Wednesday 27 June 2012

Summer Girls - Now Open for Registration! :) Yay!

Hello beautiful people. Wow, I put much more into this mini workshop than I thought I would! Ha ha. I was all: ok this is a mini workshop, so it'll be shorter than my usually courses etc, but I still spent ages on perfecting the videos and PDF (which is 17 pages long, WOW). I suppose you can't beat down the perfectionist inside hey?! :)

Anyhoosies. The mini art workshop 'Summer Girls' is now open for registration! Come and join will you? It's very affordable! You'll learn how I create one of my 'summery kind-faced girl paintings' in about 2.5 hours worth of video with an in depth supporting PDF (17 pages long). All videos are downloadable and you'll have access to the group forever and ever and ever. I'm SO excited to be sharing this with you as these paintings have brought me so much joy and summery warmth!

Here is some more info for you:
Learn to create a beautiful kind-faced girl on a summery warm, textured and layered background with Tam from Willowing Arts! In this 2.5 hour workshop I cover how to build a body onto basic shapes, facial proportions, layering and creating texture for your background.

All videos are downloadable and yours to keep forever! The group will never close so you have all the time in the world to do your lesson. The lessons are suitable for beginners and intermediates alike and you can share your work in a private group on my ning site.
I've been wanting to do a series of mini workshops for a while to make it more affordable for people who cannot afford the longer courses, so this one is an affordable one at £14.99! (approx $23 USD depending on the exchange rate of the day).

Yes! I want to sign up now!
£14.99 GBP
(approx $23 USD)

Which email do you use on ning

Here are some more images of the type of work you'll be working on. 

Learn to create gorgeous textures and layers:


Learn to create a kind-faced, full-bodied pretty girl:

Yes! I want to sign up now!
£14.99 GBP
(approx $23 USD)

Which email do you use on ning

I hope to see you on the course darling! :)

Friday 15 June 2012

Life Book and how it changes people's lives

When I conceived the idea of Life Book I knew it would be amazing, life altering, transforming and super good fun. And when I receive messages from Life Book members who confirm this, it's brilliant and heartwarming and makes me want to do handstands and rolliepollies! :D
Here is one such message from Steven (shared with permission):
Hi Tam,
I just wanted to say how much Life Book has transformed my daily life. I originally joined with the intention of 'observing from afar' the techniques and lessons and the fact that there were so many teachers involved really appealed to me - I was interested in moving my style along from a stuffy traditional water colorist more down the mixed media route. I had no intention of posting my work, commenting and generally getting involved.
How wrong could I be !!!
I have a long day at work, but all new comments come through to my phone - I can't wait for it to beep!
I am completely enthralled by the work people produce, and I am excited daily to turn on my lap top and see the new lessons and goodies people have posted.
There are people like Peaceful and Glycerine, Hartelief and Lea who not only make me laugh with some of their humorous comments, they are all so kind and supportive and give you such a boost sometimes when you need it. Although I have not met any of these people, spread far and wide across the world, I feel I have grown to know them through their comments and work and that makes me happy.
My art and ability is definitely improving daily because of my involvement with Life Book.
Really what I want to say is thank you, thank you, thankyou - for the GIFT you have given us here, and it must take all of your energy to put something like this together particularly having to cope with the day to day battles of running around after a young family - I do not know how you do it.
I really appreciate all your work, and I am already saving up to pay for (hopefully) something similar next year perhaps ?!! - I would simply be lost without Life Book and the lovely people who are its Life Blood.
Sorry to ramble, but I just thought if you ever wonder sometimes ' is it worth all the hassle?' there are hundreds of people who I am sure would say to you yes ,yes it sooooo is!
Thanks Tam,
Steve :-)
These sort of message make me SO SO happy. It feels awesome to be a catalyst for people's creative and personal development & growth. It's SO wonderful for me to know that people find community on my site and that they look forward to the lessons or the comments and the connections established with arty friends all over the globe.

This is exactly how I hoped it would be. Thank you Steve and thank you to all the Life Book Teachers and all the Life Book members that have made this such an incredible experience.

And psssst, preparations for Life Book 2013 are most definitely on the way! :D

Thursday 14 June 2012

New Mini Art Workshop: Summer Girls

I'm very excited to announce that I'm currently preparing a new Mini Art Workshop which will be available to join in the next 2 weeks or so! :) Lately, these 'summery' girls with kind faces have been 'coming to me' and I had quite a few people asking me if I did lessons on them and so I thought: why not?! :) Let me do one! So, here are some still shots of the lesson. I'll teach you exactly how to make a girl like this and we'll create a beautifully textured and layered mixed media background. :)

It'll be fun and affordable as it won't be a 6 week sort of thing, more like a 3 hour or so workshop where you can follow me create this painting from start to end. :) Yay! Will announce when it goes up for sale soon. x

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Parenting Madness, Chia Seeds and Braiding

Trust, love, bloom. <3 

Ok, I started 2 blog posts already and have deleted both as they didn't feel right. This time I won't delete. No, I won't (ha ha, you can't check, can ya?). Aren't you a lucky reader? ;)
Here is what's been up in da land of Tam.

Things have been tough the past 4 weeks. With the babies, with my heart and my soul. I'm feeling really scattered with my energy. Obviously this is no surprise with the sleep deprivation, but it's also more than that, not just sleep stuff. There is just a general sort of withering and waning going on in my head (also: a purplish kind of fog) and I can't quite point my finger on the exact why. Not necessary of course. Expressing often helps, so in addition to 'arting it out', I'm deliberately writing this so that maybe I can clear some of them chakras and move forward a bit. Externalise baby, externalise.

Oh, I bought chia seeds to mix in with my juices. The crazy thing is that chia seeds aren't big here in the UK (can only find them in health food stores) and so they are ridiculously expensive. Apparently, though, they are a mega superfood promising magical powers and a healthy heart, so I bought me a bag and I'll let you know if I do indeed one morning wake up as cat woman or gandalf. :)
Mh, I just jumped from chakras to chia seeds to gandalf. Where shall I jump next? Back to the babies.
So, babies, yes, they are kinda not fun at the moment. Although this weekend was an improvement, the last 4 weeks of having children can be described as: 90% 'I want to kill myself disaster zone 101' and 10% 'a little bit fun with an edge of 'who's going to have a meltdown next' vibe'.

I really think human beings need to be better prepared for and informed about the perils of parenthood BEFORE they embark upon the sentimental journey of actually having children - it's not all it's chalked up to be. To quote the Dutch comedian Brigitte Kaandorp; 'Ik raad het niet aan' (translates to: 'I don't recommend it'). There is just much less romance and a lot more hysteria than I had ever expected or prepared myself mentally for. Also; the tired.omg.

At the moment a lot of this parenting gig involves jumping from Epic Greek Drama to Nuclear Meltdown to Gigantic Disaster Mess to Toddler Explosion to Never Able to Spend a Minute Alone to Will I Ever Be Able to Have a Conversation with my Husband Ever Again to WHY WILL NO ONE LET ME PEE IN PEACE type of ambiances. An example: Last night I tried to have a pee at 4am which I think took me less than 15 seconds and by the time I was back in bed, Elliot was near catatonic with hysterics. That took less than 15 seconds people. Less than 15 seconds.
It's neurosis inducing.

Additionally, both Andy and I are finding that before kids, there were life circumstances that you had successfully navigated yourself out of (with a lot of acrobatics - perhaps having taken years to achieve), and now with kids, they are dragging you (by the hair) back into those situations without you wanting to or having any control over it! They're slowly and meticulously breaking down all your useful and effective safety strategies in life. Had not expected that one either.

Right now, I feel that anyone wanting to embark upon the parenting journey should get a clear, loud, cut-to-the-chase-no-bullshit warning of this kind:

Attention parents to be - before you have children please understand the following:
"When you have children, your life in general, will be royally screwed left right and center while simultaneously learning a few zen lessons on the way interspersed with small intervals of delirious unconditional love and joy. Your mileage may vary."
I think that is about as honest and true as it can get.
Anywhoozies. I shan't go on with the rant, because granted, earlier, Andy told me to 'look out of the window' and I saw a little Dylan with one of my baseball caps on his ridiculously pretty head and a red raincoat jumping into a 'muddy puddle' (which he keeps wanting to jump into, the 'muddy' bit being crucial - thanks peppa pig) and my heart skipped a beat (oh how devious and deceptive the romance) but I will say that the balance is sort of off at the moment.

There is much more emotionally draining face-melting drama than lighthearted muddy heart-beat-skipping fun and I'm grumpy about that. And guess what? I'm allowed to be grumpy. Even if -comparatively- I live a rich, luxurious, awesome, filled with love, moonbeam rainbow unicorns, sparkling, art-filled creative sort of life. I am grateful but I'm also grumpy. (If you're wondering why I feel I have to justify my grumpiness; it's the voices in my head - they tell me that I'm not allowed to complain).

So that is the status quo of a mum of one almost 3 year old and one almost 7 month old who is sleep-deprived and is also trying to run a full on business. This she does, however, with childcare support and a superstar husband but It's STILL hard and crazy-making. And I personally don't think I'm whinging or whining. I'm generally a pretty tough person. I've taken my fair share of bullshit in life and swallowed it with a smile, so I'm not one to complain easily. I usually just get on with stuff, but this parenting gig: it is mega tough. Not so much in a physical, practical sort of way, but much more in a 'breaking you down psychologically' sort of way.

It makes you doubt yourself and question your life values. It challenge your boundaries, it shakes up your sanity and foundations. It makes you fall over and over, it makes you have to start again from the beginning, again and again. You worry, you worry, you worry. What you thought you knew turns out you didn't know. What you didn't know turns out you really didn't know! You're vulnerable and shaky, confused and tired all over again.

There is no greater and harder thing than to be a parent. And to those of you who 'been there and done that': I bow down to you. For serious.

And of course I know it gets better and of course there are the delirious moments of unconditional love, joy and fun. And of course I worship the ground these two kids toddle and crawl on and of course I will love them forever and ever. And of course Dylan's eyes are the most amazing colour I've ever seen and Elliot's smile reduces me to a blubbering puddle of mushy love. Of course.

Okay, I know this post is already too long, but I don't usually have a lot of time to write posts, so I'll leave you with some other, random things about my life that are a bit less hysteria and drama. ;)

1. New art - I'm currently preparing a mini art lesson/ workshop on how to create this painting (kind-faced girls keep coming to me, like guardian angels :)) :

Working on a mini workshop on how to make a painting like this :)

It will be affordable (like £11.99) and super fun! :) More on this soon.

2. I'm really into trying out different braids lately, they're so pretty!

Another attempt at fishtail braid. This time with wet hair. :) Obsessed with braiding. ;) Trying to do pretty braid stuff with my hair. :) Attempted a French side braid today :)

3. Juicing continues to rock my life.

Tonight's juicing ingredients; apples, ginger, parsley, kiwis, lemon and cabbage! Yes you read that right cabbage! It was a first and very tasty. Though you don't taste the cabbage much :)

4. I made this pretty digital art print for you to print out and hang up and have a little dance with! :)

Just right-click on this link: and choose 'save target or link as' for the high resolution version. :)

5. Another quick piece of art in progress:


6. I'm loving instagram. I'm 'willowing' there if you want to follow me! :)

7. I'm currently running a 10% discount on my art courses! Use the discount code: MOONBEAM77 upon check out and you'll get 10& off! Yay! :) Go here:

Moonbeams, that's it for me for now.

Stay groovy, I'm gonna try to keep at this parenting gig as best I can! ;)

Friday 1 June 2012

Is that so?

This zen heart less random. :)

Yesterday was a day of learning zen lessons. This zen story really helped me be ok yesterday after some really tough stuff:
Is That So? The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life. A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child. This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin. In great anger the parents went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say. After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed. A year later the girl's mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth - that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket. The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again. Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: "Is that so?"
To me this story speaks of acceptance of 'what is' and letting others be and do their thing even if that includes judging you or being angry with you for whatever reason. To see that the anger/ judgement is their stuff, their pain, not yours. It helped me tremendously to let go of an issue I'm currently going through.
So the month of may has not been easy, not for many people. I've read/ seen so many stories of conflict, confusion, depression, suffering and pain. :( I'm hoping June brings all of us a bit of a break. I finished my calendar for my Life Book lesson for May and you can see how up and down my month has been. I go from 'energised' on the one day to 'so down' to the other etc. I am very happy with how the calendar looks though, the colours are so lovely!

Here are some photos:

Life with the babies has been okay but hard. Sleep is hard to come by and when we're all together Dylan can cause quite a bit of drama. He can still be very shouty or easily upset. Of course, these are normal toddler behaviours, but that doesn't make it any easier on me and Andy, it can be so draining and really grinding you down. And yes yes; I know, this time goes by so fast and I 'should' enjoy it and I am/ I will and I KNOW I have a GOOD life, compared to so many people in the world, I would not undo it, BUT, it's still NOT easy and need to be able to have that acknowledged too. :) Thanks. Needed to let that out.

Work wise, I'm working on setting up my affiliate program, new mini lessons and of course, my Life Book lessons are always ongoing - I have 2 really fun lessons prepared for June. We'll be working with animal imagery in June. I've also been working on a few small(er) paintings which I hope to put up for sale soon. :)

Ta-ra beautiful people. Stay groovy.


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