Google+ LISTENING TO THE SQUEAK INSIDE art by Kirstin McCulloch of LilliBean Designs: January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

☆ The One Where I Realise Less is More [Friday Art]

Remember my painting from last week

The one where I thought it wasn't finished + that I thought I needed to add more to the page?

Here is the story behind this page.
So, I have these scrapbooking elements that are like Polaroid frames - kinda cool, + I thought that I would paint an Alice-esque face or two in the frames + attach them to the page. 

As I was painting the faces, I wasn't sure if they would add to the page, and once they were finished + I was playing with the placement I realised that they definitely wouldn't work.

Wasn't it Coco Chanel who famously said something along the lines of once you are dressed take off the last accessory you added to avoid looking over dressed? [I am being lazy, and can't be bothered to google it…]

Well I applied that theory to my painting and decided to leave them off. 

I was surprised when I read + answered the lovely comments about last weeks painting, that some  loved the idea of her being anonymous + that she could be any one of us.

And it was then that my instinct was validated with a big red tick.

And I wondered how you all know when it is time to stop. In our business, it is really difficult to take the last layer off, so do you walk away, does your instinct just guide you? I would love it if you shared with us. 

By the Way, February's 'Snippets from my Studio' is almost finished + to send out tomorrow. It is the only way you can access the 'Gratitude Angel' download for free, the monthly give aways, as well as the downloadable desktop calendar which features new art every month. Register here

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Monday, January 27, 2014

☆ Life Book Catch up [Part Three]

{This is the third part of my Lifebook catch up - click her for part one + part two}

This week past, I caught up on all my life book lessons + completed the entire year of paintings.

I feel totally accomplished! Especially since one of my dreams for 2013 was to finish all the years Life Book classes. [I still need to go back to 2012 and finish it off…. another time… maybe!]

So here are the final weeks 44 to 51:

Week 44 - Favorite Words with Monica Zuniga

Week 45 - A Graphite Feather with Tamara Laporte

Week 48 - Your Beautiful Word Chemistry with Melody Ross

Week 50 - A Page Of Celebration and Gratitude 

with Jeanette Maisy House

Week 51 - A Layered Page with Dina Wakley

What an amazing journey this has been. There are some pieces I absolutely adore + some I never liked. Some lessons were a dream to do, some were so hard emotionally + challenged me. But overall I love looking through my journal + seeing all this beautiful art + seeing how much I have changed in both my style + thought over the year.

I made a quick video to show you the entire years art - It's my very first video + I hope you like it

or use this link to view.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

☆ I Have Nothing but Time [Friday Art]

Mac has been in on a training course in the city this week, and after his first commute he texted, "I forgot how much I hate the traffic." And it made me realise how very different my life is now compared to ten years ago. 

Mac + I lived in the city for nearly ten years before we left to live overseas. We had busy lives, busy jobs + busy schedules.

Thinking about it now, I realised how much we were ruled by the clock. Time wasn't our friend. 

Back then I used to wear a watch. I was ruled by deadlines + billable hours, by bus timetables + parking restrictions, I was being consumed by the machine + there was never enough time in the day

I was a square peg trying to squeeze into a very round hole. And I always felt I was missing something.

☆ ☆ 

Now I live a very different life.

I no longer wear a watch. And I live in a very small town, where nothing is more than five minutes away.

Before I was never late. Now I am perpetually late.

Now I have nothing but time.

And while I'm still busy - I still have appointments + deadlines, the rushing + constant time allocation is no longer an all consuming thing.

So I was thinking about all of this when I was playing in my journal. A couple of weeks ago I posted a sketch on the LilliBeans Facebook page, for illustration friday's them of 'Time' so I decided to paint it on a back ground I had half started with left overs from my Lifebook catch up.

LilliBean Designs Sketch book painting, alice and wonderland style painting,
Nothing But Time.
I had planned on journalling on the right had side, but nothing inspired me, so I left it.

After all I have nothing but time to play with it.

And just this morning driving to the petrol station I had a flash of inspiration. So you will have to pop back next week to see if my idea works….

In these time driven period,  with our busy lives + full schedules, how do you carve out time for yourself? I would love it if you shared your stories with us.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

☆ Bean + Me + LifeBook 13 [Creating with Kids]

In three weeks Bean is about to begin her next big life challenge - going to primary school. And Bug, well now she is a big three year old, has started going to preschool two days a week. Which means on Monday Bean, Beastie + I were at a bit of a loose end.

my inkblot butterfly you may have seen before here
Having three kids is amazing, challenging, rolling around the floor funny, and noisy. So freaking noisy!

I was a little lost + slightly surprised at how much quieter it is when Bean or Bug are away.

I was also amazed at how much Bean + Bug must communicate with each other, because on Monday Bean was all like, 'mama this' or 'mama that', or just 'mama', (just because apparently!), mama, mama, mama!

Holy Crap.

So I asked her what she wanted to do on this Monday as it was a bit of special time together + I wanted to do something fun with her.

All she wanted to do was do an art lesson with Mama. [I love this kid!]

I hadn't really planned anything, but I also knew I had some serious catch up to do on Life Book, so I set Bean up next to me in my studio, got her some paper, and we did the Ink Blot Butterfly with Kelly Hoernig

I loved it. Bean loved it. We both came out of the session feeling amazing + so high. I felt we had connected in a way we haven't for a while now, and all she can talk about is how much she loved that lesson + wants to do more like that. (I am totally up for that!)

Beans Ink blot butterfly page.
I love how much she enjoyed it. How very she was ok with not having a page exactly like the video, or even like mine.

She took the core lesson from the video and turned it into something uniquely hers.

And isn't that one of the core values of art? I thought that she would learn something in this lesson, but instead I was the one who was reminded of my core artistic values.

☆ To be original
☆ To be true to my vision + process
☆ To love it (Love the process + the construction I mean - I don't necessarily love everything I create
                       + I don't feel I have to.)
☆ To have Fun.

A big freaking tick to this lesson.

Do you create with your kids? Do you have any lessons you'd like to share? What are your most important values creating or other wise? I would love it if you share with us your stories below.

By the way, I have installed a new commenting system which I am hoping will make it easier to respond to your fabulous comments. I would love it if you said hi, but if you have any problems please let me know!  

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Monday, January 20, 2014

☆ LifeBook 2013 Catch Up [Part Two]

Part two of my intense Life Book catch up experience. [Part One is here] I managed to achieve so much this week, with out missing out on the point of the lesson.

Week 39: A Tribute to Loss with Dawn DeVries Sokol 
I decided to create this page as a tribute to my grand father (who has now been gone ten years). He is represented by the dragonfly, which is one of my personal totems, (+ one day I will share the story behind this)
I love the effect that using black gesso as a base coat gave - although I didn't have black gesso + used heavy black acrylics instead.

Week 40: What's Inside with Rachelle Panagarry
This was a fun one to create, lots of layers, collage and colour. I love how her face turned out + I adore the way it peaks out from behind her hands. 

Week 41: Celebrating Earth with Tamara Laporte

Another colourful page exploring masks, stamps and gelli plates. I haven't invested in one yet, they are out of my budget at the moment + I am not sure if I will use one enough to justify the cost. I have seen home made ones on pinterest (Has any one made one of these??) but for the moment I will keep using my old credit cards.

If you were on my facebook page last week, you would have seen me making + using stamps for this piece which was so much fun + surprisingly easy!

Week 43 - Nature As Art with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

For this page, I ventured into the 40° + heat to my very dead garden to find something to use as a stamp from nature.

Not much was left alive, but I found some rosemary + a strawberry leaf. But despite the lack of greenery in my garden, I love the effect I was able to achieve with limited supplies. This was another lesson that I substituted a Gelli plate with my trusty credit card! But in this instance I could see how cool, using greenery on the gelli plate would be.

Week 44: Halloween Queen with Tamara Laporte

Sorry about the crap photo with this one. It was hard to photograph, and my journal is so full that scanning is almost impossible. The black acrylic + iridescent medium are so hard to do justice in a photo.

This was a paint over portrait piece, so I printed out a pic of me, stuck it down and painted over it. There is something slightly odd with the portrait. Her lips are too big for one, and maybe because I recognise parts of myself in the painting, it is slightly jarring. 

But I love how her dress turned out. Love it. And I couldn't do that again if I tried - and that is the beautiful thing about art isn't.

So only a few more lessons to go before I can dig into Life Book 2014. And I love seeing the art that is being produced at the moment. I can't wait!!

Have a fantastic week.

By the way, I have installed a new commenting system which I am hoping will make it easier to respond to your fabulous comments. I would love it if you said hi, but if you have any problems please let me know!  
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Worthy [Friday Art]

  1. 1.
    having or showing the qualities that deserve the specified action or regard.

    • deserving effort, attention, or respect.
    • good enough; suitable.
 ☆ ☆ 

I suspect that I am not alone, but I continuously struggle with my self worth.

I struggle with the feelings of being good enough, talented enough, kind enough, generous enough, open enough.

Worthy enough

Late last year I was out on one of my 'sanity saver' walks, I started to wonder why? Why wasn't I worthy.

I mean, what made some one else more worthy than me? Of course my little bitch came out and suggested in her sly voice, "what makes you think you would be more worthy or some one else Kirstin??" 

But as I thought about it more, I realised,  it wasn't that I deserved more than some one else, or that I was competing for some kind of accolade, what I realised that I, myself, was worthy (in the broad sense of the word), I was good enough, suitable even + because of this I am worthy.

I came home and immediately wrote down areas in my life that I was feeling un-worthy and this is what I came up with…

                   ☆ I am worthy of investing time into myself

                   ☆ I am worthy of having a deep connection with my husband

                   ☆ I am worthy of having a fabulous relationship with my kids

                   ☆ I am worthy of having treasured friendships

                   ☆ I am worthy of having my creative space to create beautiful art

                   ☆ I am worthy of loosing those last freaking 10lbs that I have had for 20 years now,

                   ☆ I am worthy of having a cup of coffee in peace and quiet

                   ☆ I just am damn it.

And still feeling a little raw when it was time for the girls to have their rest, I painted it too.

So it is no surprise that 'worthy' is my word for 2014. And when ever the little bitch pays a visit, on my studio wall, on a slightly coffee stained post-it is the phrase: 'WHY? Because I am so worth it. x"

And I wanted to share this with you, because sometimes, (+ you may not realise it), but it is really important to know that you are worthy of everything you dream of.

I pinky swear it!

I would love to know what your word of 2014 is, if you have one, or even better, what you are worthy of in twenty fourteen!

Feel free to share below, if your shy, email me!

By the way, I have installed a new commenting system which I am hoping will make it easier to respond to your fabulous comments. I would love it if you said hi, but if you have any problems please let me know! 
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

☆ ATC Swap with Aloquin

Last year I received an email from Aloquin asking if I wanted to do an ATC swap.

Now as you may know I love receiving things in the mail. I've talked about this before: I am a mail junkie. When I was younger I would sign up for all those free catalogues in the back of the teen magazines just so I would have my own mail in the post box. I wrote to every fan club (Do you remember the days before Facebook fan pages? OK I'm really showing my age now!) asking for an autographed photo of [insert deliriously hunky teen idol here].

So when I was asked if I wanted to do an ATC swap, I was like hell Yes!

The ATC I was asked to create was a girl walking in the city.

And I knew exactly which city I wanted to use (can you guess??) but what I wasn't sure of how to translate my idea into a 2.5 x 3.5' format.

I had to be a little creative, so I created the back ground above (with pro markers)

And then painted the girl below with acrylics + watercolours

I cut her out, and then dug through my old scrapbooking supplies and found those raise mount thingys.
And yes that is there very technical term, which raised the girl a couple of millimetres off the back ground, giving it a lovely 3D effect that is totally wasted on the scan below. (Except for the slight background blur…)

She was so much fun to create. I love the challenge that the smaller format presents, making me think out side the box.

My brief to Aloquin was a circus themed ATC.

And look at this amazing card I received. Such an awesome card + I had such a buzz opening my mail box and finding this nestled amongst the bills.

So I am always up for a swap, if your up for one, email me I would love to hear your ideas!

By the way, I have installed a new commenting system which I am hoping will make it easier to respond to your fabulous comments. I would love it if you said hi, but if you have any problems please let me know!
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Monday, January 13, 2014

☆ Catching up…. {LifeBook 2013}

I have been spending the last couple of days catching up on the last of 2013's Lifebook lessons, before I dive into 2014.

Seeing the art that people are producing already in twenty fourteens classes, has me so inspired, but I promised myself that this year, (well last year now!) I would finish all the classes.

Because I gave birth to wee Beastie in January last year, I didn't start my life book classes until mid February, so I am still about 10 weeks behind. But this week, I finished off a couple of classes

 Week 34: Radical forgiveness by Tam Laporte. I am not ready to forgive some of my hurts, (I will get there one day!) but I found this so therapeutic for forgiving some of the things I am ready to let go. You may have seen the tree on my Facebook feed - in the lesson Tam used a printed tree, but my printer ran out of ink + I ran out of patience with dragging all three kids into + out of the car for the third time that day!!

Week 36: This was another lesson by Tam, about keeping mindful in our day to day lives and creating mindful art. I love the expression on this face of this one, it is so soft + peaceful. 

Week 37: Inkblot Butterfly with Kelly Hoernig Using a dictionary page with my word for 2013 [Release] as a background, we created acrylic ink spot butterflies on tracing paper. I love the effect of this + best of all Bean joined me on this lesson + loved it so much she is desperate to try another one. I will share her creation soon.

Week 38: Feeling + Healing with Erin Faith Allen. A simple + intuitive lesson, and while I am not sure I am as connected with this painting as I should have been, I love the simplicity of the piece.

So there you go. I have learnt several techniques that I have never used before which have been super interesting + I can't wait to use them again, I have played with my Bean in the studio + my creative soul is like a pig in mud.

A good start to 2014 I'd say. How has your year started? I hope it's been fab.

By the way, I have installed a new commenting system which may or may not make it easier to respond to your fabulous comments. I would love it if you said hi, but if you have any problems please let me know!

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Friday, January 3, 2014

☆ Water Lily [Friday Art]

Happy 2014! I wish that all your big dreams, your hearts desires, become realities.

Do you do goals + resolutions? It has become a ritual for me to spend a couple of days thinking about what I want the next year to look like, what big dreams I want to achieve.

I have found that if I don't do this ritual, my mind is a mess, I have no direction, I am adrift. 

I hate that lost + overwhelmed feeling.

I won't bore you with my dreams for 2014. I mean, while there is some value in sharing them, a sense of accountability I guess, I am not sure they are all that interesting to any one else.

But what I do want to share with you is one of the two commissions I was working on before Christmas.

Not for my kids this time! This was a painting for a client's daughters birthday. I loved working on this one, my client wanted very specific elements in the painting, full of personal meaning for her family. And I was so honoured that they chose me to paint this for their daughter.

So I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season, I am taking a bit of time off, I need to catch up with Lifebook 2013, before I start 2014, a blog update, and a shop to reorganise. I also want to spend some time with Bean before she starts big school!

I should be popping in a little, here and there, but no set schedule!

Do you have a ritual you do at New Years? I would love to hear about your rituals below.

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