Friday, 19 January 2018


Waiting for resolution of the unknowns.

This page reminded me of water. There are a couple of obstacles in it, but they don't block the way completely: there's a way through. But if I was 'standing' at a different angle, it might look like they formed a complete barrier.  If you can't see the way through, move your point of view, look from another angle.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


When a plant is in an unfavourable or inconvenient spot, or when it has outgrown its pot, it needs to be moved. That means disturbing the roots, maybe even breaking some of them off. The best time to do this is outside of the main growing period - for most plants this is during winter. The leaves have been shed and the plant is dormant.

When we need to move on it may not be a time of slow growth, but there is something to be said for shedding the extraneous before a move.


It's unsettling. Disturbing. Uncomfortable.

But sometimes it's necessary.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Letting go

Moving house is a good excuse to do some serious 'spring' cleaning. When everything has to fit into a shipping container and you're going to have to unpack all those boxes at the other end, you want to make sure that you really want that book, that tube of paint, that chipped plate you've been using as a palette, etc. etc.

When you have space, it's easy to hang on to things 'just in case'. Moving house makes you look at each item and realise that you haven't used it in an age and aren't likely to, either. So I've been boxing up, giving away, or selling a whole heap of stuff.

Don't get me wrong, we're not turning into minimalists. With a clergyman, an artist, and a writer in the house, we have a LOT of books and DVDs - after all, storytelling is important to all of us. Our little pruning venture has got rid of several cubic metres, but our shelves still look full.

Letting go hasn't left us with nothing - it has cleaned out a whole heap of stuff that was no longer useful.

Friday, 12 January 2018


My art journal is a place to work out my feelings, make a note of something I want to remember, practice new techniques, use new supplies, and sometimes just... play.

I don't always know what sort of page it will be when I start out. Sometimes it isn't until I come to do the journalling that I realise what it's all about. Other times I just jot down whatever comes to mind with no reference to the art on the page.

How do you use your art journal?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Lining up

When you undertake a house move, there's a lot to organise. When that move is to the other side of the world, well, it takes on another layer of madness. The one thing I'm reminding myself at the moment is that we've done this before and survived, so we can do it again.

It's good when you start to see things lining up and falling into place. Many things are now sorted and my lists are beginning to look more manageable, for which I am very grateful.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Trying new stuff

Do you ever make art journal pages that get away from you?

This one was a screaming hot mess. It needed calming down. It needed a lot of black.

What better time to have a go at doing something in a different style? I had come across an illustration by Kareem Iliya done with watercolour and ink that intrigued me. There was little detail and big blocks of black, but the face could still be read. Could I achieve that?

Practicing my 'must be bolder' mission, I went straight in with waterproof ink. Once I was pleased with the placement of everything, I went over it with acrylic paint. It calmed the page and I'm pleased with the result and would definitely try something in this style again.

How do you calm down your pages when they start screaming?

Friday, 5 January 2018

We all need a little white space

We live in a world that applauds life lived at a frantic pace. Each waking minute must be filled with activity. Full schedules are a badge of honour. Even children are hustled from school to music lessons to sports practice.

Where's the space to read for fun, to stare off into space, to play?

We all need a sabbath break, a little white space.

In art, white space gives the eye a place to rest. In life, we need space in our diaries. Space to say, 'Yes, I can do coffee this afternoon' or 'come on over and let's talk about it'. When all the squares on your calendar are full, you don't have any slack when people need someone to talk to. How much do you appreciate it when you need to talk and you have someone who will sit with you and not be constantly looking at their watch/phone because they have somewhere else to be? Someone who is genuinely listening because they aren't rushed.

You can't be that person to someone else if there is no white space in your life.

Make 2018 the year when you slow down and make space.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018


Life is full of ups and downs. No doubt this new year will be as well.

And though I can already see a number of hurdles along my path, I can only jump them one at a time.

Take the new year slowly. Be kind to yourself and climb one mountain at a time.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year!

Into the unknown.

From one day to the next we move into a new year. We set resolutions. We look forward to a whole new year, start a new calendar, turn to a new page. This will be the year that we eat healthily, do more exercise, lose weight, learn that new skill, fill in your own blank. We can put an awful lot of pressure on that turn of the calendar.

But each move into a new day is a move into the unknown.

So go easy on yourself this January. Sure, make the changes you want to make in your life, but don't pressure yourself to do it overnight.

Thursday, 28 December 2017


Some people prefer to stay in the background.

There are some people who do well in the limelight. They love the roar of the crowd, the applause, being seen and heard. It charges their batteries and gives them a sense of satisfaction.

There are others who prefer to stay in the background, providing support, equipping, making things run smoothly for those who are out front. They, too, are energised by what they do and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Both sorts of people are needed. Both have equal value.

Which sort are you?