A life of health and wellness…with kids!

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Art at Home with Kids


When the kids were little I really struggled with the idea of letting them do art at home. It was one of those things (like playdoh and collage) that these things just create so much mess …and work..for me to clean up after 10 minutes worth of painting. However over the years I have come to find little ways to work with the messy creative arts process that allows them to have the experience of painting at home – to create that mess – and for me to stay relatively sane in the process. However, occasionally I do some painting – and whenever I have my painting things out, the boys also want to join in and create alongside me. My big boy in particular absolutely loves to be doing whatever it is that I am doing that is crafty.


Smocks are the absolute first essential – especially because i often let the kids paint using high quality acrylic paints – which just don’t come off as easily as other paints might.

My second big essential is a large piece of clear plastic (which I originally bought for a sewing project)  that I drape over the table – you can just see it in the picture above. This way they can be messy with less stress.

Thirdly – Lots of paint brushes, rollers, scrapers and other painting implements.

Four – Good quality painting materials and mediums – Artist paints, Canvas, watercolour paper etc – when the kids paint on good quality mediums, they get a better result, they can put lots of paint down and the canvas or the heavy paper can cope with it. I also let them go back to the paintings and work on them a second and third time – helping them to see the artistic effects that can be created through layering and pulling back colours to reveal those underneath. I often buy a few canvases when they are on sale in Lincraft or Riot and tuck them away. I think that it is important to use high quality paints (though not necessarily expensive paints) when the kids are painting. This allows them to experience the way that colours blend and the speed at which  acrylic paints dry. When using watercolours it allows them to experience the different effects that you can achieve with watercolour paints.


I personally find it hard to just let them paint without interrupting their creative process, especially when I know that if they put two (or four or six)  particular colours together that they will get mud…or when one is intent on using the sponge roller to apply every colour and they just all blend into each other. The appease my own sense of wanting to jump in and ‘help’ them I will generally only offer them a specific colour palette – or if they want a particular colour I try and steer them in the direction of a colour that might work a little better. The two of them have such different personalities when it comes to artistic expression, the little one just puts the paint down and has fun, not worrying what then end outcome will be. The big one has intent and gets very cross if something happens that doesn’t match his intent – but it is all part of the learning process and I think (and I hope) that these things help him in learning that not everything works out the way we plan it too in this life.

So as to not ‘waste’ the canvas, if I am feeling inspired, I will sometimes go in afterwards an alter their painting – probably not the best things to do with the big one’s paintings but with the little one I can get away with it.


So this is after a few layers of paint put on by the little one, I went in with some moulding paste and a stencil and added some texture, lifted some colours back and used some alcohol inks. It’s still not finished but I have lost the inspiration for it right now, but when it is done we will have a lovely collaborative art piece. Really for them it is all about the process…and memory creation. That’s the most important thing.



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Art Across the Week

Here is a selection of painting that I have done this first week of March. The theme for the 52 week Illustration Challenge is Pattern and it had me really stumped. So I was just playing around and I came up with a few things I quite like.



Working Girl

Working Girl

pattern repeat






Blue Monday

Blue Monday

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Artistically Welcoming Autumn

Tree painting

Gouache on Dictionary paper

I joined a facebook group recently curated by Tania McCartney – a local Children’s book author in Canberra with the hope of extending myself in my art a little. I find that I tend to do the same thing over and over and that the only way I was going to try something new was to be challenged to do so.

This is my contribution for Week 9 – the theme was Tree. Some of the other people participating are quite spectacular. You can see a selection of the participants work on the 52 Week Illustration Challenge Blog.

I am a completely self taught artist and mainly dabble in art for the sake of therapy. The majority of what I do lives in my art journal and doesn’t come out for others to see.

The first week I participated in the challenge, the theme was Crosshatching – an area where I have zero confidence and experience. This was my effort for week 8:


Pitt markers on Watercolour paper

I was well out of my comfort zone with the crosshatching – but by participating and having a go I was doing exactly what I set out to do – challenge myself.

Here’s to many more challenges throughout the year.

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February Art Week 4


Acrylic Abstract in Art Jounral


Acrylic in Art Journal



Acrylic in Art Journal


Cup of Tea? Biro on Notepaper

Art from throughout the week. I was having a rather artful week last week – this is only about half of it as I didn’t take pictures of the rest.

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An Artful Week

Hi – I hope everyone has had a great week. It was my first week back at work after the christmas break and getting back into it was hard. Made harder by the fact that my brain seems to be a creative pool at the moment and I can’t stop seeing inspiration in everything I look at. I have been doing some Art Journalling this week. This is something I dabbled with last year but never really let myself go free with it and just create. In trying to displace limitations I put on myself – I am working through art to overcome this thinking. Here are a few of my pages from this week:

Jan 1 Art Journal

JAn 2 Art Journal

Jan 3 Art Journal

This week I discovered a little thing called a Smash Book  and I fell in love with the idea. I have never really gotten into scrapbooking but I love the concept of memory keeping. I keep allsorts of little things and this smashbook concept fits that perfectly. I can’t wait for it to arrive!