My Favourite Life: 10 things you didn’t know about me

My favourite things in life is really an endless list

But I have struggled to reduce everything into 10 things that you might find interesting about my life. Of course, they are all 100% true.

Please tell me your favourite things in the comments box below the post.

‘Gandhi’ by Simon Brushfield (2013) Pen and ink on paper 21cm x 10cm $450

1. I was born on the 27/7/70. My favourite number is 7

2. My favourite personal grooming activity is to clean my ears with cotton buds because it feels amazing

3. My favourite television show is Cesar Milan’s “Dog Whisperer” because it teaches me about the enormous similarities between how human beings behave and how dogs behave socially

4. My favourite food in the morning is waking up for breakfast to poached eggs on toast covered by last nights lamb gravy. (Don’t knock it till you try it!)

5. On long boring plane trips I get hours of enjoyment giggling uncontrollably by watching practical joke television shows like “Just for laughs”. (I also watch them on YouTube with my phone whilst laying in bed at night)

6. During my mid 20’s I owned a successful business hiring windsurfers, whereby every summer I sat on a beautiful Australian beach, and people handed me hundreds of dollars everyday for my effort.

7. My favourite colour is yellow and my favourite fruit bananas. For my final year project at University I created a 10 foot three-dimensional realistic banana. My lecturer said it couldn’t be done, but I did it and got top marks. Also, another useless fact… my 1960s Malibu surfboard is yellow, and nicknamed the ‘big banana’

8. At age 14, I went to boarding school in Melbourne and cried all year from homesickness, being bullied and alone. This was not my favourite experience!

9. I once applied for a high profile job in a posh Sydney recruitment agency with a real 1950s porcelain kitchen sink. My resume was rolled up and placed into where the hot tap should’ve been. The cover letter read “Employ Simon Brushfield and he’ll give you everything including the kitchen sink”. I put the heavy kitchen sink on the receptionist’s immaculate marble desk and the office fell about with hysterical laughter.

10. I once played bass and sung in a Sydney rock band. The title song off our first album was aired on Australia’s leading commercial radio station, triple M

‘Lollipop Trees in the You Yangs’ by Simon Brushfield (2013) Acrylic & Oil on Canvas 90cm x 60cm $2200

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – My Favourite Life: 10 things you didn’t know about me

The Secret of Happiness Revealed: Aristotle teaches happiness


If you want happiness and you’re interested to purchase a Simon Brushfield original painting click here .

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – The Secret of Happiness Revealed: What Aristotle can teach us about happiness

Creativity: How to Renew your Creative Energy and Increase Power

Green painting by Simon Brushfield Aristotle Happiness Quote 1024x791 Creativity: How to Renew your Creative Energy and Increase Power

If you’re interested to purchase or know more about Simon Brushfield’s original paintings click here .

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Creativity: How to Renew your Creative Energy and Increase Power

Natures secret reveals an essential ingredient in the creative process

Natural Beauty painting by Simon Brushfield Aristotle Marvelous Quote1 1024x791 Natures secret reveals an essential ingredient in the creative process

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Natures secret revealed through an original painting and a famous poet

What happens if no one likes my creativity?

This is a guest post by a musician friend Renee Rutherfurd.

She’s a very talented Australian singer songwriter with a beautiful voice.

Here’s Renee to talk about the creative process behind her album ‘Found’…

reneerutherfurd What happens if no one likes my creativity?

The other day I was chatting with a friend about the fine line walked by artists of every persuasion. Be it music or a visual medium, art is made to be shared. It is meant for an audience. Art is also an incredibly subjective animal, one persons “Amazing!” is another persons “What the?”

The question for any artist is ‘Where do I get validation from?’

Is it in the act of creating or is it dependant on the response of others.

When I started down the track of writing and recording a concept album, I had never considered this question. I was doing something that I believed wholeheartedly was an offering to the God I adore with every fibre of my being and to whom I owe my life, my art, my best endeavour.

During the two years it has taken to bring it to fruition, I have been faced with every doubt and fear I could have imagined…and probably more. Don’t get me wrong, creating the album has been a total joy. I’ve discovered a side to my creativity that I didn’t know was there and I’ve had a blast.

The doubts and fears have come on the days when I was not involved in the act of creation. The biggest fear…the one that has haunted me and that I have had to confront on more than one occasion is this;

“What happens if no one likes it, if no one buys it and two years of my life have been for nothing?”

Doesn’t sound particularly Godly, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to it! I have had days where I have sat with these thoughts and let them overtake and overwhelm me.

Yet, from these doubts and fears I have emerged stronger. This is what I learnt. I have long sought validation from the wrong source. Instead of finding fulfillment in creating and sharing my expression of life through the music I had birthed, I measured its worth by the reactions of those around me.

Honestly, the reactions haven’t been terrible…maybe they weren’t as effusive as I would have liked at times…but if there was one voice amongst the many that was negative…that was all I heard. If that voice was one I looked to for general validation…I was undone.

Renee Rutherfurd found promo What happens if no one likes my creativity?

Renee standing amongst the trees to promote her new album Found

All sounds a bit depressing aye! But there is a big bright light on the horizon. I have realised that I am a created and creative being and that I am dearly loved by the most creative force in the universe. It may sound corny, but my music makes God smile! It’s true…ask him!

It’s in the act of creating that we are validated as artists. For me, I have created an album of love songs to God. I wanted to share different aspects of my relationship with my Heavenly Father and in the end, I wanted to sing to Him.

It is in God that I find my validation, my reason for creating and the one to and for whom I sing.

My ultimate desire for FOUND is that others would find a connection with God through it. That others would discover the joy and adventure of living in communion with the Creator. The extent to which this happens is completely out of my control and no amount of worry or money spent on advertising will change that.

And anyway, at what point would I deem the album to be a success? Is it in the first week, when I receive a letter from a stranger telling me that the music took them into the Presence of God… or after 500 sales, 2,000 sales…when?

Success for me was having the courage to release FOUND to the world…everything else is gravy!

where you can buy, or just listen to snippets of each track, to see which one you like.

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – What happens if no one likes my creativity?

Original Painting: How I Make a Masterpiece Meaningful

Original paintings are often meaningful

Indian people are sometimes surprising

I want you to meet Ramesh

Alias ‘The Chai Guy’

Ramesh the chai guy from India Original Painting: How I Make a Masterpiece Meaningful

Ramesh The Chai Guy from India with his trusted bike

He’s a polite, beautiful quiet spoken Indian, who seems to really enjoy his humble occupation

The ‘Chai Guy’ travels around Bangalore on his bike selling tea

He appears 11.30am sharp everyday selling his wares. As sure as the sunrises, Ramesh is on time

Now, I have spent many years in Asia, and here’s a fact…

Point 1. Asian people are not normally known for their punctuality.

I love Asians.

But if an Asian understands a westerner is precious about time, they’ll make you wait even longer. Just to prove a point

In Australia, I drink tea

But Chai is my favourite

There are many varieties of Chai in India, unique local tastes that originate from different regions of the country

Below is The Chai Guy’s bag of tricks

His unique system of working

Rameshs basket of Chai 2 Original Painting: How I Make a Masterpiece Meaningful

Ramesh’s unique basket of different varieties of Chai Tea which is carried on his bike around India.

But here’s what really fascinates me…

Like the Chai Guy, Indian people can be highly structured, organised and very disciplined with time

But most times, they’re completely unstructured. Even totally confused about time

This is why it interests me…

The same characteristics are the key to incredible creativity

A balanced system somewhere between the structured and unstructured, confused and clear thinking, is very important when creating a quality original painting. Creativity requires a high level of organisation and structure, but also disorganisation and free flowing space

It’s the system of working that’s essential

Point 2. Top artists know how to balance confusion and clarity into self-disciplined activity.

At any moment weird things can happen in India

The electricity might go off for extended periods of time. Hot water may cease. The taxi may not appear. Noises might suddenly go off. All for no reason

But back to being punctual…

This is why I am obsessive about time…

Just in case something weird happens. And I need time for the unexpected. I like to arrive at least 30 minutes early to everything

Especially as a foreigner living in a strange country, leaving things to the last minute creates enormous anxiety, which I prefer to avoid

If I have an exhibition coming up, my original paintings will be completed many weeks, if not months beforehand. If a commission deadline is looming, I will be finished many weeks earlier

Here’s another reason why I am so particular about time…

It goes very quickly

Point 3. I like to have time available to relax and make important refinements to my original paintings at the end of the creative process.

However, I know many artists who operate in a frantic rush to the end. But I can’t live with that stress and panic.

It’s the minor creative refinements at the end of the process that can really improve an original painting. Becoming aware of these minor adjustments requires much time and careful contemplation.

Here’s what is essential, in a productive system, to enriching ones creative life…

Reflection

Just gazing in contemplation

Silence

When I was a child I had many enjoyable experiences with my father. One of those special memories, around age 12, was something that only a sensitive artistic boy like myself would enjoy

I have always loved native Australian birds

Point 4. When birds fly, so do my thoughts, birds set me free from the earth bound world.

Especially Pelicans gliding high above in the bright blue Australian sky

As a child, after work my father would come home tired. He’d grab a beer from the fridge and we’d both check on our canaries. I would sit beside him on the bench and watch our colourful canary’s fly gracefully across the 4 metre long aviary.

He would ask about my day at school. And I’d reply, ‘It was good’.

But generally, we said very little to each other.

In the quietness of bird watching, the canaries would occasionally reach their lungs to heaven and break out into glorious song. It’s beautiful to hear a canary at full throttle.

We listened and watched the birds for hours. Observing the finer elements of bird life, until mum would call us for dinner

These days, when I finish a painting, the same principle applies

I need quality time with my original paintings, to observe the finer elements. I need to observe the texture, and how the paint fly’s across the canvas, the composition of the original painting, and how the colours sing

Australian Lorikeets painting by Simon Brushfield 674x1024 Original Painting: How I Make a Masterpiece Meaningful

“Australian Rainbow Lorikeets” by Simon Brushfield. Acrylic, Linseed Oil and Charcoal on paper (Sold: Private Acquisition)

Peaceful reflection creates space and freedom in the mind. Allowing whatever that enters to come and go, without judgement.

Just observing.

Final Point. It’s observing the finer elements of life that really make the masterpiece meaningful.

If you’re interested in purchasing an original painting, or maybe you would like to commission Simon, please click here .

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Original Painting: How I Make a Masterpiece Meaningful

Sunrise painting and the C.S.Lewis reason for Christianity

Sunrise painting by Simon Brushfield Quote 1024x791 Sunrise painting and the C.S.Lewis reason for Christianity

Creativity and Originality: How to Stand Out from the Crowd

This is a story about creativity

Having fun

Following your dreams

And achieving a breakthrough

It’s very easy and works every time

My story illustrates the importance of fresh ideas

People love them

But new ideas require a little creative thinking

Creativity is fun

Being original requires bravery

If you want to think freely and move forward

Here’s my advice…

Point 1. Do something different

Stand out from the crowd

Do something people will enjoy

Something they will appreciate

Just because it’s different

Use your creativity

This is my story…

After graduating from University, finding my first job was difficult

I needed a breakthrough to get started

So I moved to Sydney and found it

In a strange place…

A dirty paddock

My light bulb moment came walking, nearby my home. I lived in a very unglamorous old slaves quarters for men

As I wandered through the paddock, an interesting object appeared before my eyes

Kitchen sink image Creativity and Originality: How to Stand Out from the Crowd

I stood there transfixed by an old style enamel kitchen sink

Standing there, I wondered how it could help me find a job?

Ahhh, I had an idea…

Point 2: To receive a breakthrough, be imaginative and enjoy being silly.

So I picked up the heavy sink and took it home

Cleaned and polished it

Saturday came

I saw a job advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper

Of course, the company required experience

I had none

It was a very highly paid job too. A prime position

I thought to myself…

“What have I got to lose?”

So, I went for the job

But rather than using the normal approach, as 99.9% job seekers do, I did things differently

I used my creativity

Sitting on the bus I received many odd looks from people

They probably wondered, “Why does that guy have a kitchen sink on his lap?”

People stared as I carried the kitchen sink down the main street of Sydney, at peak hour, in bright yellow pants

It was heavy

Serious faced business people were rushing around in dark suits

I was quietly amused by the silliness of life

The recruitment office was a beautifully opulent marble skyscraper

Dripping in wealth

Filled with very serious, stern professionals

I wondered if this normally conservative company had ever received an application like mine?

I was excited

To be going against the mainstream gives me adrenalin

Creative people are odd, without even trying

Here’s what is needed to follow a crazy original idea you might have…

Point 3. You need courage in the face of enormous potential embarrassment

Back to the story…

On the sink, where the hot tap should have been, there was a wide hole

So I rolled my brief resume and cover letter and slotted the papers into the hole

My cover letter was simple

It read…

“EMPLOY SIMON BRUSHFIELD AND HE’LL GIVE YOU EVERYTHING – INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK”.

I greeted the receptionist

And placed my large kitchen sink on her desk

“Here is my application for the graphic design position”

The office fell about with laughter

Suddenly, a boring day in the office had changed

From seriousness to silliness

Point 4: People enjoy something out of the ordinary, to give them inspiration and amusement in life.

But I was serious.

I asked the receptionist, “Can you please make sure my application receives the attention of Mr Bob Dewey?”

The giggling receptionist made a phone call to her boss.

I was sent directly to Mr Dewey’s office. He was the recruitment executive controlling the job.

With no experience and as a fresh graduate, I spent 30 minutes talking with the decision maker of a high profile recruitment company in Sydney.

He was intrigued

Creativity and Originality was the key

Word quickly spread around the office. And other executives came to meet the weirdo in yellow pants with the kitchen sink. Just to shake my hand and say…

“We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

The whole office was entertained

At the close of the conversation, the top man in the company guaranteed me an interview

I had risked embarrassment

And my stunt worked perfectly

Creativity is exciting

With zero experience, I got down to the last 3 applicants

The whole job seeking process was turned into great fun

I had found my break through

Designing in the creative department for Mr Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited

Final Point: Breakthrough’s happen when we relax, put ourselves on the line and follow our unique creativity.

Here’s my advice…

Live life following your crazy ideas

People will celebrate them

Rise above boredom and stand out from the crowd

Discover innovative ways of doing things

You’ll have so much fun

Plus, you’ll get what you want.

People need your creativity for inspiration

They need your originality and leadership

What’s your story?

Please leave a comment below

For further ideas on how to stand out from the crowd, you might like to read the book ‘Made to Stick’ by Chip & Dan Heath

If you’re interested to purchase or know more about Simon Brushfield’s original paintings click here

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Creativity & Originality: How to Stand Out from the Crowd

Creativity and Chaos: The Power of Anarchy

This article has power.

It could improve your life dramatically.

By changing the way you think.

Because India has changed me.

Here we go…

Creating original art, there are times when order quickly turns to chaos.

When an imbalance occurs, anarchy reigns.

Chaos breaks out regularly when creating original art.

For an abstract artist, disorder is a familiar scenario.

In fact, since living in India, I have grown comfortable in confusion.

Point 1. Chaos is confusing, but it’s vital for creativity.

Simon Brushfields old Studio Creativity and Chaos: The Power of Anarchy

Simons art studio during 2007 in Sydney, Australia

The creative process is wildly unstable.

So is India.

Paint drips, colours smudge, paint splatters on walls, the floor, it gets in your hair and everything gets very messy.

In the middle of a painting, I often lose myself.

Chaos breaks out.

The direction of an original abstract painting is unpredictable.

So is living in India.

Point 2. Chaos is important because it instigates change.

And healthy change signals progress.

Like creating an original painting, we can lose direction very easily.

People become confused and overwhelmed.

Especially for foreigners in a crazy country.

Not knowing what to do next.

Crowded by mental or physical disorder.

Chaos.

Messy situations.

But from the wilderness, we eventually find a new and exciting direction.

Amidst an unpredictable mess, the best artists find an intriguing mystery.

A divine attraction.

Random beauty.

Point 3. Top original art promotes order arising from disorder.

An original painting follows a direction of its own.

Especially abstract art.

The artist is simply a facilitator.

1n 2004, the Sydney Opera House painting below, appeared from the chaos of a messy art studio.

Creativity travels through confusion into clarity.

Hopefully, achieving a perfect natural order.

A mysterious balance, where logic and rationality become largely irrelevant.

Beauty paramount.

Sydney Harbour Sunrise painting by Simon Brushfield 1024x963 Creativity and Chaos: The Power of Anarchy

“Sydney Harbour Sunrise” by Simon Brushfield (2004) Acrylic & Oil on canvas 1m x 1m (Sold: Private Acquisition)

Living in India feels entirely chaotic.

Sometimes lacking in meaning and purpose.

But a little creative thinking, some patience and playfulness – things can quickly turn around.

A beautiful picture forms amidst the anarchy.

Point 4. Chaos is a natural part of life.

Throughout the history of man, civilisations have endeavoured to control nature.

But nature finds its own unique way to exert authority.

Often by natural disasters.

Chaos erupts.

Flood. Volcano. Tsunami. Typhoon. Earthquake. Bushfire. They all create disorder.

Highlighting the fragility of human beings established order over the untamed elements of life.

Blue Abstract painting by Simon Brushfield1 1024x819 Creativity and Chaos: The Power of Anarchy

“Chaos” by Simon Brushfield (2001) Acrylic & Mixed media on canvas 1.4m x 1.8m (Sold: Private Acquisition)

Miracles are born from chaos.

New opportunities arise.

After severe bushfires in Australia, new plant life appears incredibly quickly.

New ways of thinking and creative expression are discovered amidst anarchy.

Rock’n’Roll is a perfect example.

Point 5. Innovation often arises from initial confusion and uncertainty.

Chaos theory is a mathematic principle discovered by Edward Lorenz in 1960.

In simple terms, it explains that complex unpredictable results will have powerful creative effects elsewhere.

A famous example is a butterfly flapping its wings in China, can effect weather patterns in New York.

Below is one example of chaos theory, in visual terms, using fractals.

It’s beautiful.

Nature’s original art.

web fractal BloggS74.com  1024x640 Creativity and Chaos: The Power of Anarchy

Fractals © creative commons image from BloggS74.com

The mathematical computations that create these fractal images are endless.

Point 6. Ironically, chaos is incredibly important to an orderly universe.

Fractals contain a chaotic mathematical complexity beyond what the human mind can conceive.

The fractal images above clearly illustrate one thing…

Within chaos, there also exists an infinitely beautiful unexplainable natural mathematic order.

Chaos is unavoidable.

We need to embrace uncertainty.

Particularly in a foreign country.

Because here’s the importance of the matter for artists…

Final Point. Chaos adds important depth & beauty to the creative process.

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Creativity and Chaos: The Power of Anarchy

Gandhi’s Creative Lesson: Conquering the Bully of Intimidation

It’s a common theme.

A strong bully verses weak victim.

But this story is reversed.

On a global scale.

Britain sought control over a seemingly weaker Eastern power.

India.

But one inspiring man, wrapped in bed sheets, had a different idea.

Point 1. Gandhi understood the power of humility over intimidation.

His weapon?

The collective Asian spirit.

gandhi photo Gandhi’s Creative Lesson: Conquering the Bully of Intimidation

Mahatma Gandhi wrapped in his customary white robes

With his gentle leadership, the vulnerable Indians conquered a violent bully.

Gandhi was a native Indian, but educated at the University of London.

He knew the enemy’s weakness.

Arrogance.

Gandhi desired to give his nation a special legacy.

An enormous gift.

Freedom from British tyranny.

The feeling of Independence.

He succeeded.

During his indomitable quest, Gandhi taught the largely uneducated Indian people a simple principle.

‘Satyagraha’

Which is the resistance to tyranny by civil disobedience.

An innovative idea for the time.

Non-violent people power swept the country like an epidemic.

On a very large scale.

Point 2. A frail humble old man conquered the full strength of British power.

The bully was beaten.

Without a single weapon.

India’s independence was achieved in 1948.

An Amazing feat.

A gentle man, Gandhi taught, “There would be nothing to frighten you, if you refuse to be afraid”

He cared deeply for his people.

Gandhi’s (1869-1948) birthday is now commemorated internationally as a day of non-violence.

So how does this inspirational Indian leader relate to original art?

Gandhi was a highly creative individual.

Let me show you the link.

Here’s an important fact…

Point 3. Gandhi shared a devoted relationship with his mother.

Interestingly, many of history’s great minds had a close bond to their mother.

Ladies are strong communicators often expressing deep emotions. They care.

Women dress in many colours.

Their intuition is finely tuned.

Women are softer, more expressive than men.

Less likely to use aggressive violence.

When a son has a close relationship with his mother, it greatly impacts the male’s personality and creative ability.

Here’s the reason why…

Point 4. Creativity comes from the feminine side of life.

In my experience, women appreciate art more easily than men.

The large majority of my customers are women.

Unlike masculine western countries, the Asian soul is feminine.

Sensitive in nature.

But the Indians proved the power of Eastern humility and sensitivity, over Western arrogance and intimidation.

Indians are smart people. Now world leaders in technology.

They’re no longer afraid of any western super power.

India is growing strong. Independence builds confidence.

Here’s the similarity…

When a creative person refuses to be afraid, rejecting arrogant comments designed to intimidate their sensitive soul, something amazing happens…

Confidence grows.

And strength arises.

Negative comments lose their power.

“Your wasting your life on art”

“You’ll never survive doing art”

“Your living in fantasy land”

“Get a real job”

These comments must be rejected.

Discouragement comes from every direction.

A thick skin is needed when defending your soul and fighting for creative survival.

Like the Indians, the journey towards independence can be rough for a creative person.

Despite the setbacks, I’ve sought freedom from greed and arrogant intimidation.

At all times.

The greatest freedom comes when I accept the truth.

I’m an artist.

Acceptance and genuine humility brings peace to a sensitive soul.

Point 5. Being true to oneself, independence is strengthened.

Relaxation and clarity arrives.

Freedom from tyranny and fear.

The cowardly bully is conquered.

Negative comments ignored.

Love refills.

Artistic vision returns and the imagination soars.

Free again to create beautiful paintings like the one below.

to purchase this unique original painting.

Happy Couple AAD Gandhi’s Creative Lesson: Conquering the Bully of Intimidation

‘Happy Couple’ by Simon Brushfield (2011) Acrylic & Carcoal on canvas 1m x 1m

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Gandhi’s Creative Lesson: Conquering the Bully of Intimidation