Monday 22 September 2014

Blog Hop Around the World - and #21 in the 30 day challenge

I felt very honoured to be invited to participate in a Blog Hop Around the World by my friend Debbie Nolan who lives on a beautiful rural property in Ohio. She is a watercolour artist, photographer, gardener, writer and lover of animals. She takes much of her creative inspiration from her own garden and surrounds. Her garden is both stunning and productive and being a consummate cook Debbie whips up wonderful creations with the advantage of being able to source some of her ingredients fresh from her vegetable garden. She shares all of these exploits and more on her beautiful blog which you can visit at View From Harmony Hills I'm sure you will feel inspired!
In the spirit of the blog hop I would like to introduce you to two other bloggers - the first being
 David Teter. David is a very talented artist from California who creates series of works which include everything from wonderfully unique industrial landscapes to dramatic ocean scenes and characterful locomotives. He puts a lot of thought into his compositions and colour choices and generously shares his creative processes. There is never a dull moment on David's blog.
The second is Shawna Lampi Legaree  who is from Northern Canada. Shawna is both a textile and water colour artist and hugely talented in both arenas. Her quilts have been juried into international shows and her watercolours are simply exquisite. Her flower paintings are ethereally beautiful and her playful still-lifes are wonderfully original. I was lucky enough to win some of her greeting cards depicting her original paintings - not once, but twice!! Shawna is also participating in Leslie Saeta's 30 day challenge and doing a fabulous job of it. I hope you will take the time to visit both of these truly wonderful artists.
Here are the blog hop questions
1. What am I working on now.
I am currently participating in Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I was thrilled to successfully complete the challenge last year by doing a small acrylic painting each day. Even though I was a dried up husk by the end of it, at least I was a very thrilled and enriched husk. This year I have made it a sketching challenge instead, which I have found quicker and easier than when working in acrylics but it's still a major commitment and feels very satisfying when completing my sketch of the day. At the moment I'm a sketch or two behind but feel optimistic that I will complete 30 by the end of the month.
This is today's effort. I ran out of daylight to paint it from life so I may add the watercolour tomorrow - or I may leave it black and white.
#21 in 30 day challenge
I am also writing a non-fiction book, but I haven't done much writing on it of late due to being otherwise engaged with a recent jaunt to the UK - and also with taking on this 30 day challenge. I am hoping to revisit it soon and still hold out hope that it may be published by the end of the year.
A picture of me not writing in the seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales.

2. Why do I create what I do?

I feel the need to express myself creatively in much the same way I need to breathe, whether it be in the form of painting, writing, photography, gardening or sewing (not that my fingers have become weary lately from wielding a needle, but the passion is there lying dormant nonetheless).
I am a genuine tree hugger and find the beauty of nature a huge motivating influence in my creative life. I feel a compulsion to try to translate the beauty I see around me - whether it be of the natural world or man made - into some form of art or writing. I find that the act of creating in whatever form to be thoroughly engaging, stress reducing and life enhancing.

This massive, ancient oak tree in Glastonbury looked like it needed a hug. Apparently, hugging trees in Glastonbury isn't frowned upon - in fact, being the rather eccentric town it is - it's frowned upon if you don't!  
Living by the ocean is a constant source of inspiration.
I am a sucker for pretty china and anything else that is shiny or sparkly or flowery.
3. How does my creating process work?
 Even though I have no problem with the inspiration side of things, there often seems to be a barrier to making a start, particularly if I leave it too long between projects. I find the challenge format works extremely well for me - particularly when I have made a public commitment to it. I find too that blogging is a fantastic motivation tool. The blogging community is wonderfully supportive and inspiring. It is great to see what others are doing and to be able to share what I am working on. 
I'm not a very organised person, so strict schedules are out (even when doing a challenge) and instead on some days I squeeze things into what time is available and other days I postpone essential things like the laundry to make great swathes of time for my art or writing. One thing I have learnt is that it doesn't pay to sit around waiting for motivation to bite you, while that sometimes happens, often I find I must be proactive and simply push through the initial inertia until the creative juices begin to flow.
Thanks for visiting
I look forward to seeing David and Shawna's posts on Monday the 29th September.


  1. This was such a wonderful post! A fellow tree hugger here, too! I like what you said about inspiration never being the problem... but all the other things that eat up your time and energy. I'm envious of your setting by the ocean, and the UK travels, and I really admire you for doing a 30 day challenge! Your work shows your passion and dedication to your art, and your unique way of seeing the world!

  2. Oh Wendy - hats off - I loved reading and seeing all that you are doing. You are such an amazing artist. You certainly inspire me. Your paintings are just beautiful. Your ocean , china and flowers are stunning. Thanks too for such sweet words about me. So from one tree hugger to another - have a great day. I am so glad we are friends. Hugs

  3. Thanks Wendy. I look forward to continuing the Blog Hop. See you on Monday.

  4. So nice to get to know you better Wendy ! Some great watercolors here , love the china one and that ocean is amazing !

  5. A wonderful introduction to you and your amazing work Wendy!
    Your creativity knows no bounds it seems and your eye for the little details is incredible.
    A 30 day art challenge must be a great motivator for an artist and one way of completing several pieces in a short space of time - the thought of that terrifies me!!!
    The still life of the pretty sugar bowl, cubes and tongs is lovely - my cup of tea!
    Then again I'm drawn to your painting of the sea too - the movement in the waves is amazing!

    I've really enjoyed hearing about your creative process Wendy and look forward to more writing and art when I next visit your inspiring blog!

    Looking forward to visiting and your tagees on Monday.


  6. You are so multi talented, you always make it a pleasure for us to visit your blog! Thanks for sharing your source of inspiration, and creative process. It is an incredible distance between us but I feel there is so much that connects us. I will be following your links!
    Great tree hugging photo, Wendy, that is an enormous tree!!

  7. Hi Wendy and thank you for including me in your leg of the blog hop.
    Keep going on the 30 day challenge. Happy to see that it (and your UK adventure) has helped bring your drawings back to blossom.
    Keep painting and drawing...

  8. Loved this post. I need to read it again when I have more time. You sound a lot like me. While traveling, I don't have much time for artistic endeavors, but the photography and blog writing fill that need! And I also am crocheting a doily. When I get back home, I'll be creating jewelry again! Thanks for your comment on my blog!! Happy creating!

  9. I found your site from Anne's Blog Around the World post. I must say I'm impressed you have been able to do a painting a day for 30 days . . . not once, but TWICE! Lovely work! ! !

  10. I can't thank you enough everyone for your very kind and heartfelt comments. I'm sorry I haven't responded individually on this occasion.