Hey guys, it’s been a while! I hope you are all doing well in this new year. I know we’ve been pretty silent in here. For me personally, I’ve been struggling to find a balance between my day job and keeping up with my creative side. On top of that, the pandemic has gotten me in all sorts of mood. Being unable to go home and see my family has sometimes made me feel down and hopeless. In trying to keep sane throughout this difficult time I’ve inadvertently discovered a new love – gardening. A close friend of mine actually influenced me to start, she had successfully grown all sorts of edibles inside her apartment and had shared her urban farming journey with me whenever we talked. So, in November I moved into an apartment with a balcony and started my gardening journey. I didn’t realise how much I would love it until I saw seeds I sowed starting to germinate and grow into “real” plants! There’s just something so amazing and humbling watching a single seed turn into a plant, a flower, something you could actually harvest and eat. So, in this post I just wanted to share with you what I’ve been doing in my garden and how that’s become inspiration for me to paint.
A quaint, fairytale-looking little town by the sea. I fell quite in love with Carmel-by-the-Sea. Carmel-by-the-Sea or Carmel simplified is a small beach city located in Monterey, California. A paradise for artists and art enthusiasts, Carmel is definitely a visit if you are ever visiting California. I’ve always associated the United States with massive metropolitan cities, and was pleasantly surprised when I got a chance to visit Carmel in 2018. You can literally walk the whole of Carmel’s city centre by foot while being enchanted by its fairytale-like cottages and art galleries that surround the city. This pretty little town definitely fueled my creative mind where inspiration was at every corner.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me share photos of old paintings I did in my stories last week. I’m moving to a new apartment in about a month time, and so that’s given me the opportunity to do one of my favourite activities — spring cleaning! I actually really like sorting through my things and going through old items, I never know what I’ll find. Sometimes I’ll find gems I forgot I had, other times I find well… trash lol! Anyway… when I was sorting out my things last week, I was pleasantly surprised by old paintings I did about 3-4 years ago that I had forgotten about. Some where really terrible, which made me reflect on how much I’ve learned and progressed in the past few years just by consistently showing up and trying out new styles of painting. Some, however, sparked inspiration in me and made me want to recreate it, such as this painting below of butterflies and feathers. It’s such a fun exercise to do where you get to play around with different colour combinations and watch what watercolour does best — flow! Here, I will take you on a step by step journey on how to paint feathers using watercolour.
Did you know that in the Victorian era, flowers were used as a way to communicate? Every flower has a meaning, and flowers became a means to convey a certain message. I always knew some flowers had meaning, like how different coloured roses meant different thing. You don’t give a yellow rose to a crush as it’s commonly a sign of loss of affection instead (unless you want to be friend-zoned that is! Haha). However, I had never given much thought of the meaning of other flowers. Not until I stumbled upon Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel titled, what other than, “The Language of Flowers”. I had previously obtained this book through a book subscription box two years ago, but only had the time to pick it up and read it recently. I believe the book came to me at the right time, I’m currently obsessed with gardening and flowers has become my favourite object to paint.
So you’ve seen all the inspirational photos of watercolour paintings on social media and decide you want to give it a try. All you need to do is buy some paint, paper and brushes. You go to your local art store (or online!) thinking it’ll be straightforward but then you get there and ton of other questions surfaces as you are welcomed by a wide variety of paints, papers and brushes.
New Zealand is no doubt one of my favourite places in the world. My sentiment with New Zealand however, lies not only from pure admiration. New Zealand was place where I discovered myself. At 26, I just got out of a relationship, and did what any girl who felt a little lost would do – book myself a holiday to somewhere far away! Since it was going to be my first ever solo trip, I wanted to go to a place where people spoke English and where it was safe for a girl to travel alone. I landed my choice on to New Zealand, South Island.
Welcome to the month of August! Here is our wallpaper freebie this month created by Nina. Download them now and use them on your phone. Don’t forget to tag Nina’s Instagram @ninaslittlecanvas and use our hashtag #ourlittlecanvas when sharing them!
Have you ever wanted to try out a new hobby but fear you’ll be no good? We sometimes go to social media, be it Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration, but the plethora of information can instead leave us overwhelmed and in the end reluctant to even think of starting. Far too often we find ourselves too intimidated to share our work, because others have done it better. However, we forget to realise that everybody started somewhere, and that those beginning stages may not be as pretty as we thought.