I used Derwent ‘inktense’ pencils for this, because they are water soluble and it’s a quick easy way to paint (with minimal stuff and mess).

Enjoyed this much more than the previous ‘automatic drawing’ activity. Perhaps because it is creating something tangible (even if it is a drawing – it feels ‘real’). I’ve wanted to do some abstract bird pictures for a while, so this is a way to do this as a ‘loosening’ exercise with a strict time limit. The original limit was 10 minutes and I added an extra 5 minutes to finish up.

I chose to do African love birds (from a Google ref image on my iPad), because these had come into my head during a creative meditation before creative practice. I was basically copying JK Rowling’s process – she meditates to a cabin by a lake and then ideas come from the lake – or not (it’s apparently important not to push this and respect the lake).

In my visualised mediation, I wanted to go and talk to my ‘inner coach’ – an idea from the Positive Group’s session for UAL’s RNUAL week), where one develops an ‘inner coach’ rather than an inner critic. Miriam Margoyles came to me as the perfect coach for me (and this has been causing me some hilarity every since, for example, when I was struggling while running the other day. I started to wonder what Miriam would say to encourage me to run faster and then suddenly visualized her in a rickshaw next to me, recumbent, eating dark chocolate covered cherries, and being pulled by a gladiatorial hunk. She wasn’t particularly interested in encouraging me, but I did end up laughing loudly in the street as I ran and this helped!)

Anyway, the love birds guided me to Miriam’s house, where we had a hug, talked and danced to jazz. This put me in a happy mood for creating. (These practice notes are really personal! And reveal the weird workings of my mind, or a lunatic…)

OK, back to the lovebirds’ picture.  These birds are not as abstract as intended, but I guess they are fun and cute. I would like another go at the same Google image to see if I can get them more abstract.

At some point, I would also like to try a fusion of the approaches of Matisse and Mehretu (perhaps this is for personal painting work though rather than PhD funnies work?)