A plan, two things & a video.

About a new art journal

Giddy excitement. When I started this new (oooh new!!) art journal I decided to make the whole book the subject of a big time lapse experiment. There’s nothing like a new book to fill me with BIG intentions.

Plan: I’ll play first thing every morning and record what happens, then edit it all into a video for (mostly my own) amusement.

Reality: It’s been some mornings, but if I aim for all I’ll hit some. If I aim for some I might not hit many at all, the book will sink under a pile of other stuff, I won’t remember the plan. I know me. I know how this plays out.

Thing # 1

If there’s one thing I consistently am, it’s inconsistent. Just the act of making a plan triggers the part of my brain that prevents me doing the thing, no matter how much I enjoy thinging that kinda thing.

Is this massively incompatible with daily life? Abso-total-lutely it is. Jeepers yes. It’s really inconvenient and a battle I fight with myself all the time.

Thing # 2

If I let thing #1 stand in my way, it will destroy my creativity, and I’ll achieve nothing.

So in order to outwit myself I’ve put together the video of the first few pages. It’s not (yet) the epic project I first envisaged, and it might never be. But for now it is this, and this is a thing. If I’m quick, I’ll have done this before I realise I’ve fallen into my on trap. Sneaky? darned right I am.

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How much is enough?

How much time do you spend weaving between polarities?

Along the wiggling line of progress,  between way too much and barely enough.

It’s not just me, is it?

How much time do you spend weaving between polarities?

Along the wiggling line of progress,  between way too much and barely enough.

It’s not just me, is it?

At the end of last year I committed to a daily drawing practice: every day I’d work on improving my observation, coordination, imagination. Every day I’d give myself at least 5 minutes or so of drawing, not much more.

Just enough to open the flow of ideas at the start of the morning, to build on the muscle memory of drawing, to break through the first layer of inertia. 


madebymixy_2018slide (3)


I really wanted to practice the drawings I find difficult, but to begin I was happy with doodles to see what emerged.




I told  folk about this BIG plan of mine, I wanted the accountability. (I might have told you too.)




Just like the morning pages practice, the regular journaling habits, the daily yoga and meditation time, and all those wholesome promises I make myself…




I wonder to myself: is it the making of the promises, in and of itself, that makes me rebel?




“Who am I to tell me what to do??” 




In the attempt to outwit my own ridiculous self sabotaging mind games, I ended up bending, breaking and rewriting every aspect of the plan:

Daily? nope. Drawing? meh, kinda, more splashing around in the shallow end of my abilities.




But what did emerge instead was the beginning of some compassion for myself.




What if sloshing watercolor about, writing seemingly meaningless words, letting patterns fall through my hand was enough?




What if I was still creating, still making, still bringing out ideas into the open. What if that was enough?

What if my obstinance and non compliance to my own self-set challenge wasn’t just the precursor to another ‘Fk this, I can’t do it’ and instead I just kept moving, kept making, kept playing.




And free from the berating inner monologue, occasional actual sketching would take place.




In the spaces in between, I can see, this is a part of my process I need to work through, not against, not in spite of, but with. With an understanding that only I can afford to myself.

So page by page, I’ll continue.  Do you have a daily creative practice? I’d love to know what shape it takes.

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100 Days, 3 Whys.

100 Days, 3 Whys: By the time I noticed the hashtag #the100dayproject that kept bobbing up in my Instagram feed last summer, it was already well under way. I was intrigued…

The 100 Day Project  begins again on April 3rdare you in?

You can find out all about it at  the100dayproject.org, or watch a Q&A about it  here 

By the time I noticed the hashtag #the100dayproject that kept bobbing up in my Instagram feed last summer, it was already well under way. I was intrigued by the challenge: a creative act every day for 100 days. Right away I wanted in,  I was late to the party and my 100 days weren’t consecutive, but I saw it through and I learned a lot along the way.

In 2017  I made a little drawing every day for 100 days, inspired by the photos in my phone.

I take pictures obsessively wherever I go, so I had a gazillion or so images of places and things, textures and colors, interesting patterns and reflections, little memories and captured moments of my days. I collect these images for inspiration, but to be honest with you this was the first time I really made a concerted effort to use them.

Every day for 100 days I rummaged through this collection, picked one out, and made a drawing based on what I found. Sometimes it was close to a copy of the image, sometimes just a shape or outline inspired my imagination to take off some place else.

This year I’m doing something new.


These arrived yesterday. 5 big canvases, still wrapped up and I’m itching to begin painting….  

My 3 Whys

There are three big reasons why I chose this project for myself

  1. I love working small. Tiny, itsy little & weeny are the scale I default to.  These canvases are 30 x 24 inches. Not enormous – but way bigger than I usually work. I’m curious how it will be working BIG for a change.
  2. Canvas. Historically I haven’t got on so well with canvas. Is it the texture? I don’t know.  If I’m going to find out,  I need a project that corners me into using these. Another direction away from my comfort zone.
  3. 100 days! Seriously, a HUNDRED days! It’s longer than it sounds, and it sounds a long time! I plan to pace myself. This challenge will be finding balance, I’m prone to haring or tortoising and not so much in the middle. I want to learn to meet myself in the middle.


As we get closer to the start date my ideas are solidifying, I’ll tell you more about my project tomorrow.


What is your creative stretch? Do you want to step outside of your usual practice and explore new territory?

Are you joining the 100 day project? I’d love to know what you plan to make and do. Let’s meet up in Instagram and we can cheer each other along as we go 🙂

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daily learning

Do you have daily practices?

I kinda do, but my progress moves like a caterpillar – that scrunching-stretching motion, so while it averages out as daily, it might not always be technically daily.

This is the thing: – I’m acknowledging this now instead of berating myself. I’m learning my rhythms and working within them.  I’m letting the process be the lesson.

2016: A work in progress/process

Since the start of this year I’ve been adding to this book of ‘daily’ doodles. Mostly every day I complete a 1″square. The days when I don’t, I return to, always within a day or two, and as I doodle I reflect back on that day. Sometimes there’s a word or a shape or a scrap of something to glue into the square. Everyday is similar, yet every day is unique.

It’s another unfolding metaphor.



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