Where Are They Now?

April isn’t typically the time of year most people think about setting New Year Resolutions.  But with a spring birthday, it’s a perfect time for me to reflect and set my goals for the next year of my life.

For the past year I set out to: i) overhaul my wardrobe, and ii) become prolifically creative.  However, as I write this on the eve of my blog’s first birthday, it’s difficult to pinpoint any significant changes I’ve made to achieve either.

Wardrobe Architect

My wardrobe is (slowly) improving.  Having changed a few shirt buttons, I’ve made some progress.  I still have about half-a-rail of mending/adjusting awaiting my attention.  However, reminding myself of my passion for sewing seems to have flicked the right internal switch; I’ve since finished a couple of ‘difficult’ projects.  But my real passion is for dressmaking, and I’m a sucker for a nice sewing pattern.  So hopefully I’ll get to make some new clothes for myself rather than just making do and mending the pieces I can’t bear to part with.

Prolific Creativity

When I set this goal last year I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to achieve.  Roll forward a few months and I decided that, for me, prolific creativity meant more than drawing for ten minutes every day.  Having attempted several drawing challenges since last April, I’ve learned that there’s more to this than turning up to the page and making a few choice marks.  I want my own journey to have a purpose, and when I choose my next ‘first’ step, the next ‘second’ one will naturally follow.

So, all that’s left to say is ‘Happy Birthday, Filbert & Smudge’, and ‘Cheers!’ to year number 2!

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A Drawing Dilemma

If you had a year to teach yourself to draw and paint, how would you go about it?

Here’s the thing…

I love drawing. I understand the theory, and can draw pretty well with either my right or left hand (and which hand I choose usually depends on my mood).  I’ve even taught drawing in an informal way.  But if I was suddenly asked to draw or paint something in front of me, without any mental or emotional preparation, I’m not sure I could do it.  As I spend the majority of my drawing time in life-drawing class, in my own head I feel I would struggle to draw anything else.  And with a new blog year pending, I’d like to approach this art thing in a whole new way.

As a recently returned dressmaker, I’m pacing my re-learning by choosing projects according to the fabric I wish to sew and the techniques I want to practice. My map will be drawn out by my Wardrobe Architect, and the souvenirs of my journey will be the new outfits I have to wear.

However, with drawing I’m completely stuck.  My key objective is to pick any of my art materials at random and draw (or paint) whatever is in front of me, without having to do a mental warm-up first.  But as this is driven by technique the subjects aren’t as obvious.  And without a plan, this challenge would be meaningless.  I’ve started listing things to try, such as line, tonal values and shading over a three-dimensional surface, but at the moment my short list isn’t firing up my enthusiasm.  So, I need your help…

If you had a year (or less) to teach yourself to draw and paint, how would you go about it?

Please add a comment or ‘get in touch’ (via Menu).

WordPress prompt: Meaningless

The post A Drawing Dilemma first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

I’ve Started So I’ll …

I’m not particularly good at finishing things. Mr C often calls me Half-a-Job as I’m so easily distracted, or simply run out of time.

Back in October last year, I signed up for the five-week Do What You Love E-Course, but found it difficult to answer some of the questions being asked.  Here are my answers to some of the easier ones:

If your life story so far was a book, which section of the bookshop would it be categorised in?  Thriller/Suspense

What would the book be called?  Woman Interrupted

Who would endorse it, and what would their quote be?  Mr C:

“One woman’s struggle to make it (to the very end).”

Taking inspiration from Anne Butera of the blog My Giant Strawberry, my word for the year is going to be


I’ve already finished some simple sewing projects (I’m not thinking about the half-finished ones just yet).  Trouble is, I feel like I can achieve anything, and the temptation to get several more projects out at once is still there.  I’m resisting at the moment; I want to revel in the satisfaction of completing a creative task before I attend to the next one. So, they’ll just have to stay hidden away for now. As the saying goes, Out of sight…

The post I’ve Started So I’ll… first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

Not Quite a New Year

Several things I’ll be doing in 2017:

Although I won’t be writing my New Year Resolutions until March, I have hopes of a simpler yet more creatively focused 2017.

For me, 2016 was a bit of a learning curve, not least because I launched Filbert & Smudge, and committed to several creative challenges, some being more successful than others.  I discovered charcoal, watercolour, and watersoluble graphite, and attempted a little character design and urban sketching.  I still have three months to work on this year’s challenges, but writing my weekly posts has given me a new optimism.  And it’s time to take this prolific creativity thing more seriously, hence the blog redesign.

A new year brings new promises and possibilities, and with less clutter to challenge my attention I’ll be trying out some of those pencils I mentioned.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year.

WordPress Discover Challenge: Retrospective

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