Meet Jane. Jane is fun, quirky, straightforward, very creative and a whole lot spontaneous! I had the pleasure of spending all last week with Jane Davies on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Three days of Big Fat Art and another two of Monoprinting with the infamous Gelliplate. I was definitely in my happy place spending long days just creating with no means to an end, making unexpected marks, combining new colours and exploring lots of layers. A little ukulele playing did not hurt the process.... We spent the week exploring fast, carefree mark-making with various mark making tools, charcoal, water-colour crayons, ink and pastel. We combined unexpected colours, playing with opaque and transparent colours. We added texture through the use of paint and handmade collage papers.We learned how to add lots of depth to our work. We even added a few drips here and there. We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. Most importantly though we silenced the inner critic within and created with no concern for what is right and what is wrong. To be truthful, it wasn't easy. It can be a little disconcerting to try new things and work against principles that have been ingrained in you by every art teacher and book out there. What I loved about Jane was her constant encouragement to push past what we already know and try something different, and her love for the creative process versus the finished outcome. For me that included No imagery - no flowers, birds or other whimsical things flying around and, gasp, maybe putting some purple in my work. Ok, some things I just couldn't manage to push myself past, BUT look how awesome it looks below with the reds and yellows! This, once again, reminds me of the importance of keeping an art journal. A safe place to try out new marks, colours and techniques. A place to make some really bad art with hopefully some unexpected surprises of greatness! Here are a few of my works in progress. A few things I learned about myself: I love strong, bold colour. I love texture, but not necessarily patterned texture. I love depth.I love discovering little marks hiding underneath different layers.I love organic shapes. I love a wee bit of black in my work. I love contrast. I am a wee bit scared of the abstract. I still don't feel comfortable with the tension it often adds to work. I also learned that I need to add more areas of rest and lightness to my work. I need to take a deep breath and work on the details of each smaller piece within the bigger whole, to be more mindful and to slow down and sit with a piece before I call it finished. I need to add more interestingness to my work either by contrast, line or layering. What a great week! I could spend all day, everyday, creating. For more info on Jane please visit her website. Do not miss out on her tutorials tab. Jane is very generous with her knowledge and discoveries and has dozens of great video tutorials to share. Small doses of creative inspiration! She also offers online and real life workshops. Sign up for her newsletter for more info on upcoming courses. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an email. Have a great week! I hope the sun is shining and the autumn leaves are in full color for you.