Iona, Scotland. Photo taken by Morag Noffke

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What holds your creativity back?

There are playful and fun elements to creativity but creativity needs to be worked at too. So let’s talk about the work first. We need to work towards the things that we want to do or desire in life; making effort and persevering is important. For example I have been going for guitar lessons to improve my skills as a guitar player and song writer. It is easy to lie in bed imagining the melodies and rhythms but it is quite another thing to go out there and get the hard earned skills. It takes lots of practice and strengthening exercises to play what you hear fluently. And the same is true about any other art form too.  Go out there and find different avenues for your creativity. Go for lessons and then practice. Practice. Practice. Go beyond what you thought you could push yourself. You need determination and persistence. You need time and patience.   

Often we are put off because we find we have a creative block. We experience creative blocks for various reasons. This we say hinders us in being truly creative. More often than not it is our fears that hold us back. Fears hide behind busyness, and so we blame our busy lives (which we have created or allowed). What are you afraid of? What is the little nagging voice saying to you as you begin your creative project or journey? Don’t listen to it: reach higher towards your dreams. What do you keep yourself busy with? Think about why you are doing the things you do when you desire more from life. We need to live our most real and best life for full enjoyment.  And to enjoy expressing ourselves creatively we need to give ourselves time and fresh inspiration; and tools and skills. Like anything that is worthwhile having we need to push through.  

Let’s begin to look at our creative potential. To do this you, firstly,  need an impartial judge that won’t be too harsh on your tentative beginnings. If you write you need to send the ‘editor’ out the room so that you can truly begin to play.  Ask yourself who makes you feel less than what you know you are or are capable of. We are all capable of having fun and experiencing joy so long as we don’t bring “Kill-Joy” along to our fun-endeavors.    

Do you believe that you can tap into your creativity? Maybe you don’t know how to tap into your unique creativity. Sometimes we keep parts of ourselves hidden and so we are unaware of the great things we can do.  Soon I will discuss how we can be guided in our creativity.

In the mean time think about what might be stopping your creativity,

A warm smile,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Change of name from "Artist’s Guild" to "Journal Extracts"

My intentions have changed in that this blog had originally included other artist-friends of mine. It didn’t really take off and since my brush with cancer I was not posting I had time to reflect upon what I really wanted to say through this blog. I feel that the name “Artist’s Guild” is incongruent with my intentions. And so I have changed the name to “Journal Extracts”.

Journal Extracts will be a blog that shares select extracts from my visual art and written journals. I write poetry, short stories, plays and contemplative self-reflective material and I express myself in many different art-forms. I plan to keep the same feel about the posts as I create a selection that illustrates the internal processes and the expression that emerges through the life long journey that I have taken. The content might not follow a chronological order but hopefully as I change you will all see how journaling tracks personal growth and change.

I encourage you to journal too, in any form or manner.

A warm smile,
Morag Noffke

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I am back to share my creative space...

I’m back…
After two years of juggling personal life issues, going through three operations and trying to retain my energy for getting well,  I finally feel ready to find new direction. I plan to share with you my thoughts, poems and art again. I have found that to live my best life it must be filled with energy. In order to have this I have created, what I call: open spaces and quiet time. 

For now I am sure you are wondering what has happened in the last two years… and yes, it could happen to you too.

Some of you will know that two years ago I discovered I had breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. You know how you can feel completely prepared for the future, knowing that you have no history of cancer and everything pointing to heart disease is taken care of with medication. Well I was in for a rude shock. The doctor was not sure what she was looking at so after five biopsies and waiting the whole weekend for an answer, I finally heard the news.   

What do you do while you are waiting you might ask. My advice is, firstly, get insurance cover even if you have a medical aid or hospital plan as soon as you can, before it is too late, before you discover you are ill; secondly while you are waiting, don’t go scaring yourself by surfing the internet but do educate yourself about the terminology which is used, where you will get the best care, what the different options you might have for helping your recovery; thirdly, try to be as open as you can to communicating to your close family and friends; and fourthly, surround yourself with people (family, friends and medical practitioners) whom you can trust to support you when you need it most.

Don’t panic!! You will find that everybody has their personal story which takes them on a journey and so will you. You might feel bewildered by the news and all the jargon, you might feel a sense of shame or failure or regret. But you did nothing wrong; what is important is to dig deep into your deepest recesses for courage, strength, faith and gratitude for what you still have. It is an opportunity to take stock of what you have, what you have done and what you can still give to others. To change, means one thing comes to an end while another thing begins.   
I was 'lucky'. My tumor was caught early. And so now after regaining my strength I plan to begin a new ‘chapter’ in my life which includes this creative space.

Keep watching.
A warm smile,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Face, layered in kind

Layered technique: using paint, collage, black ink, tissue serviettes and glitter. 

A Face, layered in kind: mixed media, by Morag Noffke, 18 04 2012.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Everyday Art: Mandala on a rainy day.

It rained most of the weekend. I love the rain. We went for a picnic to Scarborough Beach (in the Western Cape).

You are probably wondering how we have a picnic in the rain. Well when it rains constantly we just have our picnic in the car and watch the view. When the sun comes out even if it is for 15 mins we get out the car and go for a walk. It doesn't matter to us if we get wet; we will dry again.

This day was like that. I jumped out of the car with my camera and bags for collecting shells, drift wood and stones.... there were so many black mussel shells....

I just had to make a mandala. You might think I have mandalas on the brain and yes in a sense I do...I am preparing for an exhibition and I allow everything that comes into my 'focal point' to inspire me.    

Here is 'me' starting at the center...
First I drew the circle.

 Then I packed the shells...

Here the spiral begins...

These are just a few of the photos that my daughter took of my impromptu shell mandala. I had fun.

I encourage you too to go and have fun and take any opportunity to create from Nature's abundant storehouse of materials and inspiration.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Conceptual Journaling: Mandalas...the cycle in marriage.

Here is a series of mandalas which I did while considering the relationship I have within my marriage. 

Marriage has a life of it's own - adding a third dimension - almost like a third person within the relationship. The life it offers is undulating in nature with it's ups and downs, it's twists and turns. 'Man and Wife' have to be stronger than this dynamic in order to weather the storms and euphoria it brings. Victory in marriage is not about fighting on opposite sides and winning the battle; it is about resilience, courage, persistence, and boldness and at the same time love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, gentleness, and giving.

There is a time... when one feels the emotions... and the other sees the facts,

Emotions and Facts, Acrylics, 2011 by Morag Noffke.

There is a time to merge and become one, 

Boldly become one, Acrylics, 2011 by Morag Noffke.

standing in bold delight...

Letting go, Acrylics, 2011 by Morag Noffke.
 or in glowing gentlness ....

Standing alone, Acrylics, 2011 by Morag Noffke.

there is a time to individuate and become oneself....

.......And then the cycle begins again.

There is a time when one feels the emotions and the other sees the facts,
There is a time to merge and become one, 
standing in bold delight...
or in glowing gentlness ....

there is a time to individuate and become oneself....
.......And then the cycle begins again.

You can read more about my take on mandalas here at metamorphosis

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Fables, Parables and Poems: A comment on The fable of the Flower-girl.

A comment about my stories in general and also more specifically The Fable of the Flower-girl:
Somebody asked me the other day if I wrote this story or is it a story from the past? When I wrote   "But long ago, a long, long time ago, before people wrote, a flower-girl or boy was one who had an extra-ordinary relationship with flowers. They were connected to them and understood the meaning of them."   I was playing on the idea that although there was a time before our civilizations could read and write which could have believed in 'flower power' there is also a time for all of us when we can't read or write yet and we too had beliefs of our own that to adults might be quaint. (For some of us this does feel like a long, long time ago.)

That is why I wrote:   "Now this story could have evolved before you or I went to school or before our imaginations were lulled into a stupor by life’s busyness and all the seriousness of adulthood. This is a comment about the way we as adults don't have or make the time to be like a child again. Lastly when I say  "I am the ‘finder’ of this story and want to share it with you." I put it in ' ' as to try to show the 'as if' which is in keeping with the playfulness of telling stories in a childlike way.

All the stories and poems that I publish on my blogs will be my own writing unless I specify; for example:  the poem "Son of a Gun" by Padriac Fiacc 1924 published on my blog Metamorphosis.