How to completely ruin a painting

I had this one canvas, newly stretched which I didn’t notice was skewed until it was done. So I thought I could paint something blurry for a background to use behind /under photos of various objects. Except it didn’t really turn out very nice. And so I kept going, the original layers long gone, the idea likewise. It may still end up with 50 more layers, we’ll have to see when I get bored with it! (in fact I have several of these, it’s kinda fun, for me anyways, to look back at the different stages)
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Waffle weave towels

waffle045 shaft / 6 treadle pattern
60 x 90 cm on loom + hems
55 x 82 cm off loom
40 x 60 cm hot washed and tumbled

All the old stained hand towels are moving to the loft or garage, then I’ll see if I need to make more new ones.

I knew I was probably making a mistake on the hems, making them flare too much, but didn’t have enough treadles to make a sensible pattern and didn’t want to change the tie up between each towel.

As for my threading mistake, the result on the one woven with the mistake and the two others where I removed 4 threads getting a more open spacing in that spot was that the first one WITH the extra threads has the least visible error, so I should have kept it that way.

Continue reading “Waffle weave towels”

Creating creativity

In addition to the Beginner’s mind post, I wanted to see how many games I could come up with to trick the mind into creative mode. Here’s what I have for you so far, I hope some of it works as well for you as it does for me.

Grab a pile of paper, doodle while you watch tv, meditate, talk on the phone, or simply with a pencil and your eyes closed, run a long line round and round on the sheet, completely random. When it’s full, look for shapes and draw them in with a pen. Usually for me it’s cartoon figures and animals that emerge, could be flowers, anything. Colour in the best ones with markers, crayons, pencils, maybe start a new drawing with those images as the base idea.

Play with marbling (requires inks, a flat tray and wallpaper glue) or leaf prints. Then tear up the results and make collages. Or use them for greeting cards, decoupage, scrapbooking backgrounds, covers for notebooks. That’s not painting you say. No, but by doing something with your hands, ideas have a tendency to creep up from the back of your mind. We’re just trying to get into playmode here and away from overachiever mode.

Glue fabric, leaves and photos onto your painting, then keep painting.

Experiment. Does the salt trick work with acrylic paints like they do for oils and watercolour? Indeed it can, but don’t put salt all over, it’ll just look like the painting got measles.


Read travel books, with or without pictures, fantasy novels, “coffee table” books, watch National Graphic tv, do a google image search for a specific location or topic.

Go somewhere you’ve  never been before, something fun could be happening in the next town over. I’m really, really bad at not doing this, I keep saying it’s no fun without company and it’s hard to plan when you share a car with someone else. (meaning, the car isn’t always there when you want it) But really, those are just excuses for being a homebody.

Try new tools or medium. Brushes, stuff to make prints with, paint a whole image using sponges, ink, magic markers, plants.

I found these silly brushes in an online shop by accident and just had to order set.

And something that may seem completely opposite from the intuitive process: rehearse your paintings. I sometimes have ideas for nearly finished images, but I’m unsure if it’s a good one. Why not make a small version on paper first to SEE if you like it, instead of trying to imagine if you do? I know the old masters did this, so why can’t I?

So now you have all the good ideas and intentions, but you keep pushing it until tomorrow, or you actually sit down to paint a little but nothing happens. This is actually normal from what I hear. I’m a person who knows a bit about nearly everything (ok, a lot anyway), but I’m not any kind of expert on anything. What I am though, is a Master of Procrastinastion. I get seated, I remembered to pee, got my coffee, walked the dog, open up Writer or WordPress to get started – and then I get this sudden urge to trim my nails. Your subconscious can think up a million excuses to prevent you from taking on any kind of challenge. I don’t know why, I’ve even tried to sit down to have a little talk with (at) it, it keeps happening.


The thing is, it doesn’t seem very likely that you’ll beat this tendency with sheer willpower. Maybe some can, most of us can try to a certain extent. So what you do is, you go with the flow in this instance too. You stay seated. You doodle and fiddle and take another potty break, but you do not pack up your gear and give up.

Sometimes it may take a whole hour to get into workmode, so it’s important to have set up enough time to get past that fiddly resistance if you know you have days like this. Other days I know exactly what I want to do, some days I even get so many ideas just standing in the shower, I don’t know which one to pick first, so I have to write a list so I don’t confuse myself (another procrastinator!). On those days it’s easy to just sit down for half an hour, fill a few pages with words or colour and then go clip those toenails if you really must. But you’re bound to run into some of the others as well, and the thing is to keep at it until you’ve done at least something. Doesn’t have to be brilliant, it just has to be.

So what have I got to show for it you say? Well, I ended up knitting, as you may have noticed. But next on the list it tidy up office and desk, so I wonder if I could procrastinate on that with a sudden urge to paint?


Please share your ideas on how to call on that imagination when it seems to be hiding!

> 1. Finally
> 2. Beginner’s mind
> 3. Creating creativity
> 4. New Tricks


Hvordan man snyder sig til at få kreative ideer

Nogen gange går hjernen lidt i stå, selvom man egentlig har lysten til at male. Så jeg bruger små tricks for at sætte fantasien i sving, der kommer hele tiden nye til.

Tegn kruseduller med blyant, gerne med lukkede øjne, bare rundt og rundt på papiret. Kig efter figurer, som tegnes op med pen og evt. farvelægges.

Der behøver ikke være et motiv, man kan lege med marmorering, plantetryk og andet, rive det hele i stumper bagefter og lave collager, kort, indpakning, bogomslag og andet. Det handler bare om at bruge hænderne og farverne indtil der kommer en ide til et billede, eller bare en lyst til at starte med en bestemt farve på lærredet. Man kan ikke rigtig tænke sig til det, men det går nemmere når man involverer kroppen.

Man kan teste forskellige teknikker og redskaber, bare for at få en fornemmelse for, hvad man kan, og så ender det måske alligevel med at se helt godt ud. Ellers maler man bare ovenpå.

Nye oplevelser er også godt, det kan være en spændende bog, et naturprogram, en udflugt til et galleri eller et nyt sted (det er jeg ikke så god til at tage mig sammen til, der er lidt langt til alting herude på bøhlandet). Man kan også bare rejse rundt via Google!

Og endelig er det jo ikke nogen skam at lave kladder af sine måske-ideer, det gjorde de gamle mestre også. På den måde kan man måske få luget ud i godt og skidt…

Og hvis det stadig ikke virker, er det vigtigt at blive ved. Måske tager det en hel time at “komme i stemning”, så det duer ikke at starte 20 min. før ungerne kommer hjem og vil have mad fx. Læg mærke til alle de undskyldninger din underbevidsthed finder på, kaffepauser, opvaskemaskinen som lige pludselig trænger til at blive tømt prompte, accepter det, men pak ikke dine ting væk, hent kaffen og bliv ved med at dimse til der sker et eller andet.

Jeg fik lige pludselig lyst til at strikke, og det er ok, men næste punkt på listen er oprydning af kontor og skrivebord, så måske maleri bliver min overspringshandling for at udskyde det…. Jeg er verdensmester i overspring, og da jeg ikke altid kan bekæmpe det med viljestyrke, har jeg valgt at tage det med som en del af pakken, men blot prøve at være opmærksom på når det sker.

Del gerne jeres tricks til at kalde fantasien frem, når den gemmer sig!