An Iceberg By The Sidewalk

Last week I was blessed with a brief retreat to Brentwood on the Beach. It’s a lovely inn on Lake Huron. I spent most of my hours there walking the quiet beach. This time of year the beach is a surreal landscape of sand mixed with ice heaped up into mini frozen mountains. I took some photos and I’m thinking, so, if I paint a polar bear beside one of these ice formations, who’s to say it’s not a large iceberg? The blue shadows are there. The angles and shapes are there. It brought to mind large paintings I have seen that look like a cliff wall. Then later I would read that the artist held a pebble in their hands for inspiration. So here’s the creative challenge to painters experiencing our Canadian winter. Get out the camera and find out, is there an iceberg by the sidewalk? 

The Cost of Losing It

I really lost it for a few days. Got into painting – big time. Multiple paintings on the go, paints all over, brushes flying, colour flowing, that high-as-a-kite kind of creative. Succumbed completely to leaving the whole world behind. Makes me wonder why this doesn’t happen to me more often. I’m self employed right? Oh, maybe that’s the problem, I’m self employed. Read – too many papers and receipts and to do lists to ever hope to keep track of. Anyway, back to the wonderful few days. When I resurfaced, gave myself a good hard shake, forced the glazed eyeballs to refocus on life, I discovered that I had – 4 movies and 3 library books out from the library. And they were all overdue. And I now owe the library $19.20. Sigh. It was so worth it. 

Stood Up by the Muse

The question for today is, what gets you into creative mode for painting? I’ve found there are some really odd assumptions out there among non-artists. I’ve had people tell me that I must go to my studio and sit and daydream until the muse arrives. Whut? Personally, I have a lot of difficulty putting that one onto my daily schedule. “Wait for muse. Arrival date – unknown. Arrival time – anyone’s guess.” Really not going to work for me. One thing that I have occasionally done to help get the right brain going, is to spend just a couple of minutes doing gesture drawings. Fast, furious, let go and let loose drawing. That can help. It’s also true that the right music can help, although for me that’s more an energizer to keep me painting once I’ve started.  But my number one all time works-almost-everytime tip that gets me into the painting mode? Pick up the brush and start painting. It certainly gets me over being stood up by the muse. However, I acknowledge that we are all unique, and I’d love to hear from other artists what gets you painting. Comments welcome! 


I love new beginnings. New years, new days, new painting techniques, new adventures in art and in life. The freshness of a new beginning gets me excited. I love the blank canvas. To me it is full of happy anticipation . I will confess however, painting is not all fun for me. Sometimes I have my battles with a painting in progress that is being recalcitrant. And end stages, well, they can be a lot of hours of hard work sometimes. Been there enough times to know that perseverance pays off though. What about you? Do you have favourite stages when it comes to painting or creating? I’d be interested to hear, in the comments below. Meanwhile, I wish you all the best for 2012. May it be full of wonderful new and creative beginnings for you. 

The Music Connection

Creative processes are as unique as individuals are. Some artists treasure the silence of their creative time. For others, a simple thing such as having the right music on can get the right brain going and encourage you to pick up the brush. If I have a show coming up that I need to keep painting for, I definitely put on some energetic music to keep that brush moving. Painting turns into dancing at times, and it’s a joyful union. I enjoy light rock and folk music with a good beat. Jennifer Knapp is a favourite. In this week’s survey, you can let us know whether or not you prefer music on during your creative times. And, if you want, in the comments below you can tell us what type of music or which music artists you prefer if that is part of your creative process too. It ‘s always great to hear what inspires others to be creative and keep the brush moving. 


I suppose great art has often been about courage. That is, being brave enough to let your own unique artistic expression shine through. I see art as 2 basic things: technical ability combined with courage. Once you get some technique under the belt, there comes a point where you want to launch off from the status quo and explore how to make your paintings be a more personal expression. I’m all for exploring! That’s why this website is called “Creative Painting Adventures”. How about you – do you wish you had more courage in your approach to painting, or are you happy with the creative freedom of expression that you have found? You can comment below – thanks! 

Finding Creative Space

I’m betting you are busy. Not just a little, but crazy busy. It’s the way our world runs these days – fast! How do we get off, slow down, make a creative space? I’m talking about 30 minutes to an hour of lovely creative time a day. I don’t have all the answers, I struggle too. But here are a few things that help me to find some creative space. 1. Recognize that everything else will benefit, yup, even go better, if you take some time to refresh your spirit by being creative.2. Acknowledge that most of what we do in non work hours doesn’t have such huge urgency that it can’t wait an hour. Or even a day. If you don’t tidy up before Great Aunt Bertha gets there, the world will carry on, quite oblivious. And so likely will Aunt Bertha.3. Stand still. Breathe deep. And then make a list. Figure out what you must do, and what can wait. Writing things down can be a great way to have a brief closure on the “to do” (or as I like to call it, “do do”) list. 4. Go Create. Because no one else can create in the same unique way that you do. End of story.  Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Share with us what things help you pull away from crazy busyness and find a creative space in your world. 

Website – Live!

Welcome to my new website and blog! Paintings, contests, surveys, featured art students, art course info, tips and techniques – and more. I hope you will enjoy what this site has to offer. The blog appears on the homepage. What’s this blog about? This is where I write about creativity and how to be more creative. I share painting tips and techniques. There will be links to art websites. You will also find some favourite quotes here, about art and about life. The category ‘Outside the Box’ is a catch all for topics that don’t fit into the other ones. A lot of what I write will be art focused. Some of my writing will share my experiences as a full time artist/art instructor, and hey, some will be about life! Because – art happens, and life happens. The technical difficulties with the for sale and sold galleries have been fixed! If you couldn’t see images there before, you should be able to now. Yay Wilf! New blog posts happen most weekdays, Monday through Friday. Here’s the thing. I also hope that this blog will be about you. How? I’m hoping for comments – lots of them! I’m hoping you will find the content often worth sharing with your friends too – on Facebook, on Twitter, or anywhere at all. So today my request is, take a look around and tell me what you think. Tell me, over all impressions, your favourite parts, if something doesn’t work for you. Whatever your thoughts are, I’m hoping to hear from you. Enjoy!