Bold souls comments about Drawing and Painting lessons…
“Enjoy escaping for a few hours each week, discovering new ways of exploring art and taking time out. :) “ ~ Karen Bruce, Semaphore
“Margie has helped me overcome my self concept that I can’t draw and has unleashed my freedom to explore, be bold and have fun. The results have been amazing and I now believe I can do representational art.” ~ Jane Bange, Mitcham
The bold art calendars for this year are here! You’ve already heard if you’re on my mailing list (if not, get on that)! The early bird time frame has come and gone, and early bird individuals and stockists are receiving their goodies this week and next.
This time, I’m trialling a new thing: Birthday Calendars
Do you know what Birthday Calendars are?
Or perhaps you know them by a different name? They are sometimes known as a perpetual calendar. You write in your friends and family’s birthdays and anniversaries as you usually would, but then you keep using the same calendar each year. When December is over you flip the calendar back to January, which means you don’t have to transfer everyone’s dates over every single year.
Is it true that Dutch people keep them on the back of their toilet doors? Let’s ask …
What is the Dutch connection with Birthday calendars?
In my limited experience, everyone who asks or knows about birthday calendars has had a “Dutch Connection”! This year I’ve printed a few in case anyone wants one! (Want to buy yours now, click this!)
Yaisa Nio, my friend who teaches yoga all over the world [remember, we did the vision board with her in 2017 and will again this year] grew up in Holland, and has this to say:
The Dutch are known for their no-nonsense and practical nature. Hence 3 reasons why the Dutch hang a birthday calendars in the toilet.
1) It’s a place you spend a quiet moment at least once a day (I hope) so you have plenty of time to check who to call or send send a birthday wish soon and you won’t forget your wedding anniversary ever again.
2) On the fridge stuff gets dirty, in the living room we prefer art or picture frames and in the bedroom people tend to sleep, not read calendars.The loo is the perfect place!
3) If you leave a pen with the calendar, visiting friends can add their own birthday (and check out how many friends you’ve got).
By the way, would you like me to interview Yaisa? Good. I will. She’s an interesting and wonderful lady…
I’m learning to cope better – or perhaps simply flow with – the constant in life that is change! A really lovely stockist has closed down (sad face re Add Character at Semaphore!) and one eco one has expanded (go Jamie of EcoLateral, now at Blackwood and Magill). I now have my first interstate stockist in Queensland (on the Sunshine Coast at Nambour) because an entrepreneurial friend moved there and decided to reopen her shop! More details about my stockists here, with new Queensland details coming soon.
Now you have your head around what a Birthday Calendar is, does this hand drawn chart help to explain which bold art calendars are available this year? #homemadeinfographic
FAQ* Are the Australian Public Holidays noted, or Moon planting dates?
No! They aren’t… these sell internationally and it simply doesn’t make sense to include local Australian holidays. However, in the 2020 Bold Art Calendarsinternational unifying days are noted such as: Harmony Day, Peace Day, Serendipity day.
Oh, and Frida’s birthday :D
Moon planting? I love you Nadja’s of Nadja’s Garden but the moon planting cycles info messes with my head – and makes the design of calendar pages complicated. Sorry, beautiful bold souls, you’ll have to research for yourselves the moon planting phases!
Time for a little catch up? Here’s what’s just happened and what’s about to happen :)
I did a still life demonstration at the Adelaide Art Society a couple of weeks ago. Chris Braham from the society took these photos. The venue was just for art – which I loved – and I’m thankful for the surprisingly mild weather and the warm welcome of fellow art-lovers. You can see I’ve a microphone head set and above me was a structure with a camera linked to a projector and screen… anybody watching who was hard of sight or hearing could follow what was happening. Cool tech, right?
SHE IS ME Movement with Libby Tozer
My friend Libby Tozer – surfer and photographer – is the brains and heart behind the SHE.IS.ME movement. She kickstartered her photo book – buy the book here – and launched it with a beautiful photography and music festival a couple of Saturdays ago. Would you like me to try to get an interview with her? [I’ll see what I can do, she’s pretty busy making cool stuff happen.]
Coming Soon: 2020 Calendars and SALA
Can’t wait to see the new 2020 (and Birthday) calendars! They’ll be ready to ship the week after next. Want to receive yours then too? Order here. Full post about the new calendars coming soon…
How is it August next week? I don’t know but it is, and with it comes SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival. Things are about to get hectic!
A few weeks ago, myself and some of my co-group-exhibitors [conspirators?] had a photo shoot on a chilly but sunny day overlooking Fleurieu vines.
Willunga Artisans and Handmade Market is having a big market for SALA including a change of venue… here’s the SALA info.
See you at a launch somewhere, dear kindred spirit!
Meg x o
PS To get the freshest updates from me, join my mailing list here! You get [Tangerine Juice] eNewsletters plus blog posts direct to your inBox. Plus free art downloads and 10% off calendars! I’d love to see you there :)
What does that classic cat vocalisation that sounds like “meow” really mean, I wonder? I’d spell it M-E-O-W [you too?] and it seems to be communication. But to communicate what?
What does M-E-O-W mean? [A Human’s Ponderings]
NOW: I’m desperately hungry [even though you just ate, kitty?], can I get some food, please?
Or OW! Maybe the little fellow is uncomfortable in the belly. I’m learning to remain calm and let him go do what he needs to do [litter tray related, perhaps] and he seems to settle down after that!
There’s a secretly-for-him-but-pretending-it’s-not cup of clean water on the stairs that I don’t draw Mr.Inky’s attention to – he seems to like that metal vessel rather than the plastic one near his food bowl. I read this article from Purrington Post about the dangers of cat dehydration, and one of the recommendations is to use china or metal bowls. The article says cats prefer not to drink from plastic bowls … plastics retain smells a bit and cats don’t like that when they drink. I’ve now changed the plastic drinking bowl in the kitchen over to ceramic, too.
Clean out my litter tray! Please.
Let me in or out the door? [I get that one, usually … ‘specially when Mr.Inky is situated right by the door – or halfway up the fly screen, claws engaged!]
It’s a lot like learning what different baby cries mean!
I am worst at guessing
I am worst at guessing: when he wants to play with a cat toy (with me) or be lap snuggly. Part of why I’m writing this blog post is as a record of these less-pragmatic-more-quality-of-life cat wishes. Settle down, says he, and make me a lap to sit upon. It’s good for both of us! Sit DOO-OW-WN!
“You’re burning your food” / Something’s not right in the kitchen
Could Mr.Inky really have been telling me that I’d forgotten about something on the stove?
One particular day, I could not figure out what he was saying, but he seemed intent upon it. I mentally went through a list: food [done], litter tray [clean], etc … I’d been reading after dinner and left the stove unattended (and on) and I believe he was trying to alert me to this. I know that sounds like crazy cat lady talk, but I could find no other meaning to his keen meowing! #hessosmart #imclueless Thank goodness! Thanks, Mr.Inky!
On occasion, Mr.Inky seems to say “DOWN” from the top of the stairs, to encourage me to accompany him. Sometimes he scampers down really quickly, and I need watch him and my feet so I don’t trip over the little guy. #luckytohavestairs
Sometimes even after his dinner is no doubt filling his belly comfortably, Mr.Inky will get really weav-y up in my grill if I’m still working on the computer – like he’s telling me it’s time to take a break! Quite right too :)
Learning to speak ‘cat’?
I found myself calling to Mr.Inky with a little “…purr-rooou…” [with rolled Rs]. I think ‘purrrooou’ is cat for namaste. Or, “Come here please, this’ll be fun!”
If Mr.Inky can understand English, I hope he thinks his name is “You’re the Best Cat Ever!”
I feel lucky to have Mr.Inky’s gentle, engaged company.
What does your cat meow for?
Tell us a story or give us some Cat Talk tips in the comments, below or on my Facebook page!
Hello lovely! I’m glad you’re here!
I hope you’re having a great week and month so far. May has thankfully brought rain to my area and turned the hills green. Dozens of nasturtium seeds waiting below the surface have sprouted up, which makes me appreciate the rain even more.
There’s a by-law here that houses must have a significant rainwater tank for each house – big enough to last as long as possible through the year. Knowing the tank is topping up each time there’s rainfall feels so wonderfully abundant!
This is a picture I completed last year on a sunny afternoon … sunshine fell onto a handful of nasturtiums in a nice old china jug.
I composed the flowers and china, including a non-matching cup, into an arrangement that I liked, and began to draw. Here’s the beginnings:
Notice in the next photo on the right, sweet Erick – my second to last Custom Cat from last year – peeping up.
I’m mad about nasturtiums, and I know lots of you dear readers are too, because you tell me! Mmmmm, the light behind the petals makes them glow.
If I sound surprised by the light and the glow in this painting, it’s because I am. Art is schooling me in all it’s possibilities! All the things they say art can do, it can do! The shining happiness brought by the sun is embedded in this painting!
But I’m imagining you already knew that… haha, perhaps I’m a slow study.
Did you know?
There is no white paint in watercolour painting! You either use extra water so the paper shows more through the translucent paint, or choose to leave an area white. I love that it takes discernment to leave areas white on a picture. It requires unhurried time to think it through, to decide what will work for what you’re after.
PS A friend bought the original Sunny Afternoon on the weekend – so glad it’s gone to a good home – but I thought I’d still share this The Making Of … Let me know if you’d like to see this painting as a print or cards! Check out my newly locatedonline Gallery Shop here.
PS2 If you’d like blog posts just like this to fly direct to your inBox plus access to the Tangerine Treasury plus first dibs on paintings and lessons plus more members’ fun stuff, join my mailing list using the sign up box at right or below!
PS3 There are just 5 spots in 2019 left to commission your Custom Cat portrait … <<< check them out today. Payment plans are welcome.
PS4 If you see any of my card pictures on social media, and don’t see them yet in my shop, message me which ones you want and I’ll organise it for you.
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!