My latest art hobbyhorse: Watercolor Pencils

Art is likely to be a major theme on this blog, because art is a huge part of my life.

There’s almost nothing, no stress, no worry, that cannot be soothed by creating something. The zen-like flow state I go into when I’m working on is very similar to meditation, and I always emerge refreshed and renewed.

Sometimes creating art takes just a few minutes, as in this pigment marker sketch above, and sometimes it takes weeks, as when I work on a large project using colored pencils (my favourites are the German FaberCastell PolyChromos pencils and theĀ Luminance line from Swiss manufacturer Caran d’Ache – you just can’t go wrong with either of these sets).

When I want something quicker, I turn to watercolor pencils. I have been loving the Museum Aquarelle line from Caran d’Ache for the brilliant colours. If you’re looking for a more traditional watercolor look to your art, check out the Derwent Watercolour pencils … they’re an absolute dream to work with!

The Museum Aquarelles are brilliantly pigmented, and the resulting work is not very much like a watercolour because of that spectacular colour. Like all Caran d’Ache products, these pencils have a fantastic creamy core and excellent lightfast ratings, so you can use this set to create works you can sell with absolute confidence.

The Derwent Watercolour pencils, as I said, have a more traditional watercolor look and feel, which, as you’d immediately expect, means more pastel shades and a general softer, more flowing result on your finished work.

Both brands are wonderful, each in its own way, and I’ve been loving using both to create art.

What do YOU do when you’re stressed? Working out and “arting” are two of my favourite stress relief options!

Disclosure: This blog often reviews/recommends products from one or more 3rd-party e-commerce sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, AliExpress, etc. Please assume that any link you click on will probably result in a small commission paid to me: this commission does not increase the cost of your purchase. Please see the Affiliate Disclosure page for additional details.

Lawyers et al.

I have often wondered why people seem to hate lawyers. I enjoy dealing with them myself, as they are often a much needed help in sorting out annoying issues. Often, even the very suggestion that I will be engaging my lawyers is enough to get the other party’s attention.

Despite that often quoted quip from Shakespeare’s Henry VI, lawyers are generally a useful breed. Love them or hate them, they do serve a useful purpose, more so if, instead of panicking, you prepare some good questions and know your desired result up front.

My experience is that it’s typically people who are afraid of dealing with matters head on that are afraid of lawyers. My only advice to them: in that case, get ready to lose every battle by default if you won’t deal with lawyers.

A good lawyer often will help you get the most out of any awkward situation, and, of course, is an essential ally in a real battle!

Vacation Resistance

 

So here I am, in week 3 of a 4 week adventure in Europe. I should be loving it, and in some ways, I am.

However, I have to admit, I’m tired. Tired of walking around all day, every day. Tired of visiting yet another church or palace and ooh-ing and aah-ing about how some other part of the world, or someone in a different reality (royalty? clerics? powerful clerics?) lived.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the history lessons and the reminders that what we have today is ultimately the result of the choices made by so many others so long ago.

My brain, my body, my very psyche wants a break. Needs one, to be honest. I’d like to be like that woman up above, calmly contemplating my life, completely at peace.

Instead, despite 3 weeks of being away from any kind of work, it’s feeling like I’ve been working harder than ever. I can’t seem to get my brain to quiet down and just enjoy. So today is a rebellion day.

Here’s what I’m grateful for: the ability to refuse vacation mode, the choice to do absolutely nothing, to detox from all expectations including my own. Oh, yeah, and also comfy shoes, which mean a LOT less strain on my legs and feet!

These Wildflower sandals have great arch support, which is rare in sandal-type footwear, and makes these the comfiest thing to walk around in all day. Bonus, they are nice and wide, which is great for splay-footed folks like me! So much happier not having to always wear men’s hiking boots because those were the only footwear that *used* to be easily available that fit my feet! (Okay, I bought a half-size larger than I regularly wear, so maybe that’s a cheat!)

Disclosure: This blog often reviews/recommends products from one or more 3rd-party e-commerce sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, AliExpress, etc. Please assume that any link you click on will probably result in a small commission paid to me: this commission does not increase the cost of your purchase. Please see the Affiliate Disclosure page for additional details.