Rambling to an Artsy end of year.

This year has been a really busy one for me, and now, as the calendar approaches the end of the year, it usually gets even busier. But I changed things up.

I made this plan back in January. I declared October as a ‘month off’. A time to hang out a bit more with no travel. I love travel, but it is intrusive right? So just being in my own space and consciously enjoying it was a delight that I let spread into November.  I feel  calm, relaxed and peaceful. I have made more time for art, friends and just ‘being’.

On the other hand, I have never seen Angus busier! Usually I’m the one racing around doing 50 things at once, but with the new building, a lawn mower, planting trees and a very popular store, he is flat out! While he is painting, planting and posting  I keep him company. Holding the wheelbarrow or making a cup of tea and chatting. It’s nice. I feel so grounded and thankful.

I made time to reorganise my studio, my office and bedroom drawers. Things that have been niggling at me for ages. Then I re-filmed all of my workshop invitation/showreels. That felt GOOD. Then I completely refilmed Draw Happy. That felt SUPER GOOD. And now I just started re-filming and re-organising ‘SUPPLIES ME! for the live class in January. Taking my time with it.

I realised something about myself this year. I get stuff that matters to me, done.
No matter what.
So I don’t feel so rushed or pressured anymore.

I wrote a book for a major publisher; Now I have it in my hands. I created a year of Art Lessons for Cloth Paper Scissors; The last one is about to be released. I hosted Art retreats  in Paris. I met art heroes and forged friendships. I am TRUSTING how capable I am. And that brings me  into a zone of freedom without the constant undercurrent  hum of ‘cripes-i-can’t-get-everything-done’ panic.
I want to make sure it lasts.

So, in amongst savouring the planning of new workshops, relishing signing my books and mindfully prepping for my new puppy ( I’ve been waiting 2 years and she arrives tomorrow – eeeeeeeeee!), I’m lovingly celebrating an amazing year by creating my own  Christmas decorations. Each one is for a specific family member. Each one from a different tutorial of Artsy Ornaments.

I LOVED making Christmas Tree decorations as a kid – and my darling Mum kept all the goofiest ones I made ( I’ll have to get a photo of the Australian themed ones – hilarious!).  A few less survive each year, but they make their way from the decorations box and on to the tree. It’s time to add a few new ones and create some heirlooms for my little  nieces and nephews from Aunty Jane.

 

ArtsyOrnamentsWorkshop_2014Join myself  and Christy Tomlinson, Margie Romney-Aslett, Chrissy Gardner, Limor Webber, Dyan Reaveley, Misty Mawn, Effy Wild, Jenny Wentworth, Mindy Lacefield, Julie Fei- Fan Balzer and Tamara Laporte  in a wonderful celebration!

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 I created a tutorial on ‘Festive Fairies’! Cute, yes?

Jane Davenport-1 184 Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 9.56.54 amI hope you are approaching the end of the year at a manageable pace. And if you need to savour the moments a little more, come and make some artsy ornaments with me.

xoxox

Jane/ Danger

This workshop is open for an ENTIRE year! You can access the material, night or day.. from any computer.. for an entire year. The Class is NOT live, so you won’t miss a thing if you can’t be there right when it starts. You can watch the workshop at your own pace, in your pjs if you want!

Click here to view more detailsArtsyOrnamentsWorkshop_2014sidebarclick-here-Button

 

Get whimsical!

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InterWeave, who publish Cloth Paper Scissors, my Whimsical Face DVD and all my Art Lessons: Supply Stash Series seem to be having an especially awesome sale at the moment. Did you know that they sell art supplies in the USA too? It’s where I first saw a Gelli plate… I thought it was the most fascinating thing. And obviously plenty of others did too because they were always sold out!

Art lessons logoFast forward a few years and now if you type in ‘Jane Davenport’ on the search bar on the  interweave site, up pops a lovely list of arty publications that I authored/created.  In fact three of my publications made the Editors Picks List! Having a mind trip about that.
Happy weekend and get your art on!
xoxox
Jane/ Danger

Frida is an Emotion

I have a review on the new Distress Stain Sprays over at the Cloth Paper Scissors blog today. Do you really need more sprays? Probably not, I know I don’t! But I have Rainbowitis, and the distress colour range is just so beautiful ( hello Tea dye, Antique Linen), so I’m willing to risk too much of a good thing.

When I sit down to create, I rarely know what is going to happen. I have a general idea, and maybe a feeling for what colour or art materials I want to use. first. And life just goes from there.

I am thinking about Frida a lot ( part of my brain has a little Frida shrine set up with flowers and candles) so it’s little wonder that she keeps making appearances in my artwork. Mr. Angus refers to her as ” the lady with the eyebrows.” Yes. the eyebrows. But so much more. So, so much more…

she represents a feeling to me… an emotion.

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The Art Lessons are here.

Click here for the blog post.

 

Art Journal HALL OF FAME

I traveled A LOT this year. It was wonderful! And I learned so, so much. About Art. About myself. About life. I also discovered what my absolute favourite new art journal tools are.

1. My favourite new pen.

I took my Escape Artist groups to one of the oldest artist materials stores in the world, Sennelier,  just over the Seine from the Louvre. On the top floor, if you dare risk the stuffy, squeezy, creaky stairs, is pen heaven. The poor assistant up there was trying not to get frazzled as 15 of us squeezed into the small space and proceeded to touch every single item on display. Oohing and aaaaahing like kids in a lolly shop. Loud, over-excited kids with octopus arms. That was us.

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Mr Pen Man was wearing the white Sennelier lab coat, full of information on pens and patiently answered all of our questions and packaged up our goodies. epic pen 114When there was breathing space, I asked him “Mmonsieur, what is your favourite pen ?”. His face lit up! He dug into his apron pockets and flourished three pens. The first two I got when I was in Paris last time. They were nifty, but are in a box somewhere with all my other pens. But the third one. It was a fountain pen from Japan with special ink. I knew it was a magic-like-a-unicorn the second I test drove it.

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Ooh la-la…. It comes with special waterproof, carbon black that dries very quickly. The ink comes in an easily replaced cartridge system. The nib is incredibly fine, and yet robust enough to go over gesso. It can’t go over {everything}, it’s a fountain pen after all, but it tries! Impressive.

The quality of line I can get and the fine, fine detail. give that pure joy of drawing and writing.
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The balance of the pen is beautiful. It is truly epic. It makes me draw more.

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As soon as I realised just how epic the pen was, I had a mild panic. What happens if I lost it? Part of my brain had to be devoted to pen patrol. I knew I needed more.  So, I hunted the Epic Pen down like a panther, and we now stock them in my store! I now have one in every pencil case, on every desk and by the bed.

Click on the image below to get one:

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2. Journal Covers.

Seriously, these Japanese journal covers are best things for an art journaler ever.

Why?

  • The inside covers form a pocket which is such a handy way to keep tickets, loose drawings, postcards etc until you need them.
  • I love collecting stickers from buildings and street signs when I am about and about. Groovy street art ones were everywhere in Paris and Bali. There’s a real technique to getting them off in one go. I call these acts of tidying up public property (a-hem), ‘Timmonsing‘ ( named after Sherri Timmons who was one of my Escape Artists in Paris. It’s a story that needs to be acted out, so I can’t go into it right now, but if you meet me out in the world, ask to hear about it.). The Journal covers are perfect for Timmonsed ephemera. Just whack them on the plastic cover until later!
  • The Journal covers offer protection. I use vintage, altered books for my travel journals, and the covers can be delicate. They need a bodyguard.
  • The Journal covers are a raincoat for your book.
    Why would a book need a raincoat?
    Well, as part of the Escape Artist Retreat, we went to Monet’s Garden at Giverny. We caught the train from Paris, went to the markets in Vernon to get a picnic lunch, and then cycled to wonderland. Well that was the plan. But on our lovely cycle through the French countryside, we were all caught in a downpour that went straight past cats-and-dogs and on to elephants-and-blue-whales. There was nothing to be done except keep going. Monstrous. Hilarious. I will never forget Bexs pulling of a shoe and pouring water out of it. You would think a thing like that could ruin the day, right? No way! Not my group! It bonded us. We survived and as soon as we walked into the garden (slosh, slosh, slosh), the sun came out in the merriest of French ways, and dried us out. We wandered with the ghost of Monet’s amongst his magnificent waterlilies and Japanese bridges.
    That’s why a journal needs a raincoat.
  • And the glossy, thick, crystal clear plastic looks coooool. It just does.

clear-cover-B5I first found one of these in a store in Hong Kong about 5 years ago… then a year later in Singapore I saw them again and bought a bunch. So rare! I needed more, so I got sleuthing and with the help of a Japanese friend, we found them, and I imported them into Australia. clear-cover-ABThere are different sizes , and I cut them and restick with clear tape to make a perfect fit. Every journal I have wears one. You can get them here.

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3. My favourite bag.

Packing for an international trip puts a lot of pressure on decision making. And I am not talking about flights, hotels and sightseeing lists. I’m talking about the important stuff like what art supplies to bring! I usually pack way to much stuff. And then I take a bag that can carry it all. and guess what? It gets heavy after 5 minutes and each day through the holiday I carry less and less until I don’t even take my journal with me.  Until suddenly I am home with a part filled journal. No more.

Earlier in the year I created a tote bag with Society 6. The bag comes in 3 sizes. I got the 13 x 13 inch.


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At 13 x 13 inch it’s just roomy enough to fit my journal, and small pencil case, wallet, phone, tissues and a muesli bar. I throw it in the washing machine if it needs a spruce up. It is a simple tote. No pockets. Light, easy and cute.

It is a simple tote. No pockets. Light, easy and cute. I dragged it with me EVERYWHERE! And as a direct result I journaled so much more than usual.

I always travel with great expectations. But my bag gets heavy and I stop taking things out and about with me, until suddenly I am home with a part filled journal.

No more. My Paris and Bali journals are FULL because I cracked the journal bag code. So as a reward for scanning all my artwork from this year ( 160 scans!) I treated myself to one of every tote bag I created for Society 6!

society 6 totesI can’t wait to carry more of my my artwork around with me!

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GIVE AWAY!!

As a special treat for you too, I am going to give-away one of my totes awesome Totes!

All you need to do is go to my Society 6 store and then come back here, let me know in a comment that you  which is your favourite Jane Davenport design!

If you are a Society 6 member, or join up, you could double your chance in the give-away by hitting the ‘Promote’ heart for the artwork you like.  And to triple your chances give it a a Facebook like as well, All appreciated!

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It goes without saying, that the white ex-fine sharpie paint pen and Peerless watercolors are faves too – but you already knew that! This post is about the more mundane, less colorful items that can rock your next vacation!

It feels so good to share these journaling discoveries with you!

Which brings me to a point about my store. It only has things in it that I actually use, adore and swear by. Essentials for life! It’s not a run-of-the-mill art supply/ mixed media shop. Its a den of delights for art journal afficionados! I find things from all around the world, test and if I fall in love and use them, they go in the store. I retire things that I stop using because I found something better.

xoxox

Jane

Bali Escape Artist Retreat

bali-2014-2 I love Bali. We have our retreat perched about a world-class surf break, so Angus has a wonderful time “getting shacked off his tits” – it sounds awful – but its surfer lingo for AWESOME. So while Angus is paddling for 6 hours a day, I am relaxing as much as humanly possible, and then some.

bali 2104 5Well that is until all my Escape Artists arrive! Is this the best classroom in the Universe? Well, that’s hard to answer because this year I have had Tam Laporte’s apple-tree strewn garden in Brighton, Donna Downey’s Inspired Studios, my own Verandah at The Nest, the whole of Paris and Claude Monet’s Garden as classrooms this year.  So there is some fierce competition for that title! (But a temple and the occassional monkey in the classroom is pretty unique.)

bali-2014and the lessons commence!bali 2104 138bali 2104 139 and the artwork starts pouring forth from the group… it’s magic!

 

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bali 2104 115 bali 2104 106 bali 2104 117 bali 2104 118 bali 2104 120 bali 2104 126 bali 2104 135 bali 2104 134Mid retreat we always have a free day. On this trip some off us venture into town and go to ‘Motel Mexicola’.  Three of the girls are coming to Mexico City with me next year too, so we treated this as a little taste of what may be to come! I can recommend the ‘Unidentified’ Mocktail – look at the ingredient list – the surprise addition gave that drink a little kick – deeeeeeelicious!bali 2104 4

Art flows every day from magic fingers.

bali 2104 131 bali 2104 124 bali 2104 120 bali 2104 114 bali 2104 113 bali 2104 116 bali 2104 123And after many epiphanies, laughs, stories and swims later, we are sharing our artwork from a magic week that seems to be adrift from the ‘real world’.  bali 2104 3

bali-2014-finale I can’t wait to get back to Bali next year for more magic making in Paradise with fantastic women from around the world.

 

xoxox

Jane/Danger