Art Every day of November 2010

The Art Every Day Month Survival Guide promises to support artists and aspiring artists through the process of producing art every day for the month of November.  The blog will be filled with  artwork, quotes, writing, and audio clips, and  sharing with other aspiring artists on flickr. I can hardly wait to participate!
Paper and textile work

1st November : Monday Day 1

Today I got out a textile piece that I did at an art workshop with Cas Holmes in August, with a working title called Nature Table, I looked at it again for ideas. I think this is the play stage of working, and I decide to take Picasso’s own words to heart …

‘Every act of creation is first an act of destruction

I took a deep breath, got out my scissors and cut it up into 9 equal sections!  Then I looked around my art room for a suitable frame or backing and placed the oblong shapes onto a piece of unbleached linen.

1st November version

I began to embellish it with different ideas…   embroidery silks, beads, organza, paper moons…..I machine stitched some of the features into place.

2nd November:

All I managed to do creatively today, after figuring out how to run a new computer and upload  software …. was to use couching stitches to sew  a bright red silky ribbon around the borders. Then I machine stitched more of the oblongs into place… of course I ran out of red cotton, and then the red tapestry wool ….

Close up

… but as it happened, my arty friend Gina rang me, telling me about a small dog she wants to rescue from the local animal sanctuary. So I packed my own rescue dog, Zara, into the car and we took both animals for a walk..

3rd November Make Bad Art Day

As I haven’t had the chance to buy cotton and tapestry wool ….  my creative eye has wandered around my art room, for some other project to work with. I spy  three small abstract paintings that I did on cheap drawing paper, last year and didn’t know what to do with… except tuck away into a sketch book.  Nothing is precious I tell myself. Shall I get out the scissors again?

Yes!  I had the courage to take one of those pieces of artwork and cut it into the shape of  an urn. I found a suitable canvas and then developed a textured background, all these elements seem to go together. But you decide, tell me, do you think they work?

pinkish urn, mixed media

4th November Thursday: Beautify your creative space

I have been out all day, and only managed to look at the  blog late. I have what I need to continue my textile piece, and bought some gorgeous bright blue organza and tulle in the fabric shop for other projects.  I looked at some inspiring work-rooms on Flickr  My creative space usually starts the week looking neat and clean, but the next day everywhere is covered with  work in progress.

Journal entry 'stitch your dreams'

I still have nature table on one surface, my sewing machine takes up another worktop and in the centre of the room is a smaller table where I try out test pieces and work in my journal.

5th November: take a walk with your camera day.

Caleta de Famara

I took a walk one of Spain’s best beaches, a short drive away! But not before I had been in the garden re/painting a Buddha figure, in an attempt to Beautify other spaces around me.

Famara Beach

6th November: Create a piece of art that reminds you to get grounded

Todays’ tip is useful. It’s not that I cant find inspiration when I’m not grounded, its that there is too much inspiration! If I walk into my art room with one intention, I can soon be multi-tasking with several projects on the go at the same time! It is a marvellous feeling when I am working solely on one project and giving it my undivided attention… woo!

Today is typical.  I was outside sorting out various things my husband has removed from his workshop to throw away. I made a pile to go to the recycling unit. What was left was a large mirror… and I was thinking of using it as the basis for a mosaic picture for the terrace wall. Then I looked up a youtube video on how to cut a mirror. I started planning the design and looking up Gaudi and César Manrique, … which naturally took some time… and of course on my worktable is the textile piece waiting for me to work on… and a part finished journal entry, as well as a wall hanging I have started recently….I also had an appointment to keep at 3pm.

I had agreed to meet Bernie of the 9 lives Cat Charity to see whether I could help as a volunteer during their campaign to neuter the feral cats that live in the island. That is, the many cats and kittens that would either be dumped, poisoned, drowned or otherwise cruelly killed or die of a range of cat illnesses. How can anyone with any compassion not want to get involved?

Little Heart

Not much time left for creative endeavor today, except to finish stitching ‘Little Heart‘  and to think that maybe, with the Buddha figure of yesterday already painted, that he would be my piece of art that reminds me to be grounded

7th November:

Today is about Finishing Projects,  I have just realized, like a whack to the side of the head, that the reason I have so many projects on the go, is that I have a terrible fear of having nothing to do! After 2 hours of gardening, I continued with Nature Table, hand stitching beads. Though I couldn’t resist finishing at least one project and completed another Little Heart.

Little Heart 2

I have decided that the mirror mosaic will have to wait until I have a few more completions. For example, there are 2 faux palm tree beach scenes on my upper terrace waiting for my paint brush and a cool overcast day; I also have 3 faux stone arches that need to be varnished. All jobs I keep putting off.

8th November Small Art day:

Embroidered Inchies

Set your sights small. Teeny tiny. Super fun. Phew I feel the pressure is off to keep producing or modifying more big stuff. So I made 3, one inch square mini-art using hand embroidery on a tapestry canvas, in half an hour.

9th November

Art to Music day:  I located my iPod after returning from the vet, and docked it,  and turned up the volume on Etta James: Blues To The Bone. Can this girl sing! I am happy to croon along.

Sammy helping with the editing

Sammy the cat seems to have a virus. She is sat on my worktable waiting to be fussed over,  she loathes trips to the vet… and just needs some tlc to ease her back from the trauma. Etta James has come over all sympathetic with Hush Hush.

I reach  for one of my journals, and on the table is a pot of gesso.  I’ve only used gesso once or twice in my entire life, so now is the time to experiment on an early Celtic Cross shape I like.

Early Celtic Cross

1oth November Just start without planning or thought.

Ower! This is my normal style! After walking Zara, with my friend Gina, (who has now decided to adopt two dogs) I find that my internet connection is down. It is 5pm before I can read today’s blog. However,  I covered my pinkish urn in spray varnish as a protective cover and continued with a page in my journal, using gesso and fabric paints, then completed a paper and textile piece, Cactus in Pot.

Catcus in Pot

11th November: Follow your nose day.

I began my morning with an hour’s work in the garden because it was  cool and overcast, perfect for a little spade work. The heady scent of honeysuckle was evident every time I brushed past the plant hanging over my archway.  When I had finished transplanting my tiny herb garden I sat with a cup of tea, my journal and a handful of honeysuckle flowers. I pressed the flowers into the paper to create colour on my page, it gave an attractive speckly texture. I left the page to dry, thinking that I would sketch an abstracted  honeysuckle flower when it is ready.

Vegetarian Tortilla

Aroused by the scents of the day,  in my kitchen I placed some beetroot in the oven, the way I learned to do after a French  holiday. The sweet aroma of roasting beetroot filled the room whilst I  chopped juicy red and green peppers, onions and oregano for a vegetarian Spanish Tortilla. Once this was sizzling on the stove, filling the air with pungent smells, I chopped some leeks and potatoes for a creamy vichyssoise…another French favourite.

12th November: I just dont feel like it !

How true! I returned from the 9Lives cat neutering program a little dispirited. I ate some of the tortilla and vichyssoise for a late lunch, and didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t seem to start or finish any of my lovely projects today. I didn’t even feel like journalling.

Express your mood in movement is one way to move creativity forward, so I put on  Etta James and had a little dance, but I still felt as flat as my tortilla. The only thing I could do was clean up my art room , and this eventually  got me motivated to finish a collagraphed piece of fabric with Red Hot Heart .

Red Hot Heart


Just before I left the house this morning, Gina called by to give me a small present. It was a stash of various art and craft papers she thought I could use.

13th November

Use poetry as your inspiration today!

Hearty Coaster

Um! Why this poem came full blown into my head when I read today’s blog, I dont know. But it used to be a song my mother loved by JOHNNY TILLOTSON called “Poetry In Motion” in 1959. The art muse has not struck me via poetry, though the lyrics keep going around my mind… but at least I carried on with developing a paper and ribbon collage and created Hearty  Coaster.

When I see my baby

What do I see
Poetry in motion

Poetry in motion
Walkin’ by my side
Her lovely locomotion
Keeps my eyes open wide

Poetry in motion
See her gentle sway
A wave out on the ocean
Could never move that way

I love every movement
And there’s nothing I would change
She doesn’t need improvement
She’s much too nice to rearrange

Poetry in motion
Dancing close to me
A flower of devotion
A swaying gracefully

14th November – Sunday

I am unable to access the blog.   I pottered in the garden and planted cilantro  and tended to my herbs. It is a warm sunny day, so mid morning, I packed beach towels, sun umbrella, snorkel, books and husband  into the car and took off to one of our favourite  beaches.

Sunday is the day that  El Churinguitos, the tapas bar make  a huge paella. We ordered a media ratione  each, with a glass of local wine.  This is not tourist paella, with a few  prawns and meat stuck into soggy rice; this is saffron rice, oozing with shellfish, calamari and thick juicy pieces of chicken. We drizzled our dish with fat quarters of lemon. After lunch and a swim,  it is a day for reading, lazing and gazing at the tide. All creative endeavour needs some space.

15th November Monday

Take a risk!

I took an acrylic painting that I can’t finish, I had started it months ago . Gina told me that she finds it scary ! … perhaps that s because she is a figurative artist and I often work in abstracts? Anyway, today I took a risk.

Scary Pic!

I have partly smothered it in gesso! Then feeling good, but not inspired to go further, I finished Heart with Wings in textile and paper. I await more  inspiration for the painting, including a good working title!

Heart with Wings


16th November Tuesday

Have fun and play day.   I had committed most of my day to helping out with the cat neutering program, which is a thoroughly dispiriting business.  Fortunately, my husband came with me and together we helped the visiting veterinarians as best we could. They are only on the island for a week and so far they have neutered or castrated 150 feral cats. The cats have to be released back into the area they came from…even though there were many beautiful cats from a domestic background I would love to have given a home to. I just can’t comprehend that people can abandon family pets.

At home, I persuaded myself of the element of fun in life. I had earlier in the week bought  yam flour to  use as an alternative to wheat. On the internet I found a recipe for pan de yuca and made a huge mess in the kitchen spilling yam flour, queso fresco and eggs everywhere. But they were from  a recipe that doesn’t use yeast and the little crescent shaped pan tasted gorgeous!  They will be delicious dunked into my favourite watercress and almond soup which I also made for tomorrows lunch.  Cooking can be creative and fun!

17th November Artists Date: Wander alone anywhere

I love the architectural monuments that are the entrances to some of the villages of Lanzarote. It suggests a ‘welcome’ and it infers a cosy intimacy as you drive or walk past. They are akin to the entrance to a house, and I particularly like the simplicity of line and the almost unadorned whitewashed walls.

18th November Creating inkblots is a great way to play creatively and use your imagination !

But this was the one thing so far on the daily creativity site, I had a problem trying, why? My inner critic was loud with cries of  “unoriginal, uninspiring, boring, waste of time”


Gr'r'r'r Ink blots


It’s  true I had a busy day today, however I could have found half an hour to try one of the prompts, so it was quite late in the evening that I crept up to my art room, found my smallest journal and ink-blotted away.

19th November Friday

Making Time for Making Art day, even if its just 5 minutes.
Some days are not conducive to a long stretch of creativity, even if the creative muse is flowing! I decided that as I was still  helping out with the 9Lives program, I would use 5 minute blocks to develop my wall hanging when I found time today.

Textile leaves

This was a perfect arrangement, I started with woven fabric oblongs  I had made earlier. In 5 minutes I had cut out some recycled fabric leave shapes and appliquéd them.

20th November Dreams are a way of accessing what is aching to be expressed in us…

The neutering program has ended early! A whole extra day to be creative. However I wanted to visit a produce market  with my husband. It’s overlooked by El Kilo, my favourite fabric shop … and the walk from the car park  is along the pretty, sleepy lagoon of El Charco… all creative opportunities. I took photos of the lagoon, replenished my supplies of cotton reels in El Kilo, and we filled a shopping bag to bursting point with fresh produce.

El Charco Lagoon

November 22nd Sunday

Meeting with Your Inner Artist or muse:

Oh dear, tricky! My muse is usually a constant, it is there when I wake up, go walking, when I’ve got a camera in hand or a stash of art materials near by, it flows into my written journals, my wardrobe, house and garden.

My problem is, I am often overwhelmed by my muse! I have too much choice….Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying my muse has any particular standards, and it hates to finish things, but the flow is there…most of the time … it requires discipline, a tempering of the creative juices, a slowing and mellowing!

23 November

Insert some movement into your creating today:

Yoga has been a big passion of mine since the age of 20. I am now 58 and and practice at least 3 times a week, and also teach one day a week, sometimes more. There is a definite link between exercise and artistic productivity. So I took myself through my stretches and felt s’o’o’o’o’o good. Afterwards, I knew intuitively how to progress Inkblots, then I stitched them into my journal.

Altered inkblots

24 November: Create from your intuition, start with what you’re drawn to, and let go of any judgements.

25 November: Thursday: Art from Food Day

I used several potatoes to create  block prints. Then I utilised recycled textiles and paper scraps and machine stitched  Sew to Bed.

Sew to Bed

26 November: Friday

We are going to Fuerteventura for 2 nights and take  the 2pm ferry. This morning I rose to the Art every day challange by doing a wax rubbing of a metal picture in my house and then dyeing cloth using acrylic paints. I wrote the process up in my journal for future reference.

Wax rubbing on dyed cloth


27 November: Saturday

I have brought my embroidery silks and small pieces of canvas. At least I can practice my embroidery stitches, I have only  started working in silks since August. I couldn’t resist taking my camera out and about with me and snapped Pajara Entrance located in the middle of the island, then I took snaps of the interesting displays of African Art in the Museum in Betancuria.

African Basket

African Rug

African Woven Pots

Embroidered Fish



28 November: Sunday

Continue to develop something, bringing out shapes you saw and adding to it.

Nature Table .. in progress

29 November: Monday

Listen to your still, small voice. What is it wanting to create today?


in paper
Moon and Stars collage


30 November: Congratulations Tuesday

Make a piece of art inspired by the joy of celebration.

Celebratory Flower



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Decorative December « Minarety's Blog

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