This week has been chaotic with my kids home for school vacation a week earlier than most local schools while we plan for our final trip of the year. Tomorrow we head to Copenhagen for a few days before spending Christmas at home in Oxford. I have been keeping up with the finishing what I have started most of the weeks finishing sketchbooks, ideas, painting on scraps of collected paper and just generally focusing on getting things done whenever I have a moment to focus. This trip I am packing light and efficient on the art supplies for such a short visit with the hope that I can finish up a bunch of projects and ideas that I have had lingering for awhile now.
I felt better prepared for this trip both mentally and with what I packed. The time with family, tourism, activity and relaxation all just seem to flow with the chance to make art woven throughout it all. It's pretty great.
Keep on making and sharing. Often I don't find myself in the mood to share and that impulse can bleed into my creative output. A messy studio is a loved studio. But spending 5-15 minutes a week cleaning it up is probably a wise habit to form.
Urban sketching in Oxford UK around some parked bikes at a very crowded bus stop. Oxford gets filled with tourists from all over the world in the spring and summer, especially on the weekend and holidays. Yesterday was a bank holiday. Testing the limits of my ability to sketch around others. Then 1/3 through the drawing my pen ran out of ink and I needed to switch to a brush pen. Keep going.
Daily blogging is really hard for an introverted perfectionist like myself. I always start out strong then fumble and frustrated toss the whole thing out. Not this time. This time I will fumble and keep going. Just not everyday.
When I went to bed last night I thought that I was about to start a hundred days of self portraits. But in the eleventh hour I changed my mind. Spring rebirth and flowers it is for the next hundred days. Follow me on Instagram to see how I keep it up and keep it lively and interesting. My goal is to learn, strengthen my skills, connect with others and stretch myself. #the100dayproject
Starting with the simple daisey. We saw a lot of daiseys around Versailles.
Next time I go to Paris I'm taking the train! Rookie mistake. Trying to save a couple of bucks was not worth the hassle of airports and customs. Just glad to be back and with a fridge full of fresh food and the endless laundry we brought back with us started.
It's exhausting but exhilarating and oh so much fun. Each day is different and better and I end each day exhausted and happy. Love Paris!
Learning how to be a regular blogger is hard for me. While I believe it is worth doing, as a visual person I often struggle with the format. Instagram on the other hand is easy for me to love. Sharing my words with an audience isn't so easy, but sharing pictures with few or no words needed is almost too easy. Thanks for following me on Instagram, if you haven't already you are missing out on a bunch of cool stuff over there!
Loneliness when I'm healthy breeds artistic productivity and focus. Loneliness when I'm sick is just lonely. I've been spending the past few days resting as much as possible so I can be at full strength for Paris next week! And the next burst of creative energy.
There seems to be some rule that as soon as I give myself a big challenge and start on it within a short period of time life throws a curveball at me to make the challenge all the more challenging. It happened within the first few weeks of my 365 daily creativity project and now just a few days into a month of daily blogging I am sick. It started out as a sore throat last night, now today I am full blown sick. I get one "I'm sick" blog post out of it. Then I need to keep generating content while feeling like crud. I can do it! No big deal.
Spring sprung a few weeks ago here in Oxford, or so I thought before it got cold and grey for an extended period of time. Today marks the first official day of spring and the sun is shining and flowers are blooming. Hurrah!
My current art space my be small but it contains my essentials and is accessible. As I start to get used to my new time zone I will spend more and more time with the contents of this drawer. Doing so should help me cope with the loss of my community and general homesickness as we all adjust to our new lives over here. When is it going to start feeling real?
Lately I have been too preoccupied to clean up at the end of each creative session. They blend into each other and there is a mess growing in my art studio. The art studio that is getting packed up and moved across the ocean next week. A little mess is okay with me as long as I keep creating. So far 2015 is off to a great start. I am excited about where my art is going to take me.
On vacation. Visiting my grandmother and aunt and uncle. Always drawing. On the plane heading home via Chicago planning out a card that I hope to finish at home this week!
I love these things! They make painting in a sketchbook on the go so much easier. They hold a fair amount of water, are small, durable and most importantly they don't leak so they are portable. I also like giving them to my children when they paint so we don't have to worry about mess too much. I do worry about my youngest turning every set of watercolors I give her purple but that is a different issue. Nothing will top a quality brush and a cup of clean water but having a waterbrush or two around has often meant the difference between me being able to get a sketch done or not.
Good news! I've started selling my mini Altoid watercolor paint kits on Etsy. For a limited time as a special bonus I am offering a free watercolor painted card with the first one purchased on Etsy. I have collected a lot of commercial tins during my watercolor painting adventures, but I always come back to this one for on the go come with me everywhere color.
It's hard to leave my favorite studio tools even for a short Thanksgiving road trip to Ohio. But I will get to know some favorite portable supplies better on the road.
How to avoid blogger burnout? I have gotten through most of my second week of daily blogging and it is still hard. I remember blogging daily last November and then not blogging much at all for December and January because I was burnt out by the constant pressure of daily blogging. Unlike the daily drawing challenges I have completed blogging is not super fun for me. I think it is a worthwhile activity that has positive impact on my life, but for me pressure of blogging makes it feel more like a chore. Morning Pages is becoming a more enjoyable activity and habit but that is my personal writing with no pressure for anybody to like what I have to say. I am going to keep going with the challenge but be mindful of burning out and with a plan for December and January because my goal is a sustainable habit that I enjoy doing. How do more regular bloggers do it?