introducing my inner adult…

Y’know about the Sketchbook Project, right? (If not, and you’re intrigued, I wrote a little about it here.)

All through this month I’ve been prompted and nudged along by Inktober, seeing daily reminders to keep inkdrawing from the good folks of the youtubes & the instagrams. They kept me company as developed this stream of consciousness doodle running through my sketchbook-project-sketchbook, leading from one page to the next, a little like this (also like this)


(the shadows and hiccups in continuity show the folds in the book or the turn of the page… this is just 3 pages, it would be too wide to show it all like this, you get the idea tho’)

And now it’s ready to begin coloring. Which I plan to do throughout November.

I’ll give you a moment if you fell off your chair at the news I’ve not added any color yet …………… ok? ………….before I tell you that the coloring won’t begin straight away either.

For three reasons:

  1. This sketchbook is the foundation to a new project I’m developing for launch in 2018. “TWELVTY EXTRA” – a companion course to “TWELVTY – a year full of color” (which you can read all about here).  I’ve got a clear idea of exactly how I’m gonna color my doodle, which colors, even which paints…
  2. As I was nearing the end of my last massive’normous art escapade I planned to reward myself with a little treat in the form of a set of Daniel Smith’s Watercolors. (These aren’t any old watercolors, these are proper fancypants watercolors. The purchase of which was preceded by a full on 2 week dither while they languished in my online shopping cart.) And now the delivery has been delayed!
    But I’m saving this book for these colors!
  3. (this is the biggie) I’m cultivating a bit of self control. Instead of running full pelt at my life and my art with wild abandon and all colors flying aimlessly, I’m experimenting with something new (to me). Planning. …….Interesting, huh?


Now I’ve eked out all the enjoyment, focus and concentration I can from the black and white and inking stage, and I’d like to report back: I kinda like this new strategy. It’s still got an edge of impetuous childlike impatience as a driving force, but my inner adult is developing her voice, taking moments of authority, even making some of the decisions.

How will this play out? check back over the next month and I’ll show you how it’s going.  Or hop aboard my email list for updates direct to your emailbox every month.


I’ll send you a copy of my (newly updated) eBook ‘a year full of color’ as well as exclusive discounts for my ecourses. 

Your email is utterly safe with me. I’ll sing it to sleep and bring it tea when it wakes up.

TWELVTY 2018 launches for pre-registration in November!

TWELVTY 2018: find out more

find out more here

The Art of Letting Go

The things we learn at art school, that aren’t really art…

I’ve learnt how to let go.

I started out with very fixed thinking mentality. I made myself decide what the finished result would look like as a starting point. Then trying to find a path to get from point A (nothing) to point Z (end product). It was hugely frustrating. Not just for me –  I could see it in the face of my tutors too. But I didn’t understand why.

I spent so many years drifty doodling about aimlessly, I had no idea I could choose my direction and just go off n see where I got to.

Stubbornly resistant to the organic process – sketching, researching, dabbling, documenting and recording, experimenting, trial and error, figuring out – I wanted to race to the finish line and then jump into the next thing. Inner kid was at the wheel, and she travels at one speed only – giddyingly fast! Although she brings the very necessary vitality and exuberance, she doesn’t do planning or calm. And in order to get the best results I (we) could, these elements cannot be mutually exclusive.

I look back at early projects and think: what a bizarre way of going about things! (but isn’t that a life thing too?)

I believe we create best within a set of parameters. Told you can only have 3 colours for your painting,  3 notes for your tune, 3 minutes for your idea … set a restriction, and it forces the imagination swell to fill the limits. When you don’t have access to everything in the toy box, you can really set about making the best of what you’ve got.

While I already knew this, my first ‘free choice’ projects at college freaked the bejeebus out of me. The resulting confusion made me panic my own parameters into place. So much so, in the freedom of limitless choicefulness I’d literally hear myself think: Right, so it can be anything??? Ok………<eek> …….. Let’s make it 1.5 metres high, made of fabric, and green. I don’t know what it’s going to be, or why, or anything else. But at least I’ve got some clue what it’s going to look like. And then steadfastly refuse to budge from this plan.

And then reverse engineer my ideas from there.

Top tip, folks: Don’t do it this way!

pin-tail-on-donkeyIn the absence of any solid grounding I had to pin meanings on to the finished article, blindly, like the tail on a donkey.  It didn’t hold up, there was no integrity: just a decorative thing that isn’t an expression of anything.

The whole process was a lot harder than it needed to be, and it didn’t produce good results. I backed myself into a corner and I wasn’t going to let myself out of it for fear of … fear of… fear of the great abyss of everything that’s outside my self imposed boundary,  which is too overwhelming to consider.

So sometimes you gotta follow a route to its ultimate destination before accepting the truth of it, turning round, and going someplace else. Destination disappointment (could’ve done better). And eventually, several disappointments later, I did.

I’ll show you where some of these routes led next…