Bold Living 58: Matisse on serene things and annoyances

Quote by Matisse on a watercolour rainbow backgroundMatisse seems to have had a similar approach to his art that we do with social media … wanting to uplift, not impart annoyance! Although I’ve a designer’s eye and want my social media feeds to be congruent, I am also cautious of curating my sharing to within a whisker of (my idea of) perfection.

Remember, I previously wrote upon the positives of social media here.

For the sake of my own privacy and overall vibe of my contribution, neither do I want to share every gritty grimy bit of day.

Mr Matisse doesn’t say to fake the serenity. It sounds more that he’s into a story that’s beyond the Good-Bad realm. That’s hard for an enneagram 1 to even say, but I’m slowly learning more nuance as I get older!

It’s a cyclic thing with social media, too: Have a nice day and want to share a photo, but then stay too long and need a break!
I think the Instagram bold soul / commenters who responded “It Depends” on this annoyances/serenity Matisse quote are right!

Ideally, I aim for uplift-based-on-reality – life itself is quirky and beautiful. Shall we play  our day as best we can, and aim for an overall real / positive contribution on social media? … I’d love to hear your approach below, or on my Facebook page! #irony :)

Talk soon,
Love Meg x o

water colour background overlaid with bold art calendar covers in themes: cats, bold women and still lifes

PS 2018 Bold Art Calendars are flying out to good homes! Click the picture to order yours!

PS2 Regarding my last-post-but-one’s ideas, here’s an absolutely fascinating addition to that conversation.

watercolour background with hand-written-looking font with a Matisse quote

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Bold Living 57: Danger, Queen Victoria, Danger!

Queen Victoria quote on a watercolour background. It reads "Beware of Artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous"In case the image doesn’t work, here’s the quote in text:

Beware of Artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous.
~ Queen Victoria

That cracks me up! You’re probably like me, and think that mixing with all classes – all humans – is a brilliant, life-affirming thing! Not that we do ‘classes’ so much these days. I hope.

Check this out: Ann Isik wrote a reply to my Art-Life-Education blog post! How exciting and wonderful! I love and adore her comment to me:

It’s important in these very troubled times to affirm and keep affirming Truth and Beauty, Love and Kindness, and wherever and whenever possible, passing these affirmations on strengthens the wonderful global network of artists (and scientists) working daily for these things to prevail. All Power to you and your elbow! :)

Sending love and light!
Talk soon,
Love Meg x

Live Bold List 56: Art, Life and Education

Header image for blog post: "art life education" featuring black patterned chicken walking left to right and backed by autumn garden in watercolour

You might think as a long time artist, graphic designer, student and teacher that I’d’ve had my head around the importance of art & education forever, right? No! I had to work through a bunch of disbelief (and creativity shame) that the skills I’ve learned over so many years are valuable and important to life, society, even the planet! [Design I ‘got’ quicker. It increases quality of life through practicality combined with aesthetics. Clearly.]

Although I’ve arrived late to this party, smart kind people agree that art is a valuable thread to weave consciously into a healthy society.

It makes me happy that these ideas are in the world, and, I dearly want to share them with you along with a couple of non-link thoughts… [I know three of the points are Save The Planet related – hey it’s important! – I thought the points made were varied enough for them to each have their own numeral!]

  1. Art and science are not, in fact, opposites. Whaaaaaat? They are interdependent branches of humans’ quest for understanding. Science & maths are needed for pretty much all aspects of art, from the formulation of art materials and paper construction, to maths for proportions, and technology to share it. There is no true ‘versus’ in “Art v. Science” (see below for a You Tube video by the terrific band of that name!)
  2. Save the planet! Art, in turn collaborates right back with science, to clarify complex concepts or to wrap relatable concepts around the hugeness and helplessness of impending climate change. Art can help with dreaming up a world where we respect and act upon climate science – or don’t – by using other dimensions of communication. (See number 5).

    ” … climate communication needs to engage people at a philosophical, sensory and feeling level. People need to be able to feel and touch the new climate reality; to explore unfamiliar emotional terrain and be helped to conceive their existence differently.”

  3. Artists can be used to good effect to envision that we really can bring ourselves back from corporate overrun eco-disaster: Here’s a call from Ursula LeGuin, Science Fiction writer, [her job title is a poster girl for today’s topic!for writers to imagine an alternative future. What a rad-ly awesome lady she is. And doesn’t she look gleeful in the photo?
  4. Here’s a fascinating podcast: Jonathan Fields interviews Amy Herman, the “Artist who Teaches Cops to See”. Amy is an Art Lady who teaches police about art to help develop their observation skills!
  5. You know the seven learning styles – visual / logical / aural / physical / verbal / social / solitary? If we present information with a mix and match of media and styles, we can communicate better (see number 3). Graphics & Animation, themselves a mix of maths, science and art, help convey stories and ideas, and scientific illustration and photography are fascinating fields, too.
  6. Here are lots of reasons drawing education is important.
  7. Historical records of things we didn’t even know we needed to record! We move so fast, don’t we? Need to pause and think a moment! What are we doing?
  8. Science making art, helping environment. Fascinating and beautiful!

    “… we have been told that there are two antipodean hemispheres in the brain: the creative and the analytical. In this show you get both and these two projects don’t seem nearly so opposed.”

  9. Art is a way to express ourselves, process events, feelings, etc. This is important for the practitioner’s well being and ability to contribute to their community. See also #10 for both the recipient and the maker.
  10. The happiness, or whatever feeling or message, that went into the artwork passes on to the observer/reader etc and lifts up everyone’s quality of life.

 

I believe we need all our strengths, all our hearts, all our wisdom and all our team work … [I’ve just deleted a long list of specific, so as not to leave anyone out!] It’s going to take us all. And we’ll do better if we understand and appreciate our own and others’ strengths and weaknesses.

Wait … what just happened?

Heh, this post turned out to be about Everything! Haha. I hope it gave you some hope. I’ve been pretty much not watching the news at all except from trusted sources, for the depression and helplessness and despair it brings is really.not.useful for the sensitive soul’s ability to function and contribute!

A healthy society values the arts, keeps them as part of educational curriculums and to enrich people’s lives. Art adds fiscal value as well as quality of life to people everywhere.

In line with making art education available, I’m currently developing a beginners painting and drawing course, “Where Art Meets Self Care”. To hear about it first, sign up for my mailing list!

“Dude. Drawing is a learnable skill.”

Have you thoughts on art, life, education, society? Chime in below or on Facebook … or, reply by writing a blog post and we can put a link in the comments :D

Talk soon,
Love Meg x o

PS Time to buy your 2018 calendar? Get in early so you can have the theme you desire :)

PS 2 A great song from the band “Art v. Science”… as mentioned earlier, a fun band name for a terrific band, not an actual dichotomy!

 

 

 

Tall image with a watercolour background. There's a painting of a person in flowery boots walking along with a chicken. The title declares "Live Bold List 56: Life-art-education"

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Bold Living 56: Put the duck in Productivity

Welcome bold soul! I’d like you to meet The Productivity Duck:

watercolour background with text saying "Put the" (then a picture of a duck) "into productivity"

She makes me feel whimsical instead of pressed when thinking of all the things that I want to get done! I hope you have a whimsically productive day, too! This picture was first posted on my instagram feed. Follow along there if you’re an instagrammy person :)

Another way to get productive besides poultry

I highly recommend Michelle Nickolaisen’ Freelancer Planner! << Click the link to check it out … Michelle figured out this brilliant, practical system – I use it, and it makes a big difference! From overwhelmed with ideas and obligations, to having them in order and making a prioritised plan for my month/week/day. [Full disclosure: I’m biased ‘cos I did the graphic design :) Doing the book design gave me the opportunity to get to know Michelle’s system well, and I’m proud to have played a part making this awesome tool.]

More about planning!

If you’re in Adelaide or the Fleurieu Peninsula and you’d like to make your 2018 Vision Board in community, this might be for you …
My friend Yaisa Nio (yoga teacher, health coach and writer for elephant journal what!) and I are running a Vision Board workshop on Sunday November 12, at a gorgeous yoga studio in Christies Beach. We’ll be supporting you to make your 2018 Vision Board, by combining our skills … If that sounds delightful to you &/or you want to give yourself the accountability factor, get on my mailing list (or Yaisa’s) for first dibs on the strictly limited workshop tickets!

This was first going to be a Picture Post with barely any writing! Happily it grew! A long link ‘listicle’ post is coming later in the week, too. See you then!

Take care of fabulous you,
Love Meg x o

 

PS Click this to sign up if you haven’t already. You also get free goodies in the meantime!

Tall image with a watercolour background. There's a line-drawing of a duck and the header (in a hand-writing-like font) saying "Put the Duck in Productivity".

Woman and Ageing: Getting older. Getting invisible. Or not.

As I’m growing older, occasionally I get responded to as though I’m invisible. *It’s infrequent* I’m lucky to move in genuine, human-friendly circles – but it happens sometimes out and about. I know what ‘they’ are talking about now.

There are a few facets to this: Invisibility. Or not. Is it a workable super power? And where does anti-ageing cream fit in?

warm coloured watercolour background, overlaid with Tina Arena quote: "Honesty and Transparency always has a presence". This serves as an image for a Women and Ageing blog post.

Anti-ageing?

Why would advertising and even people-I-don’t-know offer that a certain face cream is “anti-ageing”? Because I’ve cracked 50 I guess.

The concept of anti-ageing might be intended to keep you healthy and well (or make some money) but it sounds like an anti-life message to my sensitive ears.

Life is fluid and rolls forward, always in motion. Why would I/we want to go backwards, erase my/our experience (that got us here today), deny years and crinkles and precious life?

Dying is the only way we wouldn’t age, right? While that’s inevitable, I wouldn’t wish it on somebody sooner than later!

Love this writing by Brenda Kinsel on the topic. She’s anti-anti-ageing!

What about this looming invisibility?

What about this invisibility piece? What if it is our superpower?

Let’s say it is our super power…

What if we could do a whole heap of good under the radar. The radar is catching awful stuff – and broadcasting it! If ‘the radar’ picks us up, then let viewers be surprised how much good we have quietly done! #reasonsIwantyoutoblog

Honesty and Transparency

Loved this interview with Tina Arena on Mia Freedman’s No Filter Podcast ‘specially as I’d really enjoyed Tina Arena’s book in previous weeks. When broaching getting older, particularly as a woman, Tina asserted wisely: “Honesty and transparency always has a presence”

I like that.

Not sure that I’ve come to any conclusion today, rather have put forward some ideas that sound like they couldn’t co-exist, but they seem to.

Have you thoughts? Share below or on my Facebook, dearheart, I’d love to hear what you think or have experienced, or, tell us about an amazing under-the-radar person :)

Go well this week my friend!
Love Meg x o

 

PS A few weeks ago, I shared this ^^^ graphic of Tina Arena’s words on my instagram feed. On my instagram, I’ve started doing a patchwork arrangement alternating quotes with images to see how it looks. I like it so far – and alternating pictures with text keeps me on my toes! Do you think there are enough people saying cool stuff to keep up the pattern for, say, a year? Follow me on instagram if you like, and let’s find out! :)  M x o

 

Work in Progress: Bottle with bottlebrush flower

Header image for blog post: "Work in Progress: Bottle with Bottlebrush" text is overlaid on a photo of a hand painting with a small paintbrush onto a leaf shape, which has a partially completed yellow background.A lovely neighbour gifted me a fresh, pink bottlebrush flower sprig and I found a tiny bottle to hold water for it. The light and colour captivated me and I was drawn to make a painting of the combination :)

Here’s a close up when I was painting green into a leaf, amongst a spotty pattern for the (imaginary) cloth. [By the way, tricky to do with a phone camera in my left hand and painting a small area with a fine brush with my right!] Loved that Autumn light streaming in my Northern-facing studio window! You can see it in the pic by the strong shadow and the wonderful, almost glowing paint colours, can’t you?Work in progress bottle brush painting being painted with fine brushGradually, native flowers (& chickens)(and we’ll see what else in my new locale!) are appearing in my repertoire of themes. With poor old Captain Whitepaws gone, we are a cat-dominated household in spirit only. I’m still doing double-takes, thinking I’ve seen him and it’s just some recycling waiting to go out or something.

Here’s the bottlebrush flower still life, almost finished. The quilt in the background is inspired by a quilt gifted from another friend! Lucky me :) #happycolours

Three quarters complete painting of bottle brush sprig in a red glass bottle with quilt as a background, and spotty leafy fabric on the surface. Here’s (a photo of) the glass jar. You can see from the marked shadow of it’s contents across the picture that when the painting was almost complete, so was the flower! I like that about art … precious or beautiful things can be captured and enjoyed for more than the short life of the original inspiration :D #artastimetravel

Sun shining in a window on almost complete bottle brush painting. Painting has yellow spotty cloth and quilt as background. The table surface is goldy swirly laminate table. The red bottle featured in the painting is seen on the table too.Here’s a close up. Check out the bee hive section of the quilt. #honeyyellows #upsidedownmrsquiggleClose up of colourful painting of bottlebrush with a quilt background.As of this writing, the original artwork is available for sale to a good home. Yours perhaps? Click any image above to view the Bottle with bottlebrush painting in my Gallery Shop and learn more.

Or, click the picture below to check out the 2018 Bold Art Calendar (Still Lifes) which features Bottle with bottlebrush as the February painting!

Cover and inner calendar pages of 2018 Tangerine Meg Bold Art Calendar, Still Lifes. Bottlebrush picture is the second one, featured in February.You may have guessed that the 2018 Bold Art Calendars are freshly back from the printers! How exciting! They’re lovely in hand and vibrant as can be :)

Thank you bold souls who placed early bird orders (and saved a bit of moolah!) – your calendars are winging their way to you as we speak (interstate/international) or happily waiting to be picked up at a market :)

I’d love to hear in the comments section if you’re a massive fan of Australian native flora, or if you’re just as happy with nasturtiums and daisies in your garden and artwork :)

Talk soon!
Love Meg x o

 

PS Join my mailing list for $25 off any painting in the Early Bird section (you can find Bottle with bottlebrush there for a little longer). And, you get 10% off bold art calendars (until midnight at the end of 2017). And, you get to access the Tangerine Treasury secret download library? So much happy art to love :D

PS2 From this years limited print run of just 250, 70 calendars are already spoken for … if you want one, place your order as soon as you can to get the theme you like the best!

work in progress bottlebrush painting header, in tall format for pinterest

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Work in Progress: Oh Captain my Captain

Two stages of a drawing a winged cat picture: the first is black and white drawing. the second has a colourful wing. Overlaid with text reading "Work in Progress: Oh Captain my captain" "Tangerine Meg"You may already know this if you follow me on social media or get my eLetters. For the record here on the blog, I have sad news to convey: We lost Captain Whitepaws.

Orange Cat left us last year, too. Such is the way when one has 2 old man orange cats. Their times come.

Two stages of a hand drawing a winged cat picture, the first is black and white drawing, in the second the painted colour is started.Owch!

All I could think to do to process my feelings was to paint my grief along. I don’t mean ‘away’, I do mean ‘along’.

Section of a bright watercolour painting of a flowey orange catI took my time to carefully draw Captain Whitepaws, including his boxer’s nose and uppy eye. Took my time to paint his rainbow cat angel wings.

artwork in progress of winged cat, some of the picture is brightly coloured, other areas still white paper with black pen drawing. Lots of detail in the wing feathers.I let the painting evolve, be finished slowly. In just the right time.

Almost completed painting of winged catHe’s buried in a good spot. It’s still strange not having him around.

Tangerine Man and I don’t know if we’ll get another cat. (Surely we will, right?) We’re taking a break from pet companion ‘having’ while we get our combined belongings under control! Maybe we’ll do pet fostering in a while. ‘Til then, we’re giving ourselves a break, and remembering the one(s) we have lost.

Hugs and love,
Meg x o
(in this window of time, no longer a cat ‘owner’)

 

PS Captain Whitepaws is the cat of the month for April on my 2018 cat Bold Art Calendars along with a short loving quote. Last day for pre-orders on Cat (and Bold Women and Still Life) Art Calendars is this coming Tuesday.

Happy Fifth Bold Art Calendar Birthday!

Suddenly, I’ve been making bold art calendars for five years!

Header image backed by watercolour blues, with 3 vibrant art calendar covers and one open calendar. The covers read "Bold Women", "Still Life" and "Cats".Of course it’s not really sudden :)

It’s taken five years of art and design, persistance and discernment. But even before that, I intermittantly made calendars for friends and family from my young children’s art. #calendarobsession

Here are some inner pages from three family calendars that I’ve recently uncovered during a de-clutter / house move:

Three open calendars featuring children's artI love the left one’s title, “Mum with a funny had on” – very Frida Kahlo, isn’t it with the flowers (or swirls)? :D And perhaps a genetic – or indeed environmental – propensity to draw cats, on the right/blue one?

This is the cover of my first official, artist printed art calendar: It contained a mixture of my favourite themes: flowers, food, cats, and one Person Picture.

Evolution of the first bold art calendar cover

I’d intended to make a back cover info-graphic of some kind (while still undecided on what the front cover would look like) so souls could turn it over and see what pictures to expect inside, as one does. Counted the characters in “Calendar 2014” – twelve as it happens! – and experimented with my computer graphics skills to put the art inside the font, which was chunky enough to give a good glimpse. When done, I liked the graphic, colourful look and decided it would make a unique cover :)

This was a format I followed happily for the first four years.

Here’s one of the 2015 models. I printed Still Life and Cats for 2015 (curated and printed of course in 2014).

cover and inner layout of bold art calendar (food and flowers) from 20152015 for 2016

The next year, I stepped out of my comfort zone realising I unexpectedly had lots of People Pictures from my Birthday Bold Art Project. Unsure how to proceed with a title/ category I asked my instagram people, where the wonderful Bec Leigh suggested calling the collection Bold Women. I stepped out of another comfort zone and boldly went with it. [Did you know it was Bec Leigh who coined my tagline, Bold Art for Bold Souls? The woman is a genius.]

I seems we all have someone we think of when we hear the term ‘bold woman’. Perhaps even yourself?

These are the current, 2017, bold art calendars:

2016 for 2017

Last year, to commemorate my solo art exhibition I curated a Best Of calendar, called simply Happy to Be Here. And, experimented with a white cover instead of the now-becoming-familiar black ones.

I’d love to hear – below as a blog comment, or on facebook or instagram – how you’re going with your 2017 bold art calendar, or how one you’ve gifted has been received. Or have you received one as a gift? Which theme, and why do you think it was picked for you? And are you a bold woman, or do you know one? Please share :)

The current bold art calendar / collection is at the printers as we speak!

With this-years-for-2018 calendar cover design, I was nervous at first, changing the covers to just one image, though now I’m getting comradely with them. #practisingdiscernment #practisingboldness

You can see all the inner calendar page pictures if you look through the images in my online shop.

water colour background overlaid with bold art calendar covers in themes: cats, bold women and still lifesClick one of the pictures above  – except the kid calendar or the header ones – to whoosh through to my online shop and order yours for 2018.

I only do one print run per year now, after learning very quickly from the first year two-rounds-of-ordering debacle! #limitededition #longstory #toomuchwaste

Life hurtles along

<Specific, universally human, yet private life circumstances have been unfolding> What have we to hold on to but our experience of the present moment, to do the best we can with what we have on our own beautiful path, and Kindness? Kindess always. *Big deep sigh*

Loads of love and light from Meg, a human x o

 

tall image with a watercolored background overlaid with 3 bold art calendar covers for 2018 and header reading "Introducing Tangerine Meg 2018 Bold Art Calendars"

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Bold List 47: A few of my favourite things May 2017

Header text in handwritten looking font, overlaid on a panelled pale grey wall with prayer flags hanging across the top third.Things (well, ‘things’… haha, they’re mostly podcasts) that are making me happy and hopeful this week! This may or may not get a bit ranty. #howtogetpoliticalandreal in a listicle! Well worth a listen :)

  1. Mia Freedman interviewed on the Osher Gunsberg podcast. I ‘specially loved Mia talking about the “lasts” when parenting (“firsts” seem to be very popular). So glad she gave words and a context to a lost-ness I’ve been feeling about this (even though my kids are in their twenties). Many more topics, parenting and otherwise, were visited too!
  2. Kristen Kalp’s podcast, “That’s what she said” – the Stop Self-Sabotage episode. It’s about even more than that sounds… including: keeping on doing your Good Work when politics is creating fear, division, unkindness – impacting lives and not for the better; how to keep yourself in good condition so you can quietly, consistantly keep going; keep buoyant, keep helping. If each of us did this – and I think a lot are – it would/will add up! I like Kristen’s voice!
  3. This Tom Ballard podcast interview with Paul Oosting gives me hope that there are leaders who clearly see how things can be and not succumb to the BS/fearmongering that’s mass broadcast. My favourite bit is when the interviewee, Paul Oosting, Director of GetUp (regarding standing up against a proposed ridiculously destructive coal mine right near the Great Barrier Reef) says we “… just have to win this one”. That’s how I feel too. We have to see it going right. There are many more people than corporations. These challenges to our environment must be fought.
  4. I’m enjoying Tom Ballard’s podast lately (see also: #3 and #5), and his mission to listen to people from all around the political spectrum and why they hold the views they do. It’s the only way forwards, don’tcha think, attempting to understand each other and finding commonalities?
  5. Tom Ballard’s podcast also revealed to me my favourite newly found common-sense/feminist icon: Eva Cox. Here she is on his podcast, “Like I’m a 6-year old“. I’ve many favourite points to think about. One is: “We live in a society not an economy” – Huh, food for throught that the measurable/financial GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is not the only metric. If you want to learn more, Eva has written heaps of articles for The Conversation news service. Here’s an Art for Art’s sake article, on quality of life.
  6. Our most recent bold interviewee, Angela Trea Lyon, has written “Lead with Love. Always” for Inspire me Today. Her article joins writing by Sir Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Dee Wallace and hundreds more. Go, Angela!
  7. I enjoyed the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol.2. Have you seen it? Now I want to re-watch the first one, then go back and see Vol.2 a second time. I can confirm there’s violence in it (!) but apparently there was plenty of/enough story, character, cool amazing things and humour so I could cope, and even enjoy!
  8. Let’s end with a poem. Rumi telling it from centuries ago on Elephant Journal.

 

Keep having the conversations. It seems hard doesn’t it, yet I find once the subject has been broached, others-whose-point-of-view-you-didn’t-previously-know are often equally unhappy with policies and the status quo. We can’t afford to be gouging effing big holes in our support system (aka. Mother Earth), demonising/dehumanising “other” people, when we are all human and need to breathe! #oopsigotranty

What are you watching, looking at, listening to? Has anything you’ve read or watched or heard made a point you didn’t expect that really made you think? I’m just glad there are life-affirming, thoughtful people putting out their content and ideas, so I don’t feel alone amongst the dangerous tomfoolery of corporate media and government.

There are truly some wonderful people in the world!

I’m doing lots of painting ready for the next round of Bold Art Calendars…  there are a few #workinprogress blog posts coming up and if you want the 2018 members’ discount coupon for your calendar/s, join my Tangerine Tribe here.

Talk soon,
Meg x o

 

 

 

PS Get up by Peter Tosh. If the video doesn’t work, click this to watch/listen.

PS 2 In case you didn’t click through for the Rumi poem, here it is along with the introduction from the article writer:

(The writer, Elyane Youssef,) first read it in The Essential Rumi, a compilation of Rumi’s poems translated by Coleman Barks. The poem is called “A Great Wagon,” and the middle verse—(her) favorite—is below:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”

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