large black loopy line with a yellow centre in a sea of trellis blue with magenta square acrylic painting by phoebe thomasson art

Art, The Great Disruptor

Art is my meditation
My medication
It anneals my soul
Enlivens my spirit
And informs my intellect
As to where I am
In my process
Towards enlightenment
For that, really
Is all that matters;
The cessation of suffering
And the opening
Of the doors to Nirvana.

What you see here
Is the result of that process;
That striving towards
Something greater
That release of pressure
And the relief of understanding.

That
Is
Art.

large black loopy line with a yellow centre in a sea of trellis blue with magenta square acrylic painting by phoebe thomasson art
Before Infinity

Part of the growth process must involve self-analysis. The above prose poetry is what emerged when I analysed my relationship to my art and my creative process.

What it means to me is what drives me, and this is an important understanding for anyone looking to employ the techniques of disruption to their life, business, project or self development.

For more on Disruption and innovation see Whitney Johnson’s book “Disrupt Yourself“. I highly recommend it if you are looking for positive change in any area of your life.

Art Projects

Space Beings & Imaginary Friends

The Human Boundary

Supernatural: Surreal Shapes of Nature

 

Follow me on Twitter @phoebethomasson

 

 

a red headed woman holds a seedling sprout and contemplates destiny

what an artist does for you…

what is all the fuss about? why are artists worth so much in some circles of life and worth so little in others?

the answer is quite clear. and it’s not remotely to do with some magical mysterious talent…though it helps.

it’s about love.

really?

yeah. and this applies to us all. artists happen to be some of the first in line to feel the edge of evolution. we go out on a limb so to speak, and bring back the psychic bacon…the soul food for nourishment of all.

we are arbiters of change and flying shamans. we are cosy in our bubbles where we see the cosmic dance played out before our inner retinas.

we put our visions down, fresh from the universal soup into some kind of reason upon canvas with all manner of colours and textures.

and those of us who know how to allow ourselves to love this weird thing that we do, know how to thrive. we are juicy and full of life because we’ve invested in our spiritual connection.

an artists job is merely to remind you who you are.

you are all the paintings and beautiful sunsets throughout time.

you are the dew drop on petal and the cold glint on metal.

you are light and being beyond this physical appearance, mere density of vibration.

a painting then, is like a map. if it resonates with you then it is yours to cherish.

talk to the artist. she wants to serve you. she wants to enliven your world with the visions she incubates.

without you, her audience, there is no reason.

a hopeful looking woman leans into an invisible wind that blows her very being away as she disintegrates in waves of rippling vibrations though she looks brightly into the future model is uk artist phoebe thomasson photo art by adam white photography copyright 2015 awp and pt
photo art: adam white
model: phoebe thomasson

sat nam. (truth is my name.)

name zen yellow bright bold black line encompasses a bright lemon yellow centre the epitomy of simplicity and bold minimalism gives you space to think and uplifting colour representing the inner sunshine healthy ego self acrylic on canvas by uk artist phoebe thomasson

PROJECT: One Hundred Paintings #1

Day One “Zen Yellow”

The ‘day’ is not twenty four hours. It is mine to define. Every painting a day. This is number one. The first painting and the first ‘day’…

I was so happy to receive my new set of canvasses. Nice deal for me with the last dribbles of savings.

I unwrap. I meditate and think about how, not what.

I mustn’t think about the ‘what’; that’s the magic bit and I don’t want to spoil the experience by over-planning, it’s just not my style.

I come downstairs into the studio. I take pictures off the wall. I tidy away the unnecessary items and de-clutter my space until I can focus my gaze on the marvelous whiteness of the blank canvas.

I do not suffer with fear of the blank canvas.

I honor the ‘mistake is a door‘ school of thought and therefore hold no fear for what is not my enemy but my ally…to be respected of course!

Instead, I revel in the exciting dance of probability and possibility as they vie for birthing in the quantum space before me.

Milestones are set by events such as these.

I feel I’m ‘graduating’ from my self-taught school of learning art within life and weaving them seamlessly into one blanket.

I’ve arrived

This is why this thing exists

This is why I strive

This is how I have traveled here

This is my signpost

I grab a large brush and mixed the black paint. So satisfying!

My mind reaches for a new small hog-hair with the intent to paint a doodle…

No!? Before I can interject the large chunky black acrylic soaked brush sweeps my arm around the canvas in an arc…whoa!

Now that’s how to break the ice!

Pop goes the virgin canvas bubble as the surface tension is slashed by the black line of nothing and everything.

The line tells me….courage, conviction, fearless expression, bold demarcation, space boundary, empty corral

…the yellow comes slinking onto the canvas soon after. The lemon perfect in it’s primary simplicity and bright lucidity.

I am awakened!

name zen yellow bright bold black line encompasses a bright lemon yellow centre the epitomy of simplicity and bold minimalism gives you space to think and uplifting colour representing the inner sunshine healthy ego self acrylic on canvas by uk artist phoebe thomasson

I look towards the horizon and see a magenta spot on it’s way…

That’s a story for another day!
22nd Feb 2015

Art & Healing Video: Brief Introduction by Phoebe

Hello! It’s time to meet you and give you an idea from whence I come, what I am about and what I want to cover in my Art & Healing video diaries. I can’t promise any regularity but there will be more videos along the way as I can find little windows; as you may know, I’m a busy mum recovering from ME/CFS…so hang with me a minute and see how I am healing my world.

“Healing is deeply needed in the world right now, and art is an extremely powerful way to make that happen; it’s very enjoyable, and anyone can do it!”

Phoebe Thomasson

Watch time: 4.52

a face is obscured by black shards mixed media collage by uk contemporary artist phoebe thomasson

The Silent Killer; Get Down You Inner Censor….

The inner censor is the killer on the loose in our psyches.

How do we know it’s there?… Well we don’t to start with, but if you have tried to be consistently creative and failed to keep up stamina then it might be that, like me you suffer from a strict inner censor.

The censor is very much alive in the outer world at the moment. I won’t go into it because either you know what I’m talking about because you listen to the news and it’s not my focus here.

The inner censor is the real enemy and the outer manifestation is the proof that the energy is alive and kicking in our culture.

Why does the censor do what it does? Why does it kill the creative impulse?

Because it hates imperfection. Because it loathes chaos. Because it detests the uncontrollable.

Any time we have an idea that we just can’t do something about may be a symptom that the censor is in control. The gateway is very narrow if the censor is in command as it is a mean gatekeeper that only allows the acceptable through. It has a long list of what is acceptable, but an even longer one of that which isn’t.

In the creative life we need to channel the crap as well as the good stuff. This is for the creative zone where putting our thoughts on paper is a safety net for our fears. What we do with it afterwards is another matter but unless we can get it through the gates in the first place is a matter of re-education.

We need to gently take the censor to one side and give it a bribe.

If you let more through the gates, I promise, the quality and standard of my work will improve and increase in ways you never thought possible. Do me a favour mate and look the other way when I have a crappy idea. I can’t get to the good stuff hiding underneath unless you let this through.

The censor will probably consider this a feasible option. Just make sure you make it work for its living and don’t let it rule the roost.

You’re in charge!

Bonjour mes amis…

she holds her hands up to the sky blue patterned alien friend
“Blue Friend” mixed media on board Copyright © Phoebe Thomasson 2014

Just a little note to tell you that I am filling up my pages with my artwork if you want to come and take a look…oh, it’s all going on here!

I’ve taken up a life coaching course and now I can’t stop working because my vision has exploded…funny that; why does it take someone else to give us permission to be the person we want to be? What went wrong with school eh?…yeah, don’t all answer at once…my boy is not going to school because I want him to believe in himself when he grows up…and all the time in-between…

Anyway, I think you should probably come in…it’s time….

x:-)

Why? Because I am a truth seeking missile

Why is by far the most pertinent, relevant and integral question.

Why?

Ha! Because without it we are unsure. Unsure that what we are doing is the right thing. Unsure of our reasons for the relentless pursuit of excellence despite the hardships. Unsure of the reason for our very existence.

Being unsure about such fundamentals is only going to lead one way. Down. So lets change the program from the ‘how’ of things and free the way for the main man.

Why oh why? We lament. But really, how long have you sat and applied this question to your current project, work or choice of careers? Probably not as long as you should.

If we ask why we will get to the heart of the matter and perhaps unearth the missing pieces that are keeping us stuck. It is probably the most enlightening question on earth….

Here is what I discovered when I asked why and went beyond the obvious…

Why do I write?

Because I am a conduit of truth and in seeking the answers I am so inspired that my discoveries must have somewhere to go…to be processed.
Because the quest is there in black and white. It can be assimilated, rediscovered, transmitted between idioms and shared.
Because it calms me, clears me out and helps to crystallize my thoughts.
Because it’s fun! Deep! Cool! Savvy! Interesting! Intelligent and Sane!
Because if I don’t I do not have any leverage. I cannot transform without releasing the flow of thoughts.
Because I would become constipated with words if I didn’t and bore the pants off all my friends…(I may do that already!).

Why do I blog?

Because it is a way for me to transmit my findings to others.
It stops me hoarding my knowledge.
Because sharing is healthy and we are right to use our freedoms.
Because freedom of speech is going to change the world to a better place.
Because it is an exercise in non-attachment.
Because it helps me overcome perfectionism.
Because it’s fun, creative, exciting, challenging, inspiring, satisfying, enriching.
Because books are much harder to write and I’m not ready for that.
Because it keeps me doing what I love.

Well I think the reasons are all there…I should just carry on. How about you. Why are you?

Photo Credit Joana Croft

Wouldn’t it be nice if one day there were no locks on your doors?

Well, I’m not talking about your real doors of course, though this would suggest that we’ve finally reached the utopian ideal of a peaceful golden age where no one needs to lock anything and that would indeed be lovely. No. I’m talking about your creative castle doors which are far more accessible than utopia and easier to unlock than you may imagine.

In the last blog Strategies for Unlocking the Creative Castle I talked about lock one which is the #trimmings and peripherals lock which needs some fun experimentation and a moderate amount of information gathering.

I hope you got some insights into what turns your lights on and spins your taps to full-bore? If not go and read it again and have a happy week experimenting.

If you fancy doing things in no particular order I fully endorse that too. Here we go.

Lock #Two: MINDSET

I am an artist who likes to do things in completely crazy and unconventional ways
I am an artist who can work in many different mediums at any time I choose
I am a writer, I’m not being an artist with paint today but with words
I am a tired artist who has done enough writing for now and will go to bed
I am an artist sleeping in an artistic way dreaming up inspiration for tomorrow

Ok. there are a few mindsets for you. Pick one and ride with it for an hour, a day, a minute. Whatever works NOW and takes you to the next NOW.

DO NOT dawdle in grey indecision. Know that you are there and beat a hasty retreat. Where? Somewhere…clean the bath for all I care just get out of the greyness. It is not a good place for you to be. Your locks will rust with boredom and no key will be able to reach you.

Find a mindset. Experiment. Say how great you are…go on!pretend! If it works it works. Now experiment some more and find some paper and a pen…there you go….see? Easy does it….

BABY STEPS towards the door. Turn the key carefully and don’t choke on the dust when you open the tomb. You in? Good.

This room is going to get a makeover!

See what we did there? Yay!

It’s called a visualization. Sorry for the patronizing tone there but my mind is loving it and so should yours; it’s a playful child-like thing if you are creatively invested in it so it really doesn’t mind the odd patronization. Only adults fear being talked down to so you have to try to circumvent the grown up and tell it to be something important like an ‘observer’ and observe the rules of St. Fu….in other words Shut The F*** Up. No offence intended, honest guv.

Good. Now the child can play.

Enter Stage Left: Quiet peace and wonder. They all play with wooden bricks and smile as the sun streams through the window. {Laughter}

That’s the feeling. The magic when you are in your castle. From whence does it cometh?

Mind set. Mind set. Mind set.

It’s a play. It’s scenery. It’s music, mood and lighting. It’s lines delivered and audience wooed. It’s theatre. That’s the mind. That’s the scene, NOW you are the dancing queen….

Argghh! how did Abba get in?…they get in everywhere! Exactly. Do you remember the dreaminess on their faces? The Glow and The Shine? The trousers…er…they had the MIND SET!

Go play…
Go dream…
Go look at who your imagination says you can be…

That’s key #2 in a nutshell.
Right there.

🙂

Strategies for Unlocking The Creative Castle

Imagine never having a problem with starting a new piece of work ever again!
Imagine a big iron key ring with all the keys to your creative castle!

Block=B-Locked

Every lock needs a key!
From now on I invite you to use the image of ‘being locked’ instead of ‘blocked’.

No matter how far down the line you think you are in terms of artistic ‘locks’, or how long you’ve been ‘locked’ for, and no matter how expert you are at finding valid reasons why you can’t possibly be creative today, not ever, you can choose to override your own belief systems right now.

When you are caught in that space you know so well, when you are thinking you will never figure out how to make the next move, resist the urge to believe in the futility of it all!

Realize instead that there is another way; a ‘subroutine’ that you can learn that will insure, in the long run at least that you will never have to suffer long term locks again!

The methods I use will get you into your inner space where you can look dispassionately at what you have to do to create the kind of conditions that will enable you to paint, draw, write or whatever it is you do.

Don’t ask how just yet but simply create a list of conditions you imagine you need to make headway.

My own list looks something like this;

More time
More focus
More energy

Ok. That’s fine for starters but it’s really vague. What we need are specifics.

There is a vibe that goes with the creative flow that we must learn to evoke strongly enough that it starts to erode the locked energy as water does stone. This is a process to repeat over and over until you are familiar with the elements involved.

I’m going to start with a cup of tea. Not any tea but a herbal tea blend with cinnamon and ginger that has particular significance to me. What? For me this tea evokes a feeling of strength and tranquility, two of the elements I need to create.

Candles, music, certain clothes or scents will all have attributes that play a part in awakening our sense of flow. Spend some time becoming aware of your preferences in each of these areas.

Dismissing the peripherals as insignificant is to deny the nature of human creative expression. These are your keys into the castle. The castle has many rooms and you will need many keys. Don’t skimp on the atmospherics as they are what will take you into the mysterious central chambers where the meat of your creative life is stored.

Likewise, don’t wait for perfect ambience either. Enough to get your juices flowing is all that is required. I am here in the study/office/computer room which is currently too cluttered and disorganized for my liking. However, I have managed to circumvent that distracting reality by employing a few key elements that have instantly put me ‘in the mood’.

One: I have my hot three milks spicy drink on the go…
WHY? BECAUSE…it helps me feel nurtured (in case you are wondering it’s coconut milk, soya milk and goats milk and today because I’m coldy I’ve a generous helping of Cayenne Pepper, crushed Cardamon and it’s all sweetened with Coconut Sugar. Super Yum!).

Two: My laptop is set to full screen enabled by the f11 key and also within the editing suite of WordPress…
WHY? BECAUSE…then there are no immediate distractions in my face. I’m easily distracted and I KNOW THIS ABOUT MYSELF!

Three: right in front of me is a nice plant, then a wall with a wide and beautiful picture of rock strata and waves lapping…

WHY? BECAUSE…That’s enough to hold my forward gaze whilst thinking when I hit a stall. I don’t need to look left or right, oh and also I have a supportive chair, and bare feet; that’s always a good one if it’s warm enough (it’s warmer round here in January with the central heating on than it is for half of the summer in the UK!)

WHY…..????

You get the idea. So. Settings and peripherals are lock number one.

If you had noticed my use of WHY and BECAUSE that’s also a conscious decision to make these things count, they have a reason for being, they are not just random occurrences. That’s not to say they were all planned just to make this blog happen, I just know that with a few of the correct elements in place it is so much easier to create. They may initially occur out of trial and error and that’s your job for the week. Watch the nice things you do for yourself and see how they ‘make’ you feel. Take notes! They’re good for you!

Tune in for lock number two coming very soon!

🙂

Want More Time? Stuck In a Rut? Then Slow Down…

There’s something about my approach to painting that I have only recently understood and it very clearly serves to explain why I’ve been frustrated and frequently blocked, even when I’ve been prolific. For ages I’ve thought my paintings suck, or lack, or just don’t quite do it for me. I’d like to share this with you because it’s a common problem with lots of areas in our lives. Apply my theory to any area in your life and see what happens.

Here’s my theory…

It’s not what you are doing It’s HOW you are doing it!

Now that may not be a major revelation for you if you are a careful person who instinctively takes their time but for me, when I discovered I was simply rushing, this was my moment of breakthrough. Ok, I knew why I was rushing; because I don’t have much time to paint and I’m trying to fill a canvas or whatever and get a painting ‘done’.

What I had forgotten was the process. I had become goal oriented…oh how strange!

Just like the vast majority of my life I had unwittingly transferred my frantic search for ‘more’ to my creative life as well!

You know the scene…rushing through the boring jobs to get to the one you love and then when you get to that important one you really give a damn about you are so strung up you botch it by overworking a piece, going too far, too quickly, your mind completely out of the moment and in the idealized future when….oh dear, another unsatisfying result which leads to further feelings of frustration and reinforcing the ‘I’m crap’ belief system.

Sound familiar? Well it does to me.

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of guided meditation during my chill time with the help of a few inspired apps like Insight Timer instead of reading or searching on eBay. This is paying dividends in my attention span and my ability to choose thoughts. Its been a while since I rushed headlong through a painting. I’ve been close but the process has been loosened out a bit from my previous habits and there is a bit more time to choose the next move. As a result my work is starting to deepen, and this pleases me immensely.

Ok, it’s been frustrating to have to wait so long to actually paint something, simply because I am taking longer to get round to it, but again, the quality over quantity bug is starting to itch me more than the one that just wants more, at any cost. I get the feeling we can all be a bit fixated on the more and not the less, so it’s a bit of a minimalist thing I suppose. I guess you could say it’s minimalism in action, not in stuff terms or to put it another way, simply pacing our activities away from more to less.

It’s not just our most important creative pursuits that need pacing. Due to experiencing ME/CFS for the past few years, I’ve had to learn how to pace everything! Literally…

My walking, my talking, my breathing, my eating, my cleaning, even… well you get the picture! Even getting dressed used to get me wound up in the morning and falling over my jean legs; I was always trying so desperately to get somewhere, but where?

Somewhere Else!

The thing is, the grass really does look greener on the other side because we’re not standing in it looking down at the gaps! In psychological terms when we are rushing we are living in non-acceptance of the present. Why is this? Why is the present moment such a hard place to be?

Our culture for one encourages the vision to always be scanning for bigger, better, brighter…it actively fuels our discontent.

Indeed, many a time I have observed myself walking through town scanning, window shopping, desiring, planning my next spend. It doesn’t matter how much we have, the habit of spending as just one example is indicative of our collective inability to slow down. Yeah, there is also the background pressure to keep the economy going, but this is rhetoric. We are the economy! If we slowed down to a human pace and not that of a machine, the economy would adjust. But lets face it, I’m being utopian here and humans are no more going to slow down than I’m going to become Buddha in the next five minutes.

Wait a minute. …

But I could you know! I could become a Buddha in an instant if I really believed it was possible, and so could you. Likewise, it’s as hard to imagine we are even able to slow down, but I’ve seen it is possible and probably necessary for lots of reasons that we all know. Stress for one.

What if we spent a whole day watching our breath, watching our thoughts, watching our endless list of needs and desires play themselves on loop. What would happen if we could see clearly?

What if we became mindful, ethical, peaceful, slllllooooooowwww down just enough to take care of our creations and most importantly, our relationships, for they might just be the most important things we ever create.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

‘What if……………………?’

Namaste

🙂