Finding a Creative Buzz

One of the difficulties with creative activities, whether it’s printmaking or painting, knitting or sewing, calligraphy or writing blogs, is coming up with great ideas and completing a project. The initial ideas need to be exciting enough to spark the project and compelling enough to see it through to a finished piece.

Sometimes we can’t come up with an idea that’s inspirational enough or we give up because we start to question the worth of our project. Katherine explained her lack of recent blog posts: ” … It’s not that I haven’t thought about it – or been without topics to write about. It’s more that I have questioned the whole raison d’être of personal blogs …. the internet seems so crowded … who am I to add to the general digital busyness ….”

But just recently, I’ve found a new creative buzz for generating ideas. Ruth has devised some new printmaking courses that Beth (with assorted offspring) and I trialled for her. One of the first things we had to do was fill our concertina sketchbooks with washes, spatters, doodles and dribbles of ink. Quite honestly, I could happily have spent all day just doing that.

sketch of hens, pig ark, flowers and farm machinery

Next, we were sent to four places on the farm where we had to to make quick sketches. Guess what? Places are far more interesting than you might first think when you look properly!

farm track and field viewed through a circle

Or look differently. Usually, I miss things because I’m walking at a brisk pace and even when I’m looking through the camera lens, I don’t see the obvious. Thankfully, the task was as much about looking as sketching. Try it for yourself.

For another course, we had to think about lines and use our sketchbooks for mind maps, sketches and thoughts. Have you ever stopped to work out how many sorts of lines there are? Railway lines, roads, threads, music scores, ley lines, skylines, family lineage, poetry, storylines … so many lines. Everywhere.

Our sketchbooks filled with colour and energy as we spent time developing various themes, sometimes going off at a complete tangent in our enthusiasm and we explored different ways of recording what we’d seen and the objects that we’d picked up. By the end, our books were bursting with collages, prints, sketches and notes that have a multitude of possibilities for all sorts of creative projects and my head is still positively buzzing with creativity.

So much buzz, that I managed to complete this post!


Spring Enthusiasm

Before the April showers begin (as they surely will), I’ve been making the most of the sunny spring weather with long walks and gardening. I’ve also been enthused by the E-Book “How to Find Creative Inspiration” and the project #Make30photos to spend time idling about outside in the spring sunshine. The E-book has lots of ideas for getting out into the real world to find ideas and inspiration (instead of scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest) while the themes listed in Make 30 Photos encourage us to “Make your photos, don’t just take them”.

As ever, I’ve muddled the two together in my latest enthusiasm to  build a creative habit. Obviously, I may have a completely different enthusiasm next month, but for now I hope that the discipline of doing something creative for thirty days (not necessarily in a row) will form a lasting habit.

Photographing a clump of stinging nettles for Fill the Frame with Colour led to a little creative baking of  …

Nettle, cheese and chive scones

… a batch of Stinging Nettle & Cheese scones. Delicious cut in half and buttered while warm. Pretty tasty cold too. Especially with a slice of ham.


The advice to “Let your mind wander”in the E-Book section Take Time and Make Time  has been rather too easy while “… mindfully notice things” coupled with photographing “A Snail’s Eye View” led to a pleasant time crawling around with my camera in the grass paddock, hoping that I couldn’t be seen from the Yoga Studio.

It wasn’t until I looked at the photo on my computer screen that I noticed the ladybird under the deadnettle leaf, so I need to open my eyes and look a little more closely in future.

Even I couldn’t fail to see this chap lurking in the field as I nearly trod on him. Possibly not the ideal view for a snail lest it gets gobbled up.

It’s fun working these two little projects in tandem and I’d recommend them both to anyone with the tiniest creative urge.



* Read this article to find out the best time to make stinging nettle scones. Hint: Now