Sunday, 15 March 2009

Work, work, work

Today is a personal blog to tell you how life is with me :)

I am currently preparing for an exhibition. This is taking up much of my time and I probably won't be writing on here for a little while.
You can keep up to date with this progress here at my personal art blog

I am also preparing for an interview to apply to do the Fine Art (BA Hons) Degree, which also takes up a lot of my thoughts!! Its is an exciting time!

While this is all going on, I am still teaching part time to raise money for all these wonderful activities :)

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite paintings so far for The Silent Landscape exhibition:

Sunday, 8 February 2009

On Reflection

Definitions of reflection on the Web:
  • contemplation: a calm, lengthy, intent consideration
  • the phenomenon of a propagating wave (light or sound) being thrown back from a surface
  • expression: expression without words; "tears are an expression of grief"; "the pulse is a reflection of the heart's condition"
  • mirror image: a likeness in which left and right are reversed
  • the image of something as reflected by a mirror (or other reflective material); "he studied his  reflection in the mirror"
  • (mathematics) a transformation in which the direction of one axis is reversed
  • the ability to reflect beams or rays

I am going to talk about reflection, in terms of the time you spend giving things your intent consideration. To narrow it down even more, I’ll concentrate on reflecting on your creativity. I am, as you may have guessed, convinced that creativity is essential to everyone’s life in one form or another. But today I want to focus on those who are creative for most of the time and who may even make a living from it.

It is important to be reflective throughout your life. It’s probably a subconscious practice many of you already do, but there’s something about bringing it into focus that makes it even more valuable. It makes you really SEE where you’ve been and what you’ve learnt so you can move forward in a way you want to control. I hear many creative people who say they’re stuck, blocked, at a crossroads, or even lacking in confidence. These things can all be kicked back into motion in a direction that suits you. I’m going to suggest one way in this article. Alongside the mental exercise you will need some physical exercise to pump the circulation of not just your blood but your thoughts and ideas. This is really effectively done by just walking. It works wonders!

So onto the mental exercise. I’m going to set out some questions below which are best answered on paper so you can see where you’ve been. One-liners are all that’s required, but reams are just as welcome – whatever suits you. This exercise is for you alone.

I invite you to ask yourself some honest questions:

What do you enjoy in your creative pursuits?

What don’t you enjoy?

What would you like to do differently?

What skills have you learnt?

What have you learnt about yourself?

How have your creative pursuits had an effect on your life areas?:
  • Home
  • Family
  • Work
  • Career
  • Leisure
  • Health

How has it affected your Self?:
  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual

If you identified things you would like to do differently, now knowing which parts of your lifestyle and Self are affected negatively, how could you do it?

If you identified things that were positive, could you improve them?

How do you feel now that you have completed this exercise?

Would you do it again?

If you came out of this exercise feeling that you would want to do it again then consider making this a regular practice. Reflecting openly about your creativity, work, life and leisure can keep you on track and help to change anything that is stale or not working for you. I would think that a monthly, 2 monthly or even 6 monthly reflective sessions would be effective. Keeping up with walking and journaling in between would see you on a very healthy regime.

I hope you found this useful. I know that I can’t live without these formal processes as they keep me focussed and truly happy with my life.
Warm Leaves of the Earth © Deborah Eileen Burrow 2009
available at

Friday, 2 January 2009

If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat

No, this isn't a religious blog...its a brand new year blog designed to help you with your heart's desires!

It is a wonderful statement that is food for thought, and a great analogy for taking responsibility for miracles in your own life.

It all comes down to what we want out of life and how to make it happen. Life really is what you make it, and waiting for that most wanted thing to come in to your life just isn't enough. We have to make a contract with ourselves to go out there and get it!

Lets use an example:
You are a very talented ceramicist and your spare room is full of your creations. You really want to show them off to the world, and maybe even sell them. Or at least you'd be happy with them being so admired so much you'd get commissioned to make one just like it for someone if you can't bear to part with that particular one(funny how the human mind works!). You and I both know that allowing the pieces to sit there doesn't get your work known or appreciated by a wider audience. Are you waiting for someone to discover you? Are you thinking that you just need the right opportunity to come along and change everything?
You could be waiting a long time...
To rely on someone or something in this way is just putting your skills in the closet and hoping someone may open the door one day and find out that you are an amazing artist and they will promote you.

The analogy, "If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat", implies taking responsibility for your own destiny, risks and all.

Whats the worst that could happen? Someone says they don't like your work? Well I don't like liver and bacon, but a chef doesn't take offence - he knows we all have different tastes. You may think people will laugh at you and your work. That's every artist's fear - of being judged and laughed at - that someone will say, "Don't give up your day job!" The truth is that the negative voice in your head will try to convince you of these things. What is actually the case is that art is art and a personal creative journey. Talents are meant to be shared and we all share a purpose in life - to build bridges, architectural ones or ones that bridge gaps between people through audio and visual communication.

So in order to "Walk on Water", that personal miracle, we have to take that brave step outside of our comfort zone and see what we can do! Keeping your focus on your goal will prevent you from sinking and you'll be surprised how much you can achieve!

Write a New Year Plan today. Start with your desire and use the following SMART technique to get you on your way:
S - Specific - set a small goal first
M - Measurable - make a plan and evaluate regularly
A - Attainable - break it down in to manageable steps
R - Realistic - keep it simple and achievable
T - Time Frame - set a sensible time limit for each step

For example:
Goal - to have an exhibition.
First Step - to let people know you exist!

Specific - Make contact with other artists and let friends and family know what you are doing
Measurable - make a plan on how(through local clubs/having a party/making business cards/website)
Attainable - gather information by researching on Internet and local publications
Realistic - Dedicate 2 mornings a week
Time Frame - 4 weeks from now you'll know a few more people and will have made some headway on how to get promoting yourself

Don't forget to keep your journal up to date so you can document your progress. Its great to look back and see your achievements.

I hope this food for thought gives you a boost for the start of this new year!
Best Wishes for a Creative 2009.

Trees of Winter © Deborah Eileen Burrow 2008