Art and creativity

Why perseverance is important for all of us

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How many books on the subject of creativity do you have on your bookshelves? One, two, perhaps ten ... even more? who knows .... sometimes we buy beautifully colourful ones, with lovely designs, believing that they will be enough to get us going.... but how often do we notice that our enthusiasm for our lovely new book rarely stays with us for more than a few days .. so we start again, this time doing some of the exercises ... then we stop ... we put it on the side for later ... still dreaming about the time when we will use our creativity to create that amazing, amazing, magnificent ... "something" .. maybe a book, maybe a painting, perhaps taking that adventurous trip to a learning destination that we had been thinking about ....but somehow we kept postponing until later .... or a woolly warm pullover we decided one day with great enthusiasm to knit ... or that gourmet meal to cook using a recipe from one of the many superbly published books we have ....which too easily become photo albums of what might have been... 

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Everything but absolutely everything depends on our PERSEVERANCE, yes our perseverance .. Without it .. nothing happens ... we can of course tell ourselves that we do not have enough time, that we need to put aside an hour or two to start our creative project, but we are too listless and so prefer to chill-out on the sofa with something nice to hand to watch yet another something.... just for a few moments of course ........ to simply disconnect from OURSELVES. 

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I am just like you ... I get distracted by lots of things.......  but after years I have come to understand that practice, and practice, and practice makes it possible for me to open the gates to my imagination.....(because, like a rusty door, it always opens easier if it's oiled) and it's always amazes me that when refreshed and exercised, my imagination consumes me, it takes control of my hands and mind, that I can be making or sipping a coffee while my imagination is somewhere completely different enjoying itself.

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It is almost the end of February and, despite the distractions and the weather, I have continued to explore the endless possibilities for my own creative journey, helped along the way by the exercises suggested in my own book Be a creative explorer ....yes, I use my own workbook to help me to exercise my own imagination. February was a very, very dark, cold, windy, rainy month here on the southern coastline of England and I really loved hiding away from what was going on outside and completing a few more pages of my workbook (you can see the photos up and down this piece) which invites you to ... write a letter to yourself, to create a collage about the happy moments in your life, to draw perfectly imperfectly (like life itself), to colour in as it takes you then and there....and so on and so on. 

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Be a creative explorer invites you to get rid of the desire for perfectionism (because life is for living), to START NOW, to experiment, to make mistakes and to work out how to take advantage of them.... and in so doing to transform your emotions....to amazingly grow that sense that Yes I Can. Start now, start wherever you are, your imagination is waiting for you. 

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How do you open your creativity gates

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Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I was getting close to graduating from my mechanical engineering university in Bucharest and, whether by good luck or good forethought, I found that I did not have to look for a job in the engineering field because I was at the time, by pure chance and to earn some money, working part time as a PA for an English tv company attempting to negotiate a joint venture with our state broadcaster to operate a new commercial television channel. 

I found myself translating at high level and learning how to use a computer .. an Apple computer by the way. It was 1993 and I had never had access to or used a computer until then and, yes, once again .. with very little help I had to figure out how to use it .. on my own ... with tears, sleepless nights, and again tears . 

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I don't really know if that was the moment that was going to put a huge imprint on everything I was going to do further on in my career and life ... having to feel the fear and to start to figure things out for myself ... taking the road less travelled on so so many occasions. 

Years later,  here I am in a field I'd never dreamed of being in ... the creative field. Over the years, many people have asked me .. where do the ideas come from, how do I access the creative side of my mind, something so needed especially nowadays when stress, media over-consumption, electronic gadgets leave us drained, depleted. 

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That is why, as a response, some months ago I decided to self publish a workbook, something that people can take with them on the train, on the bus, on holiday, during commuting trips, when they go for a coffee .... when they sit at the kitchen table with 5 minutes for themselves or in the garden while relaxing on a Sunday afternoon .... 

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Just like it happened years ago ... I had no experience of putting together this type of workbook (yes I have self-published two creativity books, mainly about colouring, but this was a while ago) but I knew that perseverance, determination and purpose will help me find the way. And it did. 

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My  BE A CREATIVE EXPLORER workbook is about the fun of stimulating the imagination. It consists of 12 chapters, one for each month - below you can see what my first month's work looks like now that I have finished it. I am sure yours will look different but it's just to give you an idea. 

What each chapter does is to invite you to draw, to read (you have book recommendations, inspiring quotes) to colour in, to create collages, write your thoughts ... most pages have prompts to help you on your way ... You are invited to use watercolour crayons, acrylic paints, juicy pens (the really lovely ones to work with!) of all kinds, collage bits from your favourite magazines ..... 

Because creativity starts with a step ... followed by another one ... and another one .....it's  about what comes into your mind and the absolute joy for the mind of "what if...." I never look for perfection because it doesn't exist. Real life is all those things you just did and do, whatever the outcome, because in the end it's your work, no-one else's and memories are made of such things.

Be a creative explorer is available from Amazon, wherever you are. 

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The militant muse stories about art, friendship, camaraderie

 

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The Militant Muse - Love, War and the Women of Surrealism by Whitney Chadwick

“Being an artist” over the past centuries conveys an image of a field dominated by men. “Why was that”?  One could assume  that either women were not attracted by this field and instead preferred to embrace only the role of muses OR they were not good enough for the history of art to remember them. The truth of course is very far from either of these statements.  

 

“The Militant Muse” takes us to “moments in history”, the 1930’s, ’40’s, 50’s, providing a glimpse of the often-complicated relationships between muses and artists, showing how muses have sometimes “shapeshifted” into ground breaking artists themselves. It talks about feminine relationships, about inspiring and being inspired by each other, about strong human emotions, about the art of writing letters, emotional survival in traumatic times, about art as a way to “document” one’s reality and emotions - and last but not least, the importance of friendship and camaraderie. 

 

I was familiar of course with Frida Kahlo, Lee Miller, Valentine Penrose and was delighted to start researching the other characters of this book:  Jacqueline Lamba Breton, Leonor Fini, Leonora Carrington. 

 

What I can promise you is that by the end of the book you will have fallen in love with at least one new artist. For me it was Leonor Fini … her work made a huge impression on me. I found myself reflecting on her paintings for hours and hours. Be prepared to be amazed. 


How to make turmeric gold and break habits

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I could tell you that I am on a healthy lifestyle path and I came across the turmeric gold which is the best thing ever. This will be a lie. I came across the turmeric gold (the recipe you will find below) thanks to an on line course I've been enrolled in for the past 6 months, a course with Carrie Anne Moss, a course called Fierce Grace Collective. You can find out more about it at Annapurna Living website. 

It is true that I have tried to prepare for Peter a turmeric tea (using tea bags) in the spring and he absolutely hated it. Seeing his reaction I had no desire to try it myself so I continued to drink my beloved PG tips a few times a day, even late in the evening. I know for sure that this is clearly a habit ... a habit I would like to break. 

So when this month Carrie Anne showed us how to make turmeric gold ... I have decided to give it a try ... it looked really interesting, the colour is gorgeous  ... strong yellow but also some shades of amber  .....the whole process of making it ... magical .... 

After one failed attempt (yes I was way too impatient and skipped a few steps) two days ago I did my first batch of turmeric paste and ... my first cup of turmeric gold drink ... and I really love it! And who knows .... you might also like it! 

Here we go ... what you need .... 

Ingredients 

Turmeric paste

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup turmeric powder 
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil

Put the hot water on the stove, add the turmeric and start stirring it patiently for about 7 to 9 minutes until you will see a thick paste formed, the consistency of a thick sour cream.Turn off the heat and stir 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Stir until everything is incorporated in the mix.  Put it in a airtight container, maybe a glass jar and store it in the fridge. 

Golden Milk 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup of milk (any type ... cow milk, almond milk, oats milk, rice milk) 
  • 1 tsp turmeric paste
  • pinch of cinnamon and 1 stick of cinnamon as well 
  • pinch of pepper 
  • 1 star anise 
  • 1 tsp of honey or less (it's up to you and your taste) 

Put all of these ingredients in a pot, bring it to boil and ... done ... pour it in a mug, grab a book and ... enjoy! 


About the colour blue and earrings and the throat chakra

 

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Jewellery ... I love wearing it, who doesn't. Colour .. naturally I love understanding it and using it in my paintings. So I now include a hand made (by me) range of delicate earrings inspired by the yogi Chakras.

7 years ago or maybe 8 I was leaving a job in London and starting to create this blog Beehiveartsstudio... the blog suffered a few changes in terms of names ... I have settled on the beehive arts studio. At that time I was painting, doing monotypes, exploring many visual creative avenues  .... but my intense curiosity took me into more areas ... creative cooking, exploring the world of making natural cosmetics, making jewellery inspired by my own art, designing bags .... The name of the blog is so fitted to the way I am, to who I am ... and again .. the name is connected to my ..... maiden name .... which in Romanian means ... "the one who has beehives"  ....would you say that ... everything is "hidden" in the name? More about this in a later blog ..... 

Back to my first  pair of earring, the ones you see in the image and here  ....the teal blue ones, inspired by the throat chakra ... because I believe we all need to have our voices heard. Wear this pair of earrings when you need to express what you know and feel. Wear it in your next yoga class when you want to concentrate more on the way you communicate with yourself and the world around you.

I would also wear them in the office, when you feel that you need an extra support to ... make your voice heard, to talk about your ideas in front of your boss, to be able to communicate clearly and efficiently with the ones around you. 

Blue is also the colour that our human nervous system responds to when it needs to settle down, to become quiet, when we want to enter into a more peaceful mode, more dreamlike, when one is ready to start ones own meditative practice. This is why we do feel so good close to the sea, this is why many times, when life seems overwhelming I love a long walk by the sea because this brings me back to a more balanced self. 

Remember that ... colour heals, colour empowers us!


About Tove Jansson and the book Work and love

 

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How do you come across new books? Somebody recommends them to you or do you simply allow your intuition to take you to that special shelf and your hand stops at that particular book that actually has been waiting for you? I am definitely in the second category and this is how I came across Tove Jansson in the first place. I had no idea who she was, I have never heard of the Mumins but I was attracted by the cover of the book, the fact that it was the biography of a female artist, and that the book was peppered with lots and lots of images of her paintings, illustrations, on top of biographical images. I was in the gift shop area of  De la Warr  Pavilion in Bexhill and bought the book there and then. 

 

The book proved to be a success …. I have not only learned about the fascinating life of a woman artist born in 1914, I’ve learned about life in Finland, about the ups and downs of being a working artist, about living a life aligned to what mattered to her most … love and work, about her  timeless children’s classic characters, about the many facets of her as a mortal soul. Her views on life and non conformism reminded me of the Bloomsbury group you will also notice the similarities.  Reading “Work and love” by Tuula Karjalainen  will  be  a rich and wonderful experience as it will make you cry, laugh, be amazed and of course fall in love again with memorable characters like the Mumins as well as I am sure it will  be an opportunity to enter another person’s reality through her paintings and in such way, it help you connect to a free spirit of a different era. 


An introduction to intuitive painting ... through a book!

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Life, paint and passion 

 

Are you an artist?  Do you paint. What do you paint - a house, a portrait of a loved one, your pet, the sea - Is this it? Are you doing your best to follow other people’s rules, do you watch lots of tutorials, copy other artists, are you striving for the perfect painting?

 

What would it be like to paint without your internal critic whispering in your ear, without it passing judgement on your techniques, or your choice of the perfect brush, or the perfect colour combination? What would it be like … for a change … to learn by allowing art to take you where it will through uncontrolled discovery?

 

What if I tell you that there are other ways to create art by simply allowing what is within you to emerge and to speak through shapes and colours? 

 

If you have an inner critic, I would really recommend you read “Life, paint and passion” by Michell Cassou and Steward Cubley. The book comes with a warning from me … a happy warning … this book might, just might, help you to paint like never before - with a new found feeling of freedom. Get the book, read it, start painting! 

 

 


Introduction to the cold pressed process of making soaps

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I've been making cold pressed soaps for the last 6 months ... it all started out of the blue, after I bought a very interesting and colourful magazine called "Sage and willow". It took me a while to get enough courage to try this technique but once I did my first batch ... I was hooked ...and I still am. It is exciting to create new combinations, to try new recipes and to wait full of trepidation to see the result of your efforts. For this first short blog about the cosmetics I am busily creating in the Beehive Arts Studio I would like to tell you a bit about what is this process all about. So, here we go .... 

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COLD PROCESS SOAP

First of all you need to know that the soaps I am offering are handcrafted in the true traditional cold press method where I  use no heat during production. This means that all the precious, beneficial qualities of the oils are kept intact. During this cold method of soap making, vegetable glycerine [a humectant] is produced naturally during saponification, to enable us to offer the moisturising qualities of naturally produced glycerine soap.

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So, NO CHEMICALS, NO PRESERVATIVES, NO PALM OIL

I  do not use petro-chemical substances, preservatives or detergents. 

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Some of the basic ingredients are: 

Coconut oil Naturally antibacterial, moisturising, cleansing, nourishes the skin, adds creamy lather to soaps

Olive oil 

Skin friendly, generally well tolerated by the majority of people

Sweet almond oil 

High in vitamin E, helps to nourish and moisturise dry skin 

Cocoa butter 

Adds hardness and creamy lather to soaps, nourishes the skin

Castor oil 

Added to help boost bubbles.

More about this interesting process, the soaps, the properties in future blogs. 


Reconnect with your creativity

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Do you lack a deep connection with your creativity? Do you sense how much creativity could enrich your life? You are not the only one! This is how I was a few years ago ... this is how I get from time to time. Yep....... it happens to all of us at various point ... we simply disconnect from the stream of creativity ... life ... gets in the way ... 

Whenever I have moment of slow connection with my creative side ... whenever I am way too tired or way to sad or when suddenly i realise that optimism ... has left the building ... I get back to my ... gelli plate or any other form of creating mono prints .. 

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Many people connect the notion of mono prints to ... a big press ... lots of money .... big investment ... oh well ... it doesn't have to be like that ... you can create beautiful mono prints by using a gelli plate. 

If you live in Eastbourne or in the surrounding areas you can definitely join one of my workshops.

This is what Karen, one of the participants in my previous workshops had to say about her experience: 

"I don't have any experience in painting or art but you made us all feel relaxed & able to experiment and learn in a fun way. I was amazed with the results from just a mornings class. I'm sure my more artistic friends would love the class too and have already recommended it to them."

Here are a few bits of information about my upcoming events in MARCH 2017

Gelli printing is an adventurous and experimental process. It is unpredictable, playful and yet serious.  

You will learn to: 

  • print with natural objects
  • negative painting on a print 
  • how to use acrylic paints and block printing inks 
  • create your own stencils
  • create your unique designs for wrapping paper 

 Dates: March 8th, 10th, 16th

No of places / session:3

Time: 9.30 a.m - 12.30 a.m

Location: Eastbourne 

Investment /session: 35£

All materials are included. Tea, coffee and home made sweets will be available. 

In order to secure your place, send me a private message on Facebook or email me at thomascorina1@gmail.com

 

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We are many people helps you relax and de stress

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From my Baccalaureate and a degree in engineering, to guiding English and Russian speaking tourists and a group of talented Russian dancers; from helping a British company to navigate a licence to operate a new tv channel in a country new to them, to helping clients of Romania's first advertising agency to reach my country's new consumers; from launching my country's first colour magazine for just us women, to launching my own ad agency; from marketing condoms and staging rock concerts at home and in Lesotho and Swaziland to raise awareness in young people of HIV/Aids, to promoting the farming of plants for supply to a new organic perfumery sector as a way of helping our disadvantaged communities; from improving my understanding of the workings of the mind, to becoming a civil servant in London working to influence the attitudes of Britain's young muslims; and from intuitive painting to now illustrating my own books  ...... yes ... I think I can claim to have reinvented myself many, many times. 
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It is my strong belief that we all have a mission ... a mission to help and to support each other, a mission to help other people to discover and to connect with their unique voices, to help them to find their path, to cheer their efforts and to support them along their way. 

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This is my underlying message ......the message  I want to send through my colouring books and journals ..... to see life as a journey ... totally unpredictable, always imperfect ... yet perfectly imperfect. 

To find out more about my books please follow the link www.corinastuputhomas.com 

To be continued ..... 

 

 

This is my underlying message ......the message  I want to send through my colouring books and journals ..... to see life as a journey ... totally unpredictable, always imperfect ... yet perfectly imperfect.