Just Over a Week Away

The Art Challenge starts next Friday September 1 and goes through the 30th. We will be drawing or doodling or creating with joy and passion; maybe a little fear and trembling but honestly, I hope you enjoy it.

I’ve put together a little package together that you can print and have on hand to look at the prompts, think of ideas in advance, or just to hold in your hot little hands. I’ll post it in a link below. You can just click the link and it will take you to a page where you can print from or save it to your computer or phone. There’s a colour option that you can print double sided if you want or single page black and white version. I’ll also be posting the prompts the day before so you can come here or go to my Facebook Page or my Instagram and check it out if you’d rather follow along that way.

Click here for the Prompts and Art Challenge Pdf.

I can’t wait for another fabulous month of art and creativity and I do hope you join us.

But 30 Days is SO Long!

You might be wondering what kind of commitment this whole 30 Day Art Challenge is.

Honestly 30 days is a long time.

Will you be kicked out of “the club” if you miss a day?

NOPE

Will you be letting someone down if you miss a day?

NOPE

Will you be shamed or called out if you miss a day?

Also NOPE!

I would strongly encourage you to join our 30 Day Art Challenge with every plan of creating art every day.

Purposing to do this will allow you to get the most out of the process. It will also encourage you to get creative with finding ways to fit creativity into busy days. It could be a quick 5 min session while you wait for a bus or a kid. It could be drawing while you sit in the waiting room at the dr or dentist. It could be on your coffee break at work. We waste so much time but the more you realize that. The more you purpose to fit creativity in to your day to day life , the more ways and times and places you will notice that you can fit it in.

If you get to the end of your day and realize that you forgot or were too busy…..take note of that. Use that information to give you feedback. If you had the most soul fulfilling day packed with love and joy and people, then call it a win and have a good nights sleep. If you think back and feel like the day was tied up in fruitless busy-ness; think about how you can make changes to be living the life that you want to and make one plan to do so the next day.

If you choose to invest in a month of adding creativity to your life, make that month count. But don’t feel like a failure if life gets busy. Just come back to it.

Live life with the passion of a baby learning to walk. They try. They fall. They try. They fall. They keep trying and trying and trying and trying until they’ve got it.

This also means they fall and get up, over and over and over until they walk.

Also think about the fact that we say they are “walking” when they manage to stumble through 2 or 3 steps. We don’t run them down for falling. We cheer and squeal and shout and encourage them on.

Be your own cheerleader on this artistic journey. Speak gently and encouragingly to yourself. Let us, also, cheer you on. The more steps you take, the more you will be confident in your abilities. But it’s not about the finished product. It’s about the journey.

We’d love to have you join us from September 1-30 for our 30 Day Art Challenge. Stay tuned for more details.

Sharing Your (he)Art can be Scary

I think one reason that doing art and especially sharing art is hard is that it’s a piece of you. You are essentially “creating a piece from yourself” and if you expose it or share – the hope, the wish, the prayer is that people will be kind. That they will see something good. That they will accept and love and value the pieces of yourself that you put out there.

And that’s hard. Because not everyone will see or accept you. Sometimes we feel like it’s easier to protect or hide those parts of ourselves. To not expose or (even safer) to not even create.

But we lose out on something incredible when we stifle or repress the creative parts of ourselves that long to be expressed and seen.

It feels easier to deny our creative longings than it does to express them. But vulnerability is critical for both artistic and personal transformation.

But ironically, it’s when artists are courageous enough to tap into their vulnerability, they also tap into the healing power of art for themselves and the people who view their art.

Incredible Article Here

I’m on an artistic journey. I’m on a personal healing and transformative journey. I’m on a vulnerable journey; and if you are interested in walking along side of me. I welcome you. There is no judgement here. You will be seen and there is space for you.

Our Art Challenge starts on September 1 and goes for 30 days. We’d love to have you join us in whatever way you can. I’ll be here in all my glory and chaos. The mess and the wonder is invited to just be present.

You don’t need anything special. Paper and pen or pencil works but I would suggest some kind of a sketch pad, just so you have a journal of your journey.

Did you see my silly birds reel? I’d love to see your silly bird if you draw one (or a few)

Imposter Syndrome

We’d LOVE to have you join our art challenge in September. Keep following for more details!

But I can’t draw/paint/color/etc; “I’m not an artist.” you might be saying.

You might not be selling your art, or hanging it in a gallery but that doesn’t make you “not an artist.”

That was an awkward sentence.

I remember when I changed the title on my Facebook Page from Blogger to Artist. I most definitely did not identify as an artist. I felt like the hugest fraud putting that on there BUT……the fact was that I made art and crazy enough, I even sold my art…..even crazier, people had been buying my art on greeting cards for years.

But I wasn’t an artist because I wasn’t very good. I most definitely wasn’t as good as “them”.

Imposter Syndrome is that uncomfortable feeling that you feel when you think you are unqualified and incompetent. If you manage to do something well, you might chalk it up to good luck.

After much therapy, I figured out that feelings of “not being good enough” weren’t really serving me and I wanted to live life differently. That involved redefining how I saw and spoke about myself.

Art was a big one for me because I’ve always felt called to create. But I spent a huge portion of my life doubting my abilities and denying myself the right to try and fail while still having fun.

If I can, in some small way, encourage you to try – knowing that failing is just part of trying; and encourage you to have fun while trying – I honestly believe that if you want to, you can create art to spark joy, too!

Not everyone wants to draw or color and that’s fine. But if there’s a part of you that has always wanted to but hasn’t given yourself permission to – for whatever reason……know that this is a safe space to start.

Calling all my fellow artists and creatives, we’d love to have you join us as we do a 30 day Art Challenge from September 1-30.

Art Challenge Supplies

“What do I need for this Art Challenge? I’m not an artist. I don’t have any art supplies.”

Good news! You don’t need anything special to join. Find some scrap paper, and any thing that writes. Pen, pencil, broken crayon…..you are good to go.

Ok honestly, you really don’t need anything fancy. Scrap paper is fine. A ream of printer paper is fine. I would suggest that you get a sketch book of some sort, just so you have a record of where you started and so you can see your progress. You can pick something up at a dollar store, but it’s not necessary. Pencil is a great medium. An eraser is super helpful, as is a sharpener.

I love my watercolor paints. Jon is trying oil based pencil crayons. If you have an iPad or a tablet, there are tons of digital drawing apps. If writing is your thing, a journal or computer. Get creative. I know someone who used cut up cardboard boxes to paint on.

It doesn’t have to cost you money to create; just some time and energy. And that’s not so much a cost, as it is an investment. Forbes says, “Creativity is the only investment that never fails.”

We’d love to have you join us from September 1-30 as we bring a little bit more beauty and light into the world.

Progress over Perfection

As a child, I didn’t believe I could draw. Specifically, I didn’t believe that I could draw very well. Somewhere along the way I fully embraced the idea that perfection was the goal. Probably from the “practise makes perfect” saying. I thought I was SO bad at drawing and art in general that I would never be able to attain perfection and so I might as well give up and focus my energy on things that I could do easily.

It makes my heart hurt when I think about how much the little child version of me wanted to draw and create; and how hard I came down on myself because I couldn’t be perfect. I couldn’t create what I wanted to. I couldn’t create what I was feeling. I couldn’t create what I could see inside my heart and soul.

It’s very rare for me to be able to portray what I’m thinking or seeing or feeling; but I have no intentions of letting that stop me from creating – BECAUSE it’s not about perfection. It’s about the progress. I’m better now than I was 6 months ago, a year ago, 5 years ago. That’s not because I’m trying to be perfect. I’m just practicing creating. I’m repeatedly and habitually putting effort in on my creative journey; and the best part is that I’m enjoying myself.

Creativity is not about where or how I stack up against other artists. It’s about what I can bring into the world. My goal to bring beauty, joy and light into the world and to encourage others to do the same.

We’d love to have you join in the 30 Day Art Challenge on September 1-30, 2023. We welcome all levels of creativity.

Everyone is Creative

This might sound controversial but I completely and wholeheartedly believe that every person is creative.

Not me, you say! I don’t have a creative bone in my body.

I don’t believe it.

We are all creative. Some of us believe it, more than others. Some of practise more than others. Some of us are fantastic at drawing; others are incredible at problem solving. Some of us see the world in a unique way. There are those can create pictures with words and others who can make people feel safe, loved and accepted with their actions.

If you look up the definition of create, it is to bring something into existence or to cause something to happen as a result of one’s actions. We create all day every day and we don’t even realize it.

Can you imagine how amazing it would be to create beauty on purpose?

This 30 day Art Challenge is to inspire you to create beauty and fun for a month, on purpose. To practise creativity in an encouraging, non-stressful way. A practise is just doing something regularly in a habitual way.

We provide the theme. You put out the effort. There’s no judgement allowed. Especially self judgment. We just do it. We just create. Some days will be amazing. Other days might be challenging but the goal is to be intentional and purposeful about releasing creative energy on a daily basis.

We’d love to have you join us.

It takes Courage

Waiting is not an easy thing.

Have you ever had a situation where you wished that time would speed up? I think we’ve all probably had situations of anticipation where you wished that time would hurry up already. It’s hard to wait when you’re hoping and praying and waiting for something.

I remember when I was pregnant. My pregnancies were not delightful. I was SO sick. I was so tired. It was uncomfortable and frankly, miserable. But…..I believed there was a beautiful ending and beginning. I hoped there was a beautiful ending and beginning and so, I waited.

I waited miserable, sick and exhausted. I tried to find the beautiful moments – like feeling the baby move inside me. It’s one of my most favourite moments in life. But mostly I just waited miserable, sick and exhausted. I was biding my time waiting for the end of my misery and the beginning of wonder.

I’m in another one of those times in life. I’m not pregnant. Not a chance. I’m way too old for those shenanigans. But I’m in a season that sometimes feels confusing and challenging. It’s a shifting season, a growth season, a rediscovery season and it’s frustrating.

In my devotions today, I said, “God I need something. I need a sign or a message or something to encourage me.

And then I read Psalms 27:14. (NLT)

Green watercolor eucalyptus border along the bottom of the image with the words Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.  Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalms 27:14 overlayed on top of the image

Seriously! Wait. Wait??? Just wait.

But the words that really stood out to me were those words in the middle of the verse. Be brave and courageous. In another translation it says “Be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart.”

As I thought about those words today, it stuck with me that it takes courage to trust and wait. It takes strength of heart, determination and confidence to patiently wait when you don’t want to, when you feel impatient; especially, when you just want to rush in and make things happen.

And so, I wait. Hopefully with this reminder, I’ll be a little more patient and I’ll have a little more grace for myself and others. But I can also recognize that I am brave. I am strong. I am courageous. There is strength in waiting patiently and confidently. And so I wait.

Hurry Up and Wait

I woke up this morning from a sad dream. I’ll take those over nightmares any day but they are not my favourite kind of dream. I think the absolutely absurd ones are my favourite. Do you have a favourite kind of dream? Weird question, I know!

Anyway, back to my feelings! I felt sad and discouraged. It felt like my world was weighing so heavy on me.

I couldn’t easily shake the heaviness so I got up and got ready for the day. I grabbed a coffee and headed out to my garden. I watered a few plants, checked on my seedlings and then felt frustrated.

Some of my seeds sprouting

I was frustrated because I want them to be grown and mature plants producing beauty and nourishment.

I looked at my garden and felt irritated. You see, right now it’s in the beginning stages of growth. It looks an awful lot like “dirt”. The seeds are hidden and even the young plants are pretty sparse and gangly looking.

Cucumber seedling emerging

I know what it going’s to look like in a month from now. I planted healthy flower and vegetable seeds and it’s a certainty that at least some of them will grow. I also planted some more mature seedlings and provided that I tend to them and give them what they need, my backyard is going to be full of gorgeous greenery, flowers, veggies and herbs. There are going to be butterflies and bees flying around pollinating. Dragonflies will be zipping around and the ladybugs will be everywhere.

In less than a month, I’ll be harvesting salad and adding in herbs to my food. In 2 months, it will be even more stunning. I’ll have plants that reach over 6 feet tall and some that spread wide and it’s literally going to look like a garden oasis.

I can see it in my mind. I can picture myself drinking coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening while I water plants or sit and relax.

But I’m impatient and I want it now. This all ties back to my dream. There are things I’m working toward and hope for that I don’t see the full fruition of and it’s easy to get discouraged if I get stuck in the here and now.

But I can trust that if I’m planting good seeds and tending to them; that the laws of sowing and reaping are as certain as the changing seasons. Even if I don’t know exactly how long the growth process is, I can trust and believe that at the right time, it will happen.

That’s easier said than done but I will keep reminding myself of this when I feel discouraged or frustrated. And I’ll try to remember that no amount of wishing or hoping or dreaming can make things happen any faster than they are supposed to.

Plant the seeds, nurture and tend to them until you see a harvest. It will happen.

A Glorious Cascade

Jon got me the most decadent hanging baskets for Mother’s Day. You know the HUGE ones that end up being the most glorious cascade of color and substance.

I’ve wanted some forever and it feels so extravagant but also so incredibly special. We’ve hung 2 in front of our driveway and one by our front porch and would you believe that I currently have no pictures of them. Crazy!

We also got a bunch of flowers and veggies, herbs, seeds and dirt this past weekend.

Lettuce, Rosemary and Cosmos

I have tried to start seeds twice this year already and have killed both attempts. I’m not typically so deadly when it comes to plants but I’m still in a weird season.

Last summer, I missed my garden terribly but I couldn’t even fathom attempting to tend to anything. Just existing was about all I could handle.

Obviously, the desire to nurture is there and I’m hoping that with a bit of a jump start, the follow through will kick in.

Wave Petunias

I managed to get all the plants we bought planted. It took until today but in a month, my back yard should be the most gorgeous, lush oasis.

Oregano

There is a fabulous mess of flowers, mixed in with veggies and herbs; tucked into pots and baskets and corners and even neatly lined up inside the greenhouse that Jon built for me last year.

Cucumbers starting from seeds

We should have fresh salad all summer long. And I’ve planted 4 zucchini plants and have started seeds for 6 more. I know that sounds crazy but I’ve only ever once had a zucchini plant go crazy and I shredded and froze zucchini in 1 and 2 cup portions and still managed to run out before the next summer. So I’m praying for an over abundant harvest.

Zucchini

I’m hoping that growing them in the greenhouse will help protect them from the powdery mildew that seems to be rampant in my neighbourhood. I’m also going to try growing some in planters in my front yard. It gets sun mostly all day.

Garlic chives

I still have a few things that I’d like to plant, like beans and carrots and radishes as well as Alyssum. But if I don’t get to it, that’s okay too.

Tomatoe and Basil

I’m tired and a little sad tonight. Just feeling a little melancholy. Do you have moments like that, sometimes? Times when life feels a little bit weightier than others. I’m sure it will pass.

Cosmos and Petunias

As I wait with anticipation for this season to wind down, I’m thankful for life. I’m thankful for joy. I’m thankful that I have enough. I’m ever so thankful for the warmth and glow of the sunshine. I’m thankful that I have the capacity to hold both the sadness and the gratitude at the same time.

Lemon Balm

This too shall pass and until then, (and most likely even after) you’ll probably find me in my garden.