Tag Archives: art studio

sanguine moon


Painting the whole canvas dark seemed daunting. I was starting over, over something that just did not work. Because of what had gone before, black inky blue was really my only choice if I wanted to salvage anything. so I painted myself an empty space…


then took a deep breath and began to fill it…It’s a space of firsts: first black canvas, first go at a night sky, and first with some new techniques as well.p1270082

I think the hardest part is knowing when to stop, when to say “it is enough” and trust that the spaces in between will speak as well as the marks.p1270159

I’m still learning that lesson – in paint and in life.p1270156


sanguine: adjective

optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation

of someone or someone’s character – positive and hoping for good things


be encouraged. there are good things to be seen even in dark places.








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.


“It was one of those March days…


when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade…”

There were 3 whole days of glorious summer light here in March – a welcome relief from the grey Scottish winter and a breath of hope for the coming change of season. We hustled everything and everyone outside while it lasted, including my studio!P1260298 I took the opportunity to experiment with some new materials – a bottle of sky blue ink and a fabulous container of pigment my husband brought me from his recent trip to Rome. It was so much fun!

The truth is, I can forget to play. It’s an easy thing to do. Getting lost in the greying lists of Important Responsibilities and Routines makes for a dulled and unhappy heart.P1260313Sometimes a sharp wind and a shining light is needed to clear all that away…P1260320

So here is a recommendation for my heart and yours, said in my experienced mother-of-five voice:

Go outside and play!

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.

wild meadows


Restless – I guess that’s what I’d call it. I’m finally back in the studio after the kiddo’s holidays and I find myself looking in so many directions at once…wanting to work on way too many things at once…wondering if I can even do that and like, keep up with the rest of my life (family, house, farm, office, sleep, etc). And those feelings can become overwhelming to the point of everything stopping. I don’t want to go there because there is not a good place for my heart or creativity or the ones that I love. or the laundry pile for that matter. So I’m listening to my restless heart, but I am talking to it with the wisdom of my experience…”you can multi-task, but no plate spinning. you can get up early or stay up late, but not both. you can work on 2 or 3 pieces at a time, but not more because you don’t need to. this is enough to feed you (restless heart) and not burn out or up everything else…”

so here are three works in progress, in the midst of transition:




a few detail pictures: paint, mixed media and the printed word…



so this place of tension – a balance of heart and wisdom – could very well be my in-feet-first, happy place. It’s too soon to tell but I am exploring the possibilities.


What about you?

do you thrive in the tension or drown in the lists? What brings balance to these constantly shifting sands?

Let there be wisdom and heart in these wilder parts. be encouraged.




new year, this year: making old things new


The studio was finally finished and beautiful and warm enough to sit in, even at night. But with all that it took to get there and all that the year had brought, I was done. That unfinished painting on the easel was the last piece I worked on in 2014…in November…


Now it’s January and here it sits alongside other things undone.  And I have been undone, unable to connect the dots and see them through.  That must change. And I am beginning to see the way forward now…


Who knew magazine covers and song references could speak so well without saying a word?


So, here it is – I have decided to rework and remake one older or unfinished canvas at a time until they are all done. It won’t be my usual process but I feel the need to stretch out and make this change.  And if it doesn’t work, there’s a nice little stove at the end of my studio. Because these things don’t need to hang around anymore. They will have a purpose one way or the other…



How about you? Do you have things that need a new purpose, need finishing or letting go? (no singing necessary!) It would be great to hear from you. In the meantime, I’ll be documenting my progress (and glitches) and journey here for the next while. Let’s encourage each other. Happy New Year, new start!





looking for a sign…


My studio space looks like it has been tilted on its side, left there for everything to slide up in a stock pile of paint and paper and easels. While we batten down the hatches and make the walls secure for the winter ahead, I have been at a loss as to what to do. It seems to be taking forever! I’ve sorted and I’ve baked. I have photographed and I have pinterested and made plans and changed plans and planned again. But none of that has calmed the growing frustration and desire to create with my preferred tools of choice. Then, suddenly I was rescued! A fun little design project dropped in my lap. So I rigged up an art corner on our kitchen table (who needs it to eat, anyway?)  and went “old school” with Sharpies and paper and pencils…






This phrase really applies to me. Despite the circumstance, I went back to where I belong –  to make and create, to express and enjoy the gifts I’ve been given.

How about you? Even if everything’s upside down at the moment, even if you are going back to basics, make some space to do what you do and enjoy it!  Be encouraged.