The Artist’s Journey: new beginnings.

Are you artistic or creative?
I believe you have that seed of creativity planted in your soul; we all have. How that seed grows and what it grows into is as diverse as each of our personalities. One thing I know is you need to feed and water it just like a plant otherwise it will lie dormant for a long time waiting for you. Luckily creativity can be revived at any time, unlike plants that die if they are not looked after.  

“If you want to grow, only compare yourself to yourself”

– Yanina Gomez.

I think this quote is true of growing our creativity. Never compare yourself to others better or worse than you but it is also true that seeing what other’s do in the creative world can be an inspiration. It can give you clues as to what you would like or not like to do. Nevertheless at all times aspire to be yourself. This has been part of my journey of learning to embrace my artist within without judging or criticizing my creativity. There was a time when I measured my self-worth as an artist against others but this is a story on its own for another time.  

I am not going to tell you my life’s story as an artist and the journey I went on in chronological order but rather I am going to dive into, and cover, different topics one at a time. I hope you will feel inspired to give new forms of creativity a try. Don’t compare yourself to me and I won’t compare myself to you.  I have run creative workshops, starting in 2000, believing in and encouraging others to be creative too whether that be art, dance, music, writing and so on.  

When I thought of telling you about my artist’s journey I thought I would start off telling you about all the different types of artists that you get. Then I thought I am going to keep this personal and if you are interest in the different types of artists let me know and I will consider doing a post devoted solely on that some other time in the future.  

What is the driving force behind my creativity?

Kommetjie, oil painting, view from Chapman’s Peak coast by M Armstrong.

I grew up with a mother and a father who both did art and crafts. Literally, from when I was a baby they would go camping in the wilds: mountains and coastal shores, using the time to do Plein Air art (art out in the open or outdoor art, usually landscapes and seascapes). I won’t be focusing on my parent’s art today but it is suffice to say that art was in my veins and a part of me from conception. It felt like it was a normal part of everyone’s existence.

I am first and foremost an expressive artist. I have a drive to express what I see, what I feel, what I love, and what I think about. I love nature and am environmentally conscious so I aspire to be part of the movement that repairs the earth and not damages it. I also have a drive to express my spiritual and emotional life. From as early as 5 years old I remember dancing and doing cartwheels to express my joy. My father, coming from Scotland, passed on to me the oral tradition of storytelling and a love of poetry and so I would (unknowingly) speak to my mother in childish poetic form about the beauty of what I saw around me and I soon started making up songs too. Am I driven to do these things? I’d rather like to think that it just oozes out of my pores; I can’t stop it. Well there is one way of stopping it: being critical of myself and comparing myself to others which is not a good idea; and this is why I talk so much about flow. Let it flow.   

I love to explore and experiment with many different types of art forms: painting in watercolours, acrylics, oils; drawing in inks, dyes, oil and chalk pastels; making 3D work, installations, fibre art, and on and on. I basically look for the vehicle that is going to express what I want to say in the best way for the specific idea expressed. I am probably not as good at one type of medium as I could be if I just stayed with one medium because I am so diverse but that is not the point for me. I am not trying to be perfect I am looking to experience and express and so my art forms are always exploring and experimenting, looking for ways to best express. You can see my portfolio if you haven’t seen it yet for some older examples. (There is a lot of my work that has not yet met with the formal public eye as I am still deciding whether I will use it for a book I want to write about Art and Emotional healing.)

Lately over the last few months I have been exploring egg tempera and Eco-printing. I am a very curious person and have a drive to explore and innovate new ways of expression, ways of saying things and most recently new ways of presenting my art.

You might ask: what am I trying to say or express?

As I mentioned before that I want to express what I observe in life, what I love, and mostly what I think about and feel.  So it’s about life – mine, yours and the world; about healing and growth; metamorphosis and changes in myself and others; and about growing towards the light.

I have many themes like birds, dolls, flowers, butterflies, leaves, mythical creatures, archetypes, and mandalas. My psychology studies and spiritual hunger informs much of my work which probes the mind and soul and is expressed metaphorically. This year I continue on the theme: Growing towards our inner Eden.

Through my art and art workshops I want to connect with others and rouse them to feel inspired, encouraged, motivated, and provoked to think.

How do I define success for myself?

I think that the definition of success is very personal and should be ever changing as we grow and develop. In the past I thought that success was measured in amounts of money earned or how popular I was or by measuring myself against other artists. Now I think that it is when I set out to do something or express something and I can see that I have done exactly what I aimed to do. The amazing thing with creativity is that often I find I do much more than I had hoped for or set out to do because my creative process is a collaboration or co-creation with The Creator.  It feels like a two way process. There are mini successes along the way and mini ‘failures’ but I take ‘failure’ as a step of learning, and it often becomes the next step in my creations. Sometimes it is the failures that lead me to the best expressions of myself. I like this quote:

 “What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace”

– Paulo Coelho.

There are many more things I would like to tell you about me as an artist but I think that is enough for now.

See you next time.

26 thoughts on “The Artist’s Journey: new beginnings.

  1. A wonderful and a great read, Morag and it is so nice to see you as an artist in your beautiful painting that you have showcased in your post. And of course you have so many other talents too. Keep it going and do what you love, that is what life is all about.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing, . Love this quote “If you want to grow, only compare yourself to yourself”. Most creatives probably have this problem, playing the comparison game.

    I’ve also heard recently that ‘failures’ should be seen as lessons, makes so much more sense to look at it that way!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You are so creative Morag, what a beautiful painting! I can see the creativity in your writing too and wow, you are so talented. Thank you for the great advice and for the encouragement to be yourself. I love planting and doing flower arrangements and I do steal with the eye and try and make it my own. I also play a musical instrument but here I know I lack so much because I just don’t give it enough attention. Enjoy your talents and thank you for the inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s lovely hearing from you and about, you sound very creative too! I know what you mean about feeling like one creative avenue needing more attention, like your music. I think I am coming to terms with the fact that my creativity rolls in seasons. Maybe your music playing might have a great season in the future. Or maybe even having mentioned it, will unearth a new season. 😀😀All the best with your creative power 🙏🎉🎶😃

      Liked by 1 person

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