Sandy and I spent a day in my village of Llanarmon sketching and enjoying a delicious lunch at The Hand. Not only was the sketching really useful, it got us talking about our art practice and where it might be going, or not as the case might be.

Artists, like writers, can be up high on a creative wave, or down in the shingle waiting for the next wave to take them up on high! Whilst the crest of the wave feels exciting and sometimes scary as thoughts rush in and ideas flow, down in the shingle is something one needs to recognise as being equally valuable.

I had a “down in the  shingle” few weeks at the end of my first year of M.A. at Glyndwr. One needs to recognise that state and actually welcome it and not try and force oneself into anything particular. What I have found always helps is to “take time out” but keep “linked up” with ones practice in a less intensive way. Ideal activities are


a)Get together with other artists and find out what they are doing

b)visit exhibitions and galleries that attract one

c)Sort out ones brushes and other tools – ones working space, if you have one, or create one, however small, – or create a new additional one, (perhaps temporary) – however small……….now there’s a thought.

d)I have also found that positioning a few “toolkits” (a sketchbook and pencils etc) for sketching around the place, can act as an invitation to some casual mark-making (don’t call it drawing or sketching, just mark-making) (And which of us has used up every last page of every sketchbook we have ever used? – ideal moment to start using up those blank pages.

e)read up on your favourite artists

f)walk, exercise, mull, do non-art things, but keep “open” to the visual, auditory, sensual and kinaesthetic world.

g)book yourself on a short art course that attracts you.


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