Why it is not failure to stop an art project and start again. – Raymond Reddington Charcoal pencil portrait

As part of my plan to improve my portrait work I have been working on portraits of people I admire and who have interesting faces to create.  Raymond “Red” Reddington (played by James Spader) is a character in a television program, I became fascinated with after binge watching the first three series of “The Blacklist” There was something in the way he held his lips to one side that thought was unique to him, therefore an interesting face to draw.

Read on to find out more about my creative process and why it is not failure to stop a project and start again. Continue reading “Why it is not failure to stop an art project and start again. – Raymond Reddington Charcoal pencil portrait”

How to overcome negative thinking – drawing a self portrait with charcoal pencils

There is a story behind this self-portrait as there is with all art.  I began this portrait as I do with any drawing.  I chose my art supplies, my picture and began.  This portrait however, did not quite go according to plan.  I struggled with getting it “just right” I had to battle my thoughts of “I can’t do this” I would just like to say right now I won the battle, and if you are interested in how I did this please continue to read…….

Continue reading “How to overcome negative thinking – drawing a self portrait with charcoal pencils”

Pan pastel Portrait of Jane Davenport inspired by #29faces

Jane Davenport is a professional artist and best selling author, living in Australia with a huge following online.  According to her website (janedavenport.com) about section her passion is teaching women how to defy self-imposed creative gravity, as well as a self confessed art supply junkie.  I myself have taken one of her classes as part of LifeBook2016 (run by another great artist Tamara Laport from willowing arts)

To find out more about my creative process for Janes’ portrait

Continue reading “Pan pastel Portrait of Jane Davenport inspired by #29faces”

Lena Danya pastel portrait inspired by 29 faces challenge

Today is day 2 of the 29 faces challenge and today I am sharing with you something both exciting and scary for me.  The portrait I am sharing is of Lena Danya, one of my favourite artists on YouTube.  I just love her style of filming as well as her amazing art.  I can only dream that Lena actually finds out about my video and watches it lol In the spirit of all things YouTube I have included my video available in YouTube, click continue reading if you would like to view. Continue reading “Lena Danya pastel portrait inspired by 29 faces challenge”

29 faces February 2017 as hosted by Ayala Art – Day 1

Hi folks, February is going to be a busy month for me.  I am participating in the daily create a face challenge called 29 faces as hosted by Ayala Art on her 29 faces blog .  Through out this challenge I will also be challenging myself to post daily blog posts, this will prove a little bit more difficult than creating the faces, as I found out last September with 29 faces September 2016.  Although I did not completely succeed in posting daily I did increase my posting more regularly on my old blog: It’s a wonderful life and had a whole load of fun :).

Continue reading “29 faces February 2017 as hosted by Ayala Art – Day 1”

How to be inspired and know what to draw.

A question that is commonly asked is “how do you stay inspired”  Well, I am here to tell you there is no short answer, no one single right way for everyone to stay inspired.  We are all individual so we all have individual needs.  What inspires one person does not inspire another.  I know that answer does not really help you, so I will try to answer in a more helpful way.  If I tell you what inspires me, that might in turn inspire you to try something different.

What keeps me inspired is to live life as best as I can.  To interact with others and get out and about as much as my current health will allow me.  I will visit local parks or places of interest.  I live close by the sea so there are beaches to visit as well.

Having said that, I have not been getting out and about as much as I would like.  I also know there are many who cannot get out at all.  So I would like to share with you the story of what inspired me for the featured art journal page.  This inspiration did not require me to go out of my house.  Please note, I am not advocating staying in as the preferred option but showing that it is possible to be inspired even if you are unable to go out.  The time lapse process video of how I painted the sphere with reflections is available for you to watch.  Just scroll down to the end of this article for access.

Continue reading “How to be inspired and know what to draw.”

One simple step to overcome blank page syndrome

Have you ever felt you wanted to create art but when it came to it you froze as you did not know what you actually wanted to draw/paint? I have loads of times.  Some of that freeze is down to what is known in the creative world as the “blank page syndrome”.  It can also be down to our own perceptions of what we think we “should” be doing verses what we believe we “can” do, in other words our self confidence but that is a whole different conversation lol Today I am exploring the blank page………

That moment you get, say, your art journal out, you open it up and you are faced with the blank page.  How do you get from staring at that blank page to actual creating? There are actually a number of different ways you can overcome this.  Todays article is an explanation of one simple way that I recently used to create an art journal page, to help me overcome blank page syndrome.  To find out the answer read on. A timelapse process video of the art journal page is also available at the end of this article.

Continue reading “One simple step to overcome blank page syndrome”

Beginners Alcohol Marker project in 3 easy steps.

It is not always easy to know what to draw.  You may have all the supplies but then when it comes to what you want to draw, your mind goes blank.  I have been there and done that.  Here is what I do to help me.

I have three steps I go through to get to that end result, my finished project.  Even when I do have a specific subject to draw, as was the case with this example I am about to share with you.

I was asked to participate in a YouTube collaboration hosted by Faith of Abstract possiblities, along with 11 other artists.  We each chose a peanuts character from “A Charlie Browns Thanksgiving” and created our own projects of choice. Continue reading “Beginners Alcohol Marker project in 3 easy steps.”

What art supplies will I use? – Does it matter what colour pencil to use as a beginner?

So you would like to start drawing using colour (color if you are in the USA) pencils? Whether you are returning to your creative side or just starting out, there will always be the questions of what supplies do I choose? Today I will be looking at the question – Does it matter what colour pencil I use as a beginner?

I was that person not so long ago.  I returned to arting (is that a word? it is now lol) about 2 years ago and have turned into a bit of an art supply fan.  Well, I don’t drink and don’t smoke so why not?  I do not condone spending outwith your means but there is nothing wrong with indulging what you want now and then.

So the very short answer to this question is NO, it does not matter what colour pencil you use as a beginner.  What really matters is that you start. However, I know from experience, this is not the most helpful answer. It would make for a very short and boring blog post too lol.  I suspect that even if you know it does not really matter, you still want to see and hear other peoples experience with using the product you may want to buy.  I know I did a load of research myself when I set out to buy my first colour pencil set.  So here is my experience and opinion. Continue reading “What art supplies will I use? – Does it matter what colour pencil to use as a beginner?”

How does creativity make life better? A mental health nurse and artist view.


I am sure if you google this question you will find a very large list of answers.  You may have even found this blog post because that is exactly what you have done already.  As a mental health nurse I have considered this question many times so I can work better with those who need my help.  As an artist I have wondered how to make better use of my artistic talents rather than keep them to myself as just a hobby.


There is no one answer to how creativity can help you get a better life.  It all comes down to what you, the individual considers a better life.  Here are my top 3 interesting reasons creativity helps us.  There are so many it was not easy to narrow it down to just 3.  I would like to hear from you in the comments if you have any thoughts on my choices or if you have any more to add you think are important.  What is the one thing you would like to change to make a better life for yourself?

As a nurse it is instilled in us that something has to be “evidenced based” and so my top 3 reasons are all evidenced based.  I have added one link to related articles in each reason to help show some evidence.  However, there are loads of other articles available if you want to do your own research. I would also like to share with you a personal story at the end, which demonstrates how it can work in real life. Continue reading “How does creativity make life better? A mental health nurse and artist view.”