Here’s the drawing in progress. You can just see (in the right pic above and left below) a little of the light pencil sketch from working out where on the page the cup and saucer would sit. That gets erased before painting.
In the right picture below, you can see a small papier mache container at left of the shot… that’s where the paisley came from! The dark-red-with-flowers fabric (a gift from a friend – hello sister J!) got a colour change and became part of Rapidly Ripening Figs and Nectarines!
Watercolours are such a perfect medium for the watery sweetness of a cup of chai, aren’t they? Here’s a section with the tea, and a close up of the tea:
At left below there’s a finished section containing a bit of everything: cup, saucer, table cloth, plus vase and wallpaper from the background … At right a close up while painting the background and intricate patterns.
This piece would be lovely company for your cuppa nook – perhaps having been framed by a local framer – to gently remind yourself of the sheer luxurious validity of taking a moment to savour life, tea and beauty!
[Side note: While painting this, I listened to a podcast of Russell Brand interviewing Brian Cox … you may feel the vibe of intelligent voices with British accents emanating from this one!]
There’s only one actually hand painted by me, and a limited number of gorgeous quality art prints here. Scroll down to make this picture your own if its speaking to you!
Love Meg x o
PS Want to join my mailing list and get sweet sweet free downloads? Click this to learn more, or sign up below (technology willing and the creek don’t rise).
The past 2 months have been full of surprises, and I’m grateful I’ve been able to continue slowly, surely on this project …
Picture 39 – *Erick* – Custom Cat
How are my customers so completely delightful? They really are. [I must ask Rosalie where she gets that gorgeous mauve hair dye from.] This is the human ‘owners’ [cat servants, you and I both know I use the term loosely] of beautiful Erick collecting their framed Custom Cat portrait commission. Mwah!
40 Luna’s Garden and 41 Heinz the Jack Russell cross
I’ve been wanting to do nasturtiums on a kitty for a while now – #mixandmatch – and Luna is where it happened. As I aim for 10 dog pictures in this project, the friendly chap on the right is a fit character I met at the beach … funnily, I already knew his owner!
42 You are my Audrey
The Facebook community around Osher Gunsberg’s podcast know what this means!
I haven’t decided which writing for ‘Audrey’ I like better. First thought I’d like the print, but now I think I like the loopy! Which do you like better? I might even re-draw… #workinprogress
43 Sunny Afternoon and 44 Decorated Hand drawing
I like that these two are both intricate and spacious. I feel I’m better at drawing feet than hands, but this hand practise drawing turned out better than I expected, ‘specially once it’s decorated. Lucky me to have one hand for drawing with and another hand to draw (which I did while on vacation)! The still life, Sunny Afternoon, definitely gives off a sunny afternoon vibe … Meet me at a market/open garden and see it in real life, and you’ll see what I mean!
45 Feel Like Me and 46 Find Humility before Humility Finds you and 47 Light within you.
These are part of a drawing phase when I arrived home from my vacation. Since then my world has offered many (big) surprises, which I may elaborate on once things have died down a little. Just half of the drawing on the right is revealed deliberately as it was for a bold soul friend who made her rainbow journey. She certainly hasn’t left our hearts, and it feels like it’s at least half private … It reads: Light within you. Blessings upon you. Love flying to you. The first of those three was a wish for a particular day (a variant on Words of the Day) and the middle one is generally a good thing to keep in mind!
48 Pointy flower and 49 Illusion of Separateness!
Misspelled. Then repaired.
See how I misspelled ‘separate’ with an e instead of the first ‘a’ (middle section)? D’oh! Lucky there is Photoshop!
The next #100PicturesProject picture – number 50! – is a portrait of another gorgeous kitty … Can.not.wait to show you! Being a Custom Cat portrait the ‘owner’ gets to see it first. Keep an eye on my instagram and facebook pages. I feel like this cat portrait process would be a contender for a reality show, with a big reveal at the end – after a cliffhanger / ad break of course! :)
Let me know if you want me to bring a particular card, picture or calendar for you to a market … sometimes I simplify pack/set up and we don’t want the-thing-you-can’t-stop-thinking-about left behind! Think of it as an in-person “click and collect” service!
PS2 Time to order your 2019 calendars? See below to order if technology permits or go here. The themes are: Bold Women, Cats, Plenty and Backyard (<< that one’s for your Aussie ex-pat friends who have everything).
PS3 If you want original art & prints or numbered Giclee Prints for gifts, order this week is you possibly can, so the wings of the postal service/s can get them to you in time! Many originals are reduced by $50 so you can get the art and get it framed for under $500. #indieartcollecting
Hello dear bold souls, Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to the magnificent human known as Michelle Nickolaisen, who I’m proud and happy to know “from the internets!” Settle down comfortably and enjoy this Q&A with Michelle :)
You’re a Multipod/Multipotentialite/Scanner – a podcast writer&producer, blogger, writer, Freelancer Planner creator [have I missed anything there?] … How do your interests support and oppose each other?
I don’t think you missed anything! (Actually, upon reflection, I did realize I’m dipping my toe into game designing/writing, mostly TTRPGs but I have an idea/outline for a text-based choose your own adventure game that would be a phone app…) For the most part, my interests support me in different ways — I do enjoy nonfiction writing, but I mostly do it for my day job, which supports me financially, so that I can work on my creative projects, which don’t make much money, but are extremely fulfilling. It can be hard to juggle them all, but for the most part I really enjoy having so many projects going and tend to get ideas for one project when working on another, so they feed each other.
Your Freelancer Planner is a place where zen good looks meet organised systems… I know it well due to our collaboration and it’s such a good system. How did you learn to be so organised that you can teach others? And why is it important to have visual pleasingness as well as order?
I’m not sure how I learned to be so organized, honestly – a lot of it is that if I’m not super organized, then everything is a mess. Sometimes my systems get a little complicated (or involve some duplication of work, like my giant dry-erase calendar and my Google Calendar), but without the systems, nothing gets done and I just sort of wander aimlessly throughout my day, so I started to get and stay organized at a fairly early age out of necessity. (It probably helps that I started freelancing around age 20.) For me, something being aesthetically pleasing is part of the function of it — if it’s nice to use, it makes me more likely to use it. If it’s ugly, I’ll put off using it or forget it exists, honestly!
With your activism – How and for what causes do you do activism? (if you’re comfortable to say)
How do you look after yourself so your activism can be sustainable. Tell us about an activist you admire.
I try to be active on a lot of fronts, including voting and helping other people vote, donating money to smaller nonprofits and to crowdfunding campaigns for marginalized people, etc. I also created a directory of LGBTQ+ friendly gyms called Safe to Train, which I’d like to expand more on when I have time. When it comes to specific causes, there are a lot, but racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights and equality, and reproductive/healthcare rights are pretty far up there for me…but even just listing that, I think of mental health advocacy, climate change, income inequality…they’re all linked so it’s really hard to pull out just one or two and say “this is it, this is where I’m putting my focus!” Maybe if I did, the day-to-day might feel a little less overwhelming, but I try to be as aware as I can about all fronts without just sinking into existential dread.
I try to remember that it’s about the long-term, not just the short term. It doesn’t do anyone (least of all the cause, or me) any good to burn myself out. It’s hard to remember that when every day seems to bring something new and nightmarish in the news cycle, but we’ve got to be in this for the long haul if we want to effect any long term change.
For activists I admire, I’m not sure if they count (I’m not sure what “defines” an activist, you know?), but I love Ijeoma Olou, Anthony Oliveira, Tunde Olaniran, and probably several more people I’ll think of later, who are all creators who are politically active.
You do cool things for your physical fitness – tell us about those and what you love so much about those activities :)
Yes! So I still do weights sometimes, and I cycle both for fun and to get around, but my two main loves are martial arts and bouldering. I started climbing regularly last September, so I’ve been climbing regularly for almost a year now. I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in August of 2015 and I currently train a mix of that and Krav Maga, so it’s been just over three years since I started training martial arts. Both of them are great in that they feel very practical — although I hope I never have to use my climbing skills in real life, it’s good to know that I can do that, and it “feels” more real than lifting weights does. They also both combine thinking and physicality, in that you have to think about your fighting or climbing strategy as you’re doing it. And they’re also great for forcing me into focus and into almost a meditative state; you can’t be thinking about a million things when you’re sparring or on the wall, because that’s how you get beat up or fall!
For a long time I struggled to maintain any kind of physical activity because I was often bored by it, but doing these two things has been great for me because they keep me engaged in my fitness routine and give me an outlet. Since I started training regularly, my anxiety and depression have been much easier to manage.
Have things evolved as you imagined when you first started freelancing? How so and how not? How does your business and other activities align with your values and priorities?
The evolution has been really interesting, honestly! So when I first started freelancing, I did freelance writing, but got quickly burned out on it, as I was working largely through content mills and wasn’t sure how to progress past that point. There wasn’t a lot of information at that time on how to progress past “doing as much content mill writing as I can to pay the bills” and into “having an actual freelance career,” at least not that I could find. So once I got burned out, I started doing freelance project management, because my good friend Shenee Howard pointed out to me that not everyone has that as a skill. My plan was to use the project management and productivity coaching type services to basically subsidize the writing. After a while, after the memory of the burnout I’d had before faded some, I realized that I could just…do freelance writing, and get paid better for it, now that I had a pretty solid portfolio of clips from years of writing about productivity and project management.
From there it’s been a pretty direct path to present day, where, as of late August, I’m the full-time content marketing manager at Rebilly. There have always been side projects, and in between the side projects and the twists and turns my “day job” career has taken, there is really no way that I could have predicted how everything would turn out. I think I’d have the broad strokes (writing-related, of course), but that’s about it.
Aside from giving me the freedom and means to support the political causes I talked about, my career also gives me a lot of autonomy and flexibility, which has always been really important to me. Being able to tackle things in the order that I think makes sense, or go work out in the middle of the day, is really important for my personal productivity, so that flexibility is important to me. For the creative projects, I think it’s important to make art from your POV [point of view] — I can’t think of a more elegant way to put it than that, but it’s just important to me that I do that and help others do the same.
And a bonus Buffy question: Who’s your favourite character (and why) and what do we do when good creators do bad things?
I think my favorite is either Willow or Giles. I think there’s a line to be walked there when it comes to creators doing bad things — this is something I’ve thought a lot about both with Joss Whedon and JK Rowling as of late. I think it’s distasteful to say that you can ever separate the creator 110% from the art — especially when the creator has done really, really heinous things (looking at you, Polanski and Allen) — but at the same time, I think it’s possible to say “This piece of media wasn’t perfect, and neither is the person who made it, but at the time it meant a lot to me and it will always hold a special place in my heart, even though now I’m open to critiquing it.”
Michelle Nickolaisen is a writer, podcaster, & creator based in Austin, TX. When not creating something, Michelle can be found listening to podcasts, watching Netflix, or doodling.
Thanks for joining us today, Michelle… it’s really fun and inspiring hearing what you’ve been up to. Bold souls: I hope you’ll go check out Michelle’s online stuff and keep her in mind if you need anything she offers…
Wow, 50 Live Bold Lists – how exciting! This is seriously a testament to keeping at it one blog post at a time!
For this one, I tried to figure out why when I create ‘people pictures’ I steer towards the medium of lino printing.
Bold List 50: 6 Reasons I make lino prints of Bold Women
Simplicity. I ‘force’ myself to design with simplicity in this medium. Which leads to:
… celebrating the person or idea (or both) with bold visual representation. Carefully chosen lines and shapes, and
… a strong overall composition. Cogitating about the composition for ages – so it says what I want to say clearly, even if this means trying and re-trying … not just re-doing the sketching, but on occasion entire re-design/re-carve/re-print/re-paint! It took several goes to make the final simple layout for *First Fig*.
The sheer visceral un-rushable pace of creating a lino print; from designing and carving an image where there was none, to printing and painting. A measured pace compared to other everyday activities, like say watching TV or driving fast on a freeway!
PS2 If you want to hear from me beyond (yet including) blog posts like this, sign up for my mailing list using the little ‘form’ in the sidebar or below – you also immediately get fun free gifts and a code for 10% off 2019 calendars!
PS3 I’d be grateful if you’d show my blog to your bold women friends – if you think they’d like this kind of thing, of course! Thank you!
Hello Lovely Face and welcome to my 522nd blog post! [That seems a big number! We got here one blog post at a time!]
After a couple of months working on calendars-calendars-calendars, I’m amazed any pictures got created at all towards the *100 Pictures Project*! They did though. Lots of them are cat pictures :) And here they are…
Picture 33 – drawing: Sleep is Magic
I drew this while listening to an interview with Sleep Diplomat Matt Walker. It’s an apt self-description – he’s calm, persuasive, highly educated and absorbing about how beneficial sleep is to us. [By the way, 7-9 hours sleep is ideal.]
After listening to his interesting things-which-ya-kinda-know-but-pick-up-more-strongly-in-the-rehearing-as-an-adult, I now count it as an even bigger win to start each day having had enough magical sleep time.
This drawing is currently not in my online shop, however if you’d like to see it as a colouring page or tshirt, message me and I’ll see what I can do.
Picture 34 – Dion, the Tawny Abyssinian – SOLD
Dion’s person has seen this now [see below left the photo from our presentation meeting last Friday] so, like a final ‘reality’ TV reveal, I can show you the Custom Cat portrait I’ve been working on. What a smart and delightful person and cat! On Sunday Dr K emailed me to lock in painting Dion’s sister.
For those of you playing at home, I’m now booked for the rest of the year for Custom Cat portraits. The next spot secured will be first on the wait list for 2019.
Picture 35 – Ivan the Blue Russian – SOLD
This gorgeous Blue Russian cat’s owner [ok, we know very well we’re not owners!] was a big part of the community in the SA Cat Show world, and a kind, generous person.
Picture 36 – Black cat with stars design ^^^
I dearly wanted a black cat with stars for a tshirt image, after Mr Inky came into our home. So I made one! Click the picture above to see this design on everything but the kitchen sink. Haha, I can’t keep up with magnificent Red Bubble. Seriously, even if I blink my one eyes [one] at a time, they still have yet another product to print your art on! I love it – love art on All The Things! These black cats with stars look groovy on items from bedcovers, phones and leggings to a plentitude of styles and colours of tshirts!
Why in gourd’s beautiful planet are there so many hilarious name possibilities for the title of this one? Oh my Gourd! , Gourds. Gifts. etc etc. Click the picture below to see the gourd picture in the *100 Picture Project* section of my shop. Oh, my Gourd! was offered by Ms T on Facebook. If you have another gourd phrase to make us laugh, chime in below in the comments section :) See the Making Of pictures here on my instagram.
Pic 38 Louix the Turkish Angora ^^
Remember when I painted the Turkish tabby? Rita, a professional cat breeder and photographer on Facebook [<<< check her work out, she’s good, isn’t she?] posted a pic of this fluffy sweetie, her Turkish Angora cat. This past fortnight I got a chance to try painting it. There are hardly any drawn pen lines on this one, mostly brush drawing. Very softy, right? Like the cat itself.
Have a great week with lots of cat cuddles and other love and peace in your days!
Love Meg x o
PS Talking about things that add up over time with repeated small efforts [which we were at the top], our contribution to TPRF humanitarian aid is slowly edging even further above $5000. That sounds a lot, and it’s done a lot of good for others. [It also feels like a more positive way to move in life than watching the news and getting depressed!]
7 Reasons I adore artwork on paper, ‘specially watercolours
The sheer variety of possible artworks on paper. In my own work, I do watercolours and lino prints. In my down time I draw on visual diary pages and cut up magazines for collages. There are plentiful art techniques using watercolours and more wonderful kinds of printing and other art that I appreciate by others. What about those amazing Altered Books, cut paper illustrations, paper making … oh, so many more than I can mention here…
The way the colours sing in the light feels so alive! Breathing, almost. Not stuffy.
Painting on great paper is quite simple, a bit primal … the rough ‘tooth’ of the surface, the watery flow of colour. You can choose to let putting paint and brush to watercolour paper ‘force’ you to be in the present moment.
Rag paper is 100% cotton. It biodegrades if you wanna get eco about it. Which we do.
It’s bold. When painting with watercolour on paper, you’re committed. You can’t press undo – there’s no apple-Z (or control-Z) for this kind of art! And, if you start getting addicted to whole lot of erasing you’ll bring only destruction to the surface of the paper. No return. Frequently surrender!
I think it’s the light shining *through* the paint that makes it glow…
Affordable, original living artists’ artworks make a fresh, valuable addition to a Works on Paper wall of curious beauty, grouped beside the stairs or on the wall behind a reupholstered lounge chair.
Click either of the pictures above to see them in my gallery shop … maybe even make one your own!
Do you ever read a book and think “…this message needs to be heard?”
This month, if I could have 100 copies of one or two books to give away or share – and thus get its message to 99 more people – I’d choose:
JJ Virgin with her diet, not because I’m a diet person – quite the opposite! – but because the anti inflammatory information is so important. Let me know if you read it and if you tried it, how did you go?
The Barefoot Investor by Scott Cape Pape [haha, must’ve been thinking about super heroes], because nobody gives you the jolly numbers! And he does. I haven’t followed everything he says, just taken what suits and made a start. And our money organising is improving all the time. Which I’m finding reassuring as I get older.
What book (or two) would you choose to share with 100 people? What’s been important to you (now or ever) or holds a uncommon yet human message? Let’s know in the comments or on Facebook…
Do you want to drink more water – keep up your hydration through Winter – but struggle to fit in those sweet clear drops amongst the busy-ness of your day? Perhaps these personally tested tips will help…
[Note that I’m not a medical professional or health coach (if you need one of those, contact Yaisa) just a human with a body – lucky! – following the best recommendations I can find, who’s set up a few handy habits that may be of some use/inspiration. Hope so.]
7 Easy Ways to drink more water
Have a drinking vessel that’s just yours so your housemates/family don’t throw off your numbers by sharing it. Refill that as soon as you drink it down, so it’s easily ready when you next reach for it. And…
… keep plenty of water on hand ready to pour into your glass. A tap? Perfect! A filter jug (or some other kind of filtration system)? Great! A water tank? Lucky, that can be pretty clean (in most places) as it’s plain rain. [I hear ya if you’ve bird fr*ckers on the roof dirtying it all up – we do too, hence all the mentions of filtering!]
Use a bigger glass if you can. Even just a little bigger. I noticed using a smaller glass it was easy to accidentally drink less over the course of a day, when I was wanting to keep my hydration up-up-up. You’ll intake more, just by drinking the same number of glassfuls!
Drink water when you are doing specific Always Do Them tasks. I think that’s called habit stacking? Add your drinking water habit to the things. For example, drink water when you’re getting up, drink water when you’re taking vitamins (that’s easy ‘cos you need the water to swallow the supplements!) Drink water when you’re about to go to bed (start the night well hydrated). This will quickly lift your tally per day.
Get the cleanest water you can. I’m very lucky to have and enjoy rainwater – filtered of course!
Keep water at the temperature you like best. If you like cold cold water, keep it ready in the fridge (if you have one)! I like it at room temperature so I store 5 litres or so in a camping container ready to access. It even has a little tap.
Practise savouring and enjoying plain water. No bubbles. No sugar. No flavouring. This works well with our human bodies!
As I wrote this, I realised I’m in a privileged position: I have a water tank, a roof, a working pump and a series of filters – the trickiest part is keeping up good habit-izing of my intake. I’m privileged even when I assume you also have several different sized drinking vessels to choose from! [If not, op/thrift shops are a potential source, if you’re lucky enough to have such a source nearby and a few dollars for a new glass, cup or jar.] How ridiculously lucky I am to take these human necessities for granted!
I’m guessing if you have a computer and internet access to read this with you might also be lucky enough to have clean water to drink.
What can we do to help someone who mightn’t have the good fortune to access clean water?
We support TPRF to bring nutrition and hydration to persons who need it, and I’m amazed by all the wonderful ripple effects. Check out a wonderful set of new videos in their World of Difference appeal, ‘specially the one about the Food for People program that we support: Sustenance and Sustainability (or watch below, tech permitting).
PS2 The 2019 calendars are coming soon, in 4 themes … I’ve just sent them to printers for proofs! #excited Join my mailing list for 10% off – yes, we’re doing that again this year! Keep an eye on my social media – instagram and facebook for first sneak peeks once I have them in hand.
We didn’t want to quickly.get another.pet and try to stop feeling sadness from losing two old man orange cats in two years. Also, we were soon to move house, and we didn’t want to put that chaos upon a new kitty!
We’d gone via “…yes, again, sometime,” through “…soon…” and “We’ll know when it’s right”.
And now it is.
Welcome, Mr. Inky!
Mr. Inky’s coat is like velvet at night – your eyes disappear into him like a void! His eyes, blink blink back at you from his silhouette.
We’re knowing each other better every day, getting settled in together beautifully and it’s still very new.
I love that Mr. Inky slows my/our life down to a sit-on-lap-and-purr pace. Purring is such a universal sound/vibration that represents (and brings) quality of life.
We hope to have many loving years of keeping each other company.