Monthly Archives: January 2016

pen, paper, paint and pause


At the beginning of this new year, I took up a challenge to be purposeful in my creativity every day in January. It has been a fun and sometimes frustrating exercise that has refreshed my creative rhythms and helped me through a difficult month. Here are my last sketchbook entries as I consider where to go from here…


31 days later and I find myself refocused, looking forward to exploring the new ideas that have come from this concentrated time of pause. Maybe you could take the challenge and find something to carry forward in your journey as well!

be encouraged.



in the night studio


Sometimes  a day just gets away, but the colours keep tugging at my heart and the studio keeps calling my name. So I grab the chance when it comes: art after dark it is…


I am working up to a painting and the (day) view outside that big black window is helping me through my paces. I decided to take a wee watercolour I sketched days before from there and move it along…


The lighting looks all wrong, but the chair feels “just right” so I go with it – and surprise! I’m enjoying the limited view…


and progress is made in the midst of it all…


There is rarely – if ever – the perfect time and space to exercise your gifts and talents. If we wait around for that anomaly, nothing creative may ever get done!


So I have decided to go for it, even in the few minutes, in between the lists, early morning or late evening because my creativity – and your creativity – has value and worth.

be encouraged.

mark making and time taking



A daily creative process takes a bit of planning. If I’m going to keep going for the whole of January, it’s got to be something within my reach, otherwise I’d lose heart. I really enjoy the process of drawing small with a rainbow of Sharpie markers to play with. It’s art I can move around the house and work on in any room – a necessity in our busy household!

here are 3 days from my sketchbook…




some detail shots…





The thing about working like this (markers, small scale, limited time) is that a mark is a mark. You have to go with it – there’s no room for perfectionism. That is a healthy way to keep creativity vibrant and evolving. And I get my ideas out on the page, even if it’s just a few sentences or notes. You can do something like this, too!

be encouraged.

stay creative.


creativity is contagious


I give up New Year’s resolutions. This was my resolution last year. Keeping that one has been the easiest ever, even with the peer pressure. So, how am I starting 2016? (besides the clean-up, clear-out norm) I’m being creative, on purpose, every day this month. I’ve followed this pattern once before (30 day sketchbook) and it was incredibly rewarding. This year, I was invited to do something similar by a friend via facebook.

Here’s what happened last night: I helped my son with his photo shoot for a Higher Art project. He’s working on a final piece and needed to bring in ideas for a painting. The concept is old and new with woodworking tools. We set up the studio and he went to work…


I loved watching him think through the process and giving him small suggestions along the way like “why don’t you stand on a chair or lay on the floor”…


mainly, I was cheerleading – giving encouragement to keep him going…

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He switched the lighting and perspective and tools around and kept working. It was contagious and I had to zip my lip so he could get on with it without all my thoughts spilling out on his project!


I’ve collected some great ideas helping my son – his layering and colour choice – and it sparked my own process for an upcoming painting.

Creativity is contagious!  be encouraged. pass it on…