Tag Archives: creative process

pinholes, heartache and healing


There are holes in my paint and I need to figure out what to do with them.

There are some holes in my heart, too. and I’ve got to take care of them as well…

WP_20170516_09_52_25_Pro (3)

The question is, what ones do I fill and what ones should I leave? Sometimes trying to fix a hole doesn’t help. It’s become an integral part of the work, part of the landscape. If I go tinkering around too much, I will alter what has become. I risk damaging the whole by rewriting the history. So I need to be careful. and I need to take my time.

WP_20170516_09_55_10_Pro (2)

There are fillers and  sealers and sanding techniques, books and videos and seminars – plenty on offer to fix my problems – but that doesn’t mean it will work for me. So I am going back to basics, back to what I know: take each empty space on one at a time, to see what can be done. Fill up those that will accept the paint and leave those that won’t. Repair what I should and leave the other to rest. because sometimes things just need to settle…to heal and become part of who I am now. Sometimes, it’s about letting it go…


because perfection is an unattainable goal. What suits the canvas as she stands now? what sits well in the light of this present moment? Make your choices from here, not from a place of “what could have been” or what should have happened. That kind of thinking risks every other mark, every beautiful place on your canvas.

WP_20170516_10_13_36_Pro (1)

So here it is – paint and thoughts on ocean, air and atmosphere.  There are smooth places and fixed holes and untouched textures on display. It is a whole picture, the sum of all these parts you see plus the journey to get here which you can only imagine.

This painting’s process reflects a bit of my own. I’m still working on me – carefully, one space at a time. How about you? Be careful with your own canvas, too. There is hope for us.


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.


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

the greens of spring – better late than never…


We have had such a slow opening to spring here in the west of Scotland. The cold, wet winds and grey skies have stretched so far into the calendar months this year that we’ve only just turned our heating off! It can be a real struggle for my heart and mind to feel creative when the season seems “off”…when I know I should be at a certain place but it just does not look that way. at. all. Last week I gave up waiting for the sun and stepped into the grey with my camera looking for something, ANYTHING, that was willing and waiting to make a change. and I found the most amazing shades of green out there – new leaves and buds and life beginning to emerge. They were all the more brilliant and vibrant  because of their dull surroundings and it gave me hope. Maybe it will give you some too, whatever season you find yourself in or out of today. be encouraged.

P1240605 P1240613 P1240624 P1240629 P1240631 P1240633

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.




enjoy the moment


I am purposely giving myself a “time out” today. This is no punishment for a mother of five, let me tell you. There are 5 more hours I have to myself before the kiddos are off of school for (ever) Easter and spring break and our house will be full of bustle and bumps and bunnies and extra kids and noise and some more noise and…. you get the picture. So I need to take time to enjoy what I have right now (quiet, a clean table, space to write). This, without the concern or worry about the next thing to be finished, started, done. Because once I’m in the middle of it, I don’t always appreciate the simple pleasure of having completed something. Here is my friend I told you about a couple of weeks ago. This painting is now finished, after a long wait in the wings so to speak… P1230919 It was hard to get a full size photo of this piece because of the size. This is it on its side. Here are some detail shots: P1230920 P1230936 P1230923 I am enjoying this work being done – taking a moment to be satisfied in its finishing before I begin another painting.The truth is, we need to hold that moment of completion fast, for it can serve us well when we are facing the next mountain, project, deadline…or laundry pile. 🙂 be encouraged.

a changing vista


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Proust


So here I am, searching to look at things differently…


and to risk that what I’m seeing is worth exploring…


even though I’ve not walked (or worked) this way before.


I might be in over my head,


but I’m sure having some fun in the process!


If you are considering stepping out into unknown places with your creative process, let me say to you…


Choose to see with new eyes and enjoy where that takes you. Be encouraged today.