Could try harder…

In my first retirement year I went a little ballistic and took on some big projects. I tried lots of new ideas and by the end of the year needed a quiet Christmas.

Twenty years ago I was into a lot of crafts and feeling that I could do many things well but nothing seriously great. It was about then I started focusing on painting and that became my passion. I stopped dabbling and concentrated my dwindling spare time and my creative budget on progressing in this one field.

Though I continue to learn and try new mediums my years of focus have given me  a certain confidence in my art skills that’s let to a successful You Tube channel and local art tutoring.

So why does my retirement report card read ” could try harder”?

Well, it’s funny how life is cyclical. Twenty years on and I’m again reminding myself I don’t have to try every new craft or technique that catches my interest. My artistic confidence and extra time have led me down that dangerous, but so enticing , dabbling path again .

I firmly told myself to get a grip and let go of all those projects…and there I was five minutes ago chatting to my sister and the whole conversation was sprinkled with new ideas for more projects. I think she might have referred to me as a dynamo or some other tightly wound object.

So- I must try harder!  To de-project, to do more of a few things, to resist the urge to splurge on those silk dyes . I must focus in and simplify my creative pathways.

Today I took the first step. I went down the paddock and picked eucalyptus leaves from three different trees, I placed them in separate tubs and covered them with water. Now I will patiently wait 4 weeks before I use these leaves in my first carefully documented eco printing experiment.

This is something I planned to do when I retired and I jumped in feet first , producing a few interesting fabrics and then a few more very uninteresting prints. Other ideas and projects got in the way and I never persued that idea. I have a habit of wanting instant results, I paint quickly, I read a book in one sitting , if I can’t sew a dress in one night it’s not worth making.

I will try harder – to start at the beginning , to work through the middle and complete my eco printing goal . I have a plan, and it’s a long term plan. I know this is something that I can’t master easily, that needs documenting as I go, that will be very rewarding if I invest the time it needs. So here’s to a year of trying harder!



10 thoughts on “Could try harder…

  1. I love this! You are so energetic and very inspiring! I’m 76 and started painting in pastels a year ago when I turned 75. I did a paint along with you on your paint course No 6. It turned out really well, so I enrolled in an art class and have been painting ever since. Our home is full of my framed art! Now I have the urge to try acrylics, and am going to do a paint along on YouTube this morning. Hope I can do as well with that.

    I envy your relationship with your sister. Always wished I had one.

    Thanks for your continued inspiration.


    1. So pleased you found painting! It’s such a wonderful antidote to stress. I am lucky to have my sister to still “play” with. If you’re interested in acrylics I’m just starting to do acrylic lessons via my Patreon page where I’ll be posting a monthly full length demo and lesson with added notes and exercises. Some of these will also make it to You Tube minus the notes etc. Wishing you joy in your painting and sorry I took so long to respond but your comment had been sent to a pending pile I had forgotten to check.


  2. During your process, I hope you will continue to post more YouTube videos of your wonderful pastel painting techniques and explanations!


    1. Hi Betty, I will be continuing to post to You Tube with some added acrylic videos. It is becoming very time consuming hence my decision to focus on my Patreon page which will help fund some timesaving video and editing equipment and software – who knows – maybe one day I can hire a video editor! If all I had to do was teach it would be fantastic as I love it – but the making of the videos is not nearly as enjoyable as the painting part..


  3. I meant Dynamo, as in lots of energy 🙂 Jeepers woman, I hope you can slow down, not sure it’s in your DNA though, you’ve got that “Mum busy all the time” thing going on. Learn to be lazy like me 🙂


  4. Hah, if I may add some comments here,
    1: I am not “busy all the time” these days!
    2: And the commentor above has no room to speak about NOT being busy as she is always in her studio or out with her camera when she is not at work!
    3: Its not GOOD to be to s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d too FAR or too TIGHT, its very easy to miss the delights in daily life because of speed!


    1. I do find it hard to stop! The new Patreon page is taking a lot of my time as I get it off the ground . Hoping it will be successful but if not perhaps I will take it as a sign that it’s time to change and do more painting and less videos. Eventually I will have to cut back on something! Sorry I took a while to respond but your comment had gone into my pending folder and I missed it 🙂


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