Let go and let your creativity shine.

Its not easy to let go when we paint. The fear of being wrong or criticized holds us back. Pleasing people is another big one. I saw a adult who came to pick up her child after a class a few months ago and I saw how her energy changed as she wanted to please the adult and stopped her creative flow.

We get stuck in thinking that we have to be perfect and your art has to be perfect.

But its only a canvas or a piece of paper! These can be painted over. If you dont like what you created what is it saying about you. Sometimes it just doesn't sit right with us and we cant quite work out what it is. Sometimes its adding another layer.

What if it was just a processes of self discovery? What if we liked just playing with colours? The left brain does a lot of the analytical stuff and our self criticism comes out. Sometimes we have to switch that side off, keep going and push through. I see the flow happen after a while clients faces light up and its like the child has come out to play.

I know it in my own painting practice. My partner and I decided we were going to paint at home. He was outside with oil paints and it was a bit cold, so I decided to paint inside. Well I thought what were we doing we should be together painting and enjoying each other company. I saw my thoughts take hold and so the painting was a bit stiff it didn't quite flow and the colours not right. Once I gave up the need for anything to be right and with the help of music it flowed very easily.

I ended up selling that painting very quickly by showing someone.

Sometimes a quick scribble is what we need to get out manic thought out before we start! So scribble away first on paper, get out those frustration of the day and go for it!

You never know the scribble might be a possible next painting idea!



splatter paint your jeans!


I have always liked to have a job where I could wear overalls! Also of course working with my hands.

So I am going to splatter paint my jeans! I have wanted to do it for a while. It was 'in' when I was a teen (Yes that old!) and now back in. 

So I created an affordable class so we can have fun and do it together. Its a fun way of letting go and going with the flow. Enjoy creating a design or just go for it!

Create anywhere!

Its so cold today and I have a pastel I need to create for a baby shower present by Saturday. No pressure or anything!

I love to be creative and I love to show people how to be creative and to express yourself freely. I believe you can be creative anywhere. You need to make it a priority. Find a corner in the house for you. Every women needs her own room sometimes too!

I have the studio in Inglewood. But today its heavy weather and I  dont feel like going out. I am going to use the kitchen bench as it has the best light.

Find yourself your own space to create. Put a plastic cloth on the floor. Put up an easel or a tabletop easel. Have your paints etc in a trolley or a handy bag with compartments. Also like me air con or heater on!

Let me know how you go in your own space. Go for it!



The layers on a canvas

Finished painting  'Elephant Love' Acrylic on canvas. For sale at my studio

Finished painting  'Elephant Love' Acrylic on canvas. For sale at my studio

This is how I started the elephant painting above. My intention was to create an elephant and that is what was shown to me. It all started with and under layer of colours.

On a stretched canvas gesso the canvas for a smooth finish and easier applying of paint. the paints I used were Matisse structure (a thick bodied paint) and flow paint which is more fluid, which brings out the colours underneath.

First layer of colours

First layer of colours

I mixed lots of colours and applied then on the canvas with a brush and my hands. I could see the elephant there in this layer. This always amazes me and excites me! I could see her eye and her back and trunk outlined in the colours. Can you see it?

Another layer planning out my design in white paint that 'appeared'!

Another layer planning out my design in white paint that 'appeared'!

So I painted the design on with a pointed brush and white paint. Now can you see the elephant coming through? I added some words of what the elephant symbol means to me, so that the painting has that energy for me.


Another layer

Another layer

I applied another layer I painted into the elephant's body. I didn't use traditional colours as I wanted it to be a semi abstract piece, and I love colour! 

Now this is where I should have stopped, but no (and it's my learning curve). I went further and I painted more in the background. Final and always the last thing to paint are the details. Making sure it has contrast. standing back and observing.

Has it got contrast? eg dark against light, shadows, and contrasting colours. Is it well balanced? Is there some rhythm?

You can see some of the under layers of colour which make it interesting

If you would like to learn how it paint like this book into a class or give me a call Kathryn 0412 198 045 

Finished result.

Finished result.

New techniques

I have been having fun lately with some new techniques and layering. Using texture and stencils and lots of different mediums in the process.

I love the inktense blocks by Dewent which are like water colour paints but they produce beautiful bright colours. They work like watercolours and can be applied wet on wet.

Started like this!

Can you see the woman on the top right? Looks like she is holding a baby. 

Just like the body your creativity can reveal a lot about you. I needed nurturing at the time. Too much in my head lately! That what art does for me. its a bit like colouring in I suppose, it takes you into the here and now.


'The florist' mixed media on water colour paper. A2 size    

'The florist' mixed media on water colour paper. A2 size





Ended up like this! Lots of layers. I brought out 'The florist' and her delivery of flowers. took out the negative aspect.

Might need a a few tweeks! The camera reveals a lot of things to correct re the elements of design. But it just goes to show you how you can bring out what is there on the canvas or paper. And what is your art trying to tell you?


Create your own well being.

Create Your Own Well being  through art.

I Have found myself that if am am feeling worried or down that painting lifts the spirits and calms me. When you paint or create you come back to the 'present', you go with the flow of life and you leave your troubles behind. Or you paint them out and move forward. 

There is increasing evidence that participation in creative activities directly improves the health and well being of people and communities (Arts & Health Foundation).

It is known that arts and creativity:

*Builds personal and cultural identity
*Builds mental health competence – Outlet for expressing feelings & emotions; increases focus and concentration
*Relieves stress by relaxing the mind and body
*Builds confidence and self esteem
*Improves physical activity and manual dexterity
*Facilitates social inclusion and connection.
*Builds social and peer support networks
*Promotes spirituality and spiritual connection.
*Promotes cultural diversity and exchange
*Builds stronger and more resilient people and communities
Create the space for art and creativity in your life - join us today.

Thank goodness spring is here

Spring is here and and dare I say the footie will be over soon yeah!

I am off down south for a weekend to visit my fellow artist and creative  coach Tanya Cole in Dunsborugh.

Even though we haven't met each other yet, we seem to have a whole lot in common and will have lots to talk about. Lots of painting and chatting + wine,  especially while the grand final is on!

Hopefully come back with a whole lot of inspiration from each other.


  9th Oct

I had a great time at Tanya's. We painted ate lots of chocolate and chatted into the early hours of the morning!

My creative story

My story

My story

Since I was a child I have always been keen on painting, drawing and anything creative. I would 'get lost' in the flow of it all. It was only my Mother calling me that pulled me out it. I would carry on and try and get more time, turning a deaf ear.

I suppose it wasn't valued to be 'arty' in  my family. It was something to pass the time and I wasn't encouraged. At school in Primary and secondary school, I excelled in art and got good marks, although missed a lot of schooling due to ill health.

As a teenager I got into making rag dolls  from scratch they all had their own personality with embroidered faces and all dressed differently. I made clowns as well with felt shoes with bells sewn on them. It gave me the thrill to see a child with one of my creations!
Drawing of  'Sadie' our dog my last drawing for years.
Drawing of  'Sadie' our dog my last drawing for years.

I got a job as a design reproducer for a while. That finished around the time I had open heart surgery at 16 yrs. (all good now!)

I married young, but  I still did some drawing, but after my first child was born I never did anything for quite a few years. Even after we immigrated from the UK to Perth in 1985.

After my marriage broke up I worked full time for a while, I was determined! I found a therapist who said to make one day a week my art day for me. To heal my inner child. It really did help! I joined a group at a local art centre did some fabric painting on Monday's. We created together for years even after the course had finished. 

I started  going to TAFE and studying art & design. I also studied floristry at TAFE a few years later and worked as a florist creating funeral arrangements. I love flowers, the smell, the colours etc.

Drawing of  'Sadie' our dog my last drawing for years.

Drawing of  'Sadie' our dog my last drawing for years.

So committing to myself every week was my therapy and also helped me be free with my art to experiment. After having many different jobs, and another two children later, I decided to create a meetup group in 2009  called 'Perth Art and Creative Expression'.  I found people liked to paint around me!  Maybe when you are in your creative flow then you are magnetic!My studio is  in Inglewood now called Naked Canvas It was my dream to have the space to create and help others do the same.

After recently finishing my creatively fit coaching with Whitney Freya. I now have lots to share and I know that my art practice is important to me for my well being. It is my joy!





Connecting to our team spirit with creatively fit coaching.

In our last few exercises in the creatively fit coaching we choose three exercises to complete out of Whitney Freya’s book ‘the artist within’. This was a group support team project, we shared our experiences with each other.

I choose the abstract tiles exercise and ran a class at my studio. It was good fun playing with mixed media on different papers then overlapping them to create small abstract works of art. Lots of other created  ideas came from this. One which you will see in the near future on my website.


The next exercise was the paper weaving. I had fun with this again it was mixed media on different papers then weaving them into each other. I haven’t quite figured out what to make with them yet. But I like what came out in the end.

The last exercise was creating a mandala. I love creating mandalas and have been doing them for years. Mandalas are a drawing/painting within a circle, they are a reflection                of the self.

I created a bright colourful mandala which was very busy. Which did reflect where I was at the time. So many thoughts and lots to do.

In my personal mandala practice, I always but a date on them and also write down any thoughts that come up. I find that you can change your energy by changing the mandala. Maybe drawing                                                                                            over it again with different marks.

I had a lady create a mandala with me that reflected her situation in a controlling relationship. She didn’t expect it to come out! She realised she had painted the man in her life in the mandala and his eyes were watching her.

I encouraged her to change it and she did. She drew some pink pastel lines and shapes over and around it, which was putting herself onto it. He then looked childlike and not so threatening which made her feel so much better, and of course changed the energy of the situation. Mandalas are very subtle, but they help to shift your energy. 

I have had a great time connecting with fellow coaches all over the world. We share our experiences and support each other. Now I can say I have lots of connections all over the world.

Painting marathon

Our painting marathon was the next layer in our creatively fit coaching with Whitney Freya we had a painting marathon. 10 paintings on the one canvas! This was a great exercise in the elements of design -CONTRAST . UNITY . BALANCE . PROPORTION . HARMONY . REPETITION . RHYTHM . EMPHASIS – Our life design

I think she looks like me!!

I think she looks like me!!

These elements help to enhance your painting practice and gain awareness and greater insights into your life. Painting this way is a great self awareness tool and practicing the art of detachment. I can say that every painting I did on the canvas brought back a memory, thoughts, self realization and of course inspiration.



Some were easy and some frustrating, but working through them brought me out of the other end brimming with ideas and energy.

The first painting was an inner child painting. Like we did when we were little. Connected to the child that needs to play!

Contrast: The sunflower – Opposite colours, black/white – dark and light next to each other bring contrast onto the painting. What is your contrast at the moment?

Unity- I painted with continuous circles and similar colours on my canvas, and connected with a fellow coach in Malaysia over skype, it was good to paint together this way and support each other. That was unity in its self.

' Yes fly' she says

'Yes fly' she says

Balance – this was an interesting exercise were we used torn paper on the canvas. I found a newspaper page cutting about an emu that couldn’t fly (keeping the Aussie theme).  With some insights I realise that is where I feel I am at present- clipped wings. So I took off the ‘emu’ and put ‘yes’ over what looked like a plane or a bird. So I left ‘yes’ & ‘fly’. This brought up a memory from long ago about an emu eating our lunch in a park! 

Proportion: what so you want from the middle out? What steps can you take - one step at a time.

Proportion: what so you want from the middle out? What steps can you take - one step at a time.

Proportion I found this fun and the easiest to do. Proportions around the nautilus shell in steps/proportions of your life to the steps to make to your dreams come true.

I started in the middle from the heart, to the outside. Then all the dots related to the people coming to the studio.

By this time I had a few ideas coming through the idea about ’createvision’ workshops with all the steps and ideas that came with it. I was excited, manifestation has always been a fascination for me and sometimes easy. I would like to help others create what they desire through the art process, with visualization, anchors, colour and creating a painting to anchor those feelings.

 Harmony: This was my spiral with inks and pastels. A fun one with lots of energy.

Community canvas. painted and created by clients, family, friends and myself. Aug 2015

Community canvas. painted and created by clients, family, friends and myself. Aug 2015

 Repetition: This as a fun process to faint with my fingers. I love painting with my hands. I probably create the best paintings that way. This one was full of colours and dots.

Channeled painting

Channeled painting

Rhythm: I painted a heart over the finger painting dots creating rhythm

 Emphasis: At this time I was painting the community canvas. Creating with all the lovely marks that all visiting clients, artists and friends had made on a big canvas at the opening night of the studio and in various classes. It is still up in the studio- Come and have a look.

 The 10th painting was to help had the most meaning to me and was for my for creating abundance. He wanted me to paint an eagle flying which represented freedom. The energy that I felt when painting this was quite profound and uplifting in so many ways.  So much appreciation and loving feelings came through. It took my breath away.

I have always had that intuitive and spiritual connection. I would like to do this for others through the art process.


Creative Painting Made Easy

The next part in our coaching programme for creatively fit was ‘painting made easy’. Which we get to learn how to show beginners how to paint and mix colours the easy way.

This was so much fun. I find the blank (Naked canvas) doesn’t scare me, but excites me, but I suppose not all people are like me, and I must remember that

1st Layer filled me with joy!

Re learning to mix colours again in a simple way was quite easy, but there are colours I don’t like when mixed. But went ahead anyway. Having three primary colours to work with red, blue and yellow. We also added white on the palette. 

As I am mixing my left brain chastises me and I question myself.  I could see my thoughts going downhill. But then I stilled the left brain critic and decided to ‘go for it’.  

We were to paint the whole of the canvas with these mixed colours, and what a joy it was! A celebration of colour, energy and movement. I had my favourite music on and at this point it just flowed and nothing else mattered.

I have been quite busy lately getting my art studio up and running, but I didn’t realise how tense I had been. Painting this canvas with colour was such a relief and a release. I got right into the moment and it filled me with complete joy. Even some tears of joy, it was amazing. 

I loved the colours that I created and in my 1st layer I could see a European influence and recognised a few symbols too. I suppose you could leave the painting as it is, or even bring out what you see, but then you would get to experience the layers and what the painting will really uncover.

After it was dry it was ready for my outline, my 2nd layer

What was I going to outline? I just started to paint a large pot of flowers. I realised at this point that the canvas wasn’t sitting correctly. I was working on my dining room table (You can create art anywhere!) anyway It turned out the canvas was warped and a bit crooked. Maybe I didn’t quite value what I was doing and picked this up out of my storage shed “thinking ‘this will do”.

 Taking the outline to the edge and off the canvas makes the painting more interesting to the eye.

 After my outline was dry – I was feeling a little impatient as I was dying to get into the

3rd layer of the painting.

 Layer 3 is like colouring in the shapes with the mixed colours. Like stained glass.

 My thoughts stopped me a bit when mixing again. Again I had to let go of any thought of “this isn’t right”. My left brain wanted to be correct.

3rd layer  

Again I found it exciting. Starting at the edge of the outlines and working in lightly with quite a dry brush. Leaving some of the first layer show through. Repeating colours in one space then paint it in another, leaving contrasting colours coming through. Repeating colours helps to create unity and balance. So if you put some pale blue in one spot then put some in another part of the painting. At his stage there is no details to put in. I found at this stage I was impatient for the layer to dry.





The 4th Layer: Now to add contrast to make the image pop out adding light colour next to dark areas where needed to make shadow. Then add any details and highlights.

I felt I went too far and lost some of the lovely colours in this layer. I lost some of the lovely marks underneath.  I don’t know when to stop, which has always been what I do when painting. Trying to make it perfect. But what is perfect? For me the painting changed my energy and filled my soul with pleasure.  I need to give myself permission let the painting rest in between.

4th Layer finished

4th Layer finished

It was a great exercise and a great start to painting if you have not done any before.

A great self awareness tool though the layers and art process. Have fun creating art which is your life.



Naked canvas is a painting and creative expression studio in Perth. Our lovely light & bright studio is ideal for the creative arts and exhibitions. At Naked canvas we hold regular classes and workshops throughout the week.

Naked Canvas is a great social painting group for all levels of experience. A group for people who like to paint and create for pleasure and self expression.
We have fun using various mediums on canvas or paper to create your own unique piece of art letting your inner artist come out. I encourage a free style approach which requires no experience. A chance to 'let go' and let the inner child play with colour and texture, a chance to bring out your inner artist.

Beginners I provide a safe environment for you to explore, play & create under my guidance and support.


'Creatively fit' coaching

I started training to be creatively fit coach in May with Whitney Freya.

Creatively fit is a program to help others access their right brain creative mind and balance it with the logical left brain.

To bring out the inner artist we need to access and strengthen the right brain and quieten the left brain inner critic. Which is not that easy sometimes with our fast paced lives. Look at your life as a blank canvas (Naked canvas) and what you want to create in your life right now?

Through a series of creative exercises with awareness brings us back to the artist within.

 Having started the Creatively fit coaching program in May, I have become aware of when my customers in my art group are in their 'right brain'. I can see it just flows, they are happy. I now want to know (this is where my coaching training will come in), how do I take them there again and keep them there in that space? What did I say to take them there?

I had one client who just seemed to let go after the initial start and when she did she stopped giving herself a hard time. She had not painted before that day except for old school days. Which were terrible for most people. Anyway she acknowledged that it was like playing the piano, she said "when you try to hard you stuff up and when you let it flow it just flows like learning to play the piano.

In my first layer of my training my ego says ‘I have done all this before’But in the exercises my right brain side of me played.

Fill a page with colur

Fill a page with colur

In our first lesson was to cover a page with colour. I coloured a page and I picked a glowing pink. Unusual for me. It made me feel nurtured and I even had a little lie down after and snuggled up as it was a cold day. So I suppose the pink made me take care of me.

Then we looked at  These shapes are the Five Universal Symbol

What words came to mind for these symbols for me.    

Circle- What goes around comes around - change

Square - Package, box, contained

Plus sign -   Spiritual sign, safe

Spiral - Freedom and creativity, fun -

Triangle – triangle relationship, 3 sides to every story

List the following shapes in order from your most favorite shape to your least favorite:  Plus sign, Square, Triangle, Circle, and Spiral.

 In order for me….1st Spiral,   2nd circle,   3rd triangle 4th square 5th plus sign 

Found In All Art And How To Use Them writes that these shapes symbolize:

Circle      Square            Triangle              Plus Sign       Spiral

Unity              Foundation              Goal Oriented                   Relationships          go with the flow

                    Earth Energy                  Reaching the                  East v. West  
                    Grounding                             top                              Night v. Day     

The universal survey:  Whichever symbol you listed first, your favorite, symbolizes what is YOUR GOAL RIGHT NOW.  Your second favorite symbolizes YOUR HIDDEN STRENGTH.  

Your third favorite symbolizes WHAT YOU WANT YOUR GOAL TO BE.  Your fourth favorite symbolizes what YOU ARE CONSCIOUSLY IGNORING.  Your least favorite symbolizes what YOU ARE UNCONSCIOUSLY IGNORING. 
So looking at my words to each symbol. I feel my freedom is very important. 
All the other meaning make sense to me. My square is the 4th so yes I need more grounding.  But last is my spirituality and I relationship to it. ! I have let things lapse of late.


In this video we watched  Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor and how after a stroke she experienced the right side to the brain. Its very moving and worth watching. Takes 20 mins


I had great fun with another exercise of doing a torn paper face
My torn paper face. it was fun. I remember going through the book earlier in the year, and avoiding it!
But today I was on the computer too much doing some research, I made myself stop and do it.
I had fun looking through the magazines and saw two faces I liked. One is like a drawing a child did and a boy with paint on his hands YES! anyway while I was doing it I realized that as a child I wasn’t really encouraged to be creative.
I suppose it shows my love for creative freedom in the bird, my English upbringing with the cuppa tea. But I made my self different with flower earrings.  ( I am a trained florist) The butterfly – a transition right now, with new beginnings  for me. The boy reminds me of my children all boys and how I would have loved to get paint on my hands like that.
The love of underwater, painting and flowers come up. Looking at the light reflects my spirituality.
It was an interesting one to do, and definitely got me into my right brained frame of mind.

In one of our exercises we did a scribble drawing. with whatever is around markers or pastels etc.

                      Torn paper face

                      Torn paper face


This is one of my first scribble drawings. This one  seems to be a celebration as a cocktail glass with olive in it. Also was what looks like me in the blue, looking at it all. She looks pregnant tho!!  But maybe its about new beginnings and birthing something new, as I am taking on a premises for my art business soon.Then I see an eagle over the top. - I have to be careful I don’t sabotage my success.

We will start with one of these in my classes before we paint as it sometimes brings clarity from your unconscious. A  good right brain exercise to work with.

                                                                        Scribble drawing

                                                                        Scribble drawing

1 comment:

  1. Stacie Bebber8 June 2015 at 11:00

    Great informative post! Love seeing the images from the exercises, what potential you are creating!