Celebrating A Writer’s Success

I am delighted to share with you that my coaching client, Pamela Jeffs, a fabulous and highly regarded speculative fiction short story author has won the Queensland Writers Centre 2021 Flinthart Residency where she will work on her speculative fiction novel and develop it to publication later this year. Congratulations Pamela!

I’m so excited and grateful we got to work together. During our fiction coaching partnership we worked through a set of novel blueprint exercises to ensure Pamela had a strong foundation for this novella. The process required Pamela to provide me with answers to a set of exercises and I provided coaching comments, questions, and reflection on each one. We met over zoom and discussed the feedback, how it came across and the opportunities for improvement or further exploration.

Together we worked on all aspects of the novella from finding the best the point of view for the story, understanding the ideal reader and genre target audience, developing the protagonist and their misbelief, writing an elevator pitch, writing a book jacket copy, writing a plot that worked, writing scenes that showed a change or transformation, world building, and fleshing out an inside outline that had action and emotional impact that moved the story forward in a logical way. I am sure some of the questions I asked challenged Pamela to go deeper and find threads she was yet to discover. It was a pleasure to work with Pamela on her novella and I am glowing with joy for her success.

A collection of fantasy and sci-fi short stories by Pamela Jeffs.

I hope you will join me in congratulating Pamela Jeffs!

Also if you love reading short fantasy and sci-fi fiction, I can recommend Saloons & Stardust – A Collection by Pamela Jeffs. I have a copy and the first story has a great twist to it. I can’t give the surprise away but if you’re open to supporting an author, maybe pick up a copy yourself?

If you’re interested in reading a cracking collection of short stories, check out Relics Wrecks & Ruins anthology collection edited by the late Aiki Flinthart. You’ll find stories written by Neil Gaiman, Angela Slatter, David Farland, Pamela Jeffs, Garth Nix, Aiki Flinthart and many more.

Each story is a feast to read.

As an update from me, I am almost finished my fiction coaching course and I am looking forward to being able to coach more writers get the story down on the page. I am still drawing and reading, and I am in the middle of moving house. And, as you can see from this post I am focusing on fiction coaching and creative writing. Thanks for reading.

Until next time, happy creating and if you’re interested in working with me on your story go to the contact page and send me an email so we can chat.

**Disclaimer: Fiction book coaching does not guarantee winning a residency or publication, but it does support writers to write and to develop and write their stories/manuscripts.

Fiction Coaching – What I’m learning

I’m about 30% the way through my fiction coaching course now and have taken on some lovely practice coaching clients. This has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and to stretch myself. It has been such a good experience for me and I am now able to use all the writing skills I have spent the last twelve years learning to assist and guide my clients to think through their stories and figure out where they need to do more work on their novels.

It’s a good feeling to contribute to an author’s novel process, but there is a huge responsibility that comes with giving feedback that is honest and caring. I am very mindful of how much it hurts to receive feedback that your story isn’t quite where you thought it was and needs more work. I’ve just been through that myself, and now that I am learning to coach fiction novelists, I am also very aware of how hard it is to point out to a writer who has spent years on a manuscript that something fundamental isn’t working.

In my classes I’ve been learning how to take my writers through a process that allows them to delve into their motivation for writing their story, what’s important about writing that particular story, what they’re really trying to say to their reader through story as it unfolds. I’ve been learning to coach my writers to figure out point of view, genre, develop their world building, and how to write scenes that show a change and add to the cause-and-effect trajectory of a story. It’s exciting stuff and it’s deep work that requires writers to go deeper than they’ve done before.

If you’ve ever written a novel, whether that’s to publication or it’s still a work in progress, then you know writing is an iterative process where each rewrite brings new challenges and rewards. Sometimes it feels almost impossible to finish but by making incremental steps forward you will get there. And if you have a story calling your name, then it will haunt you until you put words down on paper/screen. At least, that’s my experience.

The best thing about my coaching course (to my mind) is the focus on getting the foundation of your story sorted out before writing it. I did the plotting thing and I have discovery written my way through a couple of manuscripts and there are pros and cons to both types of approaches. In the end I’ve settled somewhere in the middle, but still I’ve instinctively known something was missing from my novel and that was a deeper internal level to the story. My story has a lot of action in it and I know about the internal plot and have that in there too, however, it’s not as deep as it could be. I’ve learned it doesn’t yet pull my readers into the trance state I want them to experience. So more work is required to incorporate what things mean to my protagonist as she faces set backs, challenges, obstacles on her way to achieving what she wants. So, I have much more work to do on my novel.

But no work done on a creative activity is ever wasted time. Not to me. I can look back at complete disasters in both my writing and my art, and I can see that each piece has been a stepping stone in developing my skills, my understanding of what I was trying to do, and in expressing on paper an accurate reflection of what I wanted my viewers/readers to experience. Every mistake has a purpose and no effort to learn is ever wasted.

I’ll add more posts about my experiences in the near future. For the moment, I am doing a lot of reading, loads of study, and I am still drawing. I have decided to put a watercolour painting and a mixed-media drawing into a local exhibition in May. It’s another step out of my comfort zone. I can’t put the images of this work up here yet as I need to wait until the exhibition to do that.

So, what I’ll show you is this great horror anthology, Black Cranes Tales of Unquiet Women that I got in the post and have been reading. It’s been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, and it deserves the recognition.

When I read Geneve Flynn’s Little Worm story my heart fluttered in my chest, time stopped and the hairs on the back of my neck stiffened. I was pulled into the story and couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I’m still haunted by it and it’s thrilling!

A horror anthology that will thrill you.

Geneve Flynn is a Brisbane based author and editor, and together with Lee Murray they edited this anthology. So if you’re looking for an anthology of horror stories this one is sure to thrill you.

Okay, that’s it from me today. I have more study to do and I am hoping to spend part of the afternoon doing cross hatching. I need to keep practicing my creative skills.

I hope you are staying creative and enjoying the process.

Creative Changes and Coaching

I’ve been writing this blog since 2013 (if my memory serves me), and it’s always been about sharing my love of creativity, my art, writing and inspiring others to be creative in some way, however, in January 2021, two things happened in my life that will impact the way I do things here.

First, I became a certified leadership coach which gives me the professional certification required to coach clients in all areas of their personal and professional lives. It gave me the tools and confidence to hold space for my clients, listen deeply to what is happening for them and to accept, blend and create with them as they move forward toward a goal, and, overcome any struggles they may be facing in pursuit of that.

Second, my day job was made redundant and at that pivotal point in my life, I took time to think seriously about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to be of service to others in my life. This lead to a decision to put my creative heart first and build a business that focuses on coaching, fiction coaching, writing and art. I knew I wanted to help other people go deeper into their life experiences and find solutions that suit them as well as inspire them to live their best creative life.

At my desk

So this is me, embarking on a new life experience. I’m changing and I am combining my love of coaching with my love of fiction and the creative process, and enrolled in the Author Accelerator Book Coaching Program specialising in fiction.

Around all of this change I am still drawing and painting and exploring creativity, however, I wanted to let you know that you’ll see some changes to my website as I become clearer on what I want in my creative life and how I can help you to develop your own relationship with creativity.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for following my blog and to let you know how much I have appreciated the likes on my blog posts, the comments and the time you’ve taken out of your day to connect with me. I appreciate that very much. I also understand, that as things change here, you may feel my blog and website is no longer for you. If so, thank you for hanging out with me and I wish you every creative success in whatever you do.

If you’re staying with me you’ll see posts on creative writing, art, and coaching, as well as updates on what I’m doing creatively.

I’ll leave you with my latest pet portrait done in prismacolor pencils on premium drawing card.

Prismacolor Pencils on Premium Drawing Card

Write, play, explore and take daily action toward creating the life you want.

Thanks for everything and until next time, happy creating. I hope you are following your creative calling.

Animal Portraits

I’ve been very quiet for a while and that’s because I have been developing my animal/pet portraiture skills in procreate, watercolour, ink pen and prismacolor pencils. I’ve also finished working for a while and this has afforded me some creative time to explore my art, creative writing and to develop a business in coaching creative people as well as to develop my online teaching ideas.

One of my greatest joys has been bringing fur-babies to life on the page. I hope you’ll take some time to have a look at my pet portraits so far. There are many more inspiration pets in the virtual wings for me to play with. I’m going to keep going with digital art, but will also branch out and explore as many different mediums as possible, as I don’t want to become narrow in my art skills development.

Only one of these pet portraits is in watercolour and that’s because it is a challenging medium to get the hang of and I am still developing my foundation skills. Still I am very happy with the border collie puppy below.

I originally sketched out the this pen ink tiger in 2014/2015. I must have closed my visual diary and put it away thinking I’d come back to it, which I did around six or seven years later!

When I found it, I thought this is an opportunity to improve on a drawing and to see where I can take it with a few perspective corrections.

Tiger in black pen and prismacolor pencils
Artist: Selina Shapland
Created: 3rd February 2021
Ink pen underdrawing of the tiger
Artist: Selina Shapland
Finished: 3rd February 2021

I hope my animal / pet portrait art inspires you to develop your creative skills. Art is really about observation and learning to take what you see and accurately record it on the page whether that’s digital or paper or on a canvas. The better we get at seeing the world as it is and recording it the more accurate our art becomes. I do like semi-realism in my portraits but I am also going through some deep experimentation too. So I’m sure you’ll see many more pieces from me as time goes by.

Until next time, happy creating, whatever creative expression calls to you!

Developing an eye for values

Circus Clown Portrait – Procreate pencil drawing.
Artist: Selina Shapland.
Created: 8/12/2020
Inspiration photo from Professional Photographer: Lennie Duensing – Sktchyapp

I believe it is vitally important to take time to be creative. For me, it is how I allow my brain time to unravel the big issues I am facing and most importantly, it is how I de-stress and manage to quiet anxious thoughts and feelings.

Drawing, painting and focusing on my creative life through writing have kept me sane this year. I have learned so much about art and I know I have so much more to learn. I have written and re-written my story and it’s almost ready to be submitted to a competition for a chance to be shortlisted and possibly win one-to-one editing. Regardless of where my story comes in the number of entries, it has been a valuable experience preparing for this deadline.

Back to art. I’ve been learning to develop my eye for values and have started to do studies focusing on dark, medium and light tones which create a more realistic visual representation of the person I am drawing.

Here are some photos of other value studies I’ve been working on.

Portrait of a Comedian with Derwent Pencil in Procreate
Artist: Selina Shapland
Created: 1/12/2020
Inspiration photo from Sktchyapp

I have learned the importance of creating a strong structure of the face before beginning to layer in the darks, mediums and lights. I’ve also become more comfortable with making mistakes and working with them, correcting proportions as I go with each drawing.

The two studies above are also procreate portraits with inking, colour layers and value ranges. I have been enjoying this type of drawing a lot. The one on the left was created on the 4/12/2020 and the one on the right was created on 1/11/2020.

A portrait of hands in procreate
Artist: Selina Shapland
Created: 12/11/2020
Inspiration photo from Sktchyapp

I didn’t get an exact likeness but I think this study of hands says something special about human connection and the intimacy of touch. The lady who put up the inspiration photo on sktchy told me this was a special portrait to her as it shows her holding her elderly mother’s hand, and her mother has now passed away. My heart went out to her when she told me because as my own mother has developed advanced Alzheimer’s I have come to realise the deep importance of these moments. These touches say a lot and I was honoured that I could bring back loving memories to that lady.

The two portraits above are also procreate. I have been going through a big digital drawing phase. Maybe because it’s easy to take my iPad on the train to and from work? Anyway, the portrait on the left was created on 7/12/2020 and the portrait on the right was created on 28/10/2020. I enjoy the cartoon-y style and couldn’t resist that big sun flower. Both are inspired from sktchyapp photos.

Portrait in Procreate
Artist: Selina Shapland
Created: 16/11/2020

I enjoyed this portrait as I not only focused on values but put in layers of blue, red and yellow to create bolder effect. This one is also a sktchyapp inspired artwork.

I have been practicing my oil painting. It takes ages to finish a piece. I learned a lot about ensuring the underdrawing is accurate with proportions and mixing colours to match skin tone is an art in itself. I’ll keep practicing. I had a lot of trouble getting the nose right in this one but I loved her eyes in the end. It took me months to do this portrait because I couldn’t decide on colours and had a terrible time with getting a likeness and the proportions right.

Artist: Selina Shapland
Created: 29/11/2020

So that’s been the a pictorial tour of the last three months of my art practice. I’ve also dealt with the news that my job is being made redundant, selling my mother’s house to pay her care fees, and who knows what other stresses. The only way I have got through the day has been to turn to my creative life and live as much in accordance with my heart’s desire as possible.

Now I’m back to my creative writing. Got a synopsis and audience analysis to write before I submit my story in the competition.

Whatever you’re doing, I hope living a creative life brings you joy and happiness the way it does for me.

Sketching and Portrait Practice

My drawing practice has been taking twists and turns. I’m still working through my 100 portraits and practicing the human face using various techniques (as you can see from my digital and pen portraits below), but I’ve also been fascinated by lions lately and above you can see three of the studies I’ve been working on. The first one is pen and prismacolor pencils in my tinted visual diary and the other two were drawn on my procreate program. I particularly like the big boy in the centre. I fell in love with his jutting chin and had to catch a likeness of my own.

I do like the girl with the red lips. All of the portraits above are inspired by people posting their photos on the Sktchy app so that artists can draw them. It’s been an invaluable app for providing inspiration and tuition to continue to develop my portrait practice challenge. I’ve done 98 of 100 portraits as of this weekend. Only two more to go.

In between this, I’ve also rewritten/edited fifteen chapters of my novel, but have found that I’ve needed to return to my drawing more often to fill my creative inner bucket.

So recently I’ve started to explore the idea of sketching daily and learning urban sketching. I’ve got a lot to learn in art but particularly in urban sketching and perspective drawing. However, I’ve also decided that it’s about the process of drawing and enjoying the story I create on the page. These drawings of my world and the way I see things, and I’m very much looking forward to developing this new sketching interest over time.

Here’s some drawings I’ve sketched in my small Jasart visual diary over the weekend.

My partner’s Kawasaki motorbike.

I sat down and sketched my partner’s motorbike. It turned out pretty good even thought there are heaps of inaccuracies and a few skewed perspectives on it. Still I’m so happy with this drawing as it’s only the second motorbike I’ve ever drawn.

Sketches in my visual diary using pen and watercolour

I actually like this kind of sketching. It is so enjoyable. There’s a flower I saw on the side of the street the other day and a super cartoony sketch of my hand with my pen.

And above is a sketch of my poodle waiting patiently for his chicken jerky, and my other fur-baby hanging out on the couch with me.

This is one of the things I love about sketching in a visual diary. I can record the world around me and focus in on what is important or interesting in my life.

Now I need to sneak around with my sketch pad until I can draw my cat. It’s a challenge as animals have a sixth sense about being watched and move almost immediately. Anyway, I’ll get there.

And I’m going to keep drawing and doing my best to learn urban sketching and all sorts of perspective.

Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful creative day.

It’s been an arty kinda month

It’s been a while since I wrote a post. Seems to be something I say a lot lately. Life’s been busy with my deep dive into developing my life drawing and anatomy skills, learning oil portrait painting, more progress on my portrait practice challenge, and developing my digital art skills too. In between all of that I’ve still be plodding along working on my novel here and there, and going to work, living and spending time with my loved ones as much as I can.

I hope you have been well. It’s turned into a topsy-turvy world with this COVID virus and my thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.

So… I’ve been having an arty kind of month and am sharing some of the things I’ve done.

In early July, I attended a four day oil portrait painting workshop run by Jess Le Clerc from Art School Co on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland and focused on capturing my mum as she struggles with Alzheimer’s Disease. I wanted to capture how lost she is and how much she tries to understand what is happening around her.

I wanted to connect with my mother in a special way that conveyed how much I love her.

This oil painting was a very emotional experience for me. As mum emerged on the canvas I found my emotions swell up, crest and crash all over my broken heart. Memories of her before this disease started to steal her memories from us plunged pain in to the centre of my chest. My eyes welled but I also felt great joy as I quietly painted my mother’s likeness.

In a strange way I got to spend four days communing with my mum in a way that goes beyond language and touches the heart and soul. I don’t know if I will ever paint another image that will be as profoundly important to my heart as this one. Above is a photo of the still wet oil portrait.

Jess Le Clerc ran an excellent workshop and catered to many different portrait needs and artist skill levels. She was fun to learn from and so very informative. I wish I had been more developed as an oil painter so I could have peppered her with questions. But I’m still such a beginner I didn’t know what to ask.

Anyway it took some time for me to be able to speak about this experience with my mum’s oil portrait as emotions kept rising for me to deal with. Grief mixed with joy not only in the four days I spent painting but also for weeks afterwards.

As I moved through that experience I found myself doing more digital art. Here are two of my most recent digital portraits from my portrait practice challenge.

These were part of the Sktchy 30 faces in 30 days. I only did three portraits of this challenge as I had so many other things going on in my life. The girl’s hand took me four attempts to make it look like a hand and I think I sat on this digital portrait for about 20 days as I pondered what wasn’t quite right with it. In the end it came together and I am happy with my progress and progress is what counts.

Below you’ll see some life drawings from July as well as a study of the human eye. I’m learning more about anatomy and how to use light, shade and tonal values to create what I want you to see. It’s going to be fun to see how my slowly developing anatomy skills show up in my life drawings. I have no specific expectations, only a curious openness to what appears on the page.

Then I found my most favourite artist, Aaron Blaise, and joined up to be a member of his art classes because… well… I love his work and I am grateful such a great teacher is out there sharing his art and animation knowledge for creative hungry creatives like me.

I signed up to do his Hidden Creatures of the Forest class and this is my first digital panting. I followed along and created my own version of this fern creature. I admit I love him. And I am so looking forward to doing more of these kinds of creatures. They wildly imaginative and fun to do. Although I have discovered that digital art takes me three times longer to do than traditional art does. Maybe I am putting more time and attention into every detail now…?

The above fern creature is set against a photo that I took while in England in 2018. It was fabulous to use some of my photos from my big UK trip in my art. I hope you like him as much as I do. But I am biased. I love him!

Anyway, lots to do. More art, more writing, more meditation and stuff. So I’ll sign off now. Whatever you’re doing I hope it’s creative and filling your inner bucket up with joy and happiness. In these strange times I think it’s important to come home to yourself and let your creativity out into the world.

Happy Creating!

Developing Digital Portraits

Since May I have been diving deep into learning how to use Procreate and developing new digital portraits. It’s a whole lot of fun but also a lot of work as I have had to train my brain to think of drawing in layers that sit one on top of the other.

Below is a small cartoon-y self-portrait of my inner child. It shows that I don’t have to be all grown up about drawing and creating. It’s a practice that invites the inner child to come out and be playful, to make suggestions and to experiment. I feel so much joy when this happens, and I hope this happens for you too.

In the past month I have spent hours enjoying the process of drawing Sktchy muses with my Procreate application and I’m delighted with how my creativity has been growing. It has also given my brain a much needed break from my story, however, I am also excited to say that I have hit another milestone and completed the most recent edit of my novel. Of course, there’s still more editing to be done and in a way, writing a story is much the same as developing artwork with layering techniques.

I am continuing to make progress on my portrait practice challenge and have completed a number of digital portraits as that’s what is interesting and creatively nourishing for me at this point in my life.

Below are some of the digital portraits I’ve created. Some of these images are taken one or two steps before completion. I am so happy with them.

I’m finding that I am thoroughly enjoying drawing portraits that are semi-realistic but have a cartoon quality to them. It’s freeing not to be so fussed with an exact likeness. And a lot less stressful.

I’ll leave you with a short time lapse compilation of some of my digital portraits (if you’re interested in watching:))

Portrait Practice Challenge 2020 – Digital Portraits

Until next time, I hope your day is filled with child-like wonder and you are enjoying creative living whatever that is to you.

Sunflowers and the Arty Lifestyle

I couldn’t walk past a trio of sunflowers while out shopping for essential groceries. The bright yellow drew my eye and I whisked the sunflowers from the bucket and into my basket without a second of hesitation.

I new the moment I saw their pretty faces that I wanted to draw them and paint them with watercolour. And here they are. 03B68C32-EAB2-4F5F-87F3-A26BEA9174E3

I spent all day sitting on the veranda sketching these beauties into my watercolour visual diary and the rest of the day painting them in an attempt to capture the life of they beamed at me.

It was a day of pure creative happiness. Blissful time spent drawing and painting without worrying about anything at all.

I did several other drawings/watercolour paintings of my sunflowers. They were too beautiful not to capture them from various angles.

Earlier in the week, I played around with more black ink and watercolour to create this beautiful King Protea. Unfortunately, while I was outside sketching it something small and green fell on the page. F7FD804E-8CC6-46AA-8EBA-69C61BD43D3C

I thought it was a seed pod from the over hanging tree. When I brushed it off the page it squished a small insect creature into the paper and so this one is very close to nature.

I’m so sorry little nature bug – I didn’t mean to turn you in to art collage in my visual diary!

It was so delightful to see this flower evolve on my page. I do love it.

My arty lifestyle has been developing each day and each time I draw. I’m still doing my 100 portrait challenge but needed some time out to focus on drawing other subjects. Since my last post, this is the only portrait I’ve done.


This guy is from Sktchy app and he’s an artist too. A brave guy willing to allow others to draw him in the ‘all-together’. I did this one on Procreate (I’m still learning the program – it’ll take me my whole life time to figure it all out I think) and practiced foreshortening as well as anatomy drawing and getting a likeness.

Then it was on to drawing my partner’s motorbike. It’s his pride and joy, and he is so happy that the Government have allowed riders to go out on their bikes again. Although that’s for a test period to see if we can ease some restrictions and still reduce the amount of cases of COVID-19.


So I probably won’t see him much over the weekend as he’ll be hitting the road with this baby.

I drew his motorbike on my iPad with Procreate too. It’s my first go at drawing his motorbike. It seemed too complex for me at first but then as I slowed right down and focused on negative space and then just the shapes – circles, squares, curves etc – came together on the virtual page. I am very happy with this first go and am thinking of developing a series of drawings all about his motorbike. It could be fun and that’s what art is really about for me.

Now my arty eye has been draw to illustration and in particular how to create characters on the page using objects (as well as myself 🙂 ). I am having so much fun with this style of drawing and it is so freeing for the imagination.

First you start by drawing what you see and going for some accuracy. Check out my drawing pens.


Then you start to be playful with the pens and pencils, creating joyful characters of them.

Here’s a page from my A5 visual diary. On the left you’ll see my ‘Playful Pen’, then you can see how my imagination is starting to grasp the idea of turning pens and pencils into playful characters.  On the other page, I have more realistic drawings – my Lamy Pen and my watercolour pallet which I did from observation. Down in the bottom corner, I drew my own eye watching my drawing to show how much I was looking, looking, looking at what I was doing.


Lastly, I’m learning how to turn myself into a character. Here’s me showing my art and writing to my fan base – my fur-babies, Jack, Rocket and Miss Poppy.


This was soooo much fun. You can expect to see more doodles like this showing up on my blog as I keep playing around with ideas and documenting my daily life in fun ways.

Until next time, I hope you are staying safe and indulging yourself in a creative life. Creative expression, no matter what form it takes, helps you to come home to yourself and see yourself through the things you make.

Go get some ‘Big Magic’ like Elizabeth Gilbert talks about and just have fun!

Portraits & Botanical Drawings

I’ve been keeping-on-keeping-on with my portrait practice. Last week I hit portrait 65 of 100 of my portrait practice challenge.

I’m happy to say that my ability to see what is in front of me and draw that is improving. This means I am becoming much better at drawing portraits that have a likeness to the person and that makes me feel great. Sometimes their features are a little out of proportion like the lady above… I made her nose a little too large and had some trouble placing her eye on the far side of the three quarter view, but overall I am pretty happy with how my portrait skills are going.


It’s a great way to spend time when I am not working (from home). My art practice is giving me space from the stresses of the world and helping me to figure out who I am and how I am seeing the world from day to day. I have noticed that if I am having an off day, emotionally-speaking, then my drawings can either save me and pull me out of that funk or they are a reflection of the inner turmoil I have been experiencing. I think that’s one of the wonderful things about art. It allows space for the mind to process what has been happening.


A couple of weeks ago I was missing my fortnightly life drawing class so I spent a few hours reconnecting with how to see and draw the human figure with a fabulous yoga pose provided by a Sktchy muse.

The pose was quite a challenge for me to draw and I think I did a pretty good job of it, however, I can see a few errors. It’s always this way for me. I can’t see the errors at first but after a few days away from my work, I can see where I was in the process of drawing and seeing. And I can see where I have gone just a little off course.

Still I enjoyed the process of drawing that yoga pose and it inspired me to get on my own yoga mat. I’m no-where near as flexible as the lady I drew but that’s not the point. I have to keep reminding myself that yoga is about coming to the mat and working with my body where it is. Giving myself some inner love and acceptance.

What can I say… I’m a work in progress!

So this weekend I moved away from doing portraits and the human figure to embrace some nature. I came across an inspirational idea to use a thick felt tipped pen to create botanical compositions. The above drawing was completed today and I had a blast. It’s a combination of gum nuts, eucalyptus leaves and wattle.

So many hours of work but so much fun. I’m still learning where to go darker and when to hold back. But for my first botanic composition I reckon I managed to create a lovely piece of art.

I’m also embracing imperfection and messy art. I am allowed to make it my own messy creation cause when you stand back it looks great… even if its a bit of a messy-mess up close.

Yesterday, I played with the felt tipped pen in my A5 visual diary. It’s got creamy paper and is lovely to draw in. I found an image of a Protea and created this drawing, then I had to put prismacolor pencils on it to make it pop. I do love the combination of ink pen drawings with my prismacolor pencils. It’s so satisfying to see the work come to life on the page.


And finally, last weekend, I spent a number of hours outside observing my lemon tree which I have carted around from one home to another in a pot – always whispering promises that when I finally have a home of my own I will plant it and give its root space to stretch out.

I’m still working on finding a place to call my own. The lemon tree has faith in me.

If you’re interested I did the above drawing on my iPad using procreate. I’m loving procreate and learning how to use it to capture art in a new way. There’s so much to learn.

Butterflies have been flitting around my home in abundance lately and laying their eggs on my lemon tree. It doesn’t have so many leaves now that the caterpillars have munched their way through the green leaves!

But I don’t mind. I’m sure my lemon tree isn’t too keen on being eaten like that but it will bounce back. It always does.

The act of sitting in my fold up chair and sketching my lemon tree was truly therapeutic and de-stressing.

I hope that my arty creations inspire you to take pen or pencil to paper or to try out your own creative line work on procreate too.

In this difficult times of isolation and social distancing, I think the practice of art and creative writing, journalling, singing, dancing, playing instruments – anything creative – is a soothing balm for the soul.

Happy creativity. May you draw, dance and be wild in your creative abandon. Don’t judge yourself. Just know that each attempt is a reflection of where you are at that moment in time.

I love that.

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