Light in the dark of winter

What better way to start the year than beginning a new journal? I've been missing playing in mine; in the last half of the year my practice got quite fragmented. I've been working more in sketchbooks related to specific projects or themes; as they're part of the larger project, it hasn't been as easy to share. Journalling challenges and groups can be fantastic, especially when you are just beginning the art journal habit. The risk is losing your own voice as you try (perhaps unconsciously) to fit the assignment or even the aesthetic of the group. That happened. I've even left a few groups, gasp!

I'm keeping it simple. It's a brand new Dyan Reaveley Dylusions journal. I'm not setting a theme. I'm keeping it handy. If I do any challenges (and I'm still in a couple of groups), I'll do them in here too. I'd like to have it full at year's end, which hasn't happened in a while. Even more though, I would just like to show up at the page, day after day. It's a refuge and a haven.

I love this time of year; even as we pack away the decorations from the celebrations, I am excited for the year ahead. I feel a need to replace the decorations with something else to keep the dark at bay. We love the candles, certainly, and maybe the snowflake lights need to stay up, but I also want to fill the space when the tree's down with light, somehow. Pinterest is my friend. 

It's primal, this need to gather in the mid of winter, this need to light the darkness. 

Golden Fluid Acrylic - Titan Buff, Dina Wakley Media Heavy Body Acrylic - Sky, Night, White, Tangerine, Lapis, Blackberry Violet, Lemon, Japanese watercolour pens, Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight pens

Back to school

Photo 26September is always busy for those of us with anything to do with school. I'm feeling really good about work at the moment, not something I normally talk about here.

I've been trying to clear the decks at home, finishing projects, decluttering nooks and crannies, revitalising my studio and getting prepared and open for whatever's next.

After the amount of work for my art foundation course last year, I've been particularly keen to keep the creativity flowing. It's so easy for such a fragile, ephemeral entity to be squashed by academia. Sometimes it juices you up and sometimes it dries you up - I'm trying to learn how different situations affect me and ride the waves instead of floundering.

The internet is such a gift for the isolated and the introverted. I've been playing over at The Land of Lost Luggage, making gorgeous rich journals, and now we're starting to fill them up. I'm also looking forward to some photography and reflection on Unravelling in a couple of weeks. 

I'm also getting out there and meeting new people. I really crave a creative community, made up of friends from my life, online friends and all the busy little corners of London where people are already meeting to draw, knit, create and connect. 

All that and a little bit of knitting. This is a practice hat, because the postal strike has eaten my wool for the real version. I like it though! What are you working on?

A little later, I've been very excited about the launch of ella publishing - small business, great design, green premise, inspirational eye candy, what's not to love? Click on the button to read more about it

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