Exercise and Stretch!

They say that exercise is good for body, mind and spirit. Although I will admit I am not the most athletic person out there (not by a long shot!) I do make the effort by attending a 50+ class at the gym 3 times a week. It’s actually quite a workout! But before you pat me on the back, you should know that I usually have to make myself go because I know it is good for me. There are tons of things that seem more fun at the moment . . . like watching Netflix, working on a drawing, baking banana bread or playing with the cat. But go, I do, and I’m always glad I did. Not only do the exercises and stretches help keep me healthy but I get to share my time with some pretty great people who also take the class. It’s a win-win all the way around.

Exercise and stretching is also very important for your creative self, too, but I’m not talking about the kind you do in the gym! I’m talking about working with your artistic muscles. Have you felt stuck or stagnant? Feeling like you aren’t improving? There are so many ways to help get your expressive self feeling healthy again. Let’s start with a few:

  • When was the last time you tried doing something different with your art or choosing different subject matter?
  • When was the last time you took a class or worked with a tutorial?
  • Have you tried taking a break from 2D and exploring 3D?
  • Do you belong to a group of local artists that inspire you?
  • What passions – art or otherwise – do you long to get back to or start? (It’s all connected!)
  • Have you ever tried mixing your colored pencils with other mediums or working with and entirely different medium?


Did you know that trying something new or pushing your artistic limits a little farther can go a long way to opening up new horizons and options for you as an artist? You can discover new avenues of inspiration and possibilities. We Creatives know this to be true but we sometimes still have to make ourselves step out of our comfort zones. It can be hard and even a teeny bit scary but it’s always worth it. Always.

Colored pencil has been my medium of choice for 20 years. I’ve loved it since the first time I picked up a set and started to draw with it. It is always going to be my favorite way to create. But, for a long time I was happy to draw and paint with those pencils on white paper. But I started to wonder if there was more I could do with those pencils because what I had been doing began to feel stale for me. What to do?

After getting involved with some online colored pencil groups I saw other other artists working on black paper, pastel board, sandpaper, and more. I was so inspired and couldn’t wait to experience something new with my pencils. Even though I didn’t “click” with some of those surfaces I was glad I tried them. It all made me curious and I was stretching my creative muscles in the meantime. At this point I don’t feel like I will ever run out of things to try with my art! And connecting with so many other artists has, like that gym class, allowed me to share time and experiences with some really great people. They have helped me and I have even been able to help others.