Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Treading Softly


As March seems to race by I notice changes through the studio window each day. Sometimes I am greeted with morning fog, other days there is still bit of frost on the ground and occasionally there is a warmth in the wind which promises Spring will be in bloom. The walk from the house to the studio can be muddy or icy and I am careful of my footsteps. I tread softly asI figure out the pathway.  This season seems to wake up slowly and then surprises me with such joy and life. I have been spending long hours in the studio preparing for classes. Notes need to be written for the new classes that are in the works and artwork is constantly being created.  In person classes are still not a reality for me but I have been continuing to teach small groups, private students, guilds and large classes online. It is working for me and I am happy to continue as well as explore some longer term programs for my students. I tread softly with my students. I have received so many emails from students and friends who are having such difficulty navigating the news and the bombardment of negativity coming their way. Our world has been going through such a difficult time and as we respond with compassion we can get so overwhelmed.  Our work with the pointed pen is delicate and quiet and I am constantly reminded of the need to focus as we work on our projects. For me, the pointed pen, flourishing, drawing and painting  provides a pathway of peace. It is also an outreach as I put pen to paper or flourish an envelope to send to a friend. This tiny act of caring can brighten someone's day and bring a sense of joy, even for a few moments. It's something within our reach, inexpensive, and an outlet for our flourishing, drawing and painting studies. I want to thank all of you for your notes of encouragement through mail and email. Your notes to me have been such a kindness and a blessing. I am so grateful for your kind words and you encourage me to send out notes of my own. Keep treading softly in these delicate days. The thoughts and words that we share can be so powerful. Sending hugs all around. I hope you continue to flourish!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Welcome March!!!

 I love the month of March. I know it is unpredictable here in Canada. Sometimes it is a stormy, snowy and icy mess and at other times, it just gently unfolds. Already, the garden sounds different as I hear more and more birds. I continue to wait for the ongoing wonder of this season to begin to emerge. 

I feel so grateful to have work to do in my little studio. I have been intensely working on new workshops. This weekend I will release Nature Sings through Acorn Arts classes online. This class will dive into the wonders and beauty of nature expressed through offhand flourishing. I have also been studying the effects of different mediums on paper and how to build luminosity into the flourishes. The butterfly explorations have been so addictive.

There are times when I am amazed at the results on the paper through very simple techniques. My Faber Castell Polychromos pencils continue to bring a lot of delight as I work with them. If you have never experimented with them, I encourage you to give them a try. They layer beautifully and each layer remains transparent. Their quality is excellent. The core pigment is bonded all the way to the bottom of the pencil so you won't have problems with the core colour falling out. I can use these pencils all the way to the bottom if I use a pencil extender. The are excellent quality for the money and can be mixed with watercolour and watercolour pencils. John Neal Booksellers sell an assortment of some of my favourite colours. I always buy these open stock rather than in sets so I can select my favourite colours. Your favourite art store should have these in stock and you can enjoy looking at the wonderful colour range.

I will be using these coloured pencils in my April Fainting Fancies class through The Gentle Penman as well. The piece at the bottom of the post explores some ideas from both Fainting Fancies and Nature Sings. I hope you treat yourselves to a few colours and explore their possibilities. Just looking at them in the pencil case brings a sense of expectation to my work these days. 
Even as I work at my desk, surrounded by bright colours and and a mind filled with hope, the news of what is happening in the world is overwhelming. As artists, we reflect what is in our minds and hearts when we work. I struggled with whether or not to post about the classes that are coming up. There are so many pressures and concerns in the minds of my dear friends, students and colleagues. My hope is that this type of quiet work with your hands will bring you a sense of peace, hope, and focus as we bring beauty to the page.It can't fix the world but it can realign our thoughts and give our minds a haven from the storm. Wherever you are in the world and whatever is surrounding you, I am sharing a gentle message of Hope to our delicate world. Hugs all around.