I know, I know. 

You want it, but it’s hard… hard to fit sketching into your day, let alone your Christmas.

And if it’s on the To Do List inside your head, it might be down the bottom.

Look, just as exercise is important for your physical health, art is a truly easy thing to do that can be REALLY good for your mental health.

PLUS it’s great to reduce your stress levels AND it’s excellent for FOCUS. Drawing or painting can put you in a state of flow (which is a lovely break from the constant distractions around this time of year in particular).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… it’s Art Fitness.

ADDED BONUS: activewear is not required.

If you can’t easily find an opportunity to draw OR if you can’t imagine filling a page with colour, but you wish you could, here are some tips to help make art a part of your life:

1. Always have art supplies with you. In your handbag/glove box/next to the telly. Put some notepads and felt pens on the kitchen bench or dinner table so the kids are more likely to draw when they’re bored. Here’s what I recommend you have in your kit.

2. Do incidental drawing. Choose to doodle or sketch instead of scrolling on your phone. You can do a page in 5 minutes! (Don’t believe me? Check out #5minutemay for just $5 here.)

3. Arrive early for appointments/work/school and pull out your sketchbook in the car. I know this is a hilarious one FOR ME to include, but you know what, whenever someone is late – and my kids are often late to come out of school, it’s the gift of (drawing) time!) You can sketch what’s OUT of the car, OR what’s INSIDE… have you ever really noticed your steering wheel?

4. Remember it’s good to model drawing for your kids. Drawing and painting is creative problem solving which is a fabulous skill for them to have.

5. Set a goal to fill your (sketch) book! How many pages does it have? When would you like to fill it by? Set a reasonable pace and you’re on your way to that GREAT FEELING of a full book of art.

6. Draw together. One lovely idea I share on the holidays is to start a page with one happy memory of (or plan for) a holiday. The next person adds their drawn memory, JUST TOUCHING yours. Then the next person draws theirs… touching again… until you fill the page. Then colour it all in together and you have a glorious memory page for all of you. Remember to add a date and location!

7. Do an online class. With a stack of subjects to choose from, you’re bound to find something you’d love to draw or paint. It’s like having me right there, drawing and painting alongside you, at your place.

And remember you can be creative with following the instructions and use whatever you have in the house already – my sister once did one of my paint alongs with her daughter, using only highlighter pens… so it’s possible!

If you need any more ideas to get you, your family, and maybe even your friends painting, let me know at hello@shinyhappyart.com and I’ll ask my SHA Club Members to share their ideas too. I do my best to inspire them, but it’s definitely a two way street. Art Friends are GREAT friends to have.

PS. I’ve included some sketches from Christmases past… and yes, last year we were travelling and at Macca’s in Tamworth on Christmas evening… memory recorded!

Christmas Sketch 1