If you are already

experienced with art,

but perhaps

you haven‘t done art

for a while,

here are a few

helpful pointers

for you.


Tips For Rekindling the Artist Within You

by   Kelly Jamieson    (who has kindly permitted publication of this article)

Missing: One artist 
Last Seen: Alive and well somewhere within you, long ago,

in what felt like a much better time and place 
Reward: Reinstatement of personal creative fulfillment

Just when you thought the artist within you had 

disappeared forever ... you receive some encouraging signs 

of hope for an overdue rescue.

You are an artist. You were born an artist and you'll be an

artist on the day that you die. Like life and everything alive,

you are dynamic and you change slightly everyday with 

each of the moments that make up the layers of your 

existence. Along your journey, you'll often encounter 

periods when you masochistically succeed, for whatever 

reason, in smothering your inner artist. Everyone contends 

with this, but what separates you from others is your ability

to declare these periods 'times of creative-self repair.' 

Apply patience and trust that you'll soon move forward into

a new and improved phase of invigorated creativity. 

Below are some guidelines to help convince the new and 

improved artist within you that it's time to emerge.

1. Reconstruct your creative environment. 
Our surroundings affect us on so many levels, consciously 

and subconsciously; it's not surprising that sometimes we 

can't determine specifically how we've clogged our creative

arteries. If you've lost the access to your creative flow, 

consider changing something around you. Significant or not,

make yourself a new haven for creation. Clear out a corner 

to call your own. If you're short on space, find an easily 

accessible place nearby to go that allows you forget the 

world and reconnect with the deepness of your artistic self. 

2. Invest in a few new supplies. 
It's possible for artists to have relationships with everything

- and sometimes in our sets of tools, we let memories of 

disliked or discarded projects resonate from the past. 

This definitely stunts the potential for fresh new creations 

to materialize. How much is revitalized inspiration worth to

you? Start over. Pick up new paper, paint, pencils, brushes 

or palettes whatever it is that you need to get excited for 

opportunities to make a few new first impressions again.

3. Book an appointment with your creativity. 
Will three o'clock work for you? Make a schedule. If you're 

finding that there's no point during the day or week that 

you're feeling creative in any way determine a random one 

and set yourself up for some counselling with your 

creativity. Allocate time each day twenty minutes, one hour,

whatever you need - to fully remove yourself from the 

constraints of your life and focus only on your art. 

You may find yourself stumbling at first, but soon you'll 

look forward to the daily release of creative energy. 

It won't be long before you're unable to make your 

appointment because the two of you will be so busy 


4. Be patient with yourself. 
Just like your art, you are a work in progress. Never look 

down on yourself for losing touch with your right brain. 

When moving forward from periods of creative stagnation,

you have to remember that you've cut yourself off for a 

reason. It's possible that you might not quite be ready

for 'post-renovation' re-opening day. Try not to fret in 

frustration; trust that your 'creative-self-repair' feature

is fully serviceable and prepare for the eventual emergence

of greatness that is bound to appear.

5. Don't criticize yourself. 
You are creative you are an artist. That is who you are but 

remember, what artists do require skills and if you don't 

practice skills, they become rusty. That's just what happens;

life always gets in the way of us really doing what we want

to do. You can't hate yourself if your creative edges become

dull with time. Be gentle with the expectations for your 

creativity. Acknowledge and accept that what you produce 

right now is definitely not your top potential; there's not 

doubt that you'll be consistently sharpening that edge with

time. Look forward to the improvements you'll continue to 

display as you fully move into and unpack in a fresh 

creative phase of your life.

6. Find something inspiring. 
What is it that makes the blood race through your veins? 

What is it that captures your eye twice and retains your 

interest? It's time to put yourself in a position to see your

world with a new, fresh perspective. Is there someone you

know who brings out a different side of you that you have 

yet to explore? Is there something that makes you so mad 

so sad - or makes you laugh harder than ever? Whatever it 

is, attempt to transform it into art. Emotions and your 

permitting of their outpour is always good. You base much 

of your art on emotion and it's possible that your creativity 

might have been cut off by an emotional filter you weren't 

even aware you'd installed. Let yourself learn to feel again. 

7. Attend a workshop. 
Okay, it may seem like the most un-spontaneous thing 

you have ever done in your artistic life, but when you're 

creatively challenged, take the steps you need to move 

forward. Your local community centre or art supply store 

likely holds weekend workshops for reasonably cheap fees. 

A three or five hour artistic kick in the pants may be all it 

takes to remind you that you're better, and more capable, 

than what you previously believed. Do what it takes to 

confirm what you like to do or would like to do artistically 

- and get excited at the possibility of creation again. If you 

do your footwork and find there are no workshops in your 

area create your own workshop. Go on a personal overnight 

retreat just you, your tent and your new notebook. Sunsets,

sunrises, constellations at new angles or just the 

peacefulness of you and the rocks - may help to unlock 

your creativity. If you can't get out of town consider the 

backyard; it's not far, but it might just be far enough.

8. Find a community to support you. 
When we're struggling to slide back into levels of creativity 

we used to frequently dominate, it's important to line-up 

positive elements of support, encouragement, idea 

development and feedback. The web is invaluable for 

online community forums for artists. Utilize your neighbors.

As alienated as you may feel in your loss of creativity, 

you're bound to find many others who can share your 

experiences many who will be able to offer advice, insight 

and help to ensure you reestablish your creative presence 

within your life and your community.

Be confident in the fact that there will soon be a moment 

when you'll wonder how you were even in a creative dry 

spell. Until then, prepare for the ultimate re-emergence 

of the artist within you; the longer you've been away, the 

better your reunion with yourself will be, guaranteed. 

One of the best parts is realizing that - as far away as 

you've felt from your creativity - it's always been right

there where you left it - safe inside you waiting for just 

the right moment to reemerge.

Enjoy your rediscovery.


Now it's official:

Arigood foyou !


The idea is to get creative and de-stress.
Being creative with art will put you in a great mood. Your paintbrush or pencil will draw your attention away from yourself (from your stress, worries,

problems, etc.) and into a zone of pure pleasure. Not worried about the finished

art piece, you get lost in the doing. You‘ll feel like a little kid in playschool with

not a care in the world.
Express Yourself:  Creating art can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
Remember, when you are doing something for enjoyment, let go of any expectations and rules, and just do it. Explore different options before buying

out the art supply store.
If this is your first venture into painting, drawing, pastels, etc., start with the basic tools.
Books or websites will guide you in your endeavour. Or if you prefer taking an art class at a local studio or community center, great, this puts you amongst

people, which is good.
What to use to express yourself artistically: watercolours, acrylics, colour pencils, etc etc. You can also just have fun by  picking up an inexpensive drawing pad and a pencil, and doodle.

Main thing: Enjoy!

--- And how will art alleviate stress? ---

Art can relax you when you are stressed and ease the tension of the real world.
- By distraction:

Iit takes your mind off what is stressing you, at least for a while.
Afterwards you‘ll find you‘ll have a clearer head to tackle your problems with.
- By flow:

There‘s a certain quality of being called "flow", that experts say is very
beneficial for us. This refers to a state of being completely engaged in something to the point of being in a near meditative state. You can also experience "flow" when you‘re doing other creative activities such as writing or gardening. But you can also get it from drawing.
- By self care:

Just the act of having a hobby can make you feel more balanced.
Sometimes we forget that we need and deserve "relax time" and self care. Taking even a few minutes on a regular basis to devote to a hobby can give you more of what you need in this area. And with drawing or other artwork you have the additional benefit of being left with something beautiful (or at least interesting) to show for it!
Art is a wonderful escape route. Experimenting with an assortment of styles, colours,
and textures, is taking an adventure of creativeness. It releases boredom and built up
Art lets you take those emotions and turn them into something beautiful.
Very therapeutic indeed.



What follows is your PRESCRIPTION for ART.
You don‘t really need a prescription, but if you feel better by having one,

please feel free to print it out and to enter your NAME,

and show it to anybody you wish.

-  Take 30-60 minutes per day to do Art! –
(“When I’m doing art, don’t wake me.”)
.............................................. has a doctor’s permission to disappear into

the art zone for a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
Beneficial side-effects:
Laughter, serenity, peace, relaxation, reduced stress levels, diminished anxiety, solutions to tough problems, bursts of creativity, calmness, health, fun.
CAUTION: Negative side effects occur if this prescription is ignored.
........................................ gets cranky, mean, wicked, bad, depressed and

possibly nasty. Lack of art can cause spitting, hissing, and PMS-like symptoms.

                                        Prescribed by    "Dr. art."  Angie Stehle



WORKSHEET of   Ideas, Possibilities, Projects


=== Perhaps print it out, and tick off what you have done / tried). ===


(in no particular order)  -   Please choose freely.

-  Ethnic/cultural styles (African painting; Greek style; Roman; Ancient; Medieval;
Asian etc.)
-  a window looking out, incl. foreground such as windowsill with vase etc.
-  a variety of windows
-  miniature painting / also on stone
-  tone in tone with one contrasting object
-  a story or message
-  use a black background with contrasting foreground
-  use a golden background perhaps with silhouette
-  create a marble effect background
-  paint on glass / flat glass and/or glass objects
-  modern, abstract, unusual; elements and principles; geometric
-  animal details eg. eye close-up
-  mural
-  an Irish painting, or one from your culture
-  expressive art (emotions, ideas)
-  decorative art
-  legs only (animal and/or humans)
-  go out photographing and/or sketching
-  drawing with perseverance and determination
-  artwork emphasising edges / spaces / relationships / values (how dark)
-  work on gestalt (the whole) = a united character, pull it together, then final touches
-  make a selection in composition
-  use repetition
-  choose a special viewpoint
-  use perspective, create depth when including details
-  work on light
-  work on form
-  make a group effort
-  distort something, experiment with something
-  paint abstract ideas such as power or authority
-  play ― "What if" in your mind and draw that
-  express the same person younger and older
-  try out different textures
-  put something or people into a different time
-  study a famous artist or another famous person
-  put patterns together
-  invent something new or unusual
-  make your own combinations, eliminate/change what you like = artist‘s license
-  emphasise beauty in something common
-  change your perspective by imagining yourself very tiny
-  create a mood, an atmosphere, a character, a style
-  a religioius subject
-  express drama / action
-  sports
-  colours: imagine the picture is made of dots / mosaic
-  work on colour combinations
-  brainstorm a subject and everything that goes with it, even remotely
-  try various techniques
-  paint about a social concern
-  try different mediums (crayon, pencil, paint, fabric, yarn, stone, wood, metal, etc.) 
-  use your phantasy and creative imagination (not necessarily absolute fidelity)
-  make a sketch
-  try a grisaille (if you don't know what it is, google it!)
-  kids room mural
-  ceiling mural
-  landscape
-  seascape
-  skyscape
-  cityscape
-  make a portfolio with works in one consistent style
-  symbolic meanings expressed in artwork
-  make a poster with Dublin doors
-  make a poster with various windows
-  express sounds from nature or music or songs in artwork
-  orchestra, soloist, instruments
-  paint magnified flowers eg. Japanese or Chinese style
-  use a Chinese newspaper as a background for a painting
-  photograph a consistent character (Teddybaer etc) (or 2) and then draw or paint for
-  prepare a number of canvases with various (interesting) backgrounds for later use
-  express smells in artwork
-  paint fire
-  create unusual hats, make a poster of them
-  a sequence of growing plants or animals or humans
-  a collection of teapots
-  arrange flowers with an object and paint it as still-life
-  make a colour series, eg. everything red, with one blotch of a contrasting colour
-  butterflies, also phantasy butterflies
-  a collection of glass bottles together, study what makes glass look like glass
-  create an A-Z poster
-  flowers in unusual objects (in a baby shoe, bride‘s shoe, walking shoe, sandal, ...)
-  families; mother and child; love; values
-  paint pots; design pots
-  something you or someone else has experienced
-  horses
-  many smiles and one frown
-  arrange different fruits together (variety of colours, sizes, textures)
-  study mountains in different seasons
-  beautiful landscape
-  create artwork that might become useful
-  sun, moon, stars, universe
-  study weather, rain, storm, etc.
-  draw a variety of shells, possibly glue real sand onto a canvas
-  use real wooden pieces on your canvas to make the painting come into reality
-  paint a variety of ponds
-  create balance / create tension
-  mugs and what you can do with them make a good subject
-  photograph a variety of gates / doors
-  music as a subject
-  imitate the work of other artists such as the old masters
-  make the life of a funny worm the subject of a cartoon
-  dolls, dress them up for different situations
-  roses in different shapes (heart, etc.), romantic theme
-  flick through books, magazines, catalogues for picture ideas or references
-  four seasons
-  photograph various yawns and sleepy animals and persons
-  babies
-  make hearts of strawberries, of rose petals, of shells, of seeds, ...
-  write in sand and photograph it
-  a gardening subject
-  people at work or at play
-  an underwater theme
-  draw an event, an experience, a situation, a tragedy
-  introduce a zoo or a museum or a park by way of illustration etc
-  floral drawing
-  add dots etc to flowers to create movement etc
-  literary subjects (words) such as poetry, literature, quotes, phrases
-  create bookmarks
-  herbs and wildflowers
-  paint on roundish stones and photograph them and make a poster of them
-  paint or draw interiors
-  express time, the passage of time, ageing, life
-  collect seedpods and make them a theme
-  paint your dreams and hopes, your inner world
-  a fairytale or story for children
-  express emotions in painting (Van Gogh did so!)
-  newspaper with a fresh flower
-  an old photograph (sepia) with a fresh flower
-  photograph something step-by-step
-  photograph two characters (persons or dolls or toy animals or animals) and make a
story of it / postcards
-  sand arrangements with plants or objects
-  a historical subject
-  silhouettes
-  use bamboo as a frame
-  create message cakes, message scrabble, message whatever
-  make a giftbook with drawings or photographs especially taken for it
-  add calligraphy to a painting with a message
-  create artwork related to a particular tourism area or city or town
-  photograph (and paint) fruit when cup open or cut into slices and light behind it
-  appetising food arrangements make an interesting art subject
-  use miniature items (such as from dolls houses) in your artwork
-  use small pieces of cotton material, lace, etc in mixed media artwork
-  draw with water colour pencils and let it "rain" on it
-  create a still-life with baby items
-  a still-life with wedding items
-  make a glass house and paint it with glass paints
-  dolls house rooms are interesting to paint on canvas
-  paint bamboo Chinese style
-  make a fireplace screen out of a material you will paint on
-  draw a spider web with dew drops
-  ask a friend to sit for a portrait drawing
-  draw an identity of a personality
-  photograph or sketch people informally and draw them
-  animals, birds, etc
-  modernise nature
-  observe scientifically and draw like Leonardo da Vinci
-  combinations of humans and animals, animals and flowers, etc.
-  the apple‘s view in a still life
-  snow in the city streets
-  sandwich series (time)
-  double portrait: you and your mother
-  the night
-  series of self-portraits showing different emotions
-  the same sky at different times of the day
-  still life with 3 objects from your desk
-  what kittens dream about that makes their paws twitch
-  paint something that has to be captured quickly (a wet object before it dries OR a
passing bicycle OR a running person
-  the negative space in a large leafless tree
-  paint another version of your favourite painting, moving every colour ONCE along
the colour wheel
-  put your favourite CD on and paint the music
-  a deserted sandy beach, footsteps leading away from you, a small figure at the
-  the view you wish you‘d see from your studio window
-  heat
-  what a bee sees when it is collecting pollen from a rose
-  4 self-portraits in different seasons
-  Water drops on a broad-leafed plant
-  What a worm sees when it looks up at a yellow daisy
-  A portrait emphasising not so much the likeness but an aspect of the person‘s
-  Kids ice-skating on an ice-covered pond at dusk
-  Black as a colour, not as a tone
-  A paperclip (with something) as the centre in a story or idea
-  3 vases of sunflowers in the styles of 3 different artists (series)
-  etc. etc. etc.


Some days there won't be

a song in your heart.

Sing anyway!


Inspiration when you have "Creative Block" 

You want to do art, but you feel ununspired and hesitant, can’t get started? 
No, you haven’t lost your artistic ability. It just needs to be re-awakened, that’s all. 
Have a look through a few art books or art magazines. 

A google-search might inspire you too, enter “art, artists, pictures, 

paintings, art techniques, galleries, photos, art materials” etc. 

and then click on “images”; or go to and 

enter similar words. What you find should get your fingers itching. 

Try something different as well. Have a go at different media for 

a change. 

If you do oil, go and do soft pastels, or if you do that already, 

try pencil drawing or colour pencils or watercolour pencils or 

watercolours or pen and ink, or go for something three-dimensional. 

Make a change to a completely different subject matter. No more 

portraits. Do landscapes, or flower close-ups. 

Go outside, or go to a different location, or paint where you

haven’t done that before, in the zoo, in the botanical garden,

in your friend’s garden, in the forest, at the seaside, on a mountain.

And if you still can’t do anything, ask yourself: "What is stopping 

me?" Maybe you need to sort out something else first to have 

the inner peace for art? 

Don’t procrastinate, the “something else” might be hindering you

 n other ways as well. 

In any case, don’t wait until the inspiration hits you. 

Take the initiative. Just get on with it and do it! - 

Set yourself a goal: "I’ll do a painting by tonight." 

It doesn’t have to be finished by then. 

And if you really don’t know what to paint, just grab any item 

near you, in the studio, the office, the kitchen, the garden, 

wherever, and draw it, paint it, photograph it, - you may never

have looked as closely at a pair of scissors or a banana or 

a wine-bottle-opener or a weed, or even at a partly crumbled-up paperbag! 

And how about looking back over your portfolio, the artwork you 

have already accomplished? 

Try and get a few crazy ideas together as well. Paint on a big flat 

stone, or on a slice of wood, or on an old window ... 

Or create a really unusual composition, maybe a still-life of 

broken glass with a fresh flower growing out of it. 

You can also listen to your favourite music, try and capture the 

mood, and translate that into art; or simply express what you 

think and feel this minute and put it down on paper with colours. 

To overcome your creative block you really should have your 

own art corner where you can leave art stuff out, - that makes it 

easier to get into it even for sudden bursts of arty energy and 

short periods of time. 

And when you sit and rest comfortably, draw and paint in your 

mind; imagine it in all details, - I’d nearly guarantee you that you

will soon get up and start doing it in real terms. 

Or do you perhaps expect too much perfection in your artwork? 

Well, don’t. The fun is in the doing, the result is a different matter.

If, however, your project is too intimidating or difficult at the 

moment, then simply break the task down into smaller steps, and 

start with step one, and stop if you must. Lateron go on to the 

next step, and be patient with yourself, - you’ll be surprised how 

well it goes. 

Or, simply go into town or into the park and walk a bit, with a new 

perspective in mind: Look for something to convert into an artistic 

idea. Look for beauty or for something that captures your interest, 

could even be small things, - slow down and take time to see it. 

Or see things from a different vantage point: the way a mouse 

would, or birds-eye-view, etc. 

Or think of something imaginary: What would the park look like 

to a woodpecker peeping out of his hole in the tree? 

Or to a caterpillar attached to a blade of grass? 

And record your ideas, take notes, do sketches, take photographs 

of everything you need to remember. Back home, brainstorm 

your idea. Gather together everything that could relate to the idea,

even remotely. And make artwork out of it. 

By the way, going out and mixing with people and relaxing may 

have been just what you needed. Some have to leave, get away, 

and do something completely different to get rid of the cobwebs

of frustration and let some fresh, crisp air in. 

And there you are, refreshed, revitalised and smiling. 

And whenever you wake up during the night with an idea, 

write it down straightaway, before it gets lost in the next day’s 


Also, don’t isolate yourself, but mix with and talk to people, 

observe young and old, and enjoy individual peculiarities. 

Put your ideas to paper, canvas, or whatever you're using. 

Last not least, join a local art group, or take art classes, 

it will motivate and inspire you. 









Getting ideas

Right column: some of Angie's latest artwork.