Recent Sketches

Recently I shared that I had started Sketching Again.  I decided to keep my Mom’s Nature Journal and sketchbook out on my desk as a visual reminder, and I try to spend about 20 minutes daily sketching and painting in time squeezed between folding laundry and preparing dinner.

I am using the Doodlewashed September “Simple Pleasures” prompts and here are my latest sketches ~

I was particularly happy how my first watercolour portrait came out, but I am not including the second portrait I did of my other daughter because it was so completely off that it would be a huge injustice to her if I posted it.  Portraits are really tricky!

I enjoyed creating all the details in “Popping bubble wrap” and felt good about the painting of the hands in “Rock., Paper, Scissors”.  The other paintings felt a bit “meh”, but I enjoyed the process and feel that I am learning as I go along.

It is important to just keep painting, experimenting, changing the approach or the medium.  If you are in a slump, just play.  Do abstracts.  Don’t worry about the end-results.  Just have fun!

For those who are keen to try sketching daily, why not join the rest of the world (really!) with Inktober  31 Days 31 Drawings.

I encourage you, moms, to also make the time to sit and sketch weekly.   Join your children in the weekly Sketch Tuesday topic, or sit and create an entry in your Mom’s nature journal page.  It is wonderful to give yourself time to sit and be creative.

Blessings, Nadene

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Sketching Again

Recently I shared that I had lost my inspiration and that somehow I had lost the joy in my sketching.  Truth be told, I actually hated my own recent art work.  Every attempt seemed so childish, colored-in and flat.  It wasn’t the lack of inspiration, but the lack of style.

I love pinning ideas and finding artists who inspire me on  Pinterest and Instagram posts.  There is an endless stream of amazing sketches and art, but the result of all this influence is not helpful to developing one’s own art.

You need to create your own art to find your own creative style. 

My 17-year-old daughter’s advice to me was to try a new art medium or technique.  This is very helpful, especially if you just play around without an end product in mind. I suppose recovering from lost art inspiration is a bit like horse riding after a fall; you need to get straight back up and ride again.   But in the end, finding art inspiration and personal style is like the Nike slogan ~ “Just do it“.

During a quiet spell this past weekend and this week, I pulled out my sketchbook, downloaded the Doodlewashed September “Simple Pleasures” prompts and began again.

My first attempts were not too bad, but I found that, as I sketched daily, I rediscovered something in my style that I liked, and the joy returned.  I loved the simple pleasure of sketching and painting.  I loved the quiet, right-brain activity.  And I enjoyed my art again.

While still finding my new artistic joy, I want to encourage you, moms, to also make the time to sit and sketch weekly.  You need times of creativity.  Join your children in the weekly Sketch Tuesday topic, or sit and create a nature journal page (prompts at the bottom of the post) each week.  It is so restorative.

Charlotte Mason called it “Mother Culture“; spending time learning and growing.  Spend regular time reading your own book list, creating art and journaling in nature; all part of your personal growth portfolio.

May I encourage you if you haven’t done any sketching for a while ~  Start again,  Just Do It!

Blessings, Nadene

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Nature Journal Inspiration

Every now and then I find fresh nature journal inspiration and here’s a fabulous blog I spent most of my afternoon browsing recently ~

Middlewood Journal

middlewood-journalHelen is a freelance writer and illustrator and a regular contributor to the Wildlife in North Carolina magazine. She teaches weekly nature journaling classes and various workshops.

Her journal pages are filled with detailed sketches, all painted and labelled accurately, and her notes  and observational recordings frame her pages.  They are works of art and utterly inspiring!

middlewood-pageI added several of her journal pages to my Pinterest Nature Board.

Barb at Handbook of Nature Study wrote about her Nature Journal Goals for 2017  to include a weekly entry.  Barb’s children have all left the nest, yet her nature journalling is still an important part of her life.  She inspires me to make time to form creative, personal habits that feed and grow my love for the outdoors and nature.

What are your favourite nature journal blogs?  Do you keep a nature journal?  Why not stop and join your children in their nature walks?  Who knows, your nature journal could form a lasting habit!

Blessings, Nadene


Sketching Changes

img_20160803_130753383Any of you who have followed my blog for some time will know that for years and years my children and I have participated in Barb‘s Sketch Tuesday.  Almost every week I shared our sketches and created a wonderful portfolio of our work.  But over the past year, as my children grew up and became more independent teenagers, they no longer wanted to take part.

This was because they had become increasingly productive, independent artists.  Almost every single day they sketch, doodle, paint or create!  They have filled tons of books, pages and journals with amazing art and creativity.  In fact, their requests for any gift is usually sketchbooks, watercolor paper and art supplies.

They. are. artists. 

Last year I finally opened an Instagram account to share my art, doodles, homesteading and knitting and other creative activities that I enjoy.  I discovered Charlie O’Shield’s and joined his monthly doodle challenges.  In fact, much to my surprise, a month or so later, I was Doodlewashed!

And so, for sometime, we haven’t taken part in Sketch Tuesday.  However, after reading Barb’s post Harmony Art Mom – Creative Month January, I decided to once again make Sketch Tuesday a regular part of my Mother Culture’s creative goals.

20150831_144954I share this post because Sketch Tuesday seems like a very innocent activity, but it yield enormous rewards!  I wrote about the advantages of regularly sketching, but I never imagined that it would produce such an incredible, lasting gift of creativity in all of our lives.

Do not despise any small beginnings.

Make space and time in your and your children’s lives for art, not for any end result, but for the simple joy of creativity. Join your children and sketch together with them.  It is intimate, relaxing and soothing.  It will recharge you as a mom.

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you join Sketch Tuesday.

Creatively yours, Nadene

Self-Portraits In Pen

This week we decided to create pen and ink self portraits.    Lara and I both used  current photos on our phones and we sketched happily for several hours.

Here’s Lara’s photo and self-portrait ~

IMG-20160712-WA0000Ii is unusual to see my daughter with such wild hair and I love her photo editing skills!

20160711_150611I love her shading and accurate sketching!  Her picture is an A4 size.

Here’s my photo and self-portrait ~


IMG_20160712_170043537I must confess that this is my second attempt.  My first sketch seemed very out of proportion which worried me every time I looked at it.  Somehow, one is more critical of a self-portrait and one notices everything that is slightly distorted or out of proportion.  Makes one wonder if that is how we see ourselves?  My sketch is much bigger, a lovely A3 size page.

What art are you busy with?

Blessings, Nadene

Sketch Tuesday ~ Q

This week’s Sketch Tuesday theme was ~

Sketch Something Beginning with Q

Here is my 12-year-old’s sketch representing ~

“Q for Quest”

Sketch Tuesday Q 001

She used a photo for reference and sketched with amazing detail and shading!  I was very impressed … and she was happily delighted with her sketch.

We join Barb of  Harmony Art Fine who posts a new Sketch Tuesday sketch topic each week.  Will you join us this week?


Marjolein Bastin ~ Nature Artist

Every now and then I find something really inspirational on Pinterest!

I discovered Marjolein Bastin!

Marjolein Bastin's Autumn in Holland

Marjolein Bastin’s Autumn in Holland

Quoting JoAnne Carter’s “Marjolein Bastin’s” Pinterest board:

Marjolein Bastin is a Dutch-noted nature artist, writer, children’s author and illustrator. She is the creator of the character “Vera the mouse”. A Hallmark designer discovered Marjolein’s artwork while on a trip to Holland in the early 1990s. Today, stationery, greeting cards, home décor items, and gifts in Hallmark’s Nature’s Sketchbook by Marjolein Bastin line are among the company’s best-selling offerings.

Marjolein Bastin

JoAnne Carter’s “Marjolein Bastin’s” Pinterest board

I love her detailed and finely sketched paintings of garden and nature scenes.

Marjolein Bastin's "Summer"

My younger children loved her cute animals, especially Vera, the mouse, and these raccoons ~Marjolein Bastin Racoons

So pop over to her website and enjoy the exquisite beauty of her nature art and add her to your “Famous Contemporary Artist of the Month”.


Sketch Tuesday Shoes


What a great topic for this week’s Sketch Tuesday!

Here’s what Miss.L10 sketched ~

shoes 001

I love her pen and pencil detail and the painted background.

My sketch is really my rough drafts of different angles of my sandal …

shoes 002

In the end I penned over the different angles and painted the background.  Maybe I should sketch again try one angle in close-up detail?

Which one would you chose?

If you haven’t done your sketch this week, go on, take out your favorite shoe and sketch it!

Enjoy your weekend!  See you at the slideshow!


Summer Sketch Tuesday Ideas

While you all bask in your glorious Northern Hemisphere summer warmth …

and we shiver in our cold Klein Karoo winter…

there will be no official Sketch Tuesdays until 3 July 2012.

Sketch Tuesday Summer Break

As Barb suggested, I scribbled some themes on my calendar for each week so that we can continue our weekly sketch sessions until the slide shows return.

Just simple ideas.

A different theme for each week.

You could find topics from old Sketch Tuesday slide shows.

Or you may want to give these topics a try?


Because we love sketching.

We love the restful, creative moments of sketching or painting.

We enjoy the simple challenge of thinking up our own ideas for the topic.

We love capturing details from a simple still life.

We enjoy the half hour or so of quiet creative art.

We like applying new techniques and copying an artist’s methods.

We enjoy experimenting with new or different art mediums.

Here are out sketches for this week’s topic:

Sketch Something That Jumps

I realize that we might not do art each week unless some topics are written on the calendar, so here’s what I penciled in on mine:

  • Sketch something that jumps
  • Sketch something metal
  • Sketch something with fur
  • Sketch something you wear
  • Sketch something you’d find in the garage
  • Sketch something delicate

Enjoy your summer break ~ with or without Sketch Tuesday!


Sketch Tuesday ~ Measuring

This week Barb at Harmony Art Mom asked us to ~

Sketch Something You Use to Measure

And here’s our art ~

by Miss. L9

by Miss. K12

by Nadene

Happy sketching and see you at the slide show!