July 26, 2015

Colouring pages

Everyone seems to be obsessed with adult colouring book these days. And to be honest some of them are so beautifully drawn that it is a bit intimidating to even start colouring. Considering my love for gardens and flowers, there are two books that I particularly recommend:
Art therapy: extraordinary gardens by Sofie Leblanc; and
Secret Garden: an inky treasure hunt and colouring book by Johanna Basford.
Inspired by these books and by some vintage fabrics I had around I gave line work a try and made two colouring pages.
I printed them out using different types of paper and had so much fun using different colouring techniques. Even Olivia gave it a go and asked for more copies a few times.
If you want to give it a go yourself, feel free to download a copy and let me know how it goes. Tag me along if you are sharing your coloured pages on Instagram (marina_cerra) so I can see it too. 

 Happy colouring!

July 23, 2015

Blog re-design

I'm currently working on updating this blog. It will take a while before things are final, and since I haven't figure out what to change and how, this space will be a work in progress for some time.  I hope I will get a new final look soon. In the meantime, please be patient!

July 20, 2015

Creating with kids

I never had a fixed routine for making art at home; and since it was (still is!) just a hobby I used  to squeeze in some time only when I felt like it. Of course things have changed tremendously since having kids, and funnily enough, my desire to paint has increased as much as my spare time has become almost not existent.
Recently, I have been browsing the internet trying to find out how people with kids manage to find some time to dedicate to their hobbies or interests, without neglecting their children. I asked some artist mums for advice and they told me the key is to either work while they are asleep or involve them too (or call a sitter!). 
Working in the evening has become more difficult as the only thing I'm able to do after the never ending and exhausting afternoon is to just sit and watch some tv or go to sleep.  Early morning rise is not really an option...waking up even earlier than 6.30am is just cruel. So what I have been left with is my littlest's nap times while my eldest is at school. This worked out great until the school holidays! Now that they are both at home, using that time has necessarily meant involving my daughter in the process too.
Unfortunately this option doesn't always work; kids get distracted easily or sometimes they are just not interest. But it's always worth a try, so more often than not I give it a go.
On a regular day, as soon as her brother is down for a nap, I ask Olivia if she wants to do dome painting with me. Most of the time she gets excited enough to say yes with no hesitation. I normally set us up on the big table in our dining room where we spend a good half hour painting, drawing and colouring. She usually works on her own piece, while I work on mine, and although I have to deal with few interruptions, most of the time I manage to get something done. Of course this is not always the case; sometimes she asks me to do stuff together, either me colouring on her book or her using my tools. But that's ok too, it gives me that peace of mind to recharge doing something I like.
There are other times when her brother wants to join in, but that's a different story which I still have to figure out how to tackle!
A few tips I want to share with you that I learned along the way:
1. prepare your own stuff first and then your kids's otherwise by the time you are ready to start, they are already bored and want to move onto something else! 
2. Create an area in your house where they can keep all their painting stuff ready so that they can create whenever they fill like. We use a small coffee table in a corner of our living room where she keeps an easel, her colouring books, pencils, paints, etc.
3. Let them use your tools once in a while. I found that my daughter loves to copy what I do and that of course means using the exact same materials. That doesn't include my expensive brushes or watercolours or paper, but I have a few sketchbooks, old brushes and paper scraps that she's allowed to use when we paint together.
4. Let them explore different mediums and techniques. They get more engaged if they are trying something new and might stay focused for longer.
Hope you'll find this useful!

What works for you? Do you have any useful tips you'd like to share? 
 Happy creating!

July 09, 2015

July: Around here

This year summer caught us by surprise. We headed up to the mountains for a long weekend, but the epic heat wave forced us to make our stay a little longer.
Ten days on and, apart from having the kids with me all day long, we are enjoying this early and unexpected summer holiday. 
Hope the season is being kind to you! How are you escaping the heat this summer?
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