Return to Nature

Return to Nature

Nature drawing reminds us that we are stewards of our land, and we need to be dedicated to preserving it for the enjoyment it brings to all levels of our lives. Drawing from life and using nature as our muse fosters compassion and empathy and ultimately reminds us of this interconnectivity. Observational drawing honours the truth in the beauty that is around us.  Not a single subject is without it’s own unique set of characteristics that make it impossible not to be in awe.

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Good Tips: Natural Bristle Care

Good Tips: Natural Bristle Care

Ultimately, when choosing the best bristles for your watercolour paintings, you want a brush that springs back easily to it's original shape AND holds a lot of water.  Let's review the characteristics of Sable vs Synthetic and the reasons why you might choose one over the other...

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Clean Space = Clear Mind

I am easily distracted.

As such I have learned that if my art space/work space is messy, my mind is less apt to focus on the project in front of me. Struggling to find  the right brush,  forgetting to have made enough of the colour I need & panicking while my paint is drying or feeling constantly blinded by visual pollution even in my 30" square drafting area can be very detrimental to one's peace of mind and ultimately one's painting. This is often a result of a poorly organized space and cluttered work area. There is a very interesting post by Michael Hyatt in which he quotes Author & American professor Randy Pausch: 

“ Clutter is death, it leads to thrashing...” 

I've seen it happen in my classes. I've even seen people looking lost and fearful as they work, not having noticed that their reference image is sitting underneath their palette, that their hands are covered in paint or that the better part of  the real-estate in their work area is being engulfed by, bags, containers, extra items that slow down their productivity and lead to spills and distraction.  Their clutter is so high  that they've not identified the source of their frustration. In my classes, I stress the importance of having as little as possible on your work area. Extra tubes of paint should be packed away. Only the essentials should be out. Everything else gets packed away.

I call it the "L" system. Creating a simple capital L shape around your drawing/painting board.

Here is a little diagram:

The "L" System helps to keep only the essentials at hand.

I hope this helps to clear your mind and lessen your frustration and bring more enjoyment and peace to your painting process!


Happy Painting!




Unleash your inner Artist

Click to print & download!

I have been reading a wonderful book that considers and verbalizes many obstacles that artists  encounter and faces them head on. ART & FEAR   by David Bayles and Ted Orland discusses the way  and the why art gets made, and the (mostly self induced) reasons why it doesn't. It's a wonderful, humorous look inside the artist brain... be careful, it's messy in there! 

It's simple, very readable format also easily applies to other genres and disciplines and the creative process in general. 

As an art instructor I've seen many, many people get discouraged with their art and art making. As an artist, I face my own set of obstacles as well. To be honest , the biggest and perhaps single outside factor that truly keeps me from creating art is time. Other than that, it is my own self that gets in the way.  

Here are but a few reasons (ahem, excuses) why I don't produce art:

  • distraction

  • procrastination

  • hunger

  • fear of failure

  • fear of taking risks

  • fear of facing a blank canvas

  • laziness

  • holding back  emotionally

After some self reflection (read more procrastination) I thought I would create an ART MANIFESTO ( see above image)

I want to share it with you too as a gentle reminder to go easy on your sensitive self,  give yourself time to find inspiration, permission to process, permission to fail and maybe even fall in love with what you're doing...