The truer we become with our desires the more we attain them..


(An excerpt from Jesse’s website): 

The following is an overview of my concepts and techniques on painting
Things to think about and remember..
This entire process is based on working in reverse, and out of time with our thoughts. This method forces us to learn to see. Meaning we see what is, rather than the idea of it. It’s easy to get caught up with the ideas in ones head. We aim to learn that a plan is just a starting point at best, and it’s always ok to change our direction. A rigid plan can confuse us with let downs and expectations. Just because things aren’t going as planned doesn’t mean they are going poorly. I’ve found in my past that sometimes even when things are working out better, it’s easy to still be confused and frustrated based on the idea that things are not going as planned. Best to not look at the plan, but rather what’s happening so we don’t miss anything..


This class is not about painting a specific thing or outcome. It’s more about how we create that is important. the techniques can be applied to any style of creation as well as living life.. by watching what happens we can see what is happening above expectations and thus make clearer decisions about the future.. changing direction rather than following a preconceived idea we came up with before any of the steps had taken place..
I like changing my mind. Especially when I don’t like my first choice.. if somethings not working out it can often be far more productive to drop it and start over then forcing broken pieces together..
Once we realize this, our ability to learn becomes less painful and limitless. When mistakes are just encounters to be corrected, learned from, or left as the perfect accident, we learn not to fight or fear our actions. I like to use approaches that shouldn’t work. This takes away our desire to expect immediate results. We expect less and get more. This brings us back to learning to see rather than expecting to see. This is crucial to opening us to new experiences, and in turn rewards us with unexpected results in the process. This will in time break down our ideas and fears of the unknown, allowing us to encounter new things with greater ease and less fear..

The truer we become with our desires the more we attain them.. finding what you want in yourself can be the hardest part. After this it’s basically not giving up and pushing forward.. if we move in this manner we eventually get where we want to go. Frustration distracts us and pushes us back. Fun and excitement move us forward.. this is why I look for techniques and approaches that are stress free, physically and mentally fun.. constantly learning to try something new, look, see, wait, and then decide with a fresh eye what you really see.. it’s amazing what a fresh look can show you.
Within this process it is the questions you ask yourself that are most meaningful. Let these guide your creativity and help you find what you’re looking for. Learning to know your steps when you see them. Changing your mind and direction when needed.. make choices patiently, deciding what exactly is not working and what is, then move forward by eliminating what doesn’t work with a new choice.. continue in the this manner and your work will inevitably move forward and work itself out organically and naturally. Overtime you will develop a style and techniques that are meaningful and very much your own.

By searching out meaningful directions and imagery you will maintain excitement and reward in your creations. It is meaning that creates the feeling of accomplishment.. we accomplish things that mean little to us every day and we don’t recognize or care to remember them. It is the interaction with meaningful outcomes we remember. when we include this level of meaning and importance in our work, it becomes very powerful. We gain confidence in our work, as well as ourselves and even learn to see ourselves more clearly.
Learning by mistake is easier.
Using the wrong brush, hand utensil, etc is always a good idea. It insures low expectation – the reward of getting more than expected is very motivating. This will also force us to learn to look clearly and stop us from expecting to see something else. It’s easy to overlook things when we have expectations. Using awkward utensils develops technique by default. Color inconsistency using small brushes for large areas creates diversity of color without even trying an organic active field is created effortlessly while blocking out we create depth and variation. In the opposite direction using a large brush for a small area forces us to be very focused. In time it breaks us from thinking everything needs to be so exact. It forces our details to come out loose no matter how tight we make them. After reviewing enough work created in this way it will be easy to see and understand that it’s not so important or productive to be tense and exact when seeking to achieve something that is loose, fluid. More emotional than precise. Once you get over not doing what you expect you will see very free renderings of your intentions.. CFE-Retreat-POST-CARD-low
Mixing color. mixing color.. mixing color. You don’t end up with variation of color without mixing. The quickest way to engage in this is on surface mixing. Dipping between two or three colors, mixing each time you go to get more paint, is a good idea. the colors will be similar, yet vary, keeping things from looking flat or drab. It’s not necessarily a lot of extremely different colors that make things brilliant, it’s a few with a lot of subtly. To create distinct separation, use of opposites is always good.. For me it all breaks into hot against cold. red, yellow, orange, pink, against blue, or green.

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JOIN Jesse for a fabulous 2-day workshop this OCTOBER in the lovely seaside resort area of White Rock, B.C.!

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Piecing together bits of paper to tell the story of Rachael Ashe

We asked our Fall 2013 Art Retreat Instructor, Rachael, a few questions about herself and would love to share them with you now.Rachael-Ashe--headshot

  • Which Artist inspires you the most & why?:  Two artists I am currently inspired by are Elsa Mora and Cal Lane. Elsa Mora because she works in many different mediums and seems to live a very creative life. I really admire her paper cut work because she has a very unique style of working. Cal Lane is an artist working with reclaimed industrial steel to create large-scale installations of cut metal in an illustrative style. It’s as if she’s translate paper cutting into metal.

  • What would you love to try next, creatively?:  At the moment I am trying to teach myself more about paper folding and creating three-dimensional forms from paper. I’m hoping to create more sculptural pieces with my paper cutting work.Rachael-Ashe--owl

  • Where do you find your muse/inspiration?:I’ve learned I can find inspiration pretty much anywhere. From walking in the woods, to playing with materials in the studio, to having a conversation with another artist and exchanging ideas.

  • I like to teach because:I enjoy sharing what I do with others because it allows me to learn from my students in return. I’m curious to see what someone else will do with the techniques I share, and often I do learn something new.

  • The best part of living a creative life is:I live a happier and more satisfying life because I am tapped into my creativity on a regular basis. The best part is that I’m getting to do something I feel passionate about.

  • What is the worst part of living a creative life?:There never seems to be enough time to do all of the projects I think up. I always feel like I am behind or that I’m not doing enough.Rachael-Ashe--book

  • What advice would you like to share?:  The two most important things you need to lead a creative life are time and money. An artist/creative person can never have enough time to devote to their art, and that includes time to experiment and explore new ideas. The money part probably goes without saying.

  • ‘Being creative’ means :  I’m not actually sure how to define creativity. I believe everyone is creative in some way, and creativity can take many different forms.

  • What was your scariest creative adventure?: My scariest creative adventure is the one I’m on right now. I’m working full time as an artist and trying to turn this into a permanent gig. It’s very scary to do this at times because I don’t have a steady income right now. I would not be able to do this without the generous support of my partner, Boris.Rachael-Ashe--alteredbooks-

  • What makes your heart swell with joy?:  My heart swells with joy when I walk around Vancouver is spring time and see all these beautiful flowering trees around the city. It’s such an incredible, magical sight.

  • Three words to describe my work are:  Meditative, intriguing, intricate.

  • What creative tool can you not live without (so-to-speak)?:  With my altered book work I could not live without access to old books. With my paper cut work I could not live without my art knife with a sharp blade and a simple piece of paper. The tools and materials I work with are pretty simple and I could not do my work at all without them.

  • My favorite ‘pretend’ curse word is :  I only use the real curse words unfortunately. 🙂

To see more of Rachael’s work:

  1. SIGN UP for her class at our retreat ~ CLICK HERE to register (printable pdf file)
  2. VISIT her webiste ~
  3. WATCH her video on OPUS‘ ,one of our sponsors, website!
  4. LIKE her on Facebook
Rachael's profile photo from facebook.
Rachael’s profile photo from facebook.