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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.
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

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.


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

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

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