Thursday, 10 September 2015

the art of matter special blend and exciting things....

There's a slight wintry, autumnal feeling in the air at the moment and yet London is so green. Sheets of rain and rapid downpours recently has seen a proliferation of green abundance. Watching the rolling hills on the ride to Brighton and visiting the rich grassy and local spots of nature here in this city is something I love. Always craving nature, greenery and wildlife these days.

This time of year brings news and projects. My talented daughter is bringing forth a project with other young artists as she finishes her final year of BA art studies and is organising/hosting a project at ArtLacuna - see video above that she made and the kickstarter campaign here: If inspired, feel free to support in anyway you feel ;) (They are doing well!) and it will be a fab and interesting show/event I'm sure, so come on down too.

I have been meeting up with some great curator/artists recently and feeling ready to explore new ideas for curation and art-making, intervention and activism - all words used at the panel discussion I attended at Middlesex Uni the other day. A group of inspired artists who also curate met from all walks of life including galleries, project spaces, art fairs, artist run spaces and we discussed ideas on the practice of curation, what it means, how diverse it can be, and where it can take place and in what form. I love mulling on these ideas.


- fields
- forests
- city phoneboxes
- libraries
- banks
- corridor spaces
- billboards
- loos
- window sills
- platforms
- colleges
- edges of the world
- ?

Where else could you visualise your art or some aspect of art intervention taking place?

This coming December I will be running a collaborative show/project in Westminster Reference Library #mimesis - watch this space


Saturday, 29 August 2015

A NYR experiment.... 10 people wanted!

Big changes round here this Summer. some tough, some good, some for the best. I am looking to build new elements to my future (wish I could say more!). What do you do when building new bridges and futures? What strategies to go about it?

As always, it's about the experiments. Trying something out. Endless trying because without 'doing' it's harder to know what really works and what doesn't:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” 

And yet:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 

And so it is, I am now officially a Neals Yard Remedies Consultant:

I'm passionate about their ethics and what their products have done for my skin and what they are committed to doing for the planet! If only more companies were like this :)

Having my first Summer without a sun rash was amazing (I have had it every year without fail since my twenties!!) and I want to learn more about this and what works for people.

Looking for 10 people!

I would love to find 10 people to embark on this journey with me. Those genuinely interested in seeking better, health & skin (way of life?) - who live locally enough to meet with me in London to discuss what is being tried is working. I figure this is a much more fun way to learn together. And you get to have someone to discuss goals and ideas with. If you can get to South London and want to meet with me - please get in touch (ameliacritchlow[at]hotmail[.]com) and we can discuss if this journey might work for you :) NB. if anyone who lives abroad is interested in doing this with me - maybe we can skype...... (see my PS below).

This is another creative journey alongside my art, and parenting. I love change and transformation and have had to change so much in my own health/lifestyle in the last few years indeedy (some shared in this blog) and hence my interest in it and what it can do.

In the mean time, please know that wherever you are in the world, you can order online and this weekend is free Postage & Packaging (actually this might only be for the UK only, please check):

I hope all is well (and healthy and creative!) where you are in the world.


PS there is a new mailing list (top left) for those who would like to know about future promotions, events and goodies from NYR Organic

PPS it is possible that some of this can be done virtually if there are people interested in doing this with me who are outside the UK (there is no fees btw to this idea - only products you buy of course!)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

As A Man Thinketh

a view from the sea on my trip to the French Riviera 

I would live in a world of faded grandeur, of vintage scenes. A setting between this life and that world. I am escaping in little bits from a past life in to a new life.

When leaves fade and leave skeleton skins, we can see through from this side to the other; a new life.

I like see-through, veiled worlds and existences. I dream of creating places that don't exist and then capturing them with the lens, or at least creating the scene within my minds eye.

This Summer has seen discomfort and exquisite pain as I shed skins from old to new. Right in the thick of it. Knowing intuitively it's right, but grappling with the unknown and the fear of my own thoughts about things.

If we are like pieces of clay then the form is changing right now. I like that it is possible, but find myself writhing in the processes. So many processes in life.

I am reading, reading. Still on and on. Like I will never stop at the moment:

Maybe like a spider I am weaving, weaving - continuously. Finding my place, but knowing deep down, a static place is never really found, we are part of an ongoing dance and journey in movement and expansion. always.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

conditioning ourselves for better results


The last few weeks have been about taking what I don't like, or find hard, and discovering 'new' ways to make things work.

I realise it's not always a new way, but quite possibly (actually, yes) an ongoing process of conditioning ourselves. A bit like re-progamming, and it's built one block at a time, but is most definitely an ongoing process. It does not happen over night and giving up is not an option!

Since asking for help with a life/social skills coach for my son I am glad to report that something (someone) very positive came back to me. Someone, ironically, I'd met through artistic circles and it turns out they are fully trained and teach ASD kids - the power of asking is one key strategy on the journey from getting to where we are to where we wish to be, for sure.

I've had a meeting and prospects and ideas seem exciting. With all the books I read, I keep returning to the same messages and ideas and teachings: everything is a reflection of our mind - but, and there's a but, there are things within that that can help us discover why the things that go through our minds lodge there and keep repeating. Okay yes, I've been listening to Anthony Robbins too ;) I need to know there are ways around, through, and over the obstacles that one faces in life otherwise it feels depressing (for me anyway). I can't change the fact that my son has ASD, but I can change responses and thoughts to it. I can teach him certain things and I can continue in my passion for discovering what makes human's work the way they do and apply some of that knowledge to change things for myself and those nearest and dearest to me creatively. Those I care about.

I have recently been reading Supercoach: 10 Secrets To Transform Anyone's Life by Michael Neill and he discusses three strategies that have been popular for the notion of getting what we want.

1. Acquisition based thinking

2. Attraction-based thinking

3. Creation-based thinking

The last really excites me because it's so very obviously tied in with my love of creativity and art. I'd love to share more, but really it's a whole book of interesting things.

Are we at a pivotal cross-roads in the development of the human psyche and what it's capable of? It's not just about getting or asking for, but creating.

It's an ongoing journey of discovery (or in spiritual terms: remembering). And another message that keeps rearing its head is the notion of giving being the way to getting (but not if you do it for that reason alone!)

I am coming out the other side of some stressful times and reading the books, applying what I've read and talking and learning which all help with these steep curves.

I found a secret moment to visit the Joseph Cornell show, Wanderlust at the Royal Academy - I loved it. I am going to do some more collages and build a structure in my life around this - maybe more to come on this idea ;) I love the section that talks about Cornell's commitment to Play & Experiment likening art and it's processes to being in a laboratory - let's go do that. A bit like 'life' again really; one big experiment to see what works given where we want to go.

The image is a piece of Jim Lambie's work at the RA too.

I hope you're having a good and creative time and finding ways through the rich tapestry of  this thing we call life.


Friday, 26 June 2015

keeping it up

Sometimes I wondered why some bloggers didn't post as often. In my early days I could blog all the time it felt. So much to say. Then there are times when a wall is hit and it's easy to feel like all has been said. And then there are personal times where so much is going on and it doesn't seem right or relevant to share - or maybe it's too painful.

I have been quiet because I care for a child with Asperger's Syndrome. It can be so shockingly hard at times. I guess I don't need to keep saying that, but there are periods when the all consuming entirety of it all leaves me with little or no time to do the other things that I'd like or want, or need to do.

I seek balm for my soul right now. We come to the end of the first year at Secondary School and whilst it started off well it seems that a life-long disability doesn't abate, it just changes. It feels so cruel at times and my heart feels like breaking at times and everything else in life just ebbs away in to insignificance.

I am still plotting and planning and reading my next book. I always have to have one to keep me going, reminding me about staying positive and how it's totally possible to chase and reach goals. In fact, on that note, I would like to ask if anyone has any ideas on where or how I might go about getting a social skills coach for my son? I would like to find a good expert who can work with us to coach my son through the tricky terrain of human social relations. Ideas most welcomed :)

I haven't disappeared but yes, I have been rather consumed by AS.


Monday, 15 June 2015

so where do we go next & how do we get there?

Image of works from two art workshops I ran last week with fellow artist Suzanne de Emmony

Dear Friends,

How are you? What is going on in your life at the moment?

I am spending some time thinking through, reading and researching how to progress on to the next 'stage' of things here in my little ole world.

I find I'm a person who loves change, innovation, creativity (of course!), problem solving and finding solutions. A people's person who loves engaging, learning and forging ahead with others.

What kind of person are you, and how long has it taken you to work out, or are you still working it out?

In my working life I've been in many roles from undertaking promotions - yes, this involved such as wearing boiler suits and running around football stadiums handing out freebies, I've run kitchen table businesses doing up furniture and making hand-made cards. I've sold second hand goods, trained myself and others in business start-up, spent 9 years writing CV's for those with 'barriers' to employment, I've undertaken research and administrative work in Art Departments and Training Centres, as well as participated in many art & craft fairs. I've qualified as a community workshop leader in the arts and run art-workshops in museum's, galleries, and universities I've raised children who have special needs and still run/juggle a crazy household - and I've managed to study, make art-work and exhibit. I've set up a blog and launched an e-course business as well set up and run a physical studios/gallery space in London.

And on average I read a book a week in my areas of interest - work, creativity, art, business, personal growth etc. What I learn from books/reading (this can of course include blogs and internet reading) is phenomenal. A wealth of information just waiting to be put in to action.

I have learnt SO much and still I am driven to move on to the next part of the (define-it-yourself) journey. And maybe this is the key: starting somewhere and daring to do, as learning out 'in the field' is the most exquisite learning experience - nothing quite like it in fact, as theory is often only ever that; theoretical and in one's head.

So, lately, I've been thinking about what I like, what I miss and where I'd like to go with all these skills next, whilst juggling the demands of parenting and running a household.

I enjoy sharing what I've learnt, supporting and mentoring others, engaging with others, seeing positive change and tangible results, I like reaching targets and fulfilling goals/dreams (my own and others) - it's such a rewarding feeling.

I am imagining some face to face work; some workshops, some sharing that encompasses the essence of what I set out to do with this blog: dare-to-do, learn, try, experiment (of course!) and discover. Evolve, set my own definition of work, business, play and quite simply live my passion/s. I've done that, I'm doing that and still I am learning about how to develop it. We never reach a stage of static fulfilment. And much of what I do is portfolio income. Different streams and strands that feed in to the whole, that allow me to work around a household and caring for children (and now elderly parents too).

I undertake techniques to combat overwhelm, exhaustion, burn out and frustration. I do the classics like eat well, exercise, be mindful, take supplements, monitor my thoughts - constant, constant, ongoing, never-ending work. I like holistic approaches, alternative techniques, complimentary medicine and creative belief structures I hope will serve not undermine - how easy is it to undermine ourselves with thoughts that don't serve? (super easy if you're in my world!).

When I am feeling philosophical then the work is exciting and part of an adventurous journey, yet at it's worst it can feel like a bus ride I simply want to get off of!

This is a pre-amble to some thoughts I'm having about a next stage that involves sharing practical tips with learnt experience (my own), and blending together all the skills, work experience and training I've ever had - all in a package I can share.

I have spent a while scheming up academy ideas, delivered the workbook series and as I look back over at these things and the areas of my life and desires that fire me up, I can see various strands that may well work blended together in a juicy mix for me to share with others - it is not immediate and this is where 'time' can be helpful (along with exercises, discussions, research and just general 'figuring out').

I like experimenting with art, creativity, business and lifestyle, at times they can seem so different to each, yet I can see links and the usefulness of their existence side by side. This is where my thoughts are travelling next. I'm undecided yet about what will occur. And minds and things change, but that is okay too.

This s-l-o-w time is useful for assimilation and for internal work to take place. The quiet internal work is just as important. I am teaching myself meditation at the moment :) That quiet 'free' space can be such a relief in my mind which is normally tumultuous and super active.

I will write more soon, but just to let you know this is where I am at currently. Re-assessing, re-defining, working on ideas and deciding on what form they will manifest. Re-exploring my values, my passions and the purposeful work I was born to do (and of course reading).

Here's to taking some time out too to decide where you would like to go next in your own journey.

I leave you with some tastey tid bits from Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite:

"When you look back there will be things you will regret. You made the wrong decision. Wrong. You made the right decision. Life is about decisions.

Whatever decision you make is the only one you could make. Otherwise you would make a different one.

Everything we do we choose. So what is there to regret? You are the person you choose to be." p. 31

"Ideas are a matter of taste.

What is a good idea to some is bad or boring to others.

A good idea is a clever solution to a problem, one that I have never seen before.

But if an idea is not taken up and used as a solution to a problem it has no value. It becomes a non-idea. Lying in a drawer it is useless. Worse than useless, it's a complete waste of space.

Ideas have to be applied before they are recognized as good ideas.

Even a bad idea executed is better than a good idea undone.

The longer it is used the better the idea is considered to be.

That is why the wheel is considered to be the best idea ever." p. 90

Take from it what you will!

I aim to be back here soon.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

the go-giver

It's sunny here in London, UK. So nice. Being s-l-o-w seems to be the word of the year for sure :) What word do you have for this year? Is it coming to fruition?

It's time to mull, plan, consider the next phase here. My new working desk (above) as I prepare to leave ArtLacuna studios.

And a quote to consider too:

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

- Maya Angelou

As always, I find books I would love to have next - my next two waiting to be read at some point:

The Wizard of Us

The Go-Giver

So many things I would like to do in this life-time. It's all about wending a way and constant reminders of values, values, values - what are your values? Are you living them?