Thursday 29 July 2010

Artist Interview - Bonnie Rose Bryan - August 2010

Featured Artist of the Month

Bonnie Rose Bryan

August 2010

For our very first 'Artist Inteview' this month I've had the pleasure to interview the magical Bonnie Rose Bryan! I can't quite remember when I first came across her fabulous work, but I do remember that when I first encountered it, I was instantly mesmerised and in love with it.

Fairies, goddesses and magical beings of the natural realm can often be seen in her work, they inspire and speak to me on all sorts of levels! But her talent doesn't stop there, additionally, Bonnie also paints people, portraits, cups of coffee, butteflies, animals and beautiful abstracts!

She likes to work with watercolours, acrylic paints, coloured pencils and ink pens. She often uses bold, bright colours in the most attractive combinations.

In addition to Bonnie being an extraordinary artist I've also found her personality one to be gentle, kind and generous. She always has something affirming to say about other people's work and I find her endlessly encouraging. When I think of Bonnie, I think of faery dust that smells of cotton candy, I really hope to meet her in real life one day! :)) (I am also thrilled that she's agreed to be an administrator on the site here, yay!)

I am the lucky owner of one of these little love houses (ATC), lookit how cute they are! ->

I hope you enjoy the below interview with her!

1. Who are you and how would you describe your work/ art?

I am Bonnie Rose Bryan, a woman and an artist, made of stardust.

Primarily, I’m a figurative artist; my specialties are the female figure and the “fantasy” genre (particularly faeries.) All of my work contains personal elements, and I often infuse spiritual currents and sacred archetypes into my work. Typically, my mediums of choice are watercolours, acrylics, coloured pencils, and ink pens; I have quite a variety of mediums under my belt, but those four seem to be the ones I reach for the most.

2. Who or what inspires you to create?

In a nutshell: colour, nature, aesthetics, music, spirituality, my moods, and my conversations with the Universe.

With my figurative works, I think the inspiration behind the work can be quite evident (for example, I like coffee and I like purple, so I paint a purple coffee cup.) However, there are some paintings which come to me from the outside-in. I often feel, especially with my faerie portraits, that the images come in a sort of intuitive messages and conversation with the faeries, and with other subjects, the inspiration comes from messages and conversations with the Universe… I don’t always know who’s sending the signal, only that I’m receiving it.

3. What is lying on your art desk today?

At the moment, I have one mixed media work in process, a large portrait of Green Tara, which has been lying on the shelf, untouched for quite sometime, and is next on my list of things to finish.

I don’t actually have an art desk, per se. My studio (more like art storage) space is shared with the office. Much to my dismay, my art-making space is very impermanent, and has to cooperate with meals, my husband, and a rather clingy fox terrier. For small drawings, I’ll often work on the tiny corner of free space next to my keyboard. For small paintings, I usually work on a little wooden folding table, either in the office, or while sitting on sofa in the living room. Larger works are done on the dining table, or I’ll set up the easel in the living room, in front of the windows. When I’m not painting, everything gets packed up and tucked away, where it sleeps, while I go about the non-painting parts of my day-to-day.

4. Out of everything you've ever painted, what is your favourite painting/ creation and why?

Ouch… this is a difficult question to answer!

If I had to choose a favourite from my recent works (within the last 10 years,) it’s a toss-up between “La Tristesse” (an acrylic) and “Sharing Secrets” (a watercolour).

I consider them to be two of my best works, and at the time of their creation, each was a technical accomplishment for me in both of their respective mediums. Both include deep esoteric and emotional undercurrents, which appeals to me. The depth, gossamer glow, and soft rendering in “La Tristesse” always surprises me (Did I really paint this?)

I love the jewel toned colours and all of the decorative details in ”Sharing Secrets”. That painting always makes me feel satisfied, accomplished, and glittery on the inside. (It also features a moth, a symbol that pops up in a few of my works, which has a special significance for me).

5. What is your favourite piece of art by another painter/artist?

Oh, this is equally as difficult as the last question! The works of Brian Froud, Alfonse Mucha, and Vincent Van Gogh have always touched me so deeply, and been such tremendous sources of inspiration throughout my life. Almost anything and everything from those three saints of paint would fall into my “I’m in love, it makes me swoon” category.

6. What is the worst bit of art advice anyone has ever given you?

“You have to make sketches first.” This was an anthem in my university art classes, and I spent countless hours forcing out sketches for pieces that were more than ready to be painted. Lots and lots of sketches… sketches until my eyes could blur shut and my hands could fall off… sketches until I had no will left to paint anything at all. What utter nonsense! When the baby’s coming, you breathe and you push, you don’t say “hang on a while, kid, I gotta make an itinerary and a blueprint first.”

“Have to…” this is art, there is no have to!

I tend to work on things in my head, and when it’s ready to come out, I make it. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to make, until I put the brush to the canvas!

From time to time I have done sketches to work out parts that aren’t finished baking in my head, or isn’t coming through clearly from the cosmic conversation, and sometimes I sketch to jot down ideas for artworks that I plan to work on later. But, I can’t make a painting wait, just because it hasn’t been planned and practiced down to the finest detail – to make it wait is counter productive and creatively stifling, and I certainly don’t consider the pre-planning of artwork to be a mandatory and necessary precursory step to the actual making of it.

7. What is the best bit of art advice anyone has ever given you?

Two things: “Paint it however you want.” and “So what if nobody else likes it or understand it.” Following those bits of wisdom has made an enormous impact on my work, and the personal satisfaction I get from the process of making it (as well as enjoying the finished results.) I cannot and will not please everyone, nor do I aim to, but I can strive to be true to myself and my art.

In my opinion, art-making shouldn’t be about rules. It’s not about making work to please other people and fulfil their expectations of how my art should be, either. If I wanted to paint with a set of rigid instructions and inflexible absolutes, and paint it to the specifications of someone else’s ideals, I’d simply and exclusively do paint-by-numbers.

I’m of the opinion that in art making, nothing is mandatory and no technique is absolute. If I want to scrub with my brush until the bristles fall out, or use a “watercolour” brush with acrylic paints, I will! If a faerie says to me, “I’m blue,” well then, she’s blue, and if she changes her mind half way through, she might turn out purple instead… If I want to have a yellow sky and an upside down tree, so be it! I just go with the flow.

Just like the infamous Bob Ross, I regard each piece as a little world, and in my world, I can make it any way I want to. My artistic process is highly intuitive and personal, where “normal” and “traditional” may or may not be invited.

8. Have you ever put your paintbrush in your cup of tea by mistake?

Haha! Oi vey, if only I had a coin for every time I’ve put a paint brush into a cup of tea or a glass of wine, I could buy myself a paint factory.

9. What is the strangest medium/material you've ever worked with?

The strangest mediums: blueberry juice, for painting… strips of textured plastic mesh from potato sacks (which I knit into gold fish, for an assemblage work.) … and a digital scanner, for making auto portraits.

10. What hopes and dreams do you have for your art & future?

I hope, firstly, for the time to continue making it on a daily basis, secondly, for the ability to improve and hone my skills, and thirdly, for the luck and prosperity to sell more of it.

11. If you couldn't be an artist in this life, what other job or hobby would you really want to give a go?

If I were not an artist, I would not be myself… Art is so interwoven into the fabric of me; I’d have to be someone else in order to stop making it.

Being a rock star would fun, of course! Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, stage-fright is the major culprit who holds me back from more seriously pursuing my musical interests, but I do enjoy playing in the privacy of my home. I suppose if I didn’t make art, I would spend more time rehearsing and improving musically, if only for a hobby, not necessarily for a career choice.

While in school, if I had been at all clever with maths, the slightest bit capable of suffering through chemistry lab, and had actually been more practical and studious, rather than spending hours getting dirty with art supplies, it’s likely that I would have pursued a career in either veterinarian medicine or forensic psychology, both of which hold great interest to me.

12. What are your favourite 5 art related websites or blogs?

Of course, I’m quite fond of ! I’m a frequent visitor to, where I can keep up to date on Froud goodies, and also discover new faerie artists via the webring. Although it’s not specifically an art site, I spend a lot of time reading and researching about artists and art history on I enjoy reading random blogs and discovering artwork on the 2 Ning groups I belong to: and (hugs and sparkles to all the Ning-a-ling artists!)

13. Give a shout out to a fellow artist whose work and/or person & energy you really love!

Without sounding like a total butt-kisser, Tamara Laporte has been one of the most motivating and inspiring artists I know… I always look forward to a new video, blog post, and artwork from Tam. Her energy is so positive and uplifting, and I always feel so at home on her Ning group, where the inspiration, support, and joie de vivre is so amazingly abundant. Thanks for sharing the energy, love, and art, Tam!

14. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would it be?

Make art. Make it as often as you can. If you don’t pick up that brush or that pencil and actually make a mark, you’ll never advance in your artistic journey. Take it one step at a time, but take the step!

I think a lot of people are overwhelmed by the fear of failure, succumbing to the whisperings of the gremlins who say, “you can’t… you won’t… you don’t know how to…” and so, ultimately they do fail, because they never allow themselves the chance to begin.

We all learn and grow by experience, by doing, by trying. Remember, we all begin at the beginning, even the greatest art masters started with scribbles and stick figures (and some of them kept on scribbling, too!) If you feel like you need some guidance in your techniques then take an art course, check out books about art, or watch tutorials online; whatever helps you feel confident, whatever helps to motivate and support you in actually making your art, is a good thing!

To be the artist you want to be, MAKE ART

… and make it the way you want to, no matter what anybody says!

Bonnie Rose currently has a summer sale on! You can buy her work here;

I hope you enjoy this month's artist interview!

Stay tuned for next month when we'll be interviewing the wonderful Rhomany from Rhomany's Realm and learn more about Rosie & her adorable cat Marmalade! :-)



Tuesday 20 July 2010

oh this life. :-)

Well hello little bloggy o' mine! I've been oh so neglecting you and I feel sad about that. I miss just spewing my inner outers into the world of da interwebs. But hey, such be life, yes yes.

When you decide to have a baby, you don't really realise that it means that basically, in addition to all the love, you also take on another full time job. You sort of think; "oooh squee, cuteness love and beauty", but you don't see it taking up as much time (in your mind's eye) as it, eventually, does. Unless, of course, you send your babe to a nursery, which my heart can't take, so that ain't happening here! (no judgement of those who do btw).

Instead, we manage with a child minder who comes for 10 hours a week and me and Andy both working part time and the other time we look after this gorgeous little cherub of a child of ours, dylbeebaloo.

Lookit, he's 11 months old now, is crawling, cruising (walking along the furniture), growing teethies, and has just today learned to wave 'bye bye' although I don't think he understands it means waving 'bye bye'. He is nearly 1 year old, I can't quite believe it!! And he absolutely LOVES bouncing up and down and going on the swings, see;

dylbee on the swing

dylbee on the swing, lovin' it!

We are organising a big party for his first bday, of course, he won't have a clue, but I keep saying; any excuse for cake, nibbles and a barbecue in the garden right? :-) My parents are coming over too, so it should be fun.

I made this bday invite for him:

Other than that, my art course World of Whimsy 2 has just started and I'm already feeling so moved and excited by what is happening with the guys on the course. Running these courses is always really fulfilling and satisfying for me, though a load of work also, but lots of fun and joy too! I'm giving away three places on the course as well, and I must say that some of the comments people have been leaving on the give away thread are just so moving and some are so sad. Like some people are saying how depressed they are and that they think the course would do them good! It breaks my heart in many ways, I wish I could give a spot to everyone on the course, and if I were a millionaire, I would!

I've had such amazing positive feedback on my latest youtube video: "There is Nothing Wrong with You" - again; I'm totally humbled and moved by everyone's responses. So many of us seem to go through similar things when it comes to our self acceptance.

I made this video on the new Mac with iMovie, I really love it. This Mac is rather awesome and it's doing exactly what I hoped it would do for me. And as much as I worried it was going to be hard to get used to all the different functions; it's really not that bad. Got used to it quite quickly. Very, no, SUPER, happy I invested in this Mac.

If you haven't seen my latest youtube vid yet, here it is!

and here are some images of the art journal entry;

There is nothing wrong with you - art journal July

There is nothing wrong with you - art journal July

There is nothing wrong with you - art journal July

Oh guess what? This morning I received this stunning bunch of flowers! I was totally surprised when the guy came to the door with the flowers, and didn't understand who had sent them and why? And then it dawned on me! It's the 20th of July - Andy and I got married (legally) one year ago. LOL!!!

See, we've always felt like we've been married for 5 years anyway, last year we married for basic legal reasons (we only had 2 witnesses there, no fuss, no wedding dress etc) and so the date 20th July doesn't mean much to me, lol. Anyhoo, Andy had remembered and sent me those flowers, so so sweet! :))

So, we are [legally] married for 1 year today! (We've 'unlegally' been married for the past 5.5 years though, ha ha!).

It's just quite funny to me that I don't remember my wedding anniversary (the legal one, I'd never forget the other date - 16th Feb, to me, that's our 'real' date). :)

Anyhoo, so, life is going by, it's beautiful, difficult, stinky, filled with daisies, baby dribbles, sunshine, stardust, love, understanding, avocados, paint messes, pictures, car trips, blue skies, swings, yellow stripy things, laughter, giggles, dances, chases on hands and knees, dylan giggles, art, connection, students, pretty things that go boo in the night, songs, apple juice and rhubarb cake, friends, fun and gratitude.

I am grateful. As hard as some of this stuff is, this life, I am utterly, irrevocably grateful to have this opportunity to be, to live, to love, to give, to receive.

Sometimes I want more, sometimes I feel I have so much that my heart is about to burst with it all, sometimes I'm stagnant, sometimes I'm able to just be ok with what is. Sometimes I struggle, sometimes I feel enlightened by a kind comment or gesture, sometimes I want to cry, sometimes I can't contain my inner joy.


Love to you, if you are reading this.


dylan &amp; daddy

Thursday 8 July 2010

World of Whimsy 2 - Open for Registration!

World of Whimsy 2
Now open for registration!

World of Whimsy 2 Online Art Workshop

Learn how to create your own whimsical mixed media art and get in touch with your own inner awesomeness on the way! :0)

How to sign up and what happens:

1. Pay your course fee (£57) by clicking on the 'buy now' button - but make sure to write in the email address you want to sign up with on ning (or have already signed up with):

Please enter your ning email:

Or by sending £57 to my paypal account: tamara[dot]laporte[at]gmail[dot]com, making sure to let me know in the comment section which email you'd like to sign up with!

Pls note: if you don't have a paypal account but you do have standard credit cards like mastercard/ visa card/ swift etc, you can still pay via paypal as a guest, you too should click on the 'buy now' button.

If you don't want/ can't pay via paypal and don't have any major creditcards, pls private msg me so we can work something out!

2. I will send you 2 emails, one is an invitation to the workshop, the second is an email with a link to a welcome pack pdf.

3. You need to accept my invitation to the group (follow the links in the email).

4. Voila! You are a member a member of the group and will now have access to all materials!

If things are confusing and you can't figure things out, pls email me on tam[at]willowing[dot]org. Or check out the FAQ page over here: FAQ.

Course Info

World of Whimsy 2

This course is essentially a repeat of World of Whimsy 1 but with extra materials thrown in! This means that those who have done WOW 1 and/or bought the WOW 1 DVD can also join in at a reduced price (more info on this can be found in your respective WOW 1 ning groups).

The course will run for 6 weeks, it will start on 19th July and you will get full length videos & at least 2 PDF files per week! There is at least 8 hours worth of video lesson materials and numerous educational/ instructional PDFs. The extra materials on this course will cover at least another 2 hours worth of videos.

Course skill level: beginner & intermediate
Course fee: £57 (equivalent to approx $85)

Art Outline
week 1 - 19th July 2010: Composition, layout, & drawing your main elements.
week 2 - 26th July 2010: Shading and filling in your main elements.
week 3 - 2nd August 2010: Background & layering.
week 4 - 9th August 2010: Embellishments, detail & borders (frames).
week 5 - 16th August 2010: Adding a message/ story to your art.
week 6 - 23rd August 2010: Developing whimsical animal characters & extra background techniques.

Videos can be downloaded throughout the 6 weeks, Don't worry if you're not available on Monday’s; all videos remain online for the duration of the course. Your PDFs will contain both technical guidance and will look into positive healing and self acceptance practises based on the teachings of Marshall Rosenberg (nonviolent communication, looking at feelings and needs), Eckhart Tolle (the power of now) and Byron Katie (the work).

Self-Acceptance/ Healing Outline - PDFs
week 1 - 19th July 2010: “There Is No Such Thing As Failure” & “The Art of Acceptance”
week 2 - 26th July 2010: “Dancing with Monsters”
week 3 - 2nd August 2010: “Being Here Now/ Feelings & Needs”
week 4 - 9th August 2010: “Who Would You Be Without Your Story?”
week 5 - 16th August 2010: “Being Incredibly Awesome”
week 6 - 23rd August 2010: “When you jump, the net will appear.”

For more detailed information on the course, pls download this course outline, it also lists all the materials you'll need.
Please enter your ning email:


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