Friday, December 28, 2012

New Toys

Sometimes the elusive magic key for unlocking your creativity is as simple as having all your 'stuff' at the handy

Holidays behind us, a new year ahead of us. 
Winter, the bare trees outside, the garden at rest, time for enjoying the warmth and comfort of  being inside. Time to discover quiet and inspiration, play with your toys,  whatever they are for you.

Was there anything better than that magical moment on Christmas morning when you first laid eyes on the treasures there? For me it was the days that followed Christmas morning,  days free of school and schedules, just me and my new “toys” together all day long.  Then there was calling your friends and sharing  the fun.  My daughter, now over 40, still gets a call every Christmas morning from her childhood playmate that begins with the question “What did you get for Christmas”. If only they still lived across the street from each other!

  Years passed and my "toys" started looking more like books,  new clothes, games, make up and perfumes. Playing became curling up on a winter morning with a new book, snuggling with a new robe or blanket, soaking in a tub enveloped by fragrant bubbles with a flawless bar of virgin soap in hand.

Currently my favorite toys are all about art, and I'm ready to  experiment (play actually ) with some different tools this year.

I purchased this very small Raphael travel pan years ago on a trip to Paris and did not use it until recently. It seemed too easy, too basic.  I cant name any of the colors for sure, but once I dipped the short handled brush into water and messed up the first pan of color I was on my way .

Having coffee at Cafe Flore, my first partnership with the little paint box produced a very "rough"  version of a travel sketch. Don't judge, keep in mind that it was early and I was still jet lagged.

Someone much better at this offered these examples of what can be accomplished with this very same box of limited colors.  Gives me hope for next time . . .

Feeling more confident, I visited Sennelier's historic Art Supply store and invested in a travel set with beautiful , vibrant colors,  ones I cant wait to use. In this metal box is the spirit of Paris and the promise of future painting adventures that will keep me inspired .  

Also exciting are three new tubes of neutrals . . . I didn't even know they existed! For years I have been mixing my grays from  blues and oranges and what ever else I could add, with the conviction that it was a sort of heresy to do it any other way. Good bye guilt, and hello to these new shades.  Just another option to play with.

A set of brand new, unopened liquid watercolors, they will be the first magic potions to fill the wells of my new ceramic palette  . . .more toys . . . .stay tuned  . . ..


  1. Jan - Your blog is beautiful and you have amazing talent -- we have GOT to get followers for you! I have just loaded your beautiful blog into my Grow Your Blog party-- BUT - you need to add the follower gadget to your sidebar. That HAS to be there so that folks cn sign up to follow you - otherwise - they wont stick around.

    Latest updates are on my blog -- see you on the 19th.

    Amazing -- you have amazing talent-

    1. Hi Vicki - I figured it out - and by the way your blog is beyond beautiful - you are an inspiration - cant wait to see if this Blog Party will get me some followers? thanks for everything. Jan

  2. OMG its so nice to get a comment - thank you, thank you , I know I need to do this but how? Sorry but my skills are lacking, I am determined to keep trying tho! Again, thank you for your comments.

  3. Hi Jan, Found you via 2 Bags Full and loved your art - it has inspired me to give it a go. I love to try new crafts (and am rubbish at most) but so enjoy the process. I signed up and will happily check you out often. Visit me and enter my giveaway. Love from London. x

  4. Hi Annabelle, many thanks for your lovely note - and if I can inspire someone else I am truly happy for it. I have been fortunate to visit England several times, and the gardens there inspire ME beyond description. As I experience the benefits of blogging, surely connecting with others all over the world has to be one of the greatest. Jan

  5. Hi Jan. Found you at Vicki's blog party. Your paintings are gorgeous. And I think what captured me the most was your choice of color. Your story about your grandpa also drew me in. I will be following you...hope you stop by my blog for a visit. I would love to get to know you better. ~Laurie

  6. I think your watercolors are beautiful and that's something that's on my bucket list to try one of these days. Nice to meet you.

    1. Im flattered to have inspired something for your bucket list - just don't wait - do it now! Adventure awaits you, Jan

  7. Hi stopping by from Vicki's blog party. Lovely water colors. You have such a gift!

    Stop by my blog for a visit when you can.


  8. Very nice to meet you. I have really enjoyed your blog.

  9. Hello! I am stopping by for Grow your Blog party!!! Yay! You have a wonderful blog! I am so inspired seeing your paintings! I did the same thing when I went to Paris, only my paintings are not near as nice as yours! : )
    I get all excited when I see new paints! I think you have motivated me to stop by Jerry's today!

  10. Love your paintings. Try not to shortchange your talents.

  11. Very nice paintings. Enjoy the party!

  12. Your paintings are so charming! They brought back sweet memories of my one trip to Paris. Thank you for sharing your talent. -Derrith Scarbrough