly display the creep within.

What Radiohead Looks Like Through The End of My Brush

When I started out with this ‘Rock Art’ project, I had no idea how it would turn out and tried to have no expectations of what to expect from myself.

To recap on this series, please read:

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

I gave myself permission for complete artistic freedom, pleasing nobody but myself in the process.  So, in short,  I just let loose on the canvas and did what I felt compelled to do.

I am happy to show you the first painting of this 10 part series.  I have called it ‘Escapism’.

Available as prints — click on the picture.

Here are some close-ups and segments of the painting:

Thanks to Radiohead for the out-of-this-world inspiration!

I am going to run through my emotions and what inspired me to paint what I did in next Tuesdays blog as well as reveal what albums I was listening to.

For now, I would love to hear your feedback and comments about what you see here.

  • Is it what you expected?
  • Or does this not say ‘Radiohead’ at all for you?

It will be interesting to get your take on it.

Next in this series:

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

Please read my previous 2 blogs in this series:

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

Now to continue…

A Work in Progress

Ok, I know, I was supposed to have at least one finished by today — it just didn’t happen.

However, I have made a definite start and to prove it I have decided to give my viewers a sneak peek at the painting.  Here are the first 2 steps I took photo’s of whilst painting (first stage painted whilst listening to ‘We suck your blood’…hmmmmm — can you tell?):

     

I have cut the rest of the painting up into segments, just to add to the enigma…here are some of the ‘parts’ of the painting:

 It’s going to be interesting to see what impression you conjure up in your imagination as opposed to how the whole thing looks at the end (to be unveiled in next Tuesdays blog, God willing).

Let me know what your thoughts are:

  • Are these the colours you expected?
  • Are the textures, subject matter and vibes what you imagined?

My husband said that this is not at all what he gets when he listens to Radiohead but that’s the point!  Everyone will bring their own interpretation to a piece of music — perspective is a grand thing. :)

Now you can go directly to the next blog HERE

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The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

The Shortlist of Muso’s to Make the Grade

I launched my new idea for an art collection last week, please read it here to recap.

The bands and musicians that I am going to explore auditorily and interpret visually on canvas are (in order of my being introduced to their music):

  1. David Bowie
  2. Queen
  3. Pink Floyd
  4. The Beatles
  5. Skunk Anansie
  6. Radiohead
  7. Rufus Wainwright
  8. Templeton
  9. Muse
  10. Jeff Buckley

Ha!  And there you have it…I will be embarking on the first painting of this series this week and, with a bit of cosmic luck, may have something to blog about next week.

Proceedings…

I am not going to pressure myself to paint in this order — I am basically going to work it on my mood and who I feel like listening to at that given time.  Make sense?  No?  Well, that’s fine!

Wish me luck as I have no idea how this is going to turn out  :)

Click here to see the next stage

Who are your favourite musicians of all time?  Come on, list at LEAST 3 bands you could never do without.  Let them feel the love.

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

Coming Out of a Black Hole and Having Revelations

Yeah, the global energy of late has been intense.  Making us all bunker down for some quiet time, and if not, forcing you to cease and desist.

Have you been lacking inspiration, creativity or get up and go?  Well, I have.

Hatshepsut TempleThese last few weeks since I returned from Egypt have been damn right frustrating.  I’ve lost my pluck, mojo and anything else you want to call it.

I’ve picked up the paintbrushes and seem to be trying to repeat old patterns in creativity that just don’t work for me anymore.

“It could be realism, abstract, impressionism, crapism or bullshitism…who knows?  We’ll just have to wait and see.”

But this weekend I had a revelation…

Who The Hell Am I?

Yes, that old humdinger.  What can I truly offer the world that is unique and not only that,  stay completely in alignment with who I am?

Not easy and a question I am not alone in having to come up with an answer to — this seems to be the common thread or million dollar question among most people this year, if not this lifetime!

I Am…

I sat down to have some quiet time to reflect and saw a storyboard of everything I have done since I left school.  I know that I am intrinsically an artist, musician and a writer and I have tried to merge the 3 in this website but something still hasn’t clicked into place. In a nutshell, it went like this:The Bends

Above (Photo of our band The Bends taken in 2001)

Cherie playing BassThe Younger Years — Left school and played bass in 2 rock bands.  Last band (The Bends — you guessed it, we were all Radiohead fans…yeah yeah) recorded 2 albums and got some radio play.  After the music scene cooled off and my weariness set in I up and left for the UK.  Photo (right) — in Paris Studio recording our 2nd album.

Travel Bug — In the UK I started painting again.  Got back home, 3 years later, and started painting full-time.

Crossing Abbey Road London

Above — In the UK, at the famous ‘Abbey Road’ crossing, London

Profile PictureDivine Revelations and Ants in my Pants — Started feeling ‘pushed’ to write my book ‘Divine You’ in 2010 and did so, focusing all my energy and attention into getting it published and promoting and blogging, etc.

Footnote — Here I am, having come full circle with all 3 of my major interests but I feel like I need to break free from the confines of every single one of them.  I need to fuse them into a trinity of talents that will truly showcase the uniqueness of my being.

New Realizations:

I am a rock chick, a philosopher, a creative, a free spirit, a wanderer, a listener, an adventurer, a seeker, a trailblazer…so what am I trailblazing?

” I am more than the ceiling limit I have built over my head.”

I feel like at the moment I am trying to conform to the standards of any other self-empowerment writer (who just happens to paint and compose on the side).  No, this is not working for me.  I am more than the ceiling limit I have built over my head.

Major Refurbishing

I am going to be blowing through the ceiling.

My first adventure, that incorporates all 3 of my pursuits, will be to do a series of 10 paintings to my favourite bands or musicians from the dawn of my time here on Earth.

Musical Mural A little background:  I love to turn on the stereo in the morning and blast out my favourite music much to my husbands annoyance.  It just happens to usually be quite loud and obnoxious music for this time of the morning.  However the upside is that this ensures that the car gets washed, or that the lawn is mown (husband seeking refuge outside of the domain).

“I want to be activated into action first thing in the morning — and this plus a cup of coffee seems to do the trick.”

There is nothing like a bit of Airbag by Radiohead to get the blood flowing after a long nights sleep or head-banging your way to the bathroom to get cleaned up to Hysteria by Muse.  Who can’t be put into a good mood when you are listening to Queen’s I Want to Break Free?  Or even better, David Bowie belting out ‘Drive in Saturday’?

Yes, I know, I am a bit odd.  This is probably not the best morning music soiree (I am told this is strictly night-time music) but I simply can’t wait for night-time to arrive, I want to be activated into action first thing in the morning — and this plus a cup of coffee seems to do the trick.

So Where is This Heading?  Get On With It, Girl!

Okay, okay…I love rock.  Yes, oh yes.  So I have selected 10 bands to do 10 painting to.  I want to see what comes out whilst listening to their music.  I hope this experiment will be a visual feast and have no preconceived ideas of how any of it will turn out.  All I can guarantee is that I am going to have fun in the process and do whatever comes to me in the moment that I set aside to paint.

It could be realism, abstract, impressionism, crapism or bullshitism…who knows?  We’ll just have to wait and see.

I will be blogging (obviously) about each artwork and the process (so watch out for Tuesdays art blog).  And will reveal the top 10 bands/musicians that have been the greatest influence in my life in next Tuesdays blog.

So in the words of the famous Monty Python…”and now for something completely different”.  Bring it on!

READ THE GRAND BAND REVEAL HERE

Note to self:  Need to add new word invented in this blog to Wikipedia — ‘crapism’.  Needs no definition either, self-explanatory. Bullshitism seems to be a valid word because my spell check didn’t pick it up.

Share Your Insights:

What are you struggling with?

Do you have yourself all sussed out or are you still in flux about who you really are?

Do you think it is important to align yourself with your core essence or do you think that is just a bunch of crap?

Templeton’s Headspace — Creating the CD Artwork for a Rock Star!

Hail to one of the most amazing albums my ears have had the pleasure to experience!

“He is really pushing the boundaries of auditory excellence.”

If you haven’t heard it yet, I strongly suggest you visit Templeton’s site (http://templetonuniverse.com/news.cfm) and have a snoop around, I believe he is offering some FREE MP3 DOWNLOADS over there — all you have to do is become a member (just click on ‘not a member?’ on the top right hand corner of the site to sign up — quick, easy and free).

Infinite Inspiration to Work From

I had so much to draw from whilst designing this album art — from Templeton’s cosmic new sounds to the history and messages behind his music.  This was actually easy to do because I had so much to work with.  He is really pushing the boundaries of auditory excellence.

Front Cover (above)

This is the third album cover I have done for Templeton and this is his fourth album.

I am pleased to showcase all the artwork for this CD, from inlays to back cover,  that was the brainchild of Templeton and myself.

Here it goes:

The Insert

The Inlay

The CD

The Back Cover

If you want to read about the inspiration behind the music and the artwork, Templeton has a blog out that takes you through his whole creative process:

11 Reasons for Writing Cosmic Music

Templetons Discography:

      

Templeton is also being featured in the Rhythmic Lounge Magazine’s June edition: