Thing of Beauty

something to make your heart sing

Delicate colour palette bigged up

When a muted palette is spread over huge flat surfaces of canvas, to form giant walls of series of paintings, the effect is somewhat like another world.  Painter Jessica Zoob is here making and looking at the remarkable size of her art.


Creative Takeaway

If you normally create in small-scale, try bigging it up.  If you write a short story, try the “On the Road” style of  Jack Kerouac – who apparently sellotaped huge amounts of paper together and then just began typing and kept on.  A computer screen is similarly unchallenged in length – you can type a sprawling remembered saga of adventures, keeping going as long as you can.  Then leave it for a day before reading it back and tweaking.

On the other hand, if you usually work big, try writing small.  If you usually write a full-length film script, write just one scene.  Or if you paint full-height canvases, make something very very small.

Afterwards, reflect on what you learned from the experience.


Featured Artist: Lori Reed

Lori Reed‘s vibrant striated photo collages caught my eye recently, especially this one:

photo collage by Lori Reed

Sippin’ on sunshine

Lori described it thus: This 12″ x 12″ piece features a happy bee sipping his supper. I made one filtered version of the photo in Photoshop and 3 in Prisma. I cut them into irregular shapes and combined to reform the image, and added in some handmade papers, too.”

Having buzzed around the photos on her website, I knew that I wanted to show her work to a wider audience (that’s you) – and asked permission, delightfully, she granted it.  So here are a few more stunning photos, together with insights from the artist herself.


Ceramics: Lina Lav

Screen shot of website

Lina Lav’s website front page

Lina Lav makes exquisite ceramics with recurring motifs of bee, honey, feathers, gold paint and text.  Check it out at her website.

Based in Boone, North Carolina, she is also developing canvas painting – as featured on the front screen of her website.  This is her sole painting so far, but obviously one to watch out for.

Thankfully, there is an abundance of ceramics choices.  Despite this appearing under our blog section “Thing of Beauty” – you can see that there are no less than – well – three.  So we are in plural things of beauty land here.


Street becomes Poem – Dobby Gibson

Dobby Gibson has published 3 books of poetry and had 2 nominations for the Pushcart Prize – he realised that a lifetime of taking the same bus ride in Minneapolis meant it had become, for him, a type of poem, and he reads that poem “Beauty Supply” while riding the bus route.  Watch from 4 minutes 15 to 7 minutes 10 to hear the poem.

Also in the video, Dobby speaks about the respect or lack of respect in which poetry is held in America, how he came to write poetry, his conflicting standpoints (he wants to remove the personal ‘I’ yet wants to commemorate people important to him, specifically), and balancing the writing with a day job.  In fact, his 20 minute commute became an important editing time for him, as a regular time period when he can work on his writing.

poetry on bus

Dobby Gibson reads a poem about a bus journey on that route

I enjoy various lines of this poem, especially the one about his dad still living near the same route:

“I was born on this street, about a mile from here and can still take it almost all the way to the house where my parents live – just beyond Minehaha street, to my beautiful Dad in his beautiful basement, listening to the TV at a volume that would scare a soldier”

Creative Takeaway

Is there a regular journey you go on?

How about making it into a poem or video.

photo, Jennifer Watt, Sculptor

Sculpture: Jennifer Watt

The best art needs little explanation: here are Jennifer Watt‘s sculptures – you only need to look at them for a moment for them to speak to you.

sculpture, dancers, Jennifer Watt, sculpture

Dancers sculpture by Jennifer Watt




“Dancers” A sculpture of two figures dancing.

Limited Edition
30cm x 50cm x 25cm
Edition of 6




Moonshine, Dreamworks, animator, painter

What art do animation artists love to make?

Just today, came across this lovely little video about the art which Dreamworks animation artists make in their private life – and an exhibition of it – great variations in styles and materials.  The cherry on the cake, for me, is an endearing comment at the very end from Jeffrey Katzenberg that he’d love to live among the art on the 3rd floor of  the Musee D’Orsay m, Paris (the Impressionists).  My feeling exactly, when I first encountered it, I practically had to be prised away with crowbars.  And I had to revisit the next day.  Hands up anyone else who had the same reaction?

After watching this, it is clear that animation artists are indeed fine artists – and they love to paint and draw.  All the time.  Even while waiting in a queue for something too mundane to mention.  Keenness and enthusiasm is right there.  One painter even dislikes selling her art to someone unless she knows the purchaser, she feels such a personal bond with her pictures.

Huge talent quietly shown here by: Sam Michalp, Nicholas Weis, Griselda Sastrawinata, Christian Schellewald, Paul Duncan, Marcos Mateu, Nathan Fowkes.

The book itself will be featured in my next blog post.


Alternative Christmas Tree - if you prefer to leave them uncut - get a Sandra Jordan photograph! Feature on the photographer's contemplative winter landscapes photos at

Winter Photography: Alternative Christmas Tree

If you prefer your Christmas trees left in nature, unchopped, au naturelle – then an alternative for December decoration is to buy yourself a print from Sandra Jordan Photography.

The print featured is “Winter Forest #1”.  And, encouragingly, that number would lead you to assume that there are other photographs in a similar vein.  And you would be right.

With a touch of the poetic and humorous, this particular series is called Cabin Fever – and Sandra describes it thus:

cabin fever noun

a term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period.

I live in a busy city, I live with a busy mind, sometimes I feel trapped within my own limited space and have an urge to run away, to escape. Photographing this series allows me to stop, breathe and take stock.  I hope that my  photographs allow the viewer to experience the same sense of space, serenity and peace.