The Fine Balancing Art of Yin and Yang

Tried and Tested — A Tale of Two Countries

In the past 2 years I have experienced the delights of visiting Thailand and being bowled over by their inherent sense of beauty and creativity to their humble way of life and their desire to please.  I have also recently been to Egypt and have encountered, firsthand, the very friendly yet domineering patriarchal way of their culture.

“The ancients envisioned their world in two halves – masculine and feminine. Their gods and goddesses worked to keep a balance of power. Yin and Yang. When male and female were balanced, there was harmony in the world. When they were unbalanced there was chaos. ” ~ Dan Brown

Both cultures are clearly trying very hard to make their way in life off the tourism trade and I felt like a walking ‘dollar’ sign (if they knew I dealt primarily in Rands — South African currency — they probably wouldn’t have bothered!).

I do, however, understand this and hold no judgment for them, in that respect — we all need to make a living.  The difference however was that the Thai people came across as being very gentle, artistic and what I would like to call matriarchal people.  The Egyptians left me with an impression of being aggressive, zealous and patriarchal.

Balancing the Yin and Yang

I only figured out, some time after both of these excursions, that they each reflected the opposite side of the scale.

I saw massive potential in both cultures and met and made wonderful friends both in Thailand and in Egypt.   I have to say that the youth of Egypt certainly show the most signs of growth and thinking out-of-the-box.  My encounters with the more belligerent Egyptians were definitely steeped in ’old energy’ thinking and customs.  This is something I am obviously not used to, so it affected me quite deeply.

However, both these cultures lack something.  They are missing the balance of both left hemisphere (linear, structural, orderly, etc.) and right hemisphere (passionate, artistic, expressive, etc.) thinking, the marriage of divine masculine and divine feminine — the coming together of the yin and yang.

When either one of these attributes is out of alignment or missing, there is unbalance.

“Most men are very attached to the idea of being male, and usually experience a lot of fear and insecurity around the idea of being a man. Most women are very identified with their gender, and also experience a tremendous amount of fear and insecurity.”  ~ Andrew Cohen

Creativity versus Order

In the case of the Thai people, they were extremely creative and inventive yet they were incredibly submissive and this leaves them open for exploitation.

With the Egyptians, they had a system of order and controlled interaction that would not budge.  It was either their way or the highway.  With the obvious lack of female energy (as it is tradition for their women to be at home and not in the workplace), you had a definite sense of escalated anger over small things.  They could go from 0 – 10 in a matter of seconds.  As friendly as they were at times, they also lost their cool very quickly.  This is because there was too much masculine energy and no feminine presence to temper the storm of emotions that arise.

You need both masculine and feminine energies to complete a fully charged and functional system.  This brings me to dimensions.

Harmonic Dimensions

We live in a world that is deemed as 3D, however, it is very compartmentalized.  This is a true reflection of the statistical mindset of the world at present.  What we need is to incorporate the uneven trait of creativity and sensitivity to balance out this equation. It is okay to have organization and order as long as you also have an even balance of creative expression.  The world is coming into this balance as more and more people are seeking to express their imaginative flare.  When we reach a tipping point, you will see how fast love and happiness are spread on a global scale.

Can you see how this dimension theory brings in the concept of left brain order and right brain inventiveness? When humanity realizes that all we need to do is to direct ourselves creatively amidst the structure, we will have stepped into the new paradigm — a New Earth.

In Closing, Let’s All Say a Prayer

In closing, I would like to ask that you all say a little prayer for that brave young Pakistani lady, Malala Yousafzai, to make a full recovery.

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” ~ Joseph Campbell

She is a symbol of great courage and hope for so many.  May the seed she plants for women’s rights today blossom into the tree that represents balance and equality in her society.

Originally written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for Purpose Fairy.

Other articles you may enjoy:

Finding God and a Reason for Being Here

Live Like You Mean It — Live With Conviction!

Are You Playing Russian Roulette With Your Karma?

‘Love and Light’ — What Does it Mean?

What Does Thanks-Giving Mean to You?

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Incredible Inspiring Art by Stephen Wiltshire

I just had to share this with my readers when I saw it circulating on Facebook.  What an inspiration this man is!

The below extract is taken from Stephens site, you can visit that here to see more from this incredible artist.

Stephen Wiltshire is an artist who draws and paints detailed cityscapes. He has a             particular talent for drawing lifelike, accurate representations of cities, sometimes after having only observed them briefly. He was awarded an MBE for services to the art world in 2006. He studied Fine Art at City & Guilds Art College. His work is popular all over the world, and is held in a number of important collections.   Read more HERE. 

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?

3 Motivational Tips on Getting Back into the Artistic Arena

I am back from my trip to Egypt and what an adventure it was!  More about that on my Thursday blog though.

Inspiration and Chaos

It was a whirlwind of events, inspiration, emotion and culture shock but inevitably, on the plane home, I started processing my experiences and began to drift into the abyss of ‘what am I doing with my life?’.

You know the feeling, right?  You go on holiday and then you have to come back home to the same old same old…

“Go full throttle or go hide under a rock!  Instead of grabbing the bull by the horns, grab it by the balls…more risky but you will get an infinitely more intense reaction.”

Not me!  I made a firm decision not to climb back into my safety box — Oh no!

Time for Change

So what changed?  3 things spring to mind:

  1. More Risk — I decided I needed to take more risks.  So what if I fail, at least I tried!  This can be on the artistic front and dabbling more in multi-media projects;  trying out new techniques and new marketing techniques.  In fact, a few days before I left, a good friend of mine and NLP/Reiki coach (www.soulworks.co.za), did some Reiki on me and said that when she approached my throat chakra, she sensed that I was not sticking my neck out enough.  How right she was!  The trip made me see even more clarity in that statement.  Go full throttle or go hide under a rock!  Instead of grabbing the bull by the horns, grab it by the balls…more risky but you will get an infinitely more intense reaction.
  2. Simplify — My day-to-day life and schedule was a bit ‘all over the place’.  My big toe was in this venture and that.  I needed to get real about my goals and to simplify my agenda.  This took me one afternoon to sit down and write out my new set of goals and ambitions.  Now I have a clear intention about where I am heading and it is much more flexible than my old agenda.  I have a lot more free time to just be.
  3. Be Authentic — Find out what you are about. What sets you apart from others?  What is your true passion?  What can  you do differently?  How can you incorporate all your multi-faceted uniqueness into one ball of creativity?  Brainstorm these questions and come up with your own set of rules for riding out the next wave of your life.  Surfs up!

The last thing I’d like to add is — don’t sweat the small stuff.  We often get so hung up on the finer details of life instead of looking at the bigger picture.

“You will be amazed at how other people don’t really care about your failures, it’s more about your damaged ego than their perception of you…”

Everything will be alright if you are in your integrity and walking your path of power and purpose.  Trust in that and enjoy your life to the fullest.

If you fall off the bike, dust yourself off and get back on again.  Who’s looking anyway?  You will be amazed at how other people don’t really care about your failures, it’s more about your damaged ego than their perception of you, so what have you got to lose?

Finally, what are you doing to increase your creative stamina and keep the flame alive?

Get your lucky-packet of free stuff when you SIGN UP HERE

New Beginnings…Building up an Art Collection from Scratch

Faith Repaid

A couple of weeks ago I had a buyer who practically cleaned out my stock of paintings.  This was great as I was still trying to source funds for a trip to Egypt I had already booked.  My theory behind booking the holiday before I had the funds was:

  1. I am using the Law of Attraction and you must have faith that what you need is on its way
  2. I will procrastinate about going for the rest of my life if I didn’t make a move NOW
  3. I had finally convinced my husband that we NEEDED to go (lol) after many years of begging and never being able to be on the same page about this particular destination.  He had a bad experience going through Cairo on his way to Israel many years ago.  So, again, I felt the time for action had finally reared its persistent head.

Manifestation Elation

Right, so with all that said, I licensed some of my art to a home goods chain store in the US and sold most of my art collection after I had put my trust in the manifestation of the money process and had gone ahead and booked the holiday.  Fancy that?!

Now What?

Now here I sit.  My site where I sell my work is looking very bleak at the moment and I am pressed for time with mustering up another collection as my trip is literally around the corner and the paperwork is still being processed, which leaves me anxious about wrapping up the details.

A New Perspective

But then my dear partner pointed out that this is a whole new beginning for me — a clean slate to start afresh.

“I know about the law of least effort (thanks to Deepak Chopra) and I am applying it to my life.”

No matter how long it takes to build this up again, I get the chance to truly go further into what I want to paint and how long I take doing it is entirely up to me.  There should be no pressure with the creative process, only enjoyment and true expression of what needs to come out and manifest in this reality.

So with that in mind, I will be starting this new adventure by going out into the big wide world and seeking the beauty and inspiration I need to get this new collection on the go.

The ‘old’ me would be frantically running around like a headless chicken trying to paint and build up some stock but the ‘new’ me knows better.  I know about the law of least effort (thanks to Deepak Chopra) and I am applying it to my life.  I have given myself no time limits and will now let it flow naturally…

I promise to document the process, so look out for this in my Tuesday Art Blog.

Thanks for looking!

Don’t forget to claim your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration….’ (along with other bonus free gifts)

My Art Portfolio book is also available as a glossy paperback (click on book to take you to the bookstore)

 

 

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for daily inspiration and articles:

    

Finding Yourself and Your Purpose

Here are some quotes and pictures from my book ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration…’ (download the entire book FREE here) to help kick-start your week and ignite your passion and zest for life:

Pushing the envelope of creative expansion breaks down any illusion of limitation.  Once you step out of the box, infinity beckons your every whim.

Bask in the knowledge that existence is infinite, as are all possibilities.

We create in a field of pure energy potential.

“God is omnipotent — in everyone and everything…”

To know the mind of God is to know your own mind.  Dissolve the thoughts that do not serve you and nourish the ones that will blossom into your unique experience.

God wants to experience through you and you will benefit greatly from the experience of God — who resides in the stillness, the place between thoughts.

Why is creativity important?

Thought leads to inspire.  Inspiration gives rise to creativity.  Creation gives form to manifest reality.  Without creation there would be no reality to experience.  Ergo, creativity is as necessary to our souls as energy is to sustaining the Universe.

And all of this is birthed by the most powerful force — love.

Sign up HERE to receive your gift of inspirational wallpaper designs taken from my book‘Creative Expression’ plus a FREE copy of the book itself.

No obligations and 100% free, no strings attached, and you get to keep all the free gifts even if you unsubscribe!

‘Creative Expression – How to find your inspiration…’ is also available now as a glossy paperback book — CLICK HERE to purchase your copy for $19.99.

All the artworks above, as well as all artworks from the book,  are available to purchase as prints, posters and greeting cards at RedBubble.

For daily inspiration and articles, follow me on Twitter and Facebook:

   

You may also enjoy this article:  Ignite Your Creative Flame! 

A Look Behind the Scenes — Painting an Abstract Landscape

Photographing the Stages of Painting an Abstract Landscape

I photographed the process of painting one of my big landscapes.  I thought it would make an interesting pictorial blog.

I have done a detailed description at the end of this blog outlining the inspiration and details that went into the piece, along with the title and measurements.

The original is sold but it is available as prints, posters and greeting cards.

 Here it goes:

And then finally, drum-roll please, the finished product:

Cosmic Dance by 

Acrylic and textured acrylic on Canvas — 40″ × 30″

INSPIRATION BEHIND THE ART:

It probably goes without saying that I love the work of Van Gogh. I had a dream the night before I embarked on this painting.

I was in a field and was looking up at the night sky and the stars. I’m not sure if the spirit of Van Gogh was with me or if he was standing by my side, but I was being shown how he saw the night sky. How the stars looked like wormholes and were dancing and twinkling. When I woke up I knew exactly how I wanted to paint this picture and this is the product.

This painting was also done to the sounds of Tchaikovsky. I was also burning lavender and vanilla essence which is very calming and soothing, and vanilla is said to be an aphrodisiac — so this painting is one for the bedroom!

(PS.  No, I don’t paint in my Sunday best — this was taken the day after I finished)

Thanks for looking!

Don’t forget to subscribe and receive your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration….’

My Art Portfolio book is also available (click on book to take you to the bookstore)

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for daily inspiration and articles:

    

The Zen of Art

What better way to gift yourself than to spend some quality time creatively expressing your inner feelings?

 “The Dreamers Night Sky” by Cherie Roe Dirksen

I have only recently allowed myself to truly ‘let go’ and I found my form of expression which is more abstract than traditional (see above).  It has been a liberating experience to finally have the freedom to do this and no-one was stopping me but me.

“My first step was awareness of the deep need for my true expression to come through.”

When I discovered this, it was my call to action.  My first step was awareness of the deep need for my true expression to come through.  I then took responsibility for blocking myself and learnt the lesson behind why I was doing that.  The final step I took was action —  to bring about a new timeline or creative direction for myself.

A Call to Action

Free up some space this weekend or in the evening to tap into the inner child that just wants to finger paint and get mucky, cut out colourful pictures and make a collage or just do some ‘mindless’ doodling.

Why is this important?

When we give ourselves time out to practice creativity we are:

  • Honouring ourselves by allowing time for ‘play’
  • Tapping into the right hemisphere of the brain and our source of creativity
  • Setting a scene of tranquility and ‘time-out’ from the noise of our left brain
  • Allowing ourselves freedom of expression
How will this benefit me?

Expressing your creative flare is priceless but here are some key factors for why allowing yourself time and space for artistic endeavour is good for you:

  • De-stressing
  • Calming
  • Personal Fulfillment
  • Integral Time for Inner Reflection
  • Inner Balance
Try creating a tranquil, serene place where you can retreat to when you feel like you are in the ‘zone’ for artistic expression.
Is there anything stopping you?  Please feel free to comment on any of these questions or others that may arise…

What has been blocking your creative flow?  

Are you feeling constricted by the lack of artistic expression you are allowing yourself?  

What practices do you use to overcome creative blocks?  

What things do you tell yourself are more  important than expressing yourself?

Dont forget to SUBSCRIBE and get your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration…’ SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE 100% FREE and you can opt out at any time.

If you would like to read more about my journey to finding my inner expression, please click on the links below:

The Space Within Series — Inner Art

Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Got It! Inner Art Expression Expressed

Digging even deeper…Inner Art Expression

Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 2)…the Prelim Sketch

Please read Part 1 HERE

The Sketch

The next step of the commission process is to provide the client with a rough colour sketch of the proposed artwork along with a detailed description of how you got there.

With all the specs my client gave me (please see Part 1), I came up with this sketch and then gave her an explanation of how I got to this stage by providing her with the inspiration behind the piece.

INSPIRATION BEHIND THE PIECE.

The trees represent mankind/womankind with their arms (branches) stretched out to the heavens and the feet firmly rooted in the earth.  However, to the left of the painting are a couple of souls who are still turned to the darkness – the illusion of reality and who they are – not being able to turn to the light (sun) yet.  There is one soul making her way to the river to cross it and join the others (she has her branches stretched out to them) on the other side who have fully awakened to the light of the dawn that is upon them.

I have subtly put various branched protruding from the trees turned to the dark to show the obstacles they still have to clear (branches to be pruned)…the trees on the other side of the river are streamlined and facing upwards.

The sun represents the light and the new dawn in one’s life.  The ‘enlightened’ trees are gravitating more toward the sun/light.

The river will reflect silver tones of the light (reflections of the sun/dawn) reaching every corner of the world through the stream of ever flowing energy that can’t be stopped.  It passes the lavender field, nourishing it and causing the flowers to bloom (carrying the theme of flowers being the manifestation of a plant’s enlightenment).

The lavender to the left are swaying in the direction of the right – where the painting is being directed – the blossoming of full consciousness.

The wash of butterflies heading toward the flowers begin as a mixture of hearts and butterflies, putting across the concept of love and loving yourself enough to let yourself be free and fly in the beauty of creation.  The conclusion of the painting is the 2 butterflies alighted on the flower – they have found the piece/peace of beauty in this world.  That will be the focal point of this painting.

I also liked the concept – for you Tracy – of the female trees being on top of mountains to represent a little personal touch that you can relate to with your climbing and reaching new heights.

Please also note that this is a very rough sketch – it is A4 in size.  You can imagine that the canvases will be a lot more detailed as I will have a lot more space to ‘do my thing’.  This is really just an idea of content and colour.  The real thing always is far more impressive.  For instance, the butterflies will be a lot more detailed – I would like to incorporate some silver swirly design in their wings and want them to perhaps be more of a lilac colour (like white with a hint of purple).  So they will be more detailed as will the lavender and the mountains, trees, etc.  I want to subtly incorporate the patterned backgrounds I do (in silver) onto the mountains (I have done a little bit of this in the sketch but it will feature more prominently in the painting).

The next stage (Part 3 — next Wednesdays blog, 25th January 2012) I will show you the process of painting and why I never show the client the painting while it is a work-in-progress. To follow this blog via e-mail and get instant updates when a new blog is posted, please click the ‘follow’ button in the sidebar.

Read Part 3 & Part 4


The Universe is Expanding – Are You?

The Universe is ever expanding and gives rise to new opportunities for creating and orchestrating planetary and galactic development.

So, if the Universe is pushing ever on outward,

why set boundaries for creativity on any level?

Never limit yourself because anything can be achieved if doubt is removed.

The Universe is not set – why should you be?

Pushing the envelope of creative expansion breaks down any illusion of limitation.

Once you step out of the box, infinity beckons your every whim.

Bask in the knowledge that existence is infinite, as are all possibilities.

We create in a field of pure energy potential.

Sign up HERE to receive your gift of inspirational wallpaper designs from my book ‘Creative Expression’

The above quotations and art have been taken from my new table book ‘Creative Expression – How to find your inspiration…’ available now — CLICK HERE.  All the artworks above are available to purchase as prints at RedBubble.

Ignite Your Creative Flame!

 The search for purpose or meaning in our lives is rooted in the deepest feelings

that stir within.

To find our unique spark, that will ignite the flame.

That which burns to give birth to creation.

For it is creativity that leads us to fulfilling our dreams and stokes our fires.

A world without creativity would be unbearable to try to even imagine…

Inspiration takes on many forms.

 What does your creative expression look like?

Have you found yourself lost in time when you are immersed in your passion?

What is it, no matter how insignificant to you, that makes you feel at home?

And reminds you of how beautiful life can be?

Find the answer and find your gateway to utilizing your divine, unique gifts – everybody has

a gift(s) although the packages may vary.

There is no stopping creative flow…

It will never cease to be.

The only limitations to creation are the ones that are self inflicted.

Sign up HERE to receive your gift of inspirational wallpaper designs from my book ‘Creative Expression’

The above quotations and art have been taken from my new table book ‘Creative Expression – How to find your inspiration…’ available now — CLICK HERE.  All the artworks above are available to purchase as prints at RedBubble.

Christmas Gift Ideas…Part 3

A Recap

In the past 2 weeks I have discussed great sites such as RedBubble and Zazzle for creating your own gift designs, whether it is from photographs or your own personal artwork.  See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Need inspiration?

Today we are going to go behind the scenes and discuss getting inspired.  It’s not an easy thing to obtain if you are stuck for motivation or ideas.  This is where perusing other artist, designers and photographers websites or works on sites such as RedBubble is such a great way of seeing what other creative beings are up to.  Not that you want to copy their ideas but it does, more often than not, lead you to do something that is triggered by someones idea but made completely different by your creative style.

A lot of these gift ideas use captions along with images that can really have that added ‘wow’ factor touch.  So, to get you going on some inspirational visuals, I have been introduced to a site called Pinterest and I want to share this wonderful site with you.

Pinteresting…

For those of you who are not acquainted with the site, it is a really great visual social network.  Displaying not only art, design and photography but also captions, short quotations, illustration, fashion, home decor designs, food and a whole lot of other fantastic things to stir up your creative juices.

“Set aside some good quality time for this as I guarantee the candy feast your eyes will be lapping up is going to make time fly…”

It is a fairly easy site to navigate and it allows you to ‘pin’ any image you like, adding it to your pin board on the site where others can have a look too and repin if they desire.  You also get to check out what other people have pinned on their boards, whether it be their personal creations or other images they have nabbed off the web.

Again, these pictures do fall under copyright laws — so obey!  But have fun getting inspired and motivated to start your own creations.

Set aside some good quality time for this as I guarantee the candy feast your eyes will be lapping up is going to make time fly out the window…next thing you look at the clock and hours have passed as you have perused the many visual delights!  Enjoy and, most of all, have fun.

Future projecting

Can you imagine how impressed your family and friends will be when you present them with a gift of your very own design?!

It is a great way to express yourself, feel a sense of achievement and to get that Christmas list looking good.

If you still feel like making your own gifts is just not for you, here are some more gift ideas from my store:

  

Christmas Gift Ideas…Part 2

A little bit of silliness never went astray!

Over the past couple of months my husband and I (no, I am not the queen) have been trying to plant our own vegetable garden.  This is not as simple as it would usually sound as we live near Cape Point and have baboons for neighbours.  And as you can surmise, baboons eat vegetables.

So the plan is to build frameworks with chicken wire around our vege garden to protect it from our hairy adversaries.  A challenge to say the least.

So what has this got to do with art?

Well, during our spates in the garden, we have come up with some witty vegetable ‘catch-phrases’.  I was wondering how to incorporate this new avenue into my art and have come up with a bold solution.

The vegetables have given rise to new unfounded inspiration…(picture opposite – ‘Can you handle me?‘:  Warning!  I come with many different layers…and I can make a grown man cry!!!).  This has led me to create the….*drum-roll*…

The Vege-Tate Gallery

In a moment of pure silliness I invented a joke shop, which I have named The Vege-Tate Gallery, that hosts a number of incredibly cheesy vegetable quotations accompanied by my digital artwork of these tasty morsels.

I wanted to make the designs simple yet effective.  At first I contemplated freehand drawings and then scanning and cropping them into a T-shirt design but decided to go the digital route.

This involved my hand, the mouse and the simple paintbrush program that most Windows packages come with.

I then transfer these crude drawings into Photoshop, where I can put them on a transparent background and ‘clean’ them up.  Finally I add the text and upload it to the site (at the moment I am using RedBubble but you can also do this on Zazzle – see my previous article for all the goodies you can create there).

Voila!

Another gift idea for Christmas in the (shopping) bag…

How can you do this?

If you struggle with the graphics side of things, you can use photographs instead.  Ever taken a funny photo of a child or pet? – well, use that! Everyone has at least one crazy catch-phrase they can use as an excellent and unique gift idea for that someone special.

The wonderful thing about both these sites is you can have the gift sent directly to the person, so it is simply fantastic for those relatives and friends overseas!  No excuses.

Can’t be bothered?

Visit my ever-growing store and have the hassle taken out of Christmas shopping.

This is my first batch of vegetable produce:

Feel free to post some of your creations here for others to see and get ideas from.

Painting Dolphins

As promised, in my previous blog about whales (read here), this art blog is going to be about painting dolphins.  As I explained in the ‘Why you have to love whales’ blog – I live in Cape Town and am privileged to see these beautiful mammals expressing their joyous souls on a regular basis.

I have not, sadly, swum with them (yet) – as was the case with the whale – but I have seen pods of dolphins in the False Bay area and what a sight and fuel for inspiration they are!

I have no fantastic tales (or tails) to regale with today so I am simply going to stick to the technical aspects of painting underwater scenes…

The technical side of painting underwater (and no, not physically!)

Dolphins - Cherie Dirksen original paintingPainting underwater scenes are quite involved as they require a lot of layering.  This ‘wash’ of blue that needs to be repeated until the desired effect is achieved, needs time and patience…and I paint in acrylics – for those who paint in oils the process takes even longer as the drying time is slower.

  1. The first layer consists of getting the basic blue background started – then I apply the subject matter.
  2. When that is done the watered-down blue paint wash layering begins until the right monotone colour is produced and ready to go out into the world.
  3. The most rewarding part of this journey is in the varnishing.  As soon as you apply that coat of gloss varnish the painting comes alive and the water looks wet again (like it does when the paint is first set to canvas).

Magnifique!

Perhaps this can give you a better appreciation of how much time and effort (or in some cases, curses and tears) goes into these deceptively tricky aquatic scenes.

Inspiration

With every work of art comes the inspiration behind it.  With this painting, as with the whale painting, I have put it down in the form of a poem.

The Poem 

‘Dolphins – The Spirit of Freedom’

You never let us forget how to love
How to laugh
How to smile
How to be light-hearted

You never let us forget how to be
In the moment
In this space
In this time

You never let us forget about beauty
About simplicity
About friendship
About sincerity

You never let us forget about fun
Being in the heart
Playing with each other
Soaking up the bliss

You never let us forget why we love you so
Why we feel connected
Why you are important
Why you are here

You never let us forget
Who we are
Why we are
When we are

Please never let us forget

If you also have an affinity for dolphins and would like to splash out and have this original painting gracing your wall – click here for details.  I also have a wide variety of products to choose from with this specific dolphin design – for prints, posters and greeting cards click here, for gift ideas click here.

For those of you who still need convincing about how wonderful dolphins are, please do yourself a favour and watch this incredible short video – your heart will melt…go on, you know you want to. 🙂