Small enough to whoosh away

watercolour lettering


What’s that?


Canvas Fear Syndrome.

A fresh blank canvas or page can be soooo scary for so many of us. You don’t know what to do and you might muck it up.


I gave a gift of new art materials to my sister and niece.

  1. A small round watercolour set. Easy delight.

  2. A rectangular blank pages journal. Contained enough to feel safe. Hard-covered enough to feel special. Small enough to be friendly and to whoosh away BCFS.

  3. A brush of the magic water-carrying variety.

I love this type of brush. It’s a simple idea – a brush that contains its own water. It’s kind of the miniature camel of the art world. It’s not as if it’s such a big deal to dip a regular brush into a jar of water.

(Ooooo. So difficult. Not sure if I can manage to move my brush all the way over there to that water jar a few centimetres away.)

It’s not as if it’s an Olympic sport.

(‘Amazing art athlete coordinates life and limb by manually transporting a paintbrush from paint to water to paper and back again seventy times in an hour.’ Hero. Medal. And all that.)

No. A regular paintbrush and water will usually do the trick. However….

There’s something nifty and ever-so-slightly Harry Potter wizardish about the water living inside the body of the brush. Just a little squeeze et Voila!

water brush


Where was I? Before I got lost in raptures over the aquabrush-or-waterbrush-available-at-all-good-art-supplies-stores-near-you?

The gift. The new materials.
So we play, we three.

We begin a Ruby, Jennie, Sally journal. I’ve never done this before. A shared art journal. What fun!

Here’s a lettering practice page created by Miss Ruby (aged 10).

watercolour lettering

Inspiration lettering practice
Ruby Foster-Swain

And here’s a sample of our journal pages.

Shared Art Journal Flowers

Shared Art Journal

Can you guess

shared art journal tea

Shared Art Journal

whose is whose?

Shared Art Journal family crest

Shared Art Journal
family crest

Art journalling, or art journaling with one ‘l’ in America, is a Thing. It’s a Significant Thing in the world of personal (and shared) creative expression. It seemed to burgeon in the past decade or so when I had my back turned. Once you look, you can find websites and communities galore to support this art-heart healthy habit.

I wouldn’t say it’s a habit of mine. I’m still attached to the non-attached. That is, painting and collaging onto free floating pieces of art paper or canvas or calico. But I get it. There’s something ultra-specially nourishing and manageable about the form, shape, texture, containment and hold-worthiness of a book. And you can turn the pages.

Have you ventured into the world of shared art journals?

Or the world of the water-brush?