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Suffering from a creative block, especially when confronted with a big white page or canvas? Here's what you do....courtesy of another artists blog..

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


"CannonBall" It



You know when you were a kid how you'd run like a bat outta hell and jump right into that ice cold swimming pool rather than inch into the water one toenail at a time? That's pretty much how I get back to work in my studio after a hiatus. I don't pick an idea or an image and then do a few sketches. I pick an idea or image and I do FIFTY drawings in a row, all in one sitting.

More Altered Art I have created after viewing Sommerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines. Altered art is amazing. In the holidays I am going to be doing at least one art journal page a day. Watch this space......






Altered art, this is what I have been creating this morning.

                                                                      Neutral
                                                                     Apricot
                                                                  lemon
Pink                                                                                 Teal
BlueWhich one do you like best?

It is my dream or should I say goal to one day

Magic Moments

Monday, December 20, 2010

To keep me motivated creatively I often listen to Tony Robbins DVDs.
 I regularly do his hour of power morning "pick me up " exercises and usually do his goal setting workshop at the beginning of each year.
 I have been doing this for the past seven years.



At the end of each year I list all the things I want to achieve for the following year and pick the top three that I want to achieve

Creating fifty mixed media cards thats what I've been doing. Here are just five

                                                             
                                                          Have a go at writing poetry...

                                                                           Walk in nature....
                                               Plant some butterfly attracing flowers ...    

The hand made cards are coming ...but before this a short commercial break from my favourite supermarket, New World where all the staff are happy and friendly Merry Christmas to a brave New World

Saturday, December 18, 2010

On a Lighter note: Favourite manipulated photo's for the past year...that I have turned into Haiga ( haiku with pictures) ....Please do me a favour and vote for the best...

waiting a bunch of braeburn applesthe scent of pies
                                                                  floating halfway up a ladder                                                                    white tailed spider
                                                                                                                         
Looking  for eggs

Poetry I have created.

Whenever I read stories in the paper about men who murder their wives I always want to scream because of the interviews the media conduct with the perpetrator’s friends and neighbours on television.
 Time and again you read and hear words like “I can’t believe it, David was such a nice, quiet guy, the very last person we thought who would do such an awful thing.”


My answer to this is even most

My favourite posters of people and places that I have created lately...

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I have just made a calendar for 2011. Here are the images from it.....

Saturday, December 11, 2010




2011 calendarJanuaryonly one jump away the frog from the pond
                                           February

                                            the water lilly bursts open at last the sun
                                                                             
                                          March
                                             waxeye, the weight of

Creativity at Christmas time. What are you doing? I am going to make all my own Christmas cards. They will be mini watercolour originals. Once I have done them I will post a montage of them on here for you to see.

Are you a bird fancier like me? Conservation of New Zealand Native Birds Mosaic Paver Project to celebrate the fragility of birds.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

                                                               
Kiwi












This represents part of a community art project that I organised this year with parents, teachers and pupils of the Ngongotaha Kindergarten Association.
 I can arrange community projects call me or email me for a quote jkeen@clear.net.nz
                                                             Phone 07 3463435

Mosaic Fish Making Workshop for Beginners, Enrolling now for 2011..hurry limited places

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mosaic fish making workshops are fun and suitable for any age and level of ability. You can be as precise or as loose as you like, I have the tools, I have the techniques. I can show you how to swim with mosaics. Group enquiries welcome.Booking now for 2011Email me at jkeen@clear.net.nz
Creative learning quote of the dayLearning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhereChinese Proverb

 Mosaic Bird Workshop- stained glass and glass tile
Enrolling for next year now... hurry while spaces remain.

 Perfect one day workshop for beginners to give you a taste of how you can fly with mosaics,
Classes run in my workshop or yours.
Hens parties, team bonding , kids parties, empty nesters, school and preschool teacher groups, all  enquiries welcome. 

Please phone for a quote.  Or

Manipulated photo's, using photoshop CS4. Thinking about designs for new crop of abstract paintings.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Alpaca's grazing in a circle


 Waxeye's  melting in the sun


Pelican stretching after a fish dish
Creative Quote of the DayI have made my world and it is a much better world than I ever saw outside.Louise Nevelson

Creating a series of acrylic on canvas works called Volcanic Cross Sections.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Title: Volcanic  Cross Section 1Medium: Acrylic paint and silica sand on stretched canvasSize: 46cm x 46cm Investment: $450.00 (NZD) plus postage                                                            


Title: Volcanic Cross Section 2
 Medium: Acrylic paint and silica sand on stretched canvas
  Size: 46cms x 46cms
  Investment: $450.00 (NZD) plus postage


 Title: Volcanic  Cross Section 3

My Best Photographic work for 2010......

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


                                              Mandala's











Meaning of Mandala          The circle has been of major importance in every culture from the beginning of time.
The mandala is the highest form of the unifying circle, and it is used in magic and meditation around the world.

Why Create A Mandala?
Creating a mandala gives you a focal point.
The act of drawing , painting or

Taking a break during the weekend at Kinloch, Taupo...playing I spy and I wonder why....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Walking along the Kinloch marina, I spied these grasses. Walking along the First Stream at Kinloch I spied these Douglas Fir conesWalking past the shop at Kinloch I spied these Gum Tree Flowers
Walking past this old shed on a new track near an overbridge at Kinloch I spied this Lichen.
Childhood memories.
Since I was around four years old our family has been going to a place called Kinloch which

What have you been doing creatively? I've been teaching an art class on poster making at the Rotorua Arts Village..come with me on a quick guided tour.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Say no to pokies and gambling in general....spread the word.
Dr Laurie Morrison a professional Psychologist seated with a group of inspired, hard working poster makers.
The subject of the posters is gambling and the proliferation of pokie machines in lower income earning areas. They speak of the damage that addiction to gambling does to families.
Many people  would like to outlaw pokie machines

What have I done creatively lately? I've been trout watching...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Over the years I have made and sold hundreds of mosaic rainbow trout, see my website http://www.jkeen.net/
 Whats the attraction with trout?

Trout Fishing
Before I became a  full time artist, semi vegetarian,  non- drinker and non smoker, I used to take my aluminium dinghy out on Lake Taupo and a couple of cans of beer and I'd troll for trout.

 I had a favourite place to fish infront of two

What are you reading at the moment? Here's what I'm reading. I find reading helps me to be creative as long as it's not a parking ticket or a dentist bill.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Smoking in Antarctica By Steve Braunais
"New Zealand's funniest and most merciless columnist"

I just bought this book online from Awa Press a couple of days ago.
  www.awapress.com/
I don't write book reviews, mostly because the books I choose to buy are always really good and I don't have a lot of cutting things to say about them.
Might sound shallow but that's me.

I'm in the business of

The redwood walk, only a day late...my recommendation would be to definitely go on a daily walk...if you can , amongst trees

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Self portrait before setting out for the walk, just to check that everything is working.

It's FreeThe Redwood sign, in the carpark that has lots of free parking in a green shady setting.
The extensive tracks in the forest are free.
 If you are a Korean or Chinese tourist on a bus tour, be warned, don't let the tour conductor charge you extra, revolt, exercise your democratic right to be a

Going out to lunch in a cafe... a change of scenery and a view away from my own stove, always gets creative or digestive juices flowing...

Friday, November 19, 2010


Favourite cafe
About as fresh and friendly as it gets for dining in Rotorua, is Capers Epicurian. Situated in Eruera Street, with its giant plate, knife and fork, balanced on the top of the building; you can't miss it.

Good for health food nuts
Because I'm now into healthy  lifestyle choices', which includes no sugar and very little fat, I go to Capers because they have a salad bar that is

Macro Photography...creative way to view the Spring Garden

Close up of a rose

Close up of an orange blossom

Broad Bean Harvesting...Creative Gardening Segment.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Being creative  is not always about producing a painting, mosaic or even poem or short story. It's about a way of thinking, feeling and being.  It can include a simple act like growing a patch of broad beans, harvesting  some of them  four months later and making a dish to eat for dinner out of them that satisfies your soul.  
These were added to a chickpea and vegetable Indian casserole that I

Roses, roses, roses... the garden is blooming like mad ...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aphids up close

Old fashioned scented rose, great for pot pourri when dried
Iceberg buds, nice to have inside as a cut flower

Different angle to an aphid and roseForgotten this ones name, it's scented and  has a delicate pink colouring.Full on iceberg rose
Dublin Bay, we received this one for a wedding present ten years ago, it's a great climber and repeat bloomer

Ten reasons to grow roses
One

Going on road trips...a great way to feel more creative...

Living in Rotorua is fantastic because it's so easy to pack up the car and take off for an adventure, especially in summer.



Within three hours you can be in Napier, sitting next to a tent, under oak trees, eating steak off  a gas cooker and watching the sunset.


Or in a couple of hours you can be walking  along the beach  towards the estuary at Ohiwa Harbour, watching Godwits return to their

Teaching young people to be creative is an investment in their future...Basketball star Connor

Monday, November 15, 2010


Connor is another of my long term pupils who has been with me for around six and a half years.

He has been very dedicated to art and drawing from a very early age.

 He has a lovely supportive family, who really value artistic expression.

 His two older brothers have also attended art lessons with me for a number of years and have created some great works. They are all natural drawers.

Connor

Prize pupil Kyle, trucking along...

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Kyle is my longest attending and first art pupil. He has been with me for seven years which has passed by so quickly it seems like a ride in a fast car.

 During this time he has created beautiful mosaics and written and illustrated his own children's book in watercolours and pen and ink.

He has won art awards, been admitted to Rotorua Artists, sold paintings at auctions and has taken part in

A trip to the dump can be quite uplifting...




If I were a seagull, despite the smell, I think I would choose to live at the dump. There's always plenty of food, the variety makes it like a smorgasbord on a cruise liner.
There are a lot other friends to be made at the dump; it's a very popular place to hang out and meet like minded souls, the equivalent I would say of the human pub on a Friday or Saturday night. It's always happy hour at

Going on road trips...a great way to feel more creative...

Friday, November 12, 2010

I didn't have time to post yesterday because I went over to Tauranga to their Art and Garden Festival.

 By the time I'd walked around parks, taken shots of roses, eaten a mini banquet at a Turkish Restaurant, attended an art talk by Elizabeth Thompson and  Karl Maughan at the Tauranga Art Gallery and driven an hour home, I was totally exhausted.

My cat who really is my main devotee missed me

Ten reasons to do something creative every day...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You feel free to bust down those walls and fences when you create.


Things don't seem so scary  so you take more risks when you are  in the creative flow

Colours are brighter, clearer and more beautiful

                                      
Animlas love it when you are being creative because they get to watch.

                                 
You are more centered and calm so you can

I am writing haiku...if I say it's haiku is it haiku?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010



Birds in a row fossicking



Stranded halfway up a ladder, silver cobwebb



  In the peace garden cherry blossoms annoint the heads of woolly sheep



   Vapour shrouds the body of St Faith's church



Segmented reflections direct the boat home

         
               Shags guard nests in sticky spaces




Tide pools reflect like sands in a looking glass
Creativity quote of the day
Desire,

Another clip about one of my favourite writers...Meet the Writers - Elizabeth Gilbert


Check out my website at http://www.jkeen.net/

What's new? Something ugly and scary for a change...


Today I taught four of my art pupils after school, amid the chaos of the wrecked studio roof. We had fun, it was like being in a tent with the bright yellow and red tarpaulin.

They all worked so well, two are doing mosaic mirrors, one a mosaic bird and the other a fish painting. One pupil said to me that it is his goal to cover his bedroom walls with mosaics and paintings so it looks like my

Commercial Bubble Break...

Monday, November 8, 2010

This extra bonus post is for all you people out there who appeared to be blown away by my previous bubble post. It had one of the highest number of hits. Here is some more eye candy and watch out for future bubbly news.Cheers Janet 

What are your favourite creative things? Angels are one of my favourites...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

By Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.




If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.



If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.



If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.



What you spend

Creativity is taking time to soak and dream...Polynesian Spa, Rotorua, altered view...





 Lit pathway to outside pools remind me of a  glow worm  grotto 
  



 Ghost bather's words, echo 
 This weekend was devoted to the garden; weeding, planting potatoes, flowering shrubs and cleaning up the mess left by the fallen poplar.

 As you probably can imagine wrenching out buttercup and dock plants is hard on the back.

 We usually go here at least twice a month and really

Walking in Nature...

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Walking in Nature

Friday, November 5, 2010




When  I am  creating; events that are happening around me and emotions I am experiencing become part of my work whether it is obvious to me or not.
In the words of Picasso, painting is just another way of writing a diary.   
Writers often say when they are passing over their novel to publishers it is like handing over their baby.  How many times have you listened to authors talks or read

A new way to think about creativity YouTube - Elizabeth Gilbert:

YouTube - Elizabeth Gilbert: A new way to think about creativity

Eat, Pray, Love...Find yourself some heroe's...

Thursday, November 4, 2010




In yesterdays blog post I said I thought it was important to have heroes...
As an artist I have my favourite sculptors, visual artists and mosaicists.
As a writer I have my favourite New Zealand and international writers and poets.
As a photographer I have my favourites as well.
Do you have your heroes? Who are they? I'd like to know.
I am going to write little features on various

Transformation... Living in the light ...



Transforming something in my life, whether it's my attitude, mindset, financial situation or bringing change into a relationship can seem like an overwelming task. But as the saying goes, How do you eat a Hippopotomus? On bite at a time.  Likewise the way I change my life is one thought at a time.
My thoughts set the direction of my life. If  I need to change the direction, I will need to

Take a Leaf out of my book...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


 

What am I doing creatively today?

I am trying to compose my 1666 daily word count  towards my 'write a novel in a month' commitment, but so far I have not been able to because of constant interruptions.

 I've had a dream, of writing my own  book. Ever since I was a toddler in nappies cranking out my crayon filled mini-journals, in fact. It's been this quiet, little longing that has turned 

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb...

What did I do creatively today?
I live in the middle of an organic flower and vegetable garden that I started forming ten years ago. It's bursting with flowers and bees and represents one of my most successful creations to date. 
The rhubarb in my potager has been begging to be transformed into a crumble for a couple of days so I harvested it and made it into a temporary environmental art piece

On safari in my own back yard

Monday, November 1, 2010




 I love cats and I've always wanted to go on an African safari to see them stalking prey in their native habitat. I decided to go with a fellow photographer friend to the Paradise Valley Lion Park on a pretend safari. 
Action shots of lions fighting over slabs of meat were what I was after. But it was not to be as it was a docile, lazy day.
 There was only one moment of tension during a brief

Ever thought about bees and their creativity?...without them there would be no fruit

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The importance of having a good zzzzzzzzz.......... yawn


What did I do creatively today?

 The answer is I slept on it.

After an hours power walk with my husband along the edge of a willow and wild flower lined bubbling brooke (cliche), I sat down on my sofa with a jug of  beetroot, parsley, celery, apple, carrot and lemon juice.

Keerrplunk... it was so intoxicating my head landed on top of my possum fur pillow.

 For two hours I was spirited away 

Killer headline to hook you in....Act like a kid...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

 I grabbed my yellow  plastic container of bubble mix which I bought from the Two Buck Shop and spent half an hour blowing bubbles and photographing them. 

I added a  half a tsp of glycerine to the mix so when they landed on branches they stayed intact longer.

 Did you know that it is practically impossible to get a good "bubble in the air"" shot with one hand on your bubble maker and the

Bubble up Close

Check out my website at http://www.jkeen.net/

What am I doing creatively today and what are you doing?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One of the best things for my creativity is to spend some time doing arty activities with children. Their take on the world is fresh and clean and their words keep me smiling for hours after they have gone. Words like "I don't like going to school, kids pick on me, coming to your art class is my  favourite time of the week," make me feel like I want to wrap them up in cotton wool.

I love it when

Spending time with children in their worlds...Award winning duo of Milky and Aleksia

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This little goat  Milky was a famous for a weekend at Kinloch.
 I heard about him from my parents who had met him when they went over to the neighbours for drinkies.

As soon as I saw him and his proud trainer Aleksia I just had to book in a photo shoot.
I snapped about thirty shots, so many were adorable. If you get into the habit of taking your camera everywhere, life becomes an amazing world

This little goat Milky was so gorgeous I couldn't tear myself away from him for over an hour. He is a total kid magnet, I wished I could have taken him back to Rotorua with me.

Gardening is incredibly creative and renewing for the soul...especially if it's organic....

Fuschia...popped bells

Forget-me-nots remind me of the shade of his eyes...


Sometimes you meet a special person for a moment in time and the connection is so spiritually powerful that it resonates with you long after they have left.
If you ever have these  fond moments, believe in them, don't think you are going mad.  They are real,  they may or may not be reciprocated but they serve as beakons to light the way for where you need to go.
They are muses for your

The smell of jasmine is intoxicating...great for evoking memory in writing and art...

Jasmine provides aroma and taste, try sucking the nectar from the bottom of a fresh flower, its a tiny hint of what it's like to be a butterfly.

What am I doing creatively today?

At the risk of sounding boring, I tidied part of my studio where the giant poplar tree had crashed onto it. I hate tidying and cleaning at the best of times so I turned on some motivating music to help me through it.
The builder and painter visited me today to measure up for repairs.
They will start in two weeks and it will take up to a month for the work to be completely finished.

I have

Our family Bach at Kinloch, Taupo, a great place to write and relax

Sunday, October 24, 2010




What are you doing creatively today? Here's what I'm doing...

Today Graham and I went to my families bach at Kinloch (Lake Taupo) to see my parents who were there for the long weekend. We went for a walk along the marina and bird twitching which is bird spotting. In my case I add bird photographing. I saw black swans, mallard ducks, scaups, shags, Australian coots, a grey heron, dabchicks, blackbirds, sparrows, thrushes, tui's and bellbirds. I forgot to

Healing plants... grow them... eat them...feel the love..to quote Annabel White

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I have heaps of herbs in my garden.  They have been an obsession for twenty five years. I companion plant so that I don't have to use any toxic chemicals or unnatural fertilisers. I  have been organic gardening forever, just like Prince Charles and long before it became popular. I have parsely, mint,  lemon balm (great as a relaxing tea), comfrey (fantastic for adding to water and rotting down

I stroke my laptop keys and realise my cat is green

all that remains of one hundred bulbs a single tulip

What are you doing creatively today?

Friday, October 22, 2010

This morning I sat in bed with the scrambled egss my husband made me and looked out the window to the corpulent wood pigeon flew in for his breakfast of willow leaves.

 I picked up my laptop and spent all morning until around 11am manipulating my garden photo's so that I can load them onto this blog. I just have to work out how to do this????????

I then went out to my studio and helped my

What am I doing creatively today?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's a gorgeous day today so I am gardening. I have fed the birds with rice, lard, birdseed and bread. Everyone is having a feast to celebrate Spring. Did you know that some religions believe that to feed the birds is the same as praying and having a direct line to God. I'd much rather feed the birds than attend church, birds don't require you to read the bible.Birds are great at eating unwanted
 

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