North Berwick

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Living in Edinburgh with out a car, North Berwick is our go to beach and a family favourite. It’s a quick walk up the hill to Waverley and a 30 min trip on the train.

The facilities when you get to the town are great , charity shops, an art shop, wool shop and fab food and coffee.

The beaches are fab too. The sea front is divided into two by a small harbour and The Scottish Sea bird centre. The North beach stretches out in front of the golf course

When the tide is out I love how the sandy beach becomes like a mirror

The South beach has ice cream vans and a large rock to clamber on.

There are great views of Bass rock , with its lighthouse. You can catch a boat trip to see the bird sanctuary on good days – but you still need oil skins and a life

Art shop supplies

http://www.rockandbird.com/

Wool

https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Shopping—Retail/Chandlers-North-Berwick-1658721344357086/

Coffee

https://www.steampunkcoffee.co.uk/

Food – Italian Tapas

https://www.zitto.co.uk/

Lobster, chips and a glass of wine

http://www.lobstershack.co.uk/

Working collaboratively on some mixed media pages

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A friend wanted to produce some mixed media pages about her experience of living as an immigrant in the UK over the past few years.

We discussed colour, themes, and what she wanted to convey.

The pieces are to be used as part of a presentation of an academic paper on a slide show loop. We felt that it was important to use a colour theme- we chose a turquoise back ground and spread acrylic paint onto cartridge paper with credit cards.

We did some research on google looking at fear. And found a few images to look at as a starting point.

https://www.alamy.com/the-hands-of-a-child-pressed-up-against-the-frosted-glass-of-a-door-image4635144.html

http://www.paintedpath.org/2011/02/on-being-vulnerable.html?m=1

We found a load of other images but these were two that seemed to talk to my friend the most – built up layers of paint , found images and newspaper collage

We fancied a bit more layering so added baking sheet

We made a copy on my printer – the paper was too big to be copied whole, but we decided we liked the image cropped very much – it conveys the feeling of being trapped much more effectively

The second piece felt much more easier to do.

We added ripped bits of paper onto the back ground and then swirled acrylic paint in a loose circle on top. The figure is a found image from a magazine. We wrote words that my friend wanted on news paper and then added torn red pieces and swirled on top of everything with gelatoes

I have been feeling a lot of pent up anxiety and emotion about Brexit and Trump recently and this was very releasing – even though it wasn’t my emotions being targeted- using art in this way always amazes me.

Using origami in art journaling

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I have found making origami in a group setting helps with bonding of participants. People chat about how to do the folding and each other with tricky bits.

I have used Chinese fortune tellers and butterflies in this way. Lisa and I used the Chinese fortune tellers to explore ideas and feelings about the theme of ‘change’ in an existing group that was well established, but was about to experience change in participants and workers.

I used butterflies working with Monika and a group which was coming to an end. We used the metaphor of metamorphosis and endings to help the group come to terms with the group finishing

Art journaling for self care

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I am running some art journaling classes in Edinburgh and I have produced a blog post that will be available on the Eyre Place Osteopathic practices’s blog soon – I thought I would share here too.

‘I have been visiting Eyre Place Osteopathic Practice for a few years and have enjoyed Osteopathic treatment from a variety of staff. Glynis asked me to produce some art for her 18th year anniversary celebrations. So when Monika and I decided to set up a business for art journaling for self- care I immediately thought of 23 Eyre Place as a venue to host a course. ( Monika and I don’t at present have our own premises) We are www.healingtherapycentre.co.uk

you can book appointments and visit Glynis And her team at http://www.eyreplaceosteopath.co.uk/ they also blog at http://eyreplaceosteopath.blogspot.com/

Some of Tess’ art journalling pages for an international letter swap

I am an artist teacher and Monika is a counsellor, we met running art journaling sessions for Safe Space Dunfermline and enjoyed working with each other so much we decided to see if we could run some classes in Edinburgh.

The course is run along therapeutic guidelines with lots of emphasis on mindfulness and group support. An art activity for example found images and text from magazines used as a starting point to explore feelings around a topic e.g shame. The work is discussed in pairs with an emphasis on the process involved. For example – what did it feel like when you were looking for images, tearing paper, drawing with crayons? What were you thinking of? What came up for you?

Art journaling pages by Tess produced using found images/ text and pen and ink whilst on a visit to a London

It is not art therapy because I am a teacher and the experience is directed, but it can have a therapeutic result. An important part of the session is whole group work. Where members explore their experiences verbally and are listened to by the group.

Using origami as a journal – making a piece to reflect on ‘change’ a well established group is experiencing changes to workers and participants and it was important to work through that

You can find the Healing Therapy Centre on Instagram : healingtherapycentreedinburgh

Facebook https://m.facebook.com/healingtherapycentreedinburgh/ and

Pinterest: ‘ Healing Therapy Centre’

Stitching, a reflection of my mood

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I have been art journaling for self care for about 5 years now. I have become used to how intuitive art can express my unconscious and my emotions. Until a few days ago I didn’t realise how much this would also be reflected in my stitching.

I made a really calming piece last night whilst watching Tom Ford’s film ‘Nocturnal Animals’.

If you haven’t seen it it’s quite dark and violent. When I am drawing mandalas in front of a thriller my shapes get very small and tight.

Looking at the above piece now makes me feel calm- I made four with the same pattern of stitches. Normally I get bored doing the same pattern over 4 patches and need to mix the texture and colour up.

I can’t remember what I was watching when I made this one

But I remember being engaged with the plot and finding it stress full. I think I detached from the Ford film because I had to make my self feel remote and mindful to stay with the film. There was a lot of time spent lingering on Amy Adams face…….

I am working on my 5th quilt at the moment and am making small patches and then attaching them individually in a search for ways not to prick my fingers so regularly. I like working like this, the contained space and with my sense of design being restricted. However, I am also having to have another piece on had when it makes me feel too constricted. At the moment this is an apron with big loose circles.

Quilt number 5 – it taxing my design skills. In the last few quilts I have had an overal idea in mind and I just needed to step back from those every so often to check how my ‘vision’ was coming along.

Number 5 is different. I keep having to think about the balance of colour and texture- I can’t just do 5 patches without placing them next to those already attached and thinking about how I need to do the next 5. I am quite pleased with the results. Though some patches have had to have extra bits attached because they were too plain or I didn’t like one patch next to its neighbor.

This was just blue crosses but it was tooo plain and just jumped out at me……

Number 5 so far

I am laughing at my self – I just did some reading around Fords film – I recognised how beautiful it was and that some of the scenes were amazingly framed – with stunning art in – I hadn’t realised that they were originals …..

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/jpvydk/nocturnal-animals-art-tom-ford-shane-valentino

The Art of Inquiry: notes on Thursday at ECQI

Had great fun on Thursday helping to hold an art space in Edinburgh

Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry

Collaborative art in the Create Art! space

Movement, film, poetry, drama, painting – throughout the conference, art and qualitative inquiry entwine: showcasing one another; exploring their (our?) possibilities; blurring boundaries; and becoming more than their constituent parts. Thursday gave us the opportunity to experience the keynote performance of ‘Heavier than Air‘, a play crafted from transcripts of interviews with queer teachers by Dr Stacy Holman Jones and Anne Harris PhD. The performance, directed by CCRI’s Edgar Rodríguez-Dorans, brought energy, movement and character to participants’ words, lifting them from traditional research spaces and forms into a work which held the audience in a triad of art, inquiry and activism. In this space we were encouraged to consider how we each enact the presence or absence of our personal lives in a professional context. Valuable conversations developed, flowing beyond the performance and into the coffee break.

Another key component…

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Step by step Boroindpired bag

I seem to have collected a lot of small irregular pieces of fabric and noticed that my quilting contacts on line do ‘scrappy’ quits.

A new pair of boots came in a black polypropylene bag and I wondered how it would stand up to being stitched so I used that as a base. it had a printed design on both sides – which is quite thick to stitch through – but it wouldn’t deter me from using another bag like it – unless the design was printed all over in a flat panel.

I decided to have a go at fixing my design to the bag using safety pins – because I am fed up of jabbing my self with straight pins

In this picture I have the bag inside a tray to make it easier to pin the bottom pieces to the fabric. Since I did this I decided I had to have quilting safety pins ….. they are fab – sometimes it is not worth trying to improvise.

After pinning I have different methods of tacking the denim shapes to the substrate. In this case because the bits of fabric were so small and oddly shaped I loose tacked all around the edges.

I like to work intuitively with my stitches – I started off making a few rainbow coloured circles – when I started adding white stitches as a background the circles started to loose impact – so I stitched around the circumference with a couple of layers of running stitch.

I was going to just add running stitch all over – but I got bored as is usually the case – so I started adding different patterns of stitches – All based on running stitch

The coloured circles were still getting lost – the white is a slightly thicker thread. So I went back over the centre of the circle- because the white outline was already in place I could see that the less dense stitching towards the edges was making nice tonal contrast – I left a couple of cm with a layer of stitches in a band as they were

But I did add another layer of green to the outside edge.

I used this technique on the other large circle too

I decided to add two more smaller coloured circles and am still filling in the bottom section of the bag. Next job is an apron …….