Post by Category : Cartoons and Drawings

Only Do the Good Ones!


My dear departed dad once asked me ‘Why don’t you only paint the good ones?’ He was trying to be helpful, and it made me laugh. If only!’ I said! ‘If I could I would!’ 

Sometimes I know when I have done a good painting, but sometimes it seems not. When I had finished drawing ‘If Wishes Were Horses’ I felt critical of it and was going to redraw it, but was too lazy and just shared it on my Facebook page anyway. People went crazy for it sharing it more times than any other image I have drawn. Looking back I remember being 100 percent absorbed and present working on it, studying the pioneering photography by Edweard Muybridge of horses galloping as inspiration.

Sometimes I will make an image that I really like and no-one responds to it. Leaving me to conclude ‘What do I know!?’

I paint and draw several days every week and have done so for years and years, ever hopeful of getting better at art. It is what I do.

So here are some drawings that I think are good ones and the one that I didn’t realise was good until all the facebook shares. They are all available as prints and I am ever grateful for the support my art has received over the years. Thank you from my heart as I endeavour to ‘only do the good ones’ aiming to plant a forest with the proceeds. Art for trees’ is my long term mission, my ‘if wishes were’, in this short life.

The Guardians
To Earth We Return
How to Make a Dream Come True
Dandelion Clock
The Magic Forest
The Happiness of Grass
Contemplating the Earth Walk
In Nature We Find Ourselves
If Wishes Were Horses

A4 Prints are £20
A3 Prints are £30
Printed on high quality art paper
Hand signed and titled
Shipping worldwide

Contemplating the Earth Walk

I am thinking about feet! I tore a plantar plate in my toe about 5 months, a toe is now floating. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but it has made walking very difficult. It is funny how injury clarifies what is important! Tree planting for me!

A foot is a powerful symbol for taking responsibility. We talk about putting our foot down, standing our ground and walking our talk!

A footprint fossilised in mud on a shore, the barefoot earth walk of our distant anscestor’s, inspires. Human and dinosaur footprints fossilised in the same layer of sedimentary rock seemingly disprove the view that humans and dinosaurs didn’t walk the earth at the same time. Anyway chickens are dinosaurs aren’t they!?

A pair of feet, an individual short journey on planet earth. Can our walk here be meaningful? It is what I am contemplating, how does one do that as a solitary artist?

When you can’t walk or drive you notice how much rushing around is taking place on the planet. People in a hurry, squawking about environmental crisis but still jumping on airplanes and ‘living the dream.’

So my thinking is – if we all cut down the amount of travelling we do, even just a little, and used any extra money we have to plant trees and give something back to the environment, then planet earth might stand a chance. That is what I am trying to do, on a personal and community level.

I have approached the local council to make a piece of land available for tree planting, to then use art and my experiences as an Alexander Technique teacher (think mindful awareness in action) to work with primary school children to teach the value of trees and our relationship with them. I recently did a series of one-off art work shops with primary school children and was deeply moved by the level of fear these young people are experiencing around environmental issues. I want to empower children by creating opportunities to be involved. To see that the act of planting even one tree is an act of love that has a positive and far reaching impact. That a tree teaches so many things. That their actions make a difference. The project is moving on and other agencies are getting involved and I have high hopes of it coming into fruition. Fingers and toes crossed!

Planting trees and making art about it, is work in progress. I’m on a tree planning mission for the rest of my life – Art for Trees! Your support is hugely appreciated.

All these images and many more are available as black and white hand signed art prints. £20 A4/ £30 A3 plus postage. Prints that plant trees!

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

Horses and the Tree of Life by Kirsten Harris


To Earth We Return
In Nature We Find Ourselves

Contemplating the Earth Walk

Feel

I am going to start writing a few blogs about the meaning behind my drawings. Hopefully, if you like the drawings, you will be able to find your own meaning too. My drawings more and more reflect my interest in horses, symbolism, teaching the Alexander Technique, positive thinking, tree planting and the environment and more. It has taken me years to find a visual language to bring my ideas, thoughts and feelings together. I am very happy with how things are progressing.

This drawing, Feel, is about how it can feel when we are faced with the challenge of the unknown. It’s about letting go of holding so that we can move into the potential space that is the future freely and with confidence. There is both hesitation and poise in the image. Have you noticed how the feeling of fear and the feeling of excitement are much the same? 

The hand suggests lightness. Light with each other, light with horses. 

There is a saying, whenever we point a finger at someone, there are also three fingers pointing back at ourselves! And another saying ‘Let go and let god’ advises us that we need to trust for the magic to happen. So this drawing is about trusting and taking responsibility for our deeds and actions and not blaming others, and especially not blaming our horses. 

This image also indicates how to develop feel. Great feel can be developed with practise, your hands are incredibly intelligent. Your hands are genius in action!

Only minimal effort is needed in the hand to lightly hold them forwards. Let go of all that is unnecessary. The horse, small like a bird, delicately sits on a finger symbolises lightness, up flow, sensitivity, poise and freedom. The finger points forwards and upwards – a direction for life, a direction to travel into freedom, a thought to which the mind and body responds. One way to develop sensitivity and feel is to start to think forward and up into the space around you as you let go…

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk
prints and original artwork 

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique for riders. 
copyright

Four Winds Medicine Wheel


‘Four Winds Medicine Wheel’ by Kirsten Harris 


I thought I would write a little about my drawings. ‘Four Wind’s Medicine Wheel’ is about emergence into light from darkness. It is about the mysterious deep space energy from which we all come. The element represented is air, the mind. The intuition of the moon calls us to look within to find our power.

This image is a meditation for our energy centres, asking us to allow our chakras to spin freely. Meditate on the flow of movement, the circle of life in the image to allow your chakras to move in good health. If we are blocked anywhere in our system we cannot be fully empowered. A sick population is controllable and passive. We are asked to become powerful, to move our energy forward and outward. The horses gallop us into our power to release our fears, asking us to be the winds of transformation, so much needed on the planet right now.

The feathers are a call for sensitivity. Travel light and in light. We are bodies of light. East, South, North and West, we are all connected. We are one. The horses can return to darkness, to the void or spiral out into light. We have important choices to make. In what direction do we spin? And the horses of course represent power. We need to harness our power and work as a herd, a community, a loving whole and not against each other and the planet. ‘From all directions come into your power medicine and save us’ call the horses…
www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk
Available as a print 
Words and Image Copyright Kirsten Harris

The Happiness of Grass


The Happiness of Grass by Kirsten Harris

I have been thinking a lot about grass! As you do! Under a powerful microscope grass looks like it is smiling. Grass is amazing stuff. Grass is happy and it sure has tenacity. No matter how trampled and muddy, parched and burnt or just plain sad and worn out it looks grass finds a way to go up to the light and just keeps on growing. It recovers and rejuvenates when sometimes you think it is just not possible. Grass is definitely optimistic! 

And of course ponies love grass and that’s another lesson. Too much grass and its richness will make a horse sick, too little and the horse will die. 

Grass is a great symbol and reminder to be balanced in what we take from the planet. Grass will happily give and give and give, but don’t take too much or the earth will be sick and so will we. We need to be balanced. We need to pay attention. In my mind grass holds the earth together. 

And is the grass always greener on the other side? 

Grass doesn’t seem to worry about where it grows, it just grows happily everywhere and anywhere, it really isn’t judgemental and is very forgiving. A little bit of nourishment from Mother Earth, light and water and up it goes. Just like us…

So my drawing is in hope of the continued happiness of grass! 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk
Prints and Original artwork

Prayer to my Horse

PRAYER TO MY HORSE by Kirsten Harris

My horse, I am honoured by your presence and stand in awe before your divine beauty

May I be worthy of your trust

May I have sensitive wisdom to understand your language, so I may dance the dance of life with you

May I have hands that do you no harm

May I be a leader of graceful courage and clarity when you need me to have direction

May I grow in awareness and feel so I may learn to harmonise with your flow

May I be open to hear the lessons you bring

May you forgive my mistakes

May I be present to your timelessness and make time for your presence

May I have the discipline to be balanced

May I be patient, calm and kind

May our breaths embrace the elements and seasons as we travel the distance together

May I learn to remember how we are all connected on our beautiful planet

May our bodies grow old together, healthily and happily

May I be a fearless guardian of the earth so you may always have a home

May we both be free to experience the powerful intelligence of our peaceful wholeness together in harmony, friendship and love

May my heart be open to the Universal Love that is you, my horse

May my spirit by open to the Great Mystery that is you, my horse

May my mind be open to deep space so I may experience the Great Awareness that is you, my horse

My horse thank you for Being Present, I love you.



Illustration IN NATURE WE FIND OURSELVES. This and other horse prints and original artworks are available on my website
www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

copyright Kirsten Harris

In Our Hands

(I shared this originally as a facebook post on my art page Kirsten Harris Art. I wanted to write something to go with the drawing and to write from my heart about horses. I thought I should post as a blog here. I hope you enjoy it. ) 


‘In Our Hands’ by Kirsten Harris

5 Thoughts – 
1. Our hands have immense sensitivity. Can you let your hands be neutral? Do your hands know how to listen to follow your horse or do they control and bully? Do you use your hands to pull at your horse’s sensitive mouth and head? Or do you allow the energy of your heart-brain and the elasticity of your body to move through your hands into a flow of union and connection? 

2. Can you sit in balance on a chair, easily for a prolonged period of time without discomfort? If not, learn to do so before you sit on a horse. You are only bringing your inbalances to your riding and teaching your horse tension otherwise. You will create imbalances. Find your own poise first and then you will find the poise of your horse. It’s magical when it happens and totally worth the work on your self.

3. Horses are teachers for our heart and soul. We have much to learn from them. If you feel anger, frustration or ego around your horse walk away. Take wise counsel, breathe, let go. A horse is not a sponge for your unprocessed stuff. Negative thoughts and emotions do not belong around your horse

4. Be patient and learn to be at ease with yourself. Meditate. Listen. Let go. Horses will teach you about timelessness, unity, flow, courage, the divine, non verbal communication, boundaries, energy… Horses will teach you how to think into the vastness of the universe and the great mysteries. Be patient with yourself and your horse. Learn to get out of your own way to allow the door of knowledge to open. There is plenty of time. It is all you have. Enjoy the process. 

5. It is OK to feel fear. You and your horse are both flight animals. It is not OK to take your fear out on your horse. Let your heart be open and soft. Love your horse with all your heart. Let your ego dissolve so you are pure around your horse. Be a child of wonder and awe in his presence. Be fully present. Enjoy what you are learning and experiencing right now. Don’t compare your journey with your horse with that of other peoples. The journey of ‘should’ and ‘ought’ will only get in your way. You and your horse are both unique and marvellous. Your horse is an honest loving mirror into your essence, your soul in space right now if you dare to peek. Do you love what you see? 

Written and drawn with love
Kx

copyright Kirsten Harris 
www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Artwork and prints
www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

Share Button

Messages from Trees

‘In Nature We Find Ourselves’ Drawing by Kirsten Harris

 

Messages from Trees –

  • Breathe deeply of me I am the lungs of the world, my health and yours are one
  • Let your spine flow upwards and your limbs flow outwards in the sky
  • Life will shape you and sculpt you as you grow, it’s 100 percent OK to be you
  • Allow yourself to be ‘rooted’ in the earth
  • Feel your connection to all things, all life is one
  • Observe in all directions
  • The more you observe the more you will see
  • The light and seasons are always changing and you with it. You too are seasons of light
  • Though you were once but a seed you are a mighty presence and still growing
  • Be shelter and safety, warmth and home for others
  • You too are a guardian of the planet
  • Be kind, and let your kindness spread like a canopy
  • Sometimes the winds of life will be strong, you can endure
  • Transformation is inevitable
  • Find truth in being present to where you are
  • Lie under the spread of a tree and let your imagination fly
  • Trees are Life!

 

I AM ON A TREE PLANTING MISSION!

**************************

Hand signed and titled black and white prints are available of my artwork.

Free postage worldwide if you purchase more than one print. There are plenty more on my website. The prints are black and white despite my dodgy photos! : )

 

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – Art

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique

FB – Kirsten Harris Art

FB – The Daily Ease Alexander Technique

The Whisper of Trees by Kirsten Harris

Horse Landscape by Kirsten Harris

The Old Horse Chestnut Tree by Kirsten Harris

Horses and The Tree of Life by Kirsten Harris

A Walk in the Woods colouring book with hopefully inspiring Alexander Technique words. Link here

 

The Wishing Horse

 

Increasingly my painting and drawing is looking at ways to express ideas about mind-body-soul connection, horses and riding, drawing on my experience as a horse owner and Alexander Technique teacher, as well as hopefully connecting with some of the spiriitual magic and timeless inspirational power that is horses and the lessons we learn from being in their presence.

 

 

The Wishing Horse by Kirsten Harris

Oil on Canvas

 

A girl wishes on a dandelion clock, her wish is focussed on horse magic. All she has ever wished for is a horse. Her hands are open, soft hands, light hands, loving hands, giving hands. Hands that will groom, muck out, lift bales of hay and buckets of water. Hands that will rake and sweep and get calloused through the hard physical work of looking after horses. Yet these hands will also learn to listen, to give, to follow the lightest feel into the forward flow. She blows on the dandelion clock in her hand to wish the horse wish. The magic begins …

 

 

 

Wishing in the Flow by Kirsten Harris

Oil on Canvas

 

The dandelion clocks and seeds represent wishes, the power of intentional thought and timing. Divine timing. Thought seeds are directing from and beyond the open sensing hand. Hands that seem to drop through layers of muscle deeply into the living being finding connections that we never knew existed. Each thought a direct message, a contact, mind to mind, soul to soul, girl to horse. Freedom communicated through the lightest touch, spatial awareness, presence….

 

‘Forward and up, let go, allow, sense the feel, trust’ she thinks …  and up, up the horse takes her into the flow, into the mystery, into poise, into a vastness greater than anything she has ever experienced. Her dreams become embodied. She rides through the light, free as the wind, bravely into the unknown darkness ahead. The horse continues to teach her many lessons. Trusting the truth that the noble honest horse reveals she gives the days of her life to be with these divine creatures …

 

How to Make a Dream Come True

by Kirsten Harris

Available as a print.

Blog about this drawing here

 

The Magic Stop by Kirsten Harris

Available as a print

 

‘The Magic Stop’ was drawn in my minds eye when I woke up one morning. It is about using the breath to stop your horse, to let go and to find the forwards and upwards flow of poise.

 

The girl holds a dandelion clock in her hand representing delicacy, freedom, light hands. Movement, flow, kinaesthetic awareness are ever present even when seemingly standing still. Seemingly doing nothing the girl makes contact through the breath, her thinking and the delicacy of her poise. She learns to ride a stop with nothing but her breath and then ‘forward and up’ she thinks and rides forward into the wind on her breath too.

 

My media downloads too –

Walking with Your Horse  here

Breathe   here

Body Magic  here

Alexander Technique website. www.kirstenharris.co.uk


For original art and prints please visit my art website or contact me www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk 

 

All artwork copyright Kirsten Harris.

 

Best wishes Kirsten

What my horse drawings are about…

‘Connections’ –  A drawing of two horses about elasticity, flow, direction, spatial awareness and connection.

 

In February I set myself a drawing project, the weather was wild (snowed in home alone for 6 days) a drawing a day seemed like a doable project.

 

I decided to concentrate my artwork on horses. For years I have been slowly, tortoise-like, working to bring my passions together – art, Alexander Technique and horses. Moving to a small bungalow in the countryside with a wee paddock, saving up to buy a field shelter, a horse, more land, plant trees … working hard at keeping it all together and painting and teaching. Workaholic has been levelled at me! I never planned to do everything alone, but that’s the way it has worked out for me at present.

 

I have taught riders Alexander Technique and painted horses, seascapes and African animals. It was time to attempt to describe some of my Alexander Technique and horsemanship ideas and experiences in my artwork and focus on my love of horses.

 

Concepts I want to describe through drawing include lightness, flow, spirals, movement, forward and up, balance, connection, elasticity, direction, spatial awareness, daring to dream, the love of horses, hands on, the mystery that is horses, spiritual growth through being with horses, time, creation, the breath and breathing and some humour …

 

Quite a big list!

 

Dandelion clocks, feathers, the moon, spiders webs, the tree of life, seeds and hand prints are some of the imagery I have used along side horses to describe some of these concepts.

 

It has been an interesting year! In my attempt to draw some of the indescribable aspects of riding, horses and the Alexander Technique, somehow I have managed to speak to other people, with requests to sell my drawings as prints. This has been a really good development for me and I have connected with some wonderful people worldwide. (I have also been plagiarised, I am told that is a compliment!)

 

My drawings are ideas for paintings, most of which are still to be painted and I am looking forward to doing so. I have been minimising the time I spend working with oil paint as I have spent too much time in this medium over the years to the detriment of my lungs. They are getting better again, thank goodness. Viva drawing!

 

So now drawing is taking me in the direction of my dreams with my horse Angus and my two mini Shetland ponies, Walter and Lettie who are both my teachers and my inspiration.

‘Horse Time’ the mini Shetlands, the muses for my cartoons.

 

Patience is something that horses definitely teach us.  They invite us to stay present to what is in front of us without ego or expectation!  Horses I believe allow us a door to the mysterious aspects of the world we live in. They truly are divine creatures!

 

How to Make a  Dream Come True

Link to blog about this drawing here

 

The Magic Stop

About using the breath to move a horse forward, find poise and freedom and to ride a stop.

 

Connections

 

If Wishes Were Horses 

 

If Wishes Were Horses (colour print)

 

Four Winds Medicine Wheel

About the direction of energy, spirals and circles and space

 

Transformation

Transforming into lightness in the forwards and upwards flow

 

Equine Lunar Calendar

 

Sky Horses

 

When Dreams Fly

 

Seeds of Love

 

Up! (colour)

Lightness, up flow, the lengthening releasing spine

 

Free Spirits

 

Horses and The Tree of Life

For me this drawing is about being on a mission to plant trees!

 

Equinox

About breaking free into balance

 

Up, Up

Gravity and the up flow. Life and death

 

Flying Horses

Freedom is movement

 

Webs

About how we are all connected, internally and externally

 

Pony Shenanigans (also available as a colouring poster)

 

Angus, the muse for my black and white drawings and a dandelion clock

If Wishes Were Horses as a very large oil painting

 

 

All my drawings are available as hand signed black and white prints.

A4 £20

A3 £30

Free postage worldwide if you buy more than one print.

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

or email me kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

Many thanks for reading and for all the support I have received over the years with people buying my artwork. Truly appreciated. Love Kirsten xx

Reflections on Plagiarism, Stress, Tattoos & the Kindness of Strangers!

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride

If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side

If ‘if’s and ‘and’s’ were pots and pans, 

There would be no work for tinkers hands!

 

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride

Watch!  Some ‘turnips’ have no integrity or pride

They’ll plagiarise your concept, pass it off as their own hand

Tinkering with someone’s art is theft! Could it be banned!

“If Wishes Were Horses’ by Kirsten Harris

A drawing that went viral on 16th Feb 2018

 

I will admit I have had a stress headache that has gripped my whole back and also felt awash with cortisol the last few days. I don’t suffer from headaches but I do know the cause. Someone has plagiarised my work and is selling it as their own in the form of t-shirts. 

 

What to do?

 

My first response to finding out was to have a glass of wine and go to bed saying to my ‘higher self’ – I will know what to do in the morning. Morning came and the thought was to rewrite the original verse. I didn’t want to go into a fear rant nor did I want to ignore it, so writing a poem appealed to my creativity whilst figuring out how to deal with it.

 

The plagiarised design concept is one I called ‘If Wishes Were Horses’ a dandelion clock releasing horses into the wind. For some reason this concept spoke to people and it went viral from my Facebook art page on 16th February 2018, the day I drew and posted it. That one post being shared organically 661 times with 91,169 people reached. Suddenly I was connected to loads of amazing people worldwide, and despite being snowed in alone for 6 days was having a great time.

 

On Friday I posted the verse rewrite on my Kirsten Harris Art page and this resulted in me getting the support I needed to work out what to do. I wrote to the company and they took the offending plagiarised t shirt off their website that day on the basis that it infringed my intellectual property rights. 

 

My back released immediately, the headache lifted!

It was quite a startling feeling of energetic flow whooshing through me! Justice and right action resulting in total instant physical release! Woo Hoo! I was happy!

 

I posted on my page saying thank you and the support I received over the weekend has been amazing and I am so honoured to have so many fantastic people behind me. It means a LOT!

 

Last night three people messaged me to say the plagiarised work is being promoted again. I have written to the company again! Again I feel stressed! I feel the fear and tension gripping me again. I DO NOT want to live a life of fear and fight! I want to get on and be creative, be myself, and follow the creative flow of ideas and work to allow art to keep pouring through me. I do not want to be thrown off my path or sidetracked by this. So this blog is my way of letting go this morning.

 

People think I am either lucky or mad being an artist, but it’s not a choice. I have to paint for my own well being. It is something that chose me and not the other way round. I know other creatives understand this. It is not meant to sound pretentious. In some ways it is a bit of a curse, but of course a blessing too. Like all things light and dark is always there. (Chiaroscuro is the arty term!) 

 

So how am I dealing with this. I don’t want to buy into fear but at the same time I don’t want to be walked over and want to do my best to stand up for myself without getting rigid.

 

During the weekend I started painting a canvas about Walking One’s Own Path and having the courage to do so. It is a big painting 100cm x 150 cm and not finished yet, but part of the series of ideas that I drew in February as ideas for paintings. These are available as prints from my website, and again it was the amazing people on my page who encouraged me to do this.  Hopefully I will finish the painting in next couple of days as well as mentally resolve this issue!

 

Working on it all weekend has been a vehicle to work out some of this crappy fear stuff. It is work in progress …

 

My paintings are journeys. They have meaning. For years I have attempted to find a way to start describing my thoughts about Alexander Technique, my other passion, and the mysteries of being alive through painting. I feel that my work is going well, I have been at it for years, so am so glad to be feeling this way. I don’t want to be thrown off course by plagiarism. 

 

Several people have had  ‘If Wishes Were Horses’ image tattooed on them over the past months. I have received letters telling me how they have hunted for years to find an image to commemorate lost love and this image is THE ONE.

 

Someone wanting to permanently own my work on their body is a huge compliment. I have no issue with this. I feel it has brought friends into my life and I never in a million years thought I would be a tattoo designer so it makes me grin. I feel honoured.

 

However to rip me off for commercial gain is frustrating as f**k!

 

For me the image of the dandelion clock has meaning too, as I was photographing their ethereal forms when my mum phoned to say my dad had died. The drawings is part of my journey of letting go and that is probably why it has spoken to so many people.

 

 

 

So it leaves me pondering does one sit in a tight huddle too scared to share one’s ideas with the world or to be brave and share? I know that getting the courage to share has moved me forward in so many ways that are good for both my art and soul.

 

So I want to let go and make art and not get bucked off my metaphorical horse by this!

 

However my back is tight again and I know that fear has got a bit of a grip again for now. I will be doing lots of semi supine over the next few days and hopefully keep finding creative solutions to get through this.

 

So while some people plagiarise, other strangers have been unbelievable supportive! I choose to focus on the positive energy. Or as us Brits say ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down!’

 

The fantastic people on my page are encouraging me to make my own products. Maybe it is time …. am going to see if I can figure out how to do it …

 

Forward and Up!

 

(I do not usually suffer from back ache and this particular back ache is definitely emotional/psychic, the sensation is a feeling of being stabbed in the back! Not all back pain is physical, it can come from many sources, but that’s another blog!)

 

https://www.facebook.com/kirstenharrisartist/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

 

5 big oil paintings in this series

Withdrawn and I

In my last blog (link) about drawing through February I used the word withdrawn, realising I have been a little withdrawn of late. It is an interesting word in the context of drawing as it appears negative, withdrawn as in stand offish or depressed, but is it?

 

The act of drawing – to move a pencil around paper, to make images, marks, lines on a flat surface – is by it’s very nature withdrawn, a solitary activity.  A degree of withdrawing from the world is necessary to make time for art, to be in the alone zone, that is creative. Withdrawn can mean to be depressed but it also means to take money out, withdrawing a deposit made earlier.

 

To draw is to put money into the bank as an artist. Explorations in drawing are deposits of energy that can be taken out for future use later, either as skills, ideas or artworks to sell. To draw, is to make a journey into the unknown To draw can mean to leave something undecided, no obvious winners – it’s a draw. Drawings don’t have to be finished.

 

To withdraw also means to inhibit, to draw back, to step or retreat back, which is interesting in an Alexander Technique context as being back in your back allows a space to occur where something ‘magic’ happens. ‘Back back’ we say.  It is a skill that that is as profound as it is light.

 

Withdrawing can also be a form of meditation or constructive rest (link), withdrawing from the urgencies of the day at least for a while, to allow ease, change.

 

Staying back in your back is important for drawing, not only the arm connecting to the back to avoid pain, but back enough from your work so as to not be lost in the detail. Backing off enough to stay aware of the whole image but being drawn forward enough to actually create something. An opposition of direction, an expansion of awareness.  It is an art in itself.

 

Withdrawing can mean knowing when to stop because this is a ‘battle’ you are never going to win. A waste of unfocussed energy. A waste of life. Why is withdrawing seen as negative when it is in fact powerful?!  Withdrawing to allow change. Withdrawing, not so much about being defeated but more about looking after yourself.

 

Backing up a horse is a useful exercise. Asking the horse to take a few steps backwards gathers the horse’s energy so that stepping forward again is done with more controlled spring, coil, balance, poise … You can train a  horse so that you only have to think ‘back back’ and your horse will go back, drawing his energy up into poise, drawing you up on his back. (link)

 

As a self employed single person I have to draw on my own resources constantly. Withdrawn in terms of a relatively isolated location it would be easy to fall into feeling lonely, especially in the middle of winter. But day after day, year after year, the act of drawing, literally drawing up energy from the well of a creative source somewhere inside, takes me to a place of peace, calm and ease, where the days pass happily and drawings are made. If I feel negativity I only have to show up at the drawing board to be drawn into a happy focussed place within minutes. I learn to trust , my mantra –  ‘everything I need is already here, I just have to line up with it!’

 

Withdrawn? I guess I am just with drawing!

 

 

‘Ahhh Ha!’ by Kirsten Harris

Pen on White Paper

 

The Daily Ease, A Walk in the Woods, Colouring Book LINK TO BUY

28 Drawings Later – Drawing some conclusions, half way through

I’m doing a project called 28 Drawings Later aka getting through a shitty February in the wilderness! (Us Brits like to moan about the weather, a national form of therapy and endless fascination!)

The title 28 Drawings Later appealed – the suggestion of a journey, the suggestion of arriving in a new place – bring it on!

 

Hmm, I thinks to myself – drawing through the depth of a snowy winter means I can stay inside and watch daytime TV, not like last years madness of painting seascapes in oils all winter in my freezing cold studio. Drawing will be a doddle by comparison and give me a focus through the hideous weather.  I’ll do it!

 

I envision myself knocking off a quick sketch everyday no problem, but instead it has got me ‘drawing conclusions’ about my lack of method and random processes as an artist as well as my desires and hopes. It’s the 13th of Feb and I’m nearly half way through this drawing everyday thing and feeling like I haven’t even got going …

 

Conclusions drawn so far

  • I have different styles of drawings for different moods. Guess I must be moody!
  • Initial enthusiasm soon turns into an inner dialogue of … why are you doing this? You work every day anyway … why am I making myself DO a drawing project, it’s not like I need motivating … I ignore the chatter and start
  • I have an idea that I want to draw horse anatomy. So far, day 13, I have got nowhere near that work. Procrastination February!
  • Week one, I seem to be in a quiet cartooning mood, with ideas developing around lightness, buoyancy and uplift.  The drawings make me smile and feel ridiculously content and happy, which is just as well as the TV seems to have got stuck on a channel entirely devoted to true life murder stories.  Days pass and daytime telly becomes a gruesome backdrop of how and why people kill each other, horrible and yet quite fascinating! I convince myself that Goya would have watched these documentaries unable to switch back to my usual diet of antique and cookery programmes or put some music on. Animals start floating off the page … I discover programmes about forensics, I like anatomy I tell myself, watching cop shows is research!
  • Week 2, I manage to turn the telly off, but rather than get on with the ‘oh so accomplished’ anatomically correct horse drawings that I can see in my ever hopeful mind’s eye, I start finishing bits of furniture, up-cycling Danishly! Doodling and finishing stuff is part of the process, I console myself, feeling like the Queen of the Procrastinators whilst sensing some fear around finding that my inner Leonardo da Vinci really doesn’t exist!
  • Having got rather carried away with buying and painting furniture recently I spend most of the second week thinking I really must sell some of it. (Artist as hoarder.) I seem to have a particular ‘thing’ for chairs. Feeling sad at the thought of restraining my trips to the car boot I get a genius brainwave –  if I rid the house of two sofas and a very large arm chair, bought for my even larger now sadly deceased dad, that I never sit in, I can paint more furniture and buy more random objects that appeal and I don’t have to sell my painted furniture that I like and takes ages to do.  I could even do some still life drawings to justify buying more stuff! Realising the total genius of this idea I conclude that sofa’s are crap for the back anyway, take up a ton of space and it means I can make another drawing area where the sofa was and start channeling my inner Leonardo properly. It is now totally obvious to me that I am not drawing the way that I want to because of the sofas! I  just need to find a van and a man to help me take said lumps of back breakers, posing as comfy chairs, to the charity shop. I am, it turns out, not a hoarder at all but the High Priestess of clutter clearing!
  • Feb 13th happy with my plan to release sofas from my life, I realise that I have been a bit withdrawn (interesting word) of late. I am just tired, tired of the endless snow and rain in South Lanarkshire and mud, lots of mud, but my brain is now racing with  ideas of what I would like to achieve with my drawing and painting. The next painting is always going to be the best one! This is exciting! This is motivating! So as it is February and snowing again, I decide to allow myself to be with nature, and rather than beat myself up with my coloured pencils and sticks of charcoal, align myself with the bulbs in the garden that are just beginning to show and know that all these brilliant drawings too are hiding just out of sight, a bit frozen in my consciousness but about to burst forth when ‘winter’ lets go of its grip.
  • This seems like a jolly good reason to do lots of resting in semi supine aka The Alexander Technique aka Body Magic (link) to help the budding art grow from the inside out and of course give Leonardo a chance to find his way to Scotland … maybe he just doesn’t like the snow either! Happy that the Alexander Technique always illuminates,  I am off do do some drawing … or maybe just lie down for now … Spring up spring!

‘Love Time’

by Kirsten Harris

Pen and watercolour on White Paper

The Lightness of Being a Horse

by Kirsten Harris

Pen and Watercolour on white paper

‘Up!’

by Kirsten Harris

Watercolour and pen on white paper

‘The Bird that Wanted to Fly’

by Kirsten Harris

Pen on white paper

 

 

My painted furniture – side panels from a corner cabinet and set of shelves

 

More Alexander Technique drawings here The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods. Colouring Book

 

Have you ever thought about investing in a dream?

EPSON MFP image

Have you ever thought about investing in a dream?

My current dream goes like this –  I want to make more Alexander Technique inspired cartoons next year and I want to plant trees, to do my bit for this beautiful planet we live on! I also want to engage children and teenagers with the Alexander Technique thought processes, so that is simply something that they naturally know from a young age.

I am an artist and Alexander Technique teacher and I have been slowly working away creating images that hopefully express AT in a fun way. A task that I find exceedingly challenging, but very engaging.

One teacher, phoned to ask to use one of my cartoons to promote teaching the technique within the BBC. She said  ‘The Alexander Technique needs more images with a sharp wit like these.’ Amazing feedback!

Another teacher said I was wasting my time making art to promote Alexander Technique, that people simply were not interested!

If I am wasting my time, so be it! I care about Alexander Technique with a passion. It can so simply and profoundly transform peoples lives. It transformed mine. If I can do a wee bit to bring it into peoples field of attention via a cartoon or a verse or something else, yippee! To me that attempt is not a waste of time – it is my dream.

What do you think?

This is my latest project. The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods.  An Alexander Technique inspired colouring story book for children and adults. All profits will be used to plant trees.

It is the sort of thing as a child I would have loved, and I think would have given me a ‘heads up’ on some useful thinking that might have kept me out of trouble in more ways than one!

If you have ever thought about investing in a dream, perhaps you will think about buying one of these. You can enjoy the black and white images as they are, colour them in, read the stories and AT inspired ideas contained within to a child, enjoy them yourself, give as a gift or know that a tree has been planted.

To buy click here

 

Free postage in the UK, please email me for international postage. kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

Many thanks, Kirsten

fullsizeoutput_15f1

‘Feeling a Bit Prickly!?’ detail from ‘The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods’

 

Kirsten Harris 001

‘News – Skeleton Slumps at Screen!’

FB logo for The Daily Ease – Alexander Technique.

My Colouring Book

How about a giving a gift of planting a tree via a colouring book this Xmas?

At the same time you will be sharing a a healthy dose of Alexander Technique and mindfulness nature wisdom …

 

If that sounds appealing you have nothing further to do than click here and buy The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods, my Alexander Technique inspired colouring story book.

 

I am super proud of it – it is hand drawn and written with love inspired by walking in the woods with my dog Maisie. All profits will be used to plant trees, so please do consider supporting this environmental/educational project.

 

Front and back cover .. showing details of drawings inside…

 

  • ‘A very beautiful combination of writing and pictures’ John, AT teacher
  • ‘It’s making me want to go for a walk … That’s amazing in itself!’ Dougie
  • ‘Within the Words and magical illustrations are lots of wonderful reminders of the wisdom and teachings of the Alexander Technique. It is a delightful, gentle, joyous book of wisdom for all ages.’ Sally

 

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods buy here! 

(sample pages when you follow link)

 

Please ignore the bit on the link that says local pick up only. I haven’t figured out how to change it!

Free postage in UK.

Please email me for costs to post abroad.

kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

I hope to hear from you

 

Love Kirsten and Crazy Maisie dog x

Maisie walking int the woods in Scotland

 

 

A Walk in the Woods – Art Muscles and The Tree of Life

‘The Tree of Life’ by Kirsten Harris

 

You don’t get big bulgy biceps, if that’s your thing, without a lot of time spent developing them. The same can be said of art – developing a painting, an exhibition or collection of drawings takes time and dedication. Skills, like trees, take decades to grow.

 

Many years ago dad said to me –

‘If someone ask how long it takes to do a painting say  – a lifetime. Each painting is a culmination of your lifetime spent painting.’ I felt very supported in that moment.

 

I have no idea why I paint, I just do. But sometimes ideas come to me whilst painting.

 

Having spent the last 15 months since dad’s death painting even more solidly than ever, I started fantasising that it would be great to stop painting for a bit and develop a different kind of muscle.

 

The ‘Aha Moment’ came – tree planting!

A tremendous rest of a lifetime project waiting to be explored and grown.

 

So, with that aim in mind, I have made a colouring and story book called The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods. Hopefully it will appeal to children and adults alike.

 

The exciting bit – all profits will go to planting trees. The time spent quietly drawing these past few weeks will hopefully see a woodland habitat growing in the future. I want to plant trees! Trees for life on our beautiful planet.

 

A Walk in the Woods is a story and colouring book with a message – kind of Alexander Technique thinking meets eco-warrior meets animal lover meets tree hugger with a couple of unicorns thrown in for luck! Get the picture?

It is a walk with a black pen over white paper with a good intention.

 

Buying The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods, you will be part of this artist’s tree planting project. Together we can do a bit for the planet.

If you are interested  please email me …

Colouring book pre-orders being taken (or should that say tree-orders!)

 

It will be available to post in the next couple of weeks with a link on my website.

A Walk in the Woods is for sale at £10 per copy (plus p&P) – which is the projected cost of planting one tree.

Pre-order now

Let’s plant trees!

Love Kirsten x

 

Contact me – kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

UK 07711 903537

 

(When you buy a painting directly from an artist, support an art project, comment on an art work or give feedback, please be assured it is worth its weight in gold. Artists have no paid holidays, no line managers, no work reviews, or promotions, no bonuses or incentives. You do that job by being supportive. So a big thank you for all past and previous support.)

 

 

 

 

 

Does lying on your back make you a better painter?

Michelangelo (1475 – 1564) – Self Portrait as Skin from the Sistine Chapel

 

We all famously know that Michelangelo lay on his back to paint the magnificent Sistine Chapel. This has always intrigued me – how did he do that? As an Alexander Technique teacher it is appealing to think that he found some sort of blissful connection to his back, his lengthening and releasing spine, allowing his genius to pour out. Some kind of High Renaissance version of semi-supine, aka constructive rest, that allowed him to paint with ease.

 

As a painter I have always been dubious. It turns out that the fact that he lay on his back to paint is a myth. Michelangelo was not comfortable in his skin at all, as this fascinating poem shows and the Self Portrait as Skin also seems to reveal –

Michelangelo: To Giovanni da Pistoia
“When the Author Was Painting the Vault of the Sistine Chapel” 1509

 

I’ve already grown a goiter from this torture,
hunched up here like a cat in Lombardy
(or anywhere else where the stagnant water’s poison).
My stomach’s squashed under my chin, my beard’s
pointing at heaven, my brain’s crushed in a casket,
my breast twists like a harpy’s. My brush,
above me all the time, dribbles paint
so my face makes a fine floor for droppings!

My haunches are grinding into my guts,
my poor ass strains to work as a counterweight,
every gesture I make is blind and aimless.
My skin hangs loose below me, my spine’s
all knotted from folding over itself.
I’m bent taut as a Syrian bow.

Because I’m stuck like this, my thoughts
are crazy, perfidious tripe:
anyone shoots badly through a crooked blowpipe.

My painting is dead.
Defend it for me, Giovanni, protect my honor.
I am not in the right place—I am not a painter.

 

Michaelangelo describes in great detail the physical discomfort he was in, not lying on his back but squashed into a crazy distortion to do the work. It really does make more sense that he had to contort himself to create such an extraordinary feat on a ceiling.

 

He says being physically stuck is affecting his thoughts, that he doesn’t feel right, that he has lost his confidence as a painter – ‘anyone shoots badly through a crooked blowpipe.’

 

I find this utterly fascinating and can relate to the lack of confidence that comes from being or feeing ‘screwed up!’ Simply put slumping and holding tension in the body effects the thinking processes and emotions.

Pyscho-physical unity of poise leads to more confidence and better thinking, as Michelangelo says – being in a bent  stuck body leads to thinking that is ‘crazy, perdifious tripe!’

 

Learning Alexander Technique certainly released my creativity. During my training with the late Don Burton I would regularly go into the movement studio in an evening and paint and paint filling the walls with artwork overnight.  The art had started to flow as the Alexander work released my ‘knotted and folded’ self.

 

I would suggest that anyone interested in developing their own creative process would do well to learn some Alexander Technique ‘Body Magic’ and lie on the floor and use the thinking like a magic paint brush. Learn to paint your own anatomy from the inside – exploring the shapes and contours, landscapes and places of your body with your mind to free into your unique creativity.

 

So does lying on your back makes you a better painter?

 

When I first came up with the blog idea title it made me titter in a very silly British humour kind of way! However, thinking about the question and discovering the poem by Michelangelo, I think it is a really useful question for painters and other creatives to think about. Maybe we don’t have the extraordinary genius and talent of Michaelangelo, but we can learn from him and recognise the truth in his words that being ‘stuck’ (tense, slumped, held, in pain, sore, physically contorted and out of balance) really does affect our thinking and our creativity and leave you, as he says, ‘not in the right place.’

Cartoon ‘The Zone’

Lying in semi supine to free up your creativity …

 

If you feel ‘a crooked blowpipe’ here is a link to a media download, BODY MAGIC, to be listened to lying down for you to work with  – CLICK HERE 

‘The Hallmarks of the Alexander Technique are creativity, spontaneity and adaptability to change.’ A.R. Alexander

 

Cartoon ‘Art and Anatomy’

(Me screwed up at art school!)

Form and the Formless

Cartoon of me at art school

 

In contemporary art anything goes! Artists have ultimate freedom! No rules! Break rules! Push boundaries! Explore! Create! Be original! Be daring! Be courageous! Be bold!

 

There is no paradigm, no truth that holds art together.  Unlike music which has an agreed set of notes and scales, a form from which to create from and from which to break the rules.  Artists can do anything and call it art! Any medium goes. The formless – well that sounds easy! Just let go and make art ….

 

Alexander Technique – I prefer the name Alexander Principle –  has a paradigm at the core of it. That is why I love it so much. It is reliable, interesting, illuminating. A technique implies something one learns, practices and imposes.  A principle is the truth. True for all. Something to uncover and reveal, something to understand. The head neck back relationship governs the functioning of the body, our thinking effects our functioning.  How does your head balance on your neck? Posture and poise – posture an imposition, poise a truth!

 

I am thinking that the reason Alexander Technique is taught to actors, riders and musicians, for example, rather than regularly to artists and at art school is because the head neck back relationship more obviously improves performance in music or riding. Don’t pull your head back and your voice will sound better.  Find balance and your horse is free to balance and move. Is this true in art where there is no agreed form from which to observe from?

 

I know as an artist that my ability to stay in the core of not knowing, the freedom to create, is vastly enhanced by learning Alexander’s principles. I know I have only dipped the surface of what is possible allowing freedom as an artist. One can so easily get caught up in technique – how to apply oil to canvas for example or simply paying one’s own way. One can be limited by other peoples taste and judgement and by our own.

 

Having no boundaries can create a muddy puddle, energy simply seeping and disappearing – a river is channelled by its sides and flows forward. Form containing the formless. Water directed by structure.

So as an artist what is the channel?

The channel your intention, your focus, your desire to create, your passion?

Forward and up in focus feeling your way forward not knowing?

An understanding of how the channels of flow in the body work?

An ability to be freely balancing and notice when you are not?

 

Artists and anatomists worked together historically, dissecting and drawing to understand the human body. Science and Art. Anatomy is at the core of art. The bones of it. I believe that knowing how to draw the human body is a key to freedom. A license to do what you want. I am a bit old fashioned that way perhaps. Life drawing classes have been at the heart of art training for centuries. Drawing from the body giving a framework to a body of art –  both the form and formless.  The artist and the artwork. Drawing the skeleton, muscles and person to enhance inner and outer knowing. Alexander’s ‘directions’ an art form, an anatomical skeleton of awareness. Paintbrushes of thought drawing our whole self to its poised potential within and without – our key to freedom in creativity.

 

I wish I had been taught Alexander’s principles and actual anatomy at art school rather than just sitting in front of a naked body hour after hour and drawing it without any understanding of the balance of the human form, mine or the model.

 

Is learning about balance a way of understanding both form and the formless and freeing our creativity? The art of art!

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about Alexander Technique you may be interested in my media download Body Magic – here is a link.

 

 

 

Planting Seeds and Heavy Boots

A quote from Elie Weisel author and holocaust survivor came to my attention this week, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

 

‘The most generous thing you can do is receive everything’ Elie Wiesel

 

Do you receive everything?

Ideas, compliments, different opinions, criticism, questions, gifts, love, inspiration, attention …?

I learned this week I definitely have more work to do on learning to receive.

 

This week I have been working on a colouring book. I seem to be incredibly slow at the drawing. Putting in long hours figuring out each one. It is a challenge.

My idea is to find a way to illustrate Alexander Technique concepts with simple line drawings and verse …

Something children will enjoy!

Something that might plant some seeds of good advise and direction to last a lifetime.

Something that if I had owned and loved as a child might have prevented me slumping and putting my back out at the age of 24. This is a ‘gift to the universe’ type project. The kind of project that I hope will make a difference to someone somewhere – a butterfly effect book with transformation within.

 

A second piece of advise came to me this week – to seek sponsors and patrons.

Again the message about receiving. Ask and receive … Wow a new concept, thinking about that one.

I was told that there are people out there who want to be angels to the arts and help artists realise there dreams, especially ones that improve the world. Maybe you are one of those people? Certainly art patronage has a long tradition historically.

 

So to the heavy boots …

New seeds in art taking root can feel like being an explorer in a dark cavern …

You have the germ of an idea that is planted in your mind and then the seed starts to push through the ‘mud’ to find its way to the light like a little plant.

The creative act is a seed being born.

If you don’t protect, nourish and cherish the sapling plant heavy boots can trample it without realising. Ideas are a bit like that. We have to be tenacious as artists – sensitive enough to do the work yet strong enough to keep nurturing our art and let it grow. A balance. And not tread on our own ideas with our own heavy boots.

 

Ideas for The Daily Ease colouring book were emerging this week and I blogged about the process, I was feeling excited like a child. Then someone asked me a perfect legitimate and probably loving question asking for more … I heard it as criticism!

My stuff coming from that child place! The wounded child rather than the creative child emerged and had an internal reaction and so instead of looking at my stuff and turning it around Byron Katie style I reacted and deleted my blog from the page thereby losing the opportunity to respond. I know it is idiotic, but wow I have learned a lot from my daft behaviour of thinking what I had offered wasn’t good enough rather than receiving the comment which was helpful if I had allowed it to be!

 

That is what Alexander Technique is about, learning to change habitual reactions to give us the chance to make better choices.

 

My reaction showed me how important this particular art seed is to me, and that this colouring book has growth in it for me as an artist and a human being as well as the potential for growth that I hope to share with the world.

This fact of course must be true for how can it be a genuinely helpful ‘gift to the universe’ if I don’t learn and grow in the process of making it?

 

So I finish this blog with more ideas for images –  seeds and big boots and butterflies!

Back to the drawing board aka garden of creative endeavour …

 

Oh, and if you have a creative seed remember that with a little light – the is your attention – seeds can grow and thrive. If you think you are not good enough then think of the plants growing out of cracks in the pavement in the most impossible conditions! It is often just our own not good enough habits that stop us from being creative.

Seeds want to find the light.

 

Thanks for reading.

Forward and up!

Kirsten

 

 

The Daily Ease Colouring Book – Dog Ease

This page is a variation of a drawing I did to illustrate my blog 101 life lessons from my dog. I hope to turn that blog into a a wee book at some point as it makes me smile. (link here)

 

So to the colouring book – how does one introduce the concept of a free neck, prone, supine, whispered ah and other Alexander Technique goodies to kids in a fun way?

Animals are such wonderful teachers … so it’s doggies or dog ease!

These drawings are relatively simple but I am liking the simplicity.

I think I could add more words such as poise, awareness, rest, letting go etc but I will leave that to whoever is working with the book …

Hopefully this page says enough?

I am sure that as an older child and teenager, if I had been encouraged to roll about and rest on the floor as I had as a very young child, I would have avoided the pain I found myself in by the time I hit my early 20’s!

It was the Alexander Technique that was my life saver!

 

So I guess this colouring book is a bit of a mission …

Hope I am rising to the challenge?

 

Ok! Back to the drawing board!

 

To order email – kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

 

The Daily Ease Colouring Book – Alexander’s Story

A few years ago to entertain the school children that I teach, I wrote Alexander’s story in verse.  Mad I know but they love it and it is a fun way of sharing the history of the technique.

I usually wait until one asks ‘Who was Alexander?’ and then the verses comes out!

They lie in semi supine and I read them the story.

The children are usually hugely impressed that the whole thing rhymes and very complimentary … They are well brought up children!!

 

I loved rhyme as a kid and think it is a memorable way to learn.

Perhaps we listen in a different way anticipating the rhyme?

So today I started illustrating the Alexander story verse for the Daily Ease colouring book. My plan is that each illustration has a rhyming teaching aid to go with it.

 

About 3 years ago a very strange thing happened …

Rhyming verses started ‘downloading’ into my head. I literally couldn’t write them down fast enough.The result is a huge file of Alexander Technique inspired verse. They are a great resource for my teaching but I have also felt a bit guilty not doing more with them as it felt like something I was given. (Weird but true!) … But a huge book of poems? Hmmm!

I got stuck and they have sat in my drawer!

By the way I had never written anything like it before nor since! So all a bit strangely wonderful.

 

I am delighted to be making a colouring book. It’s a challenge and will take me a bit of time but I am UP for it!

I can cherry pick some verses and illustrate them and make a resource for kids and adults too. It feels right.
Work in progress … should be ready by September at the latest.

 

Hope you like the idea? Your feedback and ideas hugely appreciated!

Ok, back to the drawing board ….. literally!

 

I am taking pre-orders click here …

or message me

kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Ease – Colouring Book

The Daily Ease – Colouring Book

 

I have been working on the front cover of an Alexander Technique inspired colouring book today ….

A few weeks a friend who was feeling low commented that she wished she could draw as it might help her with her anxiety. I suggested she buy a colouring book and it has been a great success for her.

Of course a seed was planted …

An Alexander Technique colouring book, teaching some anatomy, the principles of balance and the brilliance of Alexander’s discoveries in a fun way that the children I teach would enjoy …

So it is underway. Hooray!  Feeling excited and motivated by the project and seeing if I can realise some of the ideas I have in the form of a colouring book.

 

Also today I had a mad incident with colour!

I was asked to paint an oil painting of elephants in greens and blues. I delivered it to the gallery who had commissioned it earlier in the week. This morning I woke to a message saying that the elephants were ‘Too green for Glasgow!’

It is a painting of elephants for goodness sake  … Crazy!

 

However the incident of the green elephants has made me think that I will blog a bit about colour as I create my colouring book.

Colour IS emotive!

And colouring in is enjoyable! I love it!

And the Alexander Technique is wonderful and I think everyone should learn it, especially children and teenagers!

So hopefully my colouring book will combine some of my passions ….

 

(To pre-order whilst I am making the colouring book, click here, between now and September 1st you will receive a free colouring book for every 3 ordered, great Xmas presents and teaching aids in the making!)

 

fullsizeoutput_10fa

 

Here is the painting that was ‘Too Green for Glasgow!’

 

Diary of an Exhibition – My Motivation and Intention

‘Stress Puppy’ by Kirsten Harris

 

I chose to paint seascapes for my upcoming exhibition partly because I have sold every seascape I have ever made and I hope to increase my chance of success!

 

The reason I desire to sell well is to fund my next project, which is likely to take many months to complete and be a ‘gift to the universe life mission’ project.

 

The project is to finish illustrating an Alexander Technique book for children and teenagers that literally downloaded into my head about three years ago.

Strange but true!

 

It is a monster, fun, quirky, piece of writing.

 

The high school kids I teach love it. (I don’t think they are just being polite and kind!)

I have tried it out on them, and they are determined for me to ‘get it out there’ as they are sure it will help other kids get through school and life as the Alexander Technique has helped them.

 

My next art job is to hone my inner cartoonist!

All about letting the line flow simply to tell a story ….

fullsizeoutput_f33

 

I am writing about my motivation behind my up coming exhibition to boost my confidence and strength of intention to sell and so the ‘angels of abundance’ know what the plan is!!

 

And because, to be honest, I am feeling a bit like this cartoon at the moment. A Stress Puppy Artist!

A bit of fear creeping in at the last minute. Not helpful, but human!

 

Time to transform fear to excitement. To be confident having put my heart and soul into painting all winter.

 

I keep waking up in the morning thinking maybe the big paintings are all too grey and blue, and then the next thought is that grey and blue are bang on trend for interior design and I loved painting them so TRUST! TRUST! TRUST!

 

Time to let it go and focus on THE BOOK manifesting after the exhibition ….

Let it Flow …

 

Original seascape oil paintings from £100 – £2000

Many are available to view on my website Click Here

 

Please email me for more information or come to the exhibition, it would be wonderful to see you.

Sea and the City, 26 – 30 April 2017, Dundas Gallery, 6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh.

 

fullsizeoutput_d87

 

img_3316

 

fullsizeoutput_cff

 

IMG_6463

Surviving Art School and Constructive Criticism

Cartoon self portrait of me at art school in the 80’s!

 

 

One of the things you learn at art school is how to survive constructive criticism and turn a negative into a positive, a creative solution!

 

This is why for many art school is an ‘abusive’ environment and many art school graduates never paint again. Or give up for years … It is a challenging path!

 

At art school in the 80’s you were ‘deconstructed’, but the tutors often forgot to ‘reconstruct’ you at the end of the process. (My Alexander Technique teacher training later did that for me!)

 

However, artists become creative thinkers because of the rigours of constructive criticism.  They look for alternatives, they become truth seekers, they can turn a heap of junk into something beautiful. They look beyond the ‘hurtful’ words and move forward. You learn to stop taking criticism personally and carve out a new path.

 

So, you are sitting at your easel and a tutor creeps up behind you and says stuff like

 

  • That’s not good enough
  • Have you considered doing it another way
  • Rip it up and start again! (a classic 80’s anthem from the band Orange Juice)
  • The proportions are all wrong
  • It’s too tight, unexpressive, muddy …
  • It’s derivative, find your own style
  • You will never make it as an artist
  • Or just puff a bit of fag smoke over you and walk away ….

 

You feel anger, annoyance, despair, disheartened, but you never give up. Somehow in this clumsy but honest process the brain starts to seek new solutions, creativity is hatched. Determination is born. A ‘fuck it’ attitude of ‘I am doing it anyway’ starts to emerge.  ‘I am going to trust my own process’, develops inside you.

 

Art is not ‘wanky’ as I was recently informed, but an intense road to self discovery that demands vulnerability, determination and guts. Finding creative solutions to sticky problems and disagreement is what you are trained to do. A development of your creative brain in order to survive the assault course of constructive criticism that is art school. The constructive criticism is not personal – it is another artists attempt to get you to think by challenging your perspective. Being good at art is not the most important thing to be an artist, developing the ‘fuck it there must be a way to do this’ attitude probably is!

 

Any one think creative solutions might be useful right now?

 

Perhaps one day artists will not be seen as ‘self indulgent’ and ‘mad’ but having something out of the ordinary to say …

 

May artists rule the world!

 

Check out my free creativity e-course link below

 

Feel free to come and give me your constructive criticism at my up coming exhibition ‘Sea and the City’ with Jennifer Court at the Dundas Gallery, 6 Dundas Gallery, Edinburgh 26 – 30 April 2017 10 – 6 pm

 

Forward and Up!

Love Kirsten

Stop and Smell the Roses

SIMG_3280

Inspired by my miniature Shetland pony, Staplow Lettie, I  have started a series of pony cartoons.

They all come framed in white frame and mount.

As she is currently unexpectedly pregnant, look out for foals in the cartoons soon!

 

 

Study of Racing

Elephant Parade

Stripes and Drips

3 Flamingos

Savannah

40 x 50 cm

Exhibited at RSA

In the collection of the Artist

Secretary Birds

Japanese Ink on Paper

80 x 60 cm