Friday, 31 January 2020

Creativity Challenge

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Looking back at the second half of January, I am happy with the time spent on creative projects. Due to a change in my teaching schedule, I dedicated more time to painting and felting. I created something on five days of the week spending between one hour and almost four hours on a certain artwork at one stretch.

During a weekend at the cottage, I created a drawing of snow-covered trees (see above). I also spent some time preparing drawings for my Cartooning and Comics classes, one of them was a drawing of the cute Sonic the Hedgehog.

Of Flowers and Butterflies, acrylic, 16" x 20"

I finally finished a painting that was a challenge for me. At last year's Navan Fine Arts Exhibition and Sale, we were asked to paint to the pianist's live music. It was a very different experience to let myself be inspired by music instead of painting something that was in front of me. Before the event, I was sure that I would create an abstract piece, but when the pianist started playing, nothing came to my mind. I was very aware of the visitors looking over my shoulder and felt panicked. Finally, I started painting flowers and butterflies, but I was very frustrated with my composition when my time was up. I could have considered the painting as a write-off, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could save it. I increased the size and texture of the flowers and added some additional butterflies. "Of Flowers and Butterflies" is not my style at all, but I am happy with the result.

Real or Not, mixed media, 16" x 20"

I also finished the playful 16” x 20” painting "Real or Not" from my outing to Du Moulin Park with friends last September. My mixed media piece contains real and painted leaves. It was a lot of fun to create this collage of leaves.

As for my latest felted artworks, the first one was inspired by my painting “Hidden in the Fog”, the second is a landscape with trees, this time during the colourful fall season. Both pieces are still unfinished.

While I will not continue with the Creativity Challenge in February, I hope that my new schedule will help me to create more art. Being absorbed in the world of art is a wonderful way to forget about stressors, to re-energize, and to have fun. I feel so much more balanced when I regularly take the time to create something. My next goal is to use new materials or techniques to playfully explore new possibilities. I will keep you posted.

If you are looking for ways to bring more creativity and fun into your life, please check out my winter and spring programmes at

Friday, 24 January 2020

Blog-free Week

Snowshoeing, acrylic, 6" x 6"

I hope you are enjoying some activities to get you through the winter, whether you are most happy outside skiing, skating, snowshoeing, and walking, or prefer to sit inside with  a nice cup of tea and your favourite craft. Next week, I will present to you the projects I worked on during the second half of the month.

Friday, 17 January 2020

January Creativity Challenge

Winter Trees at Sunset, wool, 11″ x 8.5″
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We are already in the second half of January. Have you settled into a routine that allows you to dedicate time for creative projects? As my courses only started this week, I used the beginning of the month to run errands and to catch up after my five weeks vacation instead of going into my studio. As a result, I did not create something every day, but sometimes spend hours at a time felting or sketching. Usually, once I get started, I forget about time and chores and get fully immersed in my projects.

I started the month with the creation of a vision board that focusses on creating colourful art, travelling, and building and nurturing meaningful connections.

I created many sketches during visits to the National Arts Centre and the Ottawa Little Theatre. When I sketched the main character of the musical Waitress, almost no light fell on my sketchpad. Therefore, I had to make some adjustments during the break. I altered the face at home by studying online images. I also worked on some of the sketches from the Ottawa Little at home. There are a lot of pages in my sketchbook that show just a couple of lines, because the subject moved too fast, left the location, or my sketch was too ambitious for the situation. 

I also created two drawings that will be used as colouring pages for the students at the Heritage Public School. The students’ coloured images will be exhibited during the 10th Anniversary of the Navan Fine Arts Exhibition and Sale on April 18-19, 2020, from 10 am to 4 pm. The exhibit will showcase some of the roots of the rural Navan community. I had two copies of old blurry photographs as references. In both cases, I had to simplify the scene to create drawings that are suitable as colouring pages. As I always have problems with perspective, it took me a long time to measure the angles and lines of the schoolhouse. In the photo, the front of the old schoolhouse was barred by students of the school who were arranged for a group photo. Therefore, I could not see the whole building and also added some students at the front of the image. Drawing the hockey players was easier, even though I had to look at other old photos to get some extra information about the appropriate skates and outfits of the era.

During my Winter Sunset Felting Workshop, I created another winter sunset (see image at top). I deliberately changed the composition slightly from the previous one. While it is possible to recreate something, where is the fun in copying yourself? You would get so tight trying to match every shape and colour that the energy and the joy would fall by the wayside.

If you are lacking inspiration or are procrastinating the start of a creative project, get a group of friends together or join me at any of my events. The next one is Crafters Afternoon on Friday, January 24, 2020, from 3:30 pm until 5:30 pm. Bring your crafts or needlework, and I provide tea and coffee. We will be chatting, sipping a hot beverage and crafting. This is my way to prevent the winter blues. For more information please go to

Friday, 10 January 2020

Blog-free Week

Winter at Petrie Island, oil, 14" x 11"

For many, this was the first week back to work and school. I hope it was a good week. Most of my art courses and German courses don't start before next week. I received my new German teaching schedule this week, and I teach more hours per day, which gives me one extra day to spend painting in my studio or hopefully outside with my friends. Have you worked on some creative projects? Next week, I will tell you all about how my Creativity Challenge has worked out so far.

Have a great week!

Friday, 3 January 2020

Happy New Year

Pink Poinsettia, watercolour, 5.5" x 8.5"

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Happy New Year 2020! A new year and a new decade are ahead of us. Make the most of every day! I wish you lots of success on your way to reaching your goals. Do you write down your resolutions and goals for the coming year? Or do you create a vision board to visualize what is important to you this year?

For the past couple of years, I have offered vision board workshops and the vision boards I created for myself really helped me to visualize my goals for the year. On Sunday, January 5, 2019, at 2 pm, I offer a special Art Cafe where we will not only enjoy each others company and treats but also take time to create a vision board for 2020. I provide all the materials, but if you already have some images that resonate with you, please bring them. To register please go to

Every January, I start the new year with my Creativity Challenge to get back into a creative routine after the holidays. I will post about my projects in my January bi-weekly blogs on January 17 and 31.

To encourage you to pick up a creative hobby or to take it to the next level, I will give a deduction of $10 to the first five people who register for any of my workshops. This offer does not apply for the Art Cafe, the Crafters Afternoon or the Art Circle. Please go to to see what I have planned for the winter semester. I strive to help you to have more fun, to relax, and to make new friends. If you are looking for a certain workshop or would like to learn a new technique, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always willing to create a new workshop.

For this blog, I like to share my December artworks. I created most of them during my trip to Germany: Therefore, there are a lot of pencil sketches, a watercolour painting of a light pink poinsettia, and two feltings, the one of our dog Alex is finished and the second one is still a work-in-progress.

I hope you will return to my blog to see how I am doing with my Creativity Challenge. I would also love to see your projects.