Monday, 24 October 2016

Creative Sprint III

These are the creations from my third week of Creative Sprint.

Day 16: Invent a new word and illustrate or demonstrate its meaning.

I invented a new word by combining three Old English words: 


Essentially ‘sleep–mind–writing’; from Old English slēp – sleep, gemynd – mind (in the sense of memory, thought), and wrītan – writing (in the sense of scoring/forming letters by carving/writing).

I created this word because it came to my attention recently that some of my best creative thinking is done in the middle of the night, when I am woken by an idea, and can’t help but begin to ‘write’ in my head. In a state of half-sleep I begin to compose a story, coming up with situations, lines of dialogue, characters and events, generally emerging out of brainstorming I had been working on during the day; and though I would usually prefer to be asleep, I know that this kind of sleep–mind–writing is really fruitful. Often the next day I will write down my ideas, and suddenly I will have a finished story. 

I am aware that it is a very awkward word (and I don’t even know how to pronounce it!), but it gave me the opportunity to produce an interesting artwork, and that is the part that matters.

Slēpgemyndwrītan, acrylic paint, watercolours and pen on card 

Day 17: Green is the colour of so many different things. Use it as your inspiration today.

I cheated a little and shared my painting The Pear Tree, which I completed a couple of months ago, because it so clearly fulfils the aim of this prompt, and it is a work I am very proud of. You can purchase cards, prints and so forth of this image from my RedBubble shop.

The Pear Tree, watercolours and gold and copper gouache on watercolour paper (June–August 2016)
Day 18: Take a walk outdoors and create something using exclusively the materials you find along the way.

I didn’t go for a walk, but just used a few things I found in the garden to make this fellow. In May Gibbs’ stories, such as Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, an Australian children’s classic, the banksia men are quite scary and mean, but I think my little man looks quite dapper on his perch in the banksia tree.

Banksia Man

Day 19: Invent a game for two or more people to play. Bonus: Get someone to play it with you!

It seemed that the only way for me to respond to this prompt was to do so intuitively, based more on what I wanted to draw than on the ‘playability’ of the game. So I invented a metaphysical game: Snakes & Labyrinths. It starts much like Snakes & Ladders, only there are no ladders, just snakes. When you land on a snake you are swallowed and slide down into the snake’s belly, entering an underground labyrinth. The aim is to find your way to the centre of the labyrinth, and attain ‘enlightenment’ (or ‘endarkenment’, as the case may be). Only then will you be able to return up one of the initially absent ladders. I doubt that anyone would want to play it with me, unless they were prepared to spend an awful long time lost in the underworld. 

Snakes & Labyrinths, felt tip pen on paper

Day 20: Create using only materials you can find in a kitchen.

I sat in the kitchen with a cup of maté tea and thought about this one for a while. I knew I had to make something. This was the best I could come up with.

Fragrant Mandala

Day 21: Take something boring and make it really fancy.

Why use a boring old pencil when you can use a PenQuill!


Day 22: Do something backwards, upside down or inside out.

An upside down tree, where the moon above is below and the sun below is above.

Moon Above, Sun Below, water-soluble oils on oil colour paper


  1. It is wonderful, that you remember, what your inner self composed, during the night. Wonderful, that you have this recall.

    Late Autumn blessings,
    Luna Crone

    1. It doesn't happen very often, and sometimes it is very annoying. I remember having many disturbed nights composing the beginning of essays for uni in my head, when I would have been better off sleeping. But it is a kind of inspiration that has its uses, and when it comes, I am grateful. A story came! That's a kind of magic. x

  2. I found your blog recently through Claire and I just wanted to say how inspired I am by everything you do. You are so creative and what an imagination you have. You are truly an inspiration!

    (I had never heard of the books with the Banksia men, or the banksia tree for that matter, but the books seem so fun, the eucalyptus nut babies and everything, I love it.)

    1. Welcome, Hilja. I'm so glad you have found my blog (thanks to the lovely Claire). And thank you for your kind words. It's heartening to hear that you are inspired by what I have been doing, and you have cheered me today (I am not very well at present, so your words have helped me to feel a little better).

      I'm not surprised you hadn't heard of the Banksia men—I think the gumnut babies are only really known in Australia. They are adorable little characters, and some of May Gibbs' illustrations are very funny. And banksia trees are very characterful trees.

      Thank you for commenting. x


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...