The Friday Five – Discover Your Creative Gifts

The Friday Five boats 1

Join me every Friday when I run down inspiring links and t’ings.  Our current theme is “What have you done with your Gifts?”

Previous TFF’s can be seen here.

For the last four years I have been the facilitator of the art programme of Cancer Support Services Barbados.  It has been such a wonderful experience and, in sharing what I know, I have received so much more in return.

In today’s Friday Five I’d like to share with you what I have learned by being the facilitator and instructor of a visual arts programme.

group artwork

Insight 1:  Make it a place where people want to come.

Art is a vehicle for self expression so there are no mistakes.  Take care to create an encouraging and supportive environment where participants feel comfortable experimenting and discovering their innate creativity.

Insight 2:  Be sensitive to student needs

The concept of fairness in the classroom does not mean treating everyone the same.  It means giving them what they need to feel successful.  Some students will need additional assistance and encouragement to “let their hair down”.

Insight 3:  Enthusiasm is contagious–remember to bring yours!

‘Nuff said.

Insight 4:  Embrace guest teachers

One  facilitator cannot know everything, so invite other artists to share their talents.  In this way you are assured to incorporate the interests of the group into the curriculum.  One of our most successful units was paper making and card making facilitated by a wonderful guest teacher.

Insight 5:  Building and maintaining a successful programme takes time and commitment.

It takes time to build trust and to get to know people.  It also takes continuous effort on the part of a facilitator to maintain interest and encourage participants to make art between classes.  Take it from me, it is worth your best efforts.  You will be rewarded beyond expectation.




The Friday Five – Discover Your Creative Gifts

The Friday Five boats 1

Join me every Friday when I run down inspiring links and t’ings.  Our current theme is “What have you done with your Gifts?”

Previous TFF’s can be seen here.

July 2015 marks the 4th anniversary for The Art Programme at Cancer Support Services Barbados. Many of the participants have been with the group since its inception. As programme facilitator, I’d like to share some insights from the journey of those who were initially convinced that they didn’t have a creative bone in their body.  I hope the lessons we learned will urge you to begin your own creative journey.

Insight 1: Start Small
The class started simply, each student equipped with an artist’s pen and piece of paper. We doodled.

Over time, artwork blossomed from this,


to this,

group artwork

to this!


Insight 2: Keep moving forward
As time went on we developed skills and took on more artistic challenges. We learned how to make paper, prints on a geli plate and expressed ourselves using mixed media.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Insight 3: Before we knew it…..
We embraced our creative side and discovered that we are all creative. It’s amazing what happens when you nurture your talent.

Insight 4: Just when we thought we couldn’t push ourselves any further, we stretched yet again.
In May we held our first Art Exhibition and learned how to make prints from our artwork. The press came to our opening, we made the papers and we were on the local newscast!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then, to put the icing on the cake prints of the students’ artwork were presented to speakers at Cancer Support Services’ annual conference.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Insight 5: Art class isn’t just about the art
We also realized that the classes aren’t only about creating –we made new friends with which to share, learn and feel part of a community. We celebrate birthdays and support each other during the tough times. It has been a very worthwhile journey.

So for those of you who think you aren’t creative, or wish you had a vehicle for self expression, art is waiting for you. Come and discover your gifts.

To find out more about Cancer Support Services Barbados and the Art Programme visit their website here and connect with them on Facebook here.


The Friday Five – those sharing their gifts with the world

The Friday Five badge

1. Bluegrass musicians from….New Jersey? That’s not the only amazing thing about The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys…have a look.

2. Praise for a job well done. Have you thanked your “Lunch Lady”?

3. Matisse never let old age, sickness or infirmity stop him from producing art. Check out his “drawing with scissors” technique here.

4. This man’s gift has saved the lives of 2 million babies.

5. Cat does what cats do best….watch here

The Friday Five — More Color Links and T’Ings

SONY DSC This month I feel that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the subject of color. So I’ve taken a bit of creative license and let April slip into May.  Please enjoy these wonderful links and a glimpse into how I will embrace my inner child.

In a previous post, I discussed a genetic condition known as tetrachomacy.  Here’s a couple of links to some other conditions with respect to seeing and responding to color:

An artist with synesthesia sees color everywhere–in math formulas, in music–you name it.  See how she interprets music with paint.  (via Visual News)

New hope for people with color blindness.  Valspar paints and Enchroma have partnered to create color blindness correcting glasses.  Enjoy a short write up and a link to the video by Renee Phillips of The Healing Power of Arts and Artists.

Groovy man!  Take a look at this revamp of a homeless shelter in India.  (via Creative Boom)

If it isn’t already obvious, I’m a big fan of the blog Visual News.  Have a look at the color infused pop up art of Bozka.

Embracing my inner child and managing stress at the same time.  I recently purchased a coloring book by Millie Marotta entitled “Animal Kingdom” (photo above).  The book is filled with amazing ink sketches of flora and fauna that is just waiting for my touch with colored pencils.  I can hardly wait!

The Friday Five — Great Color Resources

Publication4Here are five great ways to increase your knowledge and enjoyment of color.

1 & 2  Inspiration in Print:  My 2 Favorite Books on Color

I refer to these two books again and again.  Both artists excel at teaching and it is this talent that takes us beyond the language and theory of color to hands-on application and true understanding.

Color: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors by Betty Edwards

????????Best known for “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” courses, books and workbooks, Edwards now uses her knowledge and skill as a teacher to develop our understanding of how to see, use & mix color.  This book provides a firm foundation for identifying, understanding and enjoying color.  Several hands-on exercises translate theory to practice.  The book is targeted primarily at painters; however, there is a great chapter on the meaning, symbolism and psychology of color that will appeal to anyone interested in the affect color has on our lives.

Confident Color – An Artist’s Guide to Harmony, Contrast and Unity by Nita Leland.

????????Nita Leland is an award winning artist, in-demand teacher and prolific author.  This book will appeal to painters, collage or fiber artists.  I like this book because it is filled with hands-on exercises and shows you how to develop your own personal color strategy, The book includes an impressive collection of artists from a variety of media that will inspire you.

3, 4 &5  Inspiration on the Web

Nature in Color is a Tumblr blog devoted to dissecting the color palettes of landscape photos using the Pantone range of colors. As an artist and a photographer, I love this blog. It teaches you to really see…a field of green grass may contain no less than 5 shades of green, a sunrise 10 shades of pink. It also shows us that in nature there are fabulous colour combinations that you would never think of, let alone wear!!!

The Adobe Color site is a great reference for color schemes and color matching.  Go to “Create from Image” to match colors from your own photos.  Even the “low techs” can manage Adobe Color CC!

Surround yourself with your favorite colors and put art in your everyday.  A post from the archives of L’Inspired Living.