How I get my (sketching) groove back

Christmas is not a major production at my house. I’ve  always kept it simple and minimal. Yet, somehow, the little I do, is enough of a departure from our “normal” to throw me off my game. As much as I try to maintain my daily sketching sessions, the Christmas holidays, more than any other, disrupt my daily sketching rhythm. Sketching is more like sputter, sputter, stop, zappadoodle, sputter ……

Then when it’s all over and the New Year begins, I can’t seem to find my way back, my sketching groove is out-of-wack, my attention is blurry, my hand unsteady and my sketches , well, they are kind of “off”.

It is struggle to pull it all together but I know that consistency is the key. Sketching every day, every little snippet of time I can snatch and however shitty my sketches are, they all conspire to bring me back to a satisfying and productive practice.

So, I am smack dab in that blurry, wonky, miserable stage right now. However, I am not gonna let it phase me or trouble me too much. I refuse to wallow.

20200108_113913Instead, I keep my sketchbook open with a pen on a blank page, water jar filled with clean water and brushes, palette and a few other supplies within easy reach. I know the fog is going to lift once I keep sketching – every day, this and that and the other, anything, everything, whatever.

I have no doubt I will move past this sputter, sputter, stop, zappadoodle, sputter … stage and get my groove back in no time.

Do you lose you sketching rhythm during the holidays? What do you do to get your groove back?

2019 – Fell, broke, got up, healed and walking again

OMG what a year, 2019!

It began with a bang on January 15th, or to be more accurate, it began with a cord, a trip, a tumble, a fall and a broken kneecap. OUCH!

Thankfully, no pain, only discomfort and I did not need surgery. PHEW!

I spent 9 weeks in a cast that ran from upper thigh to just above the ankle. DIY physio-therapy, crutches, a ROM knee brace, a hinged brace, a quad cane, a Hurrycane, an ankle band and a recumbent bike helped me move slowly but steadily back to walking without any mobility aids by September. Let me say this – walking like a penguin is funny to look at but it ain’t no fun y’all. However, it is part of the rehab process. Gradually, it became less pronounced and my gait improved.

I’ve been to Tobago twice already (best therapy in the world) and I can walk in the mall all by myself without feeling as if I am going to topple over. And that for me, is all the proof I need that I am almost back to my old self.

Here are some photos and sketches of my 2019 injury adventure.

Goodies from a Sweet Box


Every now and then I do a few pencil sketches and set them aside to add ink and watercolour whenever the item begs for colour or most often, when I am too busy to even think of something to sketch.

When my son-in-law brought a “sweet box” of yummy goodies last week, I did several prep sketches of the treats inside. Today’s a busy day and this prep sketch came in handy to jumpstart a short sketching session.

What I used:

Pencil, Lamy Safari with Lamy black ink, Silver Black Velvet brush and Daniel Smith watercolours in a pocket palette from Adventurous Art Supply and all in my Pentalic Aqua Journal.



Sketching Christmas Things

Every year, over the past three years, after Christmas I promise myself to making Christmas cards using my sketches.  It hasn’t happened yet. Every year, as mid-November floats into view, I think, Darn it! I didn’t do the Christmas cards.

Oh well, maybe next year God sparing life.  We’ll see what happens in 2020.

Meanwhile, I’ve begun Christmas-themed sketches in my sketchbook cause, ’tis the season. Right!

I’m using the Doodlewash and a couple other December challenges to inspire my sketches. Wanna see them?


Nyssa’s Santa Claus hat bandeau


Prep sketches

Every now and then, I get the urge to do a few pencil sketches – prep sketches I call them – and I go with the flow. They come in handy on a busy day. I just choose one or two or a group of them and add more details, additional sketches or just colour.

I did these this morning as I was in a crazy Christmas state of mind. I have been playing with the idea of overlapping sketches.