Posted in 15 Minutes, Drawing, Getting started, Painting

Watercolours are the guitar of art

I love watercolour paints!   As an Artist Called Anyone, untrained and unconfident in painting and sketching, they are soothing on the eye, relaxing to use and easy to clean up!


If you liken art materials to learning an instruments they are the guitar of art materials.  Even as a beginner, guitar has a soothing sound and you can whack out chords easily, even if you are not sounding every string exactly as you, or the chord chart intended.

So today I did introduce my pen and sketchbook and gave it a go, and I enjoyed it and went back for more.  The good thing about pen is you can’t correct so you just have to go with it.  Wonky perspective can just stay wonky.  And wonky it is, and it is all good…


First I tried a castle, just making it up…


Then the couch


Then the advent calendar.

Your turn… Draw a picture of something you can see and fill it in with watercolours, or food colouring, or pencils or whatever you have to hand.  Just give it a go, don’t look for excuses.  Just go for it, you can do anything for 15 minutes!

Posted in 15 Minutes, an hour or two, Artists' date, Getting started, Painting

Defacing books in the name of art


It was falling apart and destined for recycling.  Today I had a play with an old book and paint, as a starting point towards a mixed media collage

And your artist’s date…

Find some text, in a book or a newspaper, grab some markers or paint and have a play.  See which words stand out for you.





Sophie, An Artist Called Anyone

Posted in 15 Minutes, Artists' date, Drawing, Getting started

The first mark on paper

When I look at a page I am about to draw on, I feel fear.  It is not a paralyzing fear, I’m just a bit scared by the scenario but it is often enough to put me off.  I have never made peace with drawing.  My main experience with it was part of formal art classes at school.  These classes were traditional, an apple is etched in my mind with shading supposed to highlight the 3D form.  It wasn’t really my forte and it was a long time ago.

Today I wanted to open my sketchbook and make a start.  My plan is to draw enough to replace my gentle fear by a positive glow of anticipation.  I also aim to fill a sketchbook that was abandoned by its previous owner.

The session started with a spiral.  It started slowly and painfully… one line at a time…  I found it hard not to analyze each line or to judge where I was going.



I decided to go onto the internet, watched some people doodling to cool music and then made some more marks.

Then I found some Milliande art studio videos on YouTube.  She posts tutorial ideas and they are exactly what I am looking for

I did this.  It is process exercise, looking for shapes that stand out to you within random lines



and that got me in the zone and I went back to my doodle


I enjoyed it.  In hindsight maybe I would have been better off with sheets of paper rather than a sketch book, but I have committed now!

And your artist’s date is to try the exercise in the video.  Have fun with it, focus and put expectations aside.

Sophie (an artist called anyone)

Posted in Getting started

Kissing toothbrushes

I walked into the bathroom and found two toothbrushes entwined in a passionate kiss.  It made me smile, it was true love, they kissed all day.

Artist’s date:  take a minute to set your toothbrush up in its own moment of intimacy.  (Use a new one to kiss if your toothbrush is a bit thingy about the idea of such intimacy.)  Stand back, walk out, walk in, smile.  Just do it, even if it feels silly.  The whole point is about doing something different!

Posted in Getting started, Making Art, Writing

Writing Haiku

Get a pen and paper ready.  This is a doing exercise, not just a reading one.

Writing Haiku is

a journey through the essence

of mere suggestion

A Haiku is a Japanese poetic form, often translated into English writing as a poem of three lines with 5, 7, and then 5 syllables.  It is a great launching pad for writing poetry, with enough structure to make a blank piece of paper or screen whisper gentle words of encouragement.   ‘ it is only 3 lines’ or ‘just think of 5 syllables’

An old silent pond…

A frog jumps into the pond,

splash! Silence again.

by Basho (1644-1694)

This is one of the most famous Japanese Haiku poems and despite it’s brevity, or rather because of it, has been analyzed to each microsyllable by Japanese school children.  Traditionally haiku are about the seasons, or flow of nature.  It is said that a haiku is more than a type of poem; it is a way of looking at the very nature of existence.  There is obviously more to to the art than merely following a syllabic pattern.  What I wrote at the beginning would by many not be called as a Haiku at all.  But with confidence anything goes, this is the modern age after all.

So take your pen and find a find 5 syllable line, we may as well start with nature so that you can narrow a little the possibilities.  Here is mine…

the lemon blossom

but it could equally be

dripping rottweiler

Done?  Great, now for a 7 syllable line

white against the yellow fruit

Back to 5

an unlikely friend

So there it is

the lemon blossom

white against the yellow fruit

an unlikely friend

That is it!  well done, no need for a title,  read it out loud (yours not mine).

Now try a completely different topic

The dining table

there are the late library books…

a fairy dances

If you still have time your challenge is to write two more (or more).   Read up more on haiku later.  For now, just give it a go.

A last task…

Choose your favorite, put it on a sticky note and put it somewhere you will see it or send it to a friend.

Well done you,

Sophie (An Artist Called Anyone)