ebb and flow

As the years pass, I am noticing that there is an ebb and flow to my creativity. I've been trying to accept whatever phase I'm in, learning to accept change that I can't control... trying to enjoy natural shifts, not unlike the changing seasons. These past 5-months of our house renovation has forced me into a rather long 'ebb' with regard to my art, mainly due to stress, illness and exhaustion. Making art should be a joy and while it can be relaxing, it also costs mental energy... a commodity I have had little of lately, even just in dealing with everyday basics of life.

It's been said that breaks from art are important, as they can help re-establish balance and joy in other areas and also refresh enthusiasm and creative juices. I have found that to be quite accurate!

Since I've left social media, I feel a sense of renewal with regard to my art. Labour Day long-weekend offered a bit of time outside along with beautiful weather. Hubby and I headed to a quiet spot on the coast and set up our chairs under an old apple tree. He worked on carving a coffee scoop. I brought my sketching kit and painted a quick little coastal scene, the view in front of us. I also snapped a few photos from the day which I decided to paint in my sketchbook - one of them is below. 

With the above painting, I decided to break in one of my new etchr A4 hotpress sketchbooks. A while back I purchased the intial kick-starter hotpress bundle (two A4s and one A5). I really enjoyed my first time using the 100% cotton paper which I think is Fabriano brand 220 gsm. I've never used this particular brand of cotton paper before. It is comparable to the Saunders Waterford and Arches sheets I've used, though those were 300 gsm, slightly thicker. It's also my first time using such a large-sized sketchbook, but I like the freedom it affords and wasn't as hesitant as I thought regarding painting in this larger format. I will review this sketchbook in a little more depth once I've used it more. As a bookbinder myself, I do prefer using my own handmade sketchbooks made to my specs, but I just can't resist trying out commercially-made ones as well, from time to time!

coffee scoop hubby carved from a piece 
of applewood from our backyard tree
On our day by the coast, we watched:
- the tide come and go (ebb and flow, how apropos!)
- monarch butterflies flit from flower to flower (I held my breath as I took some photos of one feeding at the daisies) along with bumble bees
- a talkative family of downy woodpeckers on the apple tree
- six shiny-headed harbor seals catching fish off the shore

I can hardly wait to paint a few more photos I took from that enjoyable day!

The best part? The inspiration and motivation to paint is beginning again... what a nice feeling.


  1. Lovely painting, as always. I'm glad to reap the benefit of you beginning to paint again.

  2. It's true, making art does require energy. I've found it to be a more giving type of pass time than many, in that, while it requires energy, it also seems to give me energy--weird, eh? The problem with the initial energy output is that sometimes we just don't have it. Then I have to struggle to avoid guilt, for some reason, which I know you understand - that little voice that says I should be doing something productive even when zonked out of my mind. Congrats on leaving social media. I'm so glad it's already had a positive effect on your energy and art!

    Hugs! ❤️

    1. I totally get the needless guilt and the absence of initial energy output, my friend. We can only do what we can do. But when we can, we sure enjoy it! :)


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