Change your focus
What is abstract expressionism - with artist Pamela Caughey
We all have the choice to choose to what to pace our focus on, in any given moment of any given day. Why not choose something different and create an entirely new experience for yourself? Just because other people say that a certain event should be a negative one, doesn’t mean you have to listen.
Next time you’re standing in front of your canvas, myopically focussed on that 1% percent (or 5% or 10%) of it that’s wrong/bad/ugly/negative, why not shift your focus to the 99% (95% or 90%) of it that’s right? You can create an entirely new experience for yourself as an artist in any moment you choose to.
How to Write Mystery and Adventure with Helen Moss
Pamela Caughey is an abstract expressionist artist from Montana, USA. She works in cold wax and oils, mixed media, encaustic and acrylic paint, and her work is in the permanent collection of several museums and public spaces nationally and internationally. Her work also appears in the book “Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts and Conversations”. She is now a full time abstract expressionist artist and teaches locally and abroad.
Writing for children - with middle grade and YA fantasy author Diane Zahler
Helen Moss is a prolific mystery and adventure writer. Her books are aimed at young and middle grade kids. She’s best known for the Adventure Island Series, but she's also written The Secrets of the Tombs Trilogy and the Time Dogs series. Writing a good mystery is what Helen does best, and she gives us plenty of insight into her writing process during her interview.
Soft Pastels with artist Henriette Van Staden
Writing for children and young adults is what Diane Zahler does best. She’s the writer behind The Thirteenth Princess, A True Princess and Princess of the Wild Swans, Bakers Magic . When she’s not writing fiction for children, she’s writing textbooks for them or indulging her love of history. Diane lives in New York, with her husband and dog, Gulliver.
Writing for children: How author David Ashby does it
Henriette van Staden is a soft pastel artist specialising in realistic wildlife and pet portraits. An artist at heart, she swapped a successful career in wedding photography for one in soft pastels and coloured pencils. Henriette is open, friendly and honest about her journey as an artist, and what I learnt from her is to treat a career in art like one would any other - have a plan, and work steadily towards it.
Miriam Lancewood - Writer, "Woman in the Wilderness"
Writing for children can be a tricky business, but David Ashby has a refreshingly organic approach to the way he writes his books. David’s debut novel is published by Pushkin Press and he is currently writing his second book for children.
Writing Habits of Successful Writers
Miriam Lancewood is an extraordinary writer who lives in the wilderness of New Zealand’s rugged South Island. Miriam and her husband, Peter, live mostly in a tent, or the occasional hut, and she hunts, fishes and forages for their food. She’s gone from being a vegetarian to someone who lives almost completely off the land and what it provides. Her book is one of the most inspirational, funny and honest books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time and it’s definitely a recommended read.
The Interrupted Writer
Below is a list of the writing habits of successful authors. I know many authors share the same habit, but I’ve put the author’s name next to the habit as I found them or as I know them from years of being interested in what writers do. Perhaps, if you’re feeling stuck in your writing, you could pick just one habit, implement it for a while and see what happens…
Emily - British Girl Bakes, teaches cake decorating
The more I write, the more I realise how perfect the creative process is. We - the artists - think it should look and work a certain way, such as during quiet time, or while being alone, or while everyone is out so that we don’t get disturbed, or perhaps, one day, when we’re retired…. But in actual fact, it’s the hum drum of every day life that keeps the creative wheel turning. The interruptions in particular.
Robin Liefeld - Artist
Emily, the girl behind the successful Youtube channel, British Girl Bakes, started her baking career as a hobby, but soon found that she wanted it to be more. Since starting baking in 2011, she’s worked in three bakeries, owned a successful cupcake shop and now runs her creative business as a cake decorating teacher and a Youtuber.
Betty In The Sky - flight attendant, podcaster and author
Robin Liefeld is a stunning, big-hearted artist and creative entrepreneur. She shares openly about how her personal life has influenced and shaped her art, and how she’s built her art into a successful creative business. Robin is known for her gorgeous paintings of abstract “Little Girls”, who appear intuitively on her canvas while she’s busy preparing the abstract background.
Stéphanie Kilgast - sculptor, painter, online educator
Betty Thesky is first a flight attendant, but in her spare time, she’s a writer and podcaster with a phenomenally successful show! I came across Betty because she’s mentioned in Guy Kawasaki’s book “Enchanted”. Her show, and her many books, draw on her experiences as a flight attendant. Betty is funny, lighthearted, energetic and she lives the ideal writers life! (And she sounds like she has a huge amount of fun doing it! )
Scott Harris, illustrator & painter of Character Art School
Stephanie Kilgast is a German born sculptor and painter who now resides in France. Inspired by natural forms, Stéphanie’s artwork focusses on nature and biodiversity. Plants, mushrooms, insects and other animals are brought to life in vivid, vibrant colours in the form of her painted sculptures.
Anne Bollman, started her own studio after a career as lead designer
Scott is a concept artist and designer who recognises the value in failing - it’s one of life’s greatest teachers. He specialises in Anime and Manga style art, and is the founder of the Character Art School. Scott teaches his drawing style and techniques online, sells prints of his art and works with clients on a freelance basis.
Katia Kyte - Inspirational fine arts artist who knows what it takes to be a successful artist
Anne Bollman began her career in architecture and interiors, designing spaces for corporate clients. She went on to be a lead designer for a large gift and stationery manufacturer and had her designs sold in stores such as Barnes & Noble, Papyrus and Pier 1 Imports. With these ten years of diverse corporate experience, Anne brings an informed yet fresh perspective to product design.
Live and Create with an unbound heart
Katia Kyte is a fine arts artist originally from Russia but now living America, painting mostly in oils. She’s a delightful woman, who splits her time between a gallery worker, her art studio and her young daughter. She talks openly about how important personal development is to her art journey, as well as continued learning.
Rod Moore, an Australian contemporary Impressionist & art business owner
I first heard the term “unbound heart” from a beautiful poet and yoga teacher called Meg McKraken. I love that term - a heart that is free to create, express, feel, love and expand without boundaries or limits.
When last did you live a day or create something with an unbound heart?
Sometimes? Never? Can’t remember the last time?
Or is this your way of being - consciously creating every day with a heart that is open to everything and everyone?
The Giant Peng Bird - A story for artists
Rod has a background in small business marketing, and he brings that knowledge with him into his art business. He shares so much of his journey with us - from his business mistakes and successes to the steps her took to overcome personal issues that stood in his way.
Doing instead of Being - are we missing the point?
You can’t know that you’re capable of much bigger things in your art, and then return to being small. It’s unnatural - things do not grow backwards.
It’s quite obvious, in the blog image above, that I missed the point of Sumi-e painting completely with this one. The fish are all right, but when I looked back at the picture once it was complete, I knew it wasn’t a Sumi-e painting. It was just ink on paper.
The essential element that’s missing
It’s not only Sumi-e art that can be practiced mindfully. Every part of your day could have some element of contemplation, emotion or thoughtfulness about it.