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september morn


when you have so many words needing to be said, and far too much emotion to express

that nothing could possibly come out…because if it did it might not stop and there would be nothing left on the inside of you to hold up the outside of you…

well, that’s where I’ve been. and what I’m trying to find a path through.

P1270061So here is September – a new month and season and time for a different setup in paint. It’s a mix of what I was doing and what I might need to reach for. I’m not sure yet if it will work …but at least it has begun.P1270052 (1)P1270054P1270060P1270059WP_20160902_19_14_31_Pro

I’m moving paint again and it might be moving me…however slowly…through.  giving voice to words unsaid, release for things too felt.

“courage, dear heart” – CS Lewis

for me and for you, too.



the right to rest


Artwork can be forced, but creativity cannot be manufactured. I have tried to do both, failing in spectacular fashion. We are a family that is changed by illness. Why then, am I so hard on myself – expecting so much when we’re already poured out?

So I’ve been fluttering around, trying to find a place to land…P1260827P1260828P1260839P1260836

and it seems some of what I need is right outside the front door…not a flurry of activity in the studio or on the laptop, but

quiet observation.


filling back up.

If you find yourself in similar circumstances, be kind to you and spend the time necessary  to refocus, recharge and restart. It is of benefit to all.

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…

a moment to breathe


Christmas eve crazy – I was in the middle of all the good stuff; the kids and the music, the cooking and the cleaning, lights and movies, Noel, oh well, and fa-la-la…

but I could feel the days and weeks of balancing sickness and celebration catching up with me…my own colours were fading as I poured out in different directions what was necessary and needed. Then I caught a glimpse of the sky from my kitchen window. And just like that, I grabbed my camera and flip-flopped out into a gale to follow the light and colour I saw swirling behind our tree line.P1250692 I kept chasing that ever-changing scene, crossing our flooded stream and holding on to the ground so that I could reach some breath-taking beauty, so that I could breathe in the wild wonder of it for just a few precious minutes…P1250701 I didn’t care about the cold or the mud or the possibility of burning cookies, I needed to be there in that place…P1250715-001to wonder as I wander once again…P1250702

A new year comes in a few short hours…most of us have no idea what it will bring. But just in case it’s crazy and busy and full of things we’ve not planned for, let us not forget to look out our window, to run to beauty – however fleeting – to get our toes in the dirt and feel this life as we live it.

be encouraged

and blessed

in 2016.







lead me to the wonder


With my head down (so as not to eat a procrastinating pre-teen), focussed on the task at hand (4 pack lunches) and trying to tick the boxes off on my mental check list (insert more coffee) I hardly noticed what he said. Our teenage son passed by, school tie in hand, to say “Mom you should check out the front door.” I mumbled an “umhmm” and kept doing exactly what I was doing. Because there was a time limit. Because I was trying to be The Momma Who Gets It Done. Because the 8 year old still did not have his shoes on. because…because…

My husband came into the fray of that early-morning school-day kitchen and took my hand.

“What?” slightly surprised…

“Come with me.” smiling…

“What is it?” slightly exasperated…

“Just come.”

I let him lead me out of the buzz, down the hallway to our front door.

“This…” he gestured…

It was extraordinary. Little sparkling hammocks were swinging in our windows. The door opened to trees criss-crossed with translucent bridges and diamond shaped pockets.


It was magical


and breath-taking,




and beautiful.



and I almost missed it…because

The lists and the work and the rush and the stuff will probably always be here. Let it wait while you wonder, even if it’s just for a few precious moments, at the transient and extraordinary right outside your door. be encouraged.

in comes the colour


“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

After what has seemed to be the longest winter, I feel like a child let out of school when I see the colours of the land bursting into wondrous shapes and shades, fragrant with the perfumes of life. I don’t often feel the strain of the seasons – that place where you just want rid of one for the next – but this year has been different. In many ways it has reflected other facets of my life and work to the point where I am so very happy to feel the shift into something new.  The thought that the earth has poetry for the seasons intrigues me. That we, too, could have verses planted deep in our hearts for the seasons and rhythms of our lives is something to consider. Here are some colours to help your heart sing – be encouraged.

P1240672  P1240692



“She turned to the sunlight

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbor:

“Winter is dead.” – AA Milne