Art Inspiration – Finding The Story Behind the Painting by Tracey Chevalier

Yesterday I watched a great Ted talk by Tracey Chevalier called Finding the Story Behind the Painting – the link to watch it is above :-

I have always visited art galleries and felt slightly like I’m not sure what I should be looking for.  Is it the composition, colours, the story or meaning behind the artwork? And with so many images to study I find myself skipping some paintings after 20 minutes or so and then feeling like a failure and that I mustn’t appreciate art or understand it like most of the people I see deep in thought and discussion.

When doing my own artwork I am often find a block or I’m not sure what I am trying to say through my work.

Then I watched this Ted Talk by Tracy Chevalier.  Tracy’s approach to viewing pieces of art and in particular how to read art when in galleries and museums is a break through for me.  Firstly Tracy advises to walk quite quickly around the gallery and pick out the pieces that call out to you. Then go back through the gallery back to those artworks and study them, why do they call out to you? what are they saying? what is the story?

Tracy goes onto share her favourite pieces of artwork, one in particular is the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer, 1665.  She doesn’t exactly know why she likes the image, but that there is something in the girls eyes that calls out to her.  So much so that Tracy creates a whole story around the girl, why is she looking like that, why she looking wistfully or is it sadness? The end result is a novel based on Tracy’s fictional story of the Girl with A Pearl Earring which was then made into a movie featuring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth 2003.

Immediately after watching the Ted Talk I watched this film.  I am now filled with a whole new perspective to viewing art and creating work.

I hope you find this post inspirational and if you haven’t watched Girl with a Pearl Earring I definitely suggest a watch.



Introducing my new HQ – A Unique Wood Cabin

2017-08-07 17.16.10.jpgIntroducing the new HQ of Time Consumed.  I have been fortunate enough to rent out this beautiful new cabin from where I can paint, draw and create to my hearts content.

It has a mezzanine at the top with a granite kitchen and hob with a soon to be fitted stove.  The window you see at the forefront is where I will have my desk and paints.  Also there is a fabulous view overlooking the lake and the mountains from where I can practice my oil painting.

As soon as I have moved in I will post more photos of the interior and my studio setup but for now I am busy getting my brushes, paint, linocutting tools, printer and laptop all cleaned and ready to move in.

Exciting times indeed.

Many thanks for reading – be back soon with those photos and my new life on the mountain in my teepee / tardas studio!


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Entrance of my Tardas studio!

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View from my working window

Setting Goals and how to achieve them?

How do you set goals and stick to them? With life being so busy with the tasks we must do everyday, do the commute, do the 9-5, cook dinner with weekends spent either having to do DIY, visiting friends and family (both of which I love) how do you set aside time to really focus and achieve the small steps to make your dreams come true?

Personally I find waking up an hour earlier to write my blog is achievable and I relish doing.  It feels like I am getting my ideas down and forming goals to create and complete.

However how do you actually find time to actually work on your ideas?  Put aside 5 hours to do a good piece of personal work? I have a list so long of artwork, ideas and projects to make that I can’t seem to carve of the time to do.

My blog quite funnily is called Time Consumed, and my time really is consumed but I need to put aside more time for personal work.

Do any of my readers have any hints or advice they can share?  In the meantime I will look for another blog or book that will shed some light and I will feed back my research.

Thanks so much for reading.




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I have a thing with windows.  Every house, building, warehouse, barge boat, whatever it may be, I firstly look and study the windows of the buildings.

In this post I am going to try and suggest some reasons why.

First reason.  Windows act as picture frames into peoples lives.  So perhaps the allure is that windows act as frames, framing the real life art of people living.  Of their crafted spaces, a peep into someones life, studio, workplace.  Its interesting also how windows and their sills are dressed up.  Vases of flowers, picture frames of loved ones, curtains and drapes, blinds and rollers.

Second reason.  The saying that eyes are the windows to souls.  Why do houses look almost like faces, do you ever notice that?  The same with cars and vehicles.  We seem to build and create buildings with characters, with a soul, with a certain look.  Buildings are different in say NYC to those in Paris.  Cottages in Wales are very different to minimal Scandinavian homes.  But one trend they all seem to have is a personality, a character, a face. Pretty and worn vs sharp and industrial, slick and modern vs coastal boathouse.

Third reason. Imagine a room with no window?  No-one likes a room with no window, we all need natural light to shine through.

I’m unsure to the exact reason why I love windows. This weekend I’l looking to buy some some new curtains to dress mine up – it feels like I am buying eye makeup for my house!