Resisting art supply envy

Transparent.  Charcoal. 2012
Charcoal is such a forgiving medium!  I put on some music this afternoon, made the proverbial cup of tea... and went to town having fun.  The thing I love about charcoal is you can add another layer, smudge, re-apply, rub out (well a little bit depending on how hard you pressed).  I particularly was after an ethereal quality, and this worked really well.   It hasn't photographed well - it is so hard to photograph artwork!  In looking at it again I think I might strengthen some of the lines in the background, soften the jawline and generally fiddle!  I'll probably do another of this subject too. 

Simplicity in action: 1 piece of paper and 1 charcoal stick

Why this subject?  My daughter took a self portrait photograph of herself using her camera, and somehow, with a certain aspect of light shining through the window, she captured really amazing light and shapes.  I really like the interesting effects captured in the photo and wanted to replicate the feeling of transparency.

Being transparent:  authentic. open. available. real. honest. vulnerable.

Do you ever feel like you don't have enough art supplies? That you are somehow restricted because you havn't yet lashed out to buy the latest colours in acrylic inks/ paint dabbers/ or distressed inks?  Don't get me wrong - I'm all for art supplies!  But I have so far resisted the urge to buy any of these.  They might very well be the bees knees of art journalling supplies... but somehow I'd rather make do, and use what I already have, and be creative with what I do have.

There is an implicit authenticity in choosing 1 medium or style to focus on. 

My aim: Develop my skills with what I love.    Resist the temptation of art supply envy!


  1. Linda, your blog was recommended by Mary over at Vermongelin, so I stopped by this evening to find lovely, elegant artworks and a gentle spirit writing about them. Going to make tea so I can read more...
    Love & Laughter,

  2. Thankyou, thankyou! I was starting to wonder if anyone was out there!! It is fab to hear feedback and so pleased you dropped by - hope you have a relaxing evening!

  3. Hi Linda, It's "the Mary DJ spoke of!" I've read your post for today about seven times - that sketch really is speaking to me. And I'm wondering, "How much fun would it be to do what you did...on parchment paper...and make it "really" transparent?"

    Thanks for this blog. I'm really happy I found it.

  4. Hi Mary and welcome!
    Thanks, and you are welcome! This sketch still speaks to me too - I was looking at her this morning ( before dashing out to work!), and as the light came through the window and added more reflections to the paper I was almost tempted to pick up a pencil, and sketch them over the top - then I thought - ooh what about something transparent like plastic, or tracing paper, and layer it over the top? More to explore with this concept!! Thanks for your idea about parchment paper - hmmmm will need to visit the art store again!

  5. I love this sketch. To me it looks more like it was washed over. But it's a wonderful effect either way.

  6. Linda, I also arrived here via Mary, she's been speaking highly of you in our CCS community.

    I very much agree about keeping things simple, and focusing on one medium, one subject, one style at a time, and really mastering it. I've written a lot about this recently on my own blog.

    Oh and I have to say I love the name of your blog. Beautiful.

  7. Hi Caatje, that washed affect was achieved by running the side of my hand straight down over the top of the charcoal drawing to drag it down. I also used a kneadable eraser

    Mary - Thanks for teling other about my blog :-) - curiosity has got the better of me - what is the CCS community?

    1. Linda, Excuse me for answering for Mary...(love you Mary!)
      CCS is Coach Creative Space. It's an online community of talkative, supportive creatives who gather to gab/discuss/share/swap all aspects of art-making: writing, doodling, journal pages, poetry, ATCs, photography, painting.
      Dan, who commented above, hosts the group and we have dubbed him "Zookeeper", since he patiently deals with all of our shenanigans on an almost daily basis.
      Please come see for yourself; we'll welcome you with open arms. (Those arms may have some ink or paint on them, mind you, but we'll support you through anything.)
      If you like, you can follow my avatar/name back to my blog, DJ's Studio and you'll see a link far down on the right hand side that says Coach Creative Space. Let me or Mary know when you're coming, and we'll put on the tea for all of us! :-)
      Love & Laughter,


I love your comments! I read them all, and I will do my best to reply to you here! xo L.

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