Why painting is good for you

Why painting is good for you

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I encourage people to paint. Why I think it’s good to connect to your creative self and exactly why I encourage people to draw and make their daily life richer. And this is what I came up with.

 

Reason 1

 

Artists are problem solvers. Some are linear and precise, but they need to know about and experiment with their art materials to achieve photo-realistic accuracy. Some are crazy, mad, unexpected and wild. They seem to approach painting with abandon and mixed media is their friend (and possibly their frenzy). Whether it’s a distinct message, a memory, a feeling or a wish they are expressing, there is research to be done and trial and error to be welcomed. Leonardo da Vinci found it worked for him! I think this problem solving approach is so useful in all areas of your life.

Reason 2

Kids are generally really impressed with a parent who’s an artist. It makes you a bit special. And it’s a great thing to make time to do with your kids. One of my students is a racing car driver (which impresses me A LOT) and since she’s been coming to art, her kids introduce her to their friends as an artist. And so they should. It’s a super cool thing to be.

Reason 3

I don’t know about you that when I see friends we’re usually eating. Sometimes it’s exercising. But usually, we’re eating. But making art with friends, whether in a Painting Party or at home at the dinner table, or on a weekend away together, really makes a memorable memory. And, of course, you can eat and drink at the same time if you wish, but the good thing is that you’ll have something to show for your time together.

 

Reason 4

When I draw and paint time just melts away. Sometimes I play music and try to move to the beat while I paint. Other times I listen to podcasts and my mind wanders as the picture appears. Sometimes the painting just doesn’t work and I’m frustrated. But, you know what? Life goes on and I come back and try again. It’s good to spend that time in an unpredictable, but very safe, environment. And sometimes the magic happens and I’m so glad it found me working. I recommend the surrender.

Reason 5

It’s good to challenge yourself, and with art you don’t even have to sweat to do it. Read a book or watch a video. Have a go at a subject or art supply you haven’t tried before. I highly recommend doing what you’re told in a project if you’re a beginner, and then letting loose once you’ve started learning the new skill. And Lord knows, what’s the worse that could happen? You tear out the page, or gesso over the painting and start again another day. Don’t keep doing the things you know you can do. Push yourself and learn. And I’m talking about repetition. Don’t paint one face, or tulip, or landscape and not like it and give up! Paint one, read a bit more about how to do it, then paint it again, and again, and again, taking and experimenting with advice from experts as you go, and you will get better. That’s why I encourage people to date their sketches and plans because you’ll SEE the improvement if you do the work.

Reason 6

Have you noticed? Meditation and mindfulness are all the rage right now. I went to a conference earlier this year and one of the speakers got us all to do a quiz to determine our level of mindfulness. Now, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’m going to do it anyway – my mindfulness was off the charts. I know I notice how things look and feel and smell and taste every day. My weight on the chair, the feel of the keyboard as I type this, the rustle of my hair as I move my head… I really do notice this stuff most of the time. And when I make time to paint and get ‘in the zone’, I’m a happier person. It really is meditation for me. And the lovely thing is, it’s productive as well. I recommend it.

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So whether you’re a confident painter or a total newbie, please get your hands on a pencil, or a felt pen, or a brush and some paint and have a go. Draw your own hand. Draw your desk. Draw your bedroom. Draw your breakfast. Draw your jewellery. Draw your own face. Come along to a painting party or try one online. Paint with your kids. Or someone else’s kids.

Embrace the wonk and enjoy the journey.

It’s good for you.

It’s ‘Inspire Your Heart with Art’ Day!

It’s ‘Inspire Your Heart with Art’ Day!

I know. I hadn’t heard of it either.

But the lovely Ruby Slippers contacted me and asked if I’d be happy to be interviewed on her radio show on 92.9 VOICE FM on 31 January, and mentioned that this national day coincided with the interview.

So I decided it was time to get back into the swing of videos and created a FREE video series painting a FLORAL HEART in watercolour.

So click through and sign up for instant access, and I’ll see you, and your inspired heart, in my online studio.

It’s great therapy. I promise!

Starting the year right!

Starting the year right!

When I planned a weekend workshop called “Shiny Happy Flowers” I hoped it would attract lovely people and they could go home with two bright, floral paintings that they were super proud of.

And oh, the weekend met my expectations and so much more.

Twelve delightful painters joined me on Saturday morning, each with their own backstory on how they had arrived there, and each with an enthusiasm to throw some (Golden) paint on a canvas and make magic happen.

We talked about hero flowers, colour wheels, brights and neutrals (and mixed our own!), brush techniques, finding darks, ‘waratah tadpoles’, and line drawings. We ‘learned by doing’ complimentary colours, ‘golden rule’ composition and glass vase reflections.

Every person that attended was a delight and every painting they finished (or have almost finished!) is a fabulous explosion of colour and joy.

Quite simply, WOW!

Huge thanks to everyone who came along. Special thanks to the fabulous Debbie for bringing and sharing her legendary potatoes (and her legendary happiness) and to gorgeous Linda for all her help setting up and packing away each day. A total gem.

Steffi’s catering was top class too, I’m sure all would agree!

I hope all my weekenders made friends as well as art and that the paintings they’ve taken home are the most wonderful souvenirs of our time together.

If you are interested in a Shiny Happy Flowers Workshop, I may offer another in the second half of the year. It’s very different from a Paint Along as you order or bring your own materials, and you finish with original paintings that are all your own. I give you all I have and together we make gardens of colour. Just make sure you’re on the mailing list.

If you don’t want to wait, join us for Wednesday Wonder Workshops this term – we’re discovering ‘Fish’ for the first four weeks, and then ‘Faces’ for the last four. We’ll be learning a bit of anatomy and then completing a range of projects around each theme, studying some amazing artists, learning by doing and enjoying the fine company! The morning session is almost full, but the 6-9pm session still has a few places. Starts Wednesday 8 February for 8 weeks and all supplies are included. Click here to find out more.

I’m having an art show with my mum next week!

I’m having an art show with my mum next week!

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Hot on the heels of a very successful Downlands Art Exhibition, Mum and I are having a small, joint exhibition from next Saturday!

We’ll be trying to capture the fun of the Carnival in our paintings, and you’ll see them (and us, and possibly Dad, and maybe my kids because it’ll be school holidays) at the Rep Theatre Gallery on Margaret Street, here in Toowoomba.

For a special preview of the exhibition (and first dibs!), pop by on the afternoon of Friday 16 September, between 2 and 4, and say hello – there may be champagne, I’m just saying.

See you there!

I’m well and truly back

I’m well and truly back

What can I say? It was a truly fabulous trip! 

Just over 2 weeks in Germany with friends and then 6 nights in Paris by myself… I can’t believe it either. And the 3.5 years in the planning definitely added to the excitement.

And I got to draw, and draw and draw!

Thanks so much to all the lovelies who signed up to my Postcard Project. I found that I wanted to send the best pics, so the project has continued once I arrived home, but oh, it was so nice to have a drawn record of some of the memories this time (something that’s hard when you’re travelling with kids!).

I will post more about the trip and insights in the weeks and months to come, because when I got home the jetlag got me. So it was a mad scramble to get ready for this term.

 

Here’s what’s been happening:

So please keep your eye on Facebook and Instagram – I’ve got plenty to share over the next month or two and I’ll be sure to add in some timelapses and tutorials.

I really really appreciate your interest in, and support for, my little business.

xxx

The Postcard Project

The Postcard Project

I’m heading overseas this week – which sounds just incredible because this trip has been 3.5 years in the making (and saving!). One of my dearest friends is German so we’re heading to Germany for a couple of weeks to celebrate her 50th birthday, and then, because I’m SO CLOSE, I have a week to explore Paris. Crossing fingers and toes that the weather plays nice in the days and weeks to come.

I plan to do a lot of sketching and painting, which is something that’s more possible when travelling with grown ups rather than children, I find, so whether the weather is wet or dry I’m sure my ‘artist’s eye’ will always find something wonderful to notice and draw.

When I first planned the trip, I had a ‘real job’ and this was my side hustle. Of course, now, things have changed in wonderful ways, but I need to be creative with paying the bills while I’m away (my husband will be being creative with the school run while I’m away, that’s for sure!) so I thought up ‘The Postcard Project’… mainly because it’s been AGES since I received a postcard in the mail and gee it’d be lovely.

So if you’d like that smiley feeling, take a look at the info here and think about those 3, 5, 6 or 10 happy trips to the letterbox you have coming up over the coming weeks, building a collection of beautiful prints for your wall (or the fridge!).

You can join up for the project any time while I’m away. I have my lovely sister on the ground here at home helping with the logistics and adding addresses, so all will be well.

Thanks so much!