I never really consider January to be the start of my year. I think maybe this could be partly because the Christmas decorations are still up at the beginning of the month and we’re still wading through the cheese, chocolate and other naughty but tasty treats left over. January in the garden is a bit of a nothing month on the whole. If I get a dry-ish day I’ll get out and cut down or tidy up but the garden is mostly devoid of any colour or beauty. February however is when the garden is starting to wake up, nature is coming to life, the inspiration is flowing and Spring isn’t too far away. Yesterday 2nd February was liichtmessdag here, also known as Candlemas. Small children go door to door with lanterns bringing in the light and singing their song in return for sweets.
On my afternoon dog walk I can see one of my favourite little late winter flowers, the snowdrop. I’m very lucky indeed to live in a village with a beautiful castle with a well loved garden. The snowdrop display under the trees is one of my favourite sites to visit.
I’ve photographed them often but I don’t think I’ve ever sketched them let alone painted them. Since one of my goals for this year is to paint more I decided I’d better right this wrong.
I was given some Winsor & Newton paint tubes for Christmas so I’ve been itching to try them out. I usually use paint pans so tubes are new to me. The colours in this particular set are beautiful and vibrant. Mixing them is a dream. I don’t know why I’ve been so reluctant to use tubes in the past. They’re so easy to use.
I look forward to the shift in the season with all the inspiration which comes with it.
A very happy new year to you all and I truly hope 2023 will bring us all peace and prosperity.
As I look back 2022 was a year of reflection for me. I spent a large part of the year either trying to work out where I was going or longing to create something wonderful but not quite knowing what. I think this must be a result of calling myself a mixed-media artist. I want to use everything all of the time and procrastination is my worst enemy.
At the beginning of last year I challenged myself to create at least one large canvas painting which I’d be proud to hang on a wall as well as to fill a sketchbook with drawings I could use in future paintings. However halfway through the year it became obvious that I had neither the urge or the time to create a daily sketch, or even a weekly one and the canvas project was looking less and less likely too. As time passed it became harder to get back into a creative habit. The sketchbook is half way filled and I hope to fill the other half this year.
I’ve decided to scale things down quite a bit as a result and so the shop has gone. This cuts down on the admin side of things and leaves me free to get back to the thing I love which is making art. I’ve opened an Etsy shop again so I can still sell my creations as well as a few supplies. I do hope you’ll visit me there as I start to fill it over the next few days. It’s called simply BASEMENT STUDIO LUXEMBOURG – to the point.
Etsy is where I started my journey all those years ago so it’s appropriate I should go back to where I began. I’ve learned a lot since those days, gained confidence and a bit more self belief. The next few months will be exciting as I explore the possibility of new ideas so I hope you’ll join me from time to time and we’ll see where this path leads.
After the dark, wet days of winter we need a little pick me up and the sight of some new shoots and the first small flowers appearing in the garden is most welcome indeed.
With Spring on its way attention turns to all things brighter, greener and altogether more uplifting. The weather might be stormy but I’ve been tucked up in the studio creating my own sunshine.
As part of the big KUKI art and craft fair happening later in the Spring, I’m making watercolour sketchbooks. For a while now I’ve been desparate to try out a concertina fold making a couple to test. I love this style. It’s so different from using a regular sketchbook and really encourages a consistant theme to run throughout. I think the smaller size would be ideal as a travel sketchbook or field sketchbook.
I’ve made both a large and small one to try them out and so far I’m pleased with the results. The smaller one has been covered with some vintage wallpaper which I’ve had for ages and is perfect with its wipeable surface. The inside pages are made from watercolour paper and stand up very well to my mixed media materials. I’ve tried acrylic inks, watercolour paint and collage inside with no bleeding through or hardly any page buckling. I might see if I can get some more of these wallpaper samples to cover a few more, they’re so retro and funky and the wipe clean surface makes them ideal as covers.
I’m definitely going to make a few more with the wallpaper I have left.
I’m trying to develop my abstract painting style during 2022 with the idea that before the end of this year I’ll have created something on an actual canvas instead of a sketchbook. It’s a daunting thought and there are still lots of things I’m learning hence the sketchbooks. So far I’m loving watercolour, acrylic ink and collage and I seem to prefer to leave white space rather than fill an entire page. Most of my lines are horizontal so whether that means I’m trying to absent mindedly paint landscapes I don’t know. I also love to use script on the pages either directly with a dip pen or from collage paper. I’ll keep developing this style and I’ll return to this theme here in the future.
In the shop there are a few Spring-like cards too to brighten anyone’s day. Just follow this link to find them. I’ll be adding the sketchbooks too as soon as I have them all finished.
I think one of the most important tips I can pass on to anyone is that of keeping an inspiration journal. It helps creativity in so many ways from interior decorating to card making. It helps with choosing colour schemes, images, sketching ideas and looks pretty too. Go to page 2 to learn more.