Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Review of 2006 & Week 8 - Strength


Moth created in Painter IX

As those of you who've been following my progress will know I'm now on the 8th week of my revisit of the Artist Way, and therefore on Strength. Like last week and next week I'm getting inspiration from other sources for these weeks. I'm still doing morning pages and noting synchronicities.

As its the new year and lots of people are writing reviews of 2006 I thought I'd do a little reviewing too from the perspective of my art and creativity. And include a few thumbnails of favourite pictures too - most of these are linked to flickr so you can see them larger if you click on them.


Last January I was really beginning to get into doing collages that I assembled and altered in Corel's Painter IX - incidentally I recommend this as much more interesting to artists than Photoshop - Painter started out with brushes whilst Photoshop seems to have only recently discovered them. I can't say it never crashes but it is wonderful to use!

Sea Collage Illustratation Friday

Then Melba started up Mixed Media Memoirs that ran throughout 2006.

MMM: This is Me

I felt I'd really found my feet with respect to digital art making!

I also encouraged Johnny Norms to start up the Camel Exchange

Camel - a collaborative doodle

where we sporadically have fun collaborating on silly bits of art. This was my colouring in of a Camel that he'd first put on his blog - Elbowroom

It was a full month!


February is for Valentines and I joined in with my only ATC swap to date:

My Treasured Valentine - ATCs
I got back ones which were so different in flavour that I felt I'd gone wrong somewhere along the line. I'd found the format too small for comfort too. So no more ATCs.

I got interviewed by Reluctant Nomad which I really enjoyed but I didn't manage to actually do any of the interviews that other people asked for, though I did do a lot of the reading... maybe because this blog is where I introspect... sorry to those who've been hoping for interviews I think you can take it that they won't be happening.

February was also the month when I did a batch of potential tarot cards - I mentioned them recently so won't repeat them here.

This was my favourite of the MMM's I did in 2006:

MMM: If I was a colour, I'd be....



I'd been occasionally posting Mandalas. This one prompted me to start a blog dedicated to them - unfortunately it didn't get anywhere. Although I like Mandalas I clearly didn't want to have to make them!

Illustration Friday - Monster

I posted this ink blot and got all sorts of suggestions from people about what it might be!


Magnolia is a favourite plant of mine - I planted this one to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary in 2001. And I really like the way this image came out using cloning brushes and an erasing rake (that's non-standard but easy to make in Painter).

I did a book tag and consequently later in the year I read two of the books on the list that I'd not previously:
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - enjoyed it but wouldn't want to read another one like it!
  • The Time Traveler's Wife - I loved this.

Wood Sprite

I love seeing faces and this one, found in a park in Wales, needed just a little highlighting to make clearer.



I went on the first day of a Hypnosis course. I like going into trance but I did not appreciate the instructor hurting my hand whilst I was in a state when I wasn't feeling pain. Since this course I've really got into self-hypnosis and recommend this book:

The Secrets of Self-Hypnosis: Harnessing the Power of Your Unconscious Mind by Adam Eason

It is very good at providing a safe framework and good suggestions. As you end up writing your own scripts you know what you are programming yourself to do!



In June I joined Wardrobe Refashioning for 2 months. The idea was not to buy new things but to make, refashion and generally alter clothes. I didn't do very well. I threw out lots of horrible things - at least as far as the "to be altered" pile and some right out. But this was the only garment that I did much to and it didn't fit me and wasn't to Jim's taste - though he gamely modeled it!

At least I didn't go buying new things during June and July.

But mostly that was because I went on retreat for a couple of weeks at the end of June and then in the heat of the ridiculously hot summer here did nothing in July!

This was a MMM I did before going on retreat:

MMM: What changes do I Witness?


This was my 12th and last MMM.

MMM: What worked for me


In August, although I was still not blogging, I was alive and kicking!

I won a makeover and spent a day as a model:


The downside of this is that I've never been able to look so good since, which has been rather disheartening.



Still didn't blog so I missed my first year blogiversary.

During my time off I was doing a great deal of energy work - all very weird and unusual so not really bloggable. I was following my own intuition and worked in ways I'd not done before. The goal was to get me really well. I did lots and lots towards this. I finished the work just before we went on holiday in October. Since then my energy has increased enormously. I've had more clearing pains than I like to recall and I'm not entirely clear of them yet. For those of you that "don't believe" in energy work just think of this as a great big placebo that I needed to give myself and it worked.


When we got back from a week in Cornwall / Devon I started to blog again.

The highlight of the holiday had been the Eden project and I loved this painting done by a shamanic artist is residence there:

Eden mural 2



I started doing some exercises from a great book - Art Escapes.

And then, to my own surprise, I decided to revisit the Artist's Way.

My sidebar currently has small images for the reviews of each week so I won't repeat any of them here.

The highlight of the month was the North Bristol Arts Trail and finally meeting a near neighbour who sculpts




Illustration Friday had a theme of Masks which seems to have been echoed over and over around me. Even today I've seen more masks.

Tarot seems to have taken over to a large extent too. And many of my images were drawn directly from others cards.

Hanged Woman 1

The year has finished with the first card inspired by SoulCollage

Abundant Mother

And a blog dedicated to Tarot and Soul Collage.

Wow - this must be one of the longest posts ever - thank you for reading it!


andrea said...

I love this idea -- a photo/art/word tour of the year that was. I would have a hard time just remembering what happened each month. Fortunately I have a blog so I don't have to! :)

I loved seeing your changes and interests, peaks and valleys.

isay said...

You had a very creative and wonderful 2006!

Anonymous said...

what an awesome post, caroline!! i love the visual trail you've left here. i'm in love with your mmm from february. what a gorgeous piece!! i'm curious, what materials did you use?

Caroline said...

Andrea - thanks - I did wonder about doing a huge 2006 collage but that didn't gel and I am glad I've recorded what I did.

Isay - thank you - in retrospect I did.

Leah - thank you - that one was put together digitally, mostly from photos, and work done directly in Painter - the fish came out of the first MMM - most of the other MMMs had included doodles but not this one. In Painter it becomes hard to tell the difference between painting and photo-manipulation - it can be very painterly.

steve said...

What a great year in review Caroline!! And thanks for the Painter reccomendation--will indeed look into it. In the meantime, you just reminded me--is there any way you can post a larger version of the little bird at the Exchange? Since I don't have any funky-fresh art software yet I have to resort to the stone age method of downloading and printing. Unfortunately the image is so tiny when I print it out. I'd love to collaborate on it some! Whenever you get a chance.

Caroline said...

Steve - thanks! I've just uploaded the biggest version I can onto flickr - I think I'd previously put a smaller one there as I wasn't initially thinking of putting it on camel - and I've updated the posting on camel with a direct link to the biggest version. I hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

WOW what a year you've had Caroline!! Extremley creative and on a full steam path forward towards and over into 2007! Congratulations!!

Johnnynorms said...

Excellent overview Caroline, whet's the appetite for the year to come too...

Anonymous said...

What fun seeing your year in review - so much happens in just one year! I loved seeing all of your art along the way.
Your photo is absolutely gorgeous, too, btw!)
Wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year filled with synchronicities, Caroline! XOXO

Anonymous said...

Great post, Caroline! That's a fun way to see what you've achieved over the year, and for me to catch up with you! You do indeed look very scrumptious in that makeover pic, and I'm sure you look equally as gorgeous with or without the help of professionals - don't be so hard on yourself!
Interesting to read about all the energy work you did, and yes please, I would be very grateful for any that you could send my way!
I hope 2007 is equally as creative and energetic for you as was 2006, and more! Thanks for sharing it all with us.
Suze xXx

Caroline said...

Thank you all for your kind wishes and I hope you are all going to have the very best of years, the start of all the best years!

Anonymous - thank you - a full steam path up the stream of consciousness? I hope so!

Johnnynorms - love your latest avatar and that's a great hat you are wearing! - thank you - I'm really glad to have done the review its so easy for it all to slide away

Melba - Thank you - its very kind of you to say so (blushes)

Tinker - thank you - yes years whip past but they do still contain a whole load of time! More blushes...

Suzie Q - glad to bring you up to date! And this is my third blush in a row so I'm bright red by now... they used to call me belesha beacon at school because of my ability to flush so... actually I don't go that red any more but its brought back that memory.... And I've sent what I can so I hope it got to you! Hugs to you too Suze.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Caroline,

This is a wonderfully balanced and informative post. I'm perhaps your newest reader, so this guided tour of your year gives me a context in which to appreciate your images. I love the magnolia one and so many others. I also love the "chop wood" one.

It is infectious to watch someone so directed on her path of discovery.

Most interesting to me is the body work. I've recently turned away from talk therapy to embracing the body-mind-spirit connection.

All good artistic creation to you in 2007.

Caroline said...

Potato Print - good morning to you too! - glad you liked the post - yesterday whilst I did I was wondering if it was pure self-indulgence...

It really showed me that paths are only clear in retrospect - we blithely make our way into the future following whatever light we see and then look back and see all those footprints directed to where we are now. Looking forward its still uncharted territory.

I find it hard to post about the healing type work I do as words don't make much sense without the experiences to go with them. It is all about experience for me and in fact I've begun to see that words can get in the way of experiencing experience all too often!

Thank you! And to you too.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Hope your 2007 is full of energy, light and good health, Caro.

This post has motivated me. Today, I will edit, blog, write my emails...then sit and think.

I am totally in love with that Eden project!

Caroline said...

GG - thank you! I hope your musings are fruitful.

I've been wondering about another trip down to the Eden project... its a fabulous place.