Bummer that it fell on a Monday of all days but I hope that everybody got a chance to carve out some creative time today. Did you make anything today? What? Did you do anything different than your usual Monday routine?
My ability to draw from my imagination could stand some improvement so I have been working on it by drawing objects and people from life and then drawing them from memory at different points in the day.
That happens in everyday life. Adjusting to being back in England after holiday in Spain has been a challenge. It still doesn't feel quite like home, especially after time away. But there is a lot of beauty and magic here as well even if I have total wanderlust for more and more trips.
Single people or people traveling without young children enjoy your much easier to plan with fewer limitations holiday!
Don't overschedule yourself on holiday. Think relaxation over sightseeing. And if there is some monument or museum that you just have to bring your kid(s) to, avoid an early ticket.
Go out on your own to see the sights that you are most interested in and let your partner do the same.
Get a place with a pool. This makes downtime so much easier and more effective.
Don't stay out all day sightseeing. Come back to rest midday or early evening if you got a late start out.
Memories over photos. Really look with your family rather than taking constant selfies.
Draw and journal your trip as you go and finish it up at home with collected ephemera like handouts and tickets.
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!
At the end of 2014 I decided that I needed to take on some sort of big year long sketch challenge. But with an international move looming and tons of change coming I didn't know exactly what type of challenge was going to work for a full year. I really liked the idea of focusing on ink and watercolor and setting a time limit but instead I simply promised myself that I would create in my sketchbook 365 days of the year and leave it at that. I am glad I started out easy on myself because early in the move I got sick and stayed sick for over three weeks. I was able to fill pages in my sketchbook during those weeks, but just barely with real struggle. Temporary housing limited space and supplies and that also limited what I made. But the boat shipment did come and after six long weeks in a new country in temporary digs we moved into our new home and my art studio was one of the first rooms I unpacked. With that everything changed. I was able to spread out and create and my creativity and energy flowed as a result. I would reward myself for unpacking rooms by giving myself uninterrupted time in my art studio. And now here I am finding myself doing 30 minute ink and watercolor paintings in my sketchbook everyday.
Did you plan any challenges for the new year? What are they and how are they going?
After two months of setting up painting at various dining tables throughout our stint in temporary housing I am energized by my newly set up art studio! I have a filled palette for my studio and I am ready to paint all day long. In fact that is pretty much what my Monday looked like.
Life drawing drop in is tonight. Since today is Charlotte's day home with me I really need that time out to focus on art. I need to pack my bag with the right collection of supplies.
It's lovely here in Oxford now that we are no longer tripping over each other in temporary housing. Just tripping over boxes, but we are making progress moving in and prioritizing certain rooms over others. I could get used to this living room view and space.
My studio is comfortable and I was able to spend the morning painting. It's a good life out here.
I love my watercolor brushes and treating them well is important to me. Treating them right so they give me their best for years to come. But my space is small and I would rather spend my hard earned money on paint and brushes rather than fancy brush storage. I like to keep my most used supplies as close as possible. Enter the binder clip. Low tech yet they pretty perfect for all sorts of jobs, including good brush storage.
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.
Each child has multiple teachers. How can I make a meaningful gift for so many when time and money is limited? Of course gift cards to our favorite local bakery and handmade watercolor art cards. Boston we are going to miss you so much.
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.
Coming off the high of completing October's #inktober Instagram daily ink drawing and sharing challenge I signed up for the daily blogging challenge #nanoblopomo as a way to improve my blogging habit. It started out pretty well but about halfway through it I started resenting the challenge and remembered doing it last year and all it accomplished was blog burnout. So I stopped and promised myself weekly blogging combined with daily drawing, painting and Instagram sharing and enjoyed the rest of the month of November. Ready for new challenges for December!
At my youngest's Montessori preschool. I baked bread and brought her sister who was home after the dentist. Lots to be thankful for this year!
Sometimes (often) I need to remind myself that I am still learning and that I need to be patience with my style and keep working and I will get where I need to go. I have been painting for less than a year and I enjoy it more than I ever expected. But the truth is I have no idea what my work will look like in a year or two. My personal style has not yet developed and I get frustrated waiting and searching for it and I must remind myself to enjoy the journey and keep working hard and I will get there. That there are no shortcuts. That said if anybody has some tips on honing in on a more personal style I am all ears. In the meantime I am enjoying the journey in my soon to be relocated art studio with a sketchbook always nearby.