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Follow Your Own Dance

“I’m not a good enough artist”

When people say this all I think is yes you are.

There are no rules to art. There is no right, no wrong.


Screw perfection. Life’s too short for perfection.

Making art, it’s like dancing. It’s a feeling, an emotion. Put your heart into your creation. Let it fill your heart with joy.

Allow yourself to just be FREE.

Do not judge. What was made right there, it’s a moment in time. It’s where you are NOW.

It’s where you need to be.

Love every brush stroke, every line, every dot, every splatter.

Dance on the page, dance with your paints, dance with your art. Because you are free, to be.


You are Original

original brenda ueland

Everybody is original if they tell the truth,

if they speak from their true self.

But it must be from their true self

and not from the self they think they should be.

So remember these two things:

you are talented

and you are ORIGINAL.

Brenda Ueland

My Topic on Illustration Friday – Warrior

I was excited to see that my topic had been chosen on this week’s Illustration Friday website.

This is a cool site where artists and illustrators share their artwork on a weekly topic for fun.


Here is my Warrior Heart illustration.

“She was a true warrior in her heart.” 


I hope you have had a very nice Easter. My little girl received enough chocolate eggs to make a tower out of them!

And hooray today the sun is well and truly out.

Why Snowdrops are a Symbol of Hope


Around this time of year we see snowdrops in many gardens and patches of land.

They are a lovely reminder that spring is coming, the days are getting lighter, and the weather is hopefully becoming that little bit warmer. They are a symbol of hope for good reason.

I recently read an interesting story about the history of snowdrops and how they came to be this positive symbol.

It begins with Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden.

When Eve was about to give up all hope that the cold, dark winter would ever end, an angel appeared. She is said to have transformed some of the snowflakes into snowdrop flowers, as a way of showing that winters do eventually give way to spring. Beautiful.

Summer is Coming!

It’s only another few days left until the clocks go forward an hour here in the UK.

We lose an hour, but we gain more daylight and the summer hooray!

That extra day light always gives me more of a spring in my step and more energy. I don’t know about you? It just feels like there is more time for everything in the summer.

And that means more time for painting and illustrating in the evenings, more socialising with friends and more time spent outside in the garden – weeding, planting and growing.

Let’s make the most of summer 2015!

Solar Eclipse 2015


Did you see the solar eclipse on Friday morning?

Here in Lancashire it was really cloudy, a grey sky, and having looked out of the kitchen window I didn’t think I’d get any chance of seeing it and dismissed it.

By chance it also looked like it was going to rain so I went outside at that moment to bring some washing in from the line. I looked up and there was the sun clearly visible and shining through a gap in the clouds. It was like I was supposed to see it at that moment!

Unfortunately my camera was not up to scratch at taking images of the sun, and all you can see in my photo is white light.

Seeing something as significant and rare as the moon covering the sun made me feel quite emotional, and it really puts things in perspective that it really is a big old universe out there – and that we are really so small, going about our individual lives here on Earth.

In terms of the age of Earth and the Universe, our lives are so so short. Which is all the more reason to really live now, and appreciate every moment of joy that we can.

Featured Artist – Pablo Picasso


The man himself

I’m excited to write this post because it’s all about Picasso. Picasso has some brilliant quotes about art and creativity that have always really inspired me so here’s a couple of my favourites!! (okay more than a couple because there are so many).

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

“Painting is another way of keeping a diary.”

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life.”

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”


Picasso – The Weeping Woman

But who was Pablo Picasso? Lets take a brief look at his life.

  • He was born in 1881, a Spanish painter, poet, craftsman and overall highly creative person.
  • Picasso’s mother said that his first word was pencil or ‘piz’ in Spanish.
  • His art professor father started Picasso off painting formally from aged 7, by aged 13 his father vowed to give up painting himself because he felt Picasso had surpassed him in talent.
  • His first job was an art dealer in Paris.
  • Picasso co-founded an art movement called Cubanism, after it was noted his paintings were made up of little cubes.
  • In 1951 Picasso had a love affair with a woman 44 years younger than him.
  • He is one of the greatest influential artists from the 20th century.
  • His work is divided into periods known as the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1905–1907), the African-influenced Period (1908–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919).
  • He was buried in 1973 in the South of France.

Let’s have one last awesome quote, this one makes me smile.


Picasso – The Old Guitarist

“When I was a child,
my mother said to me,
‘If you become a soldier,
you’ll be a general.
If you become a monk,
you’ll end up as the pope.’
Instead I became a painter
and wound up as Picasso.”


Picasso – Guernica

Make a List and Check It Twice

I just love to visit the sea. It doesn’t matter which sea, whenever I’m at the shore, the tide always feels so open and powerful.

I always think that people who live really close to the sea and can walk there every day must feel really calm and happy all the time.

This photo was taken recently at Formby beach. It’s one of the best beaches in the North West of England.

Formby Beach Sand

It was a beautiful hot sunny day with my family. I don’t think the photo shows how lovely and warm it was. We took a picnic and ate it sat on the warm sand. Bliss.

Disaster Struck

Uh oh. We forgot our sun cream so we couldn’t stay long. My little daughter has fair skin and it was such hot sun so we couldn’t risk her burning, but we knew we’d be okay a short time as she already had some on.

Parking had been difficult, we’d initially got lost and also had to pay to park – nipping into town to buy a bottle wasn’t an easy option, which might sound a sensible solution!

How could I forget something as important as sun cream? Well, it was packed in our bags to begin with. So I technically did remember it. But then it was taken out to use before we’d set off, and must not have been repacked.

It was so frustrating to arrive at the sea and have to leave well before we were ready. So it got me thinking, how could I have avoided this situation? This could apply to any big trip.

Art a List!

Toddlers also have a habit (well mine does) of sneakily taking things out of bags that have been packed to play with.

Toddler or not, the obvious solution is you make a list. Obvious right? But kind of boring and when it’s just a short trip, and planned last minute a list might seem a bit over the top.

If I’d had a list to check off items at the very point we were leaving – I likely would have made sure that sun cream was still in our bags.

Why not turn making a list into creative fun?

Art Journal Page Idea

I’m well into my art journalling so this has given me an idea. I want to plan more trips away, whether its a full holiday or an hour down the road. Just somewhere different. New places are good for the soul.

Paint a background you like, maybe blue for the sea etc. add related images or drawings that inspire you and somewhere within the page, write down your list of essentials to check off at the point you’re leaving.

Not only do you get to feel excited about the trip and take your mind far away whilst you create your very useful art journal page, its a lovely memory to look back on of your anticipation.

You can add another page with photos/mementoes of the trip itself too. I look forward to trying this out!

Do you live close to the sea? How does the sea make you feel? Leave a comment!

The Only Time I Feel Alive…

One of my favourite quotes is by Vincent van Gogh who said:

“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting”Vincent_van_Gogh

He is also one of my favourite artists and I was fortunate to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam during 2011.

I completely relate to this quote and it’s how I feel too when I’m doing creative work. Whether it’s painting, drawing or making art journal / scrapbook pages.

Time just disappears when I’m really engaged in a creative piece of work

I feel ‘in flow’ and at peace.

More works by van Gogh:


The Starry Night, June 1889, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

van gogh starry night over rhone

Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888, Musée d’Orsay, Paris.


View of Arles with Irises, 1888, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Van Gogh facts of interest

  • He was Dutch
  • He died aged 37 from a gun shot
  • It was supposedly self-inflicted, though no gun was ever found
  • He created his best-known work in the last 2 years of his life
  • In 10 years he created 2100 pieces of art
  • Van gogh cut his own ear off with a razor blade
  • He was thought to suffer psychotic episodes
  • It was only after his death he became a well-recognised artist

Interested in the history of Van Gogh? You can read more about him at the Van Gogh Gallery and in depth on his Wikipedia page.

I’d love to hear if this quote relates to you when you are doing creative work too! Leave a comment :)