New ink, new books and the importance of mucking about

A Creative Life, art commission, art gallery, art supplies, books, life of the mind, mental health, Sustainable creativity

I finished my commission for the Caplan Art Designs Gallery and delivered it. Still can’t talk about it yet but I’m pleased and the Gallery was pleased… enough said!

With the leftover paint from the commission I began working on this painting currently in progress…

As a reward for finishing the commission my wife and I took a day to visit a few of our favorite places in Portland Oregon to play and generally muck about. The first place was Powell’s City of Books where we explored many of their 5 floors of spectacular book reading goodness and other fun things…

We each came home with small book hauls. Here’s mine…

Our other favorite place is Oblation Papers and Press. We got 3 bottles of ink: two are coffee colored and named “Caffe Creama” and “Espresso”. The third ink is named “Portland Rain” and it is a grey-purple-blue color like the, um, rainy Pacific Northwest sky this time of year! I also got two dip pens because…they’re dip pens.

I wrote about using sketchbooks as time capsules in my email newsletter. Here’s a repeat of the photo of a stack of new sketchbooks I’d shared earlier when I’d just gotten them…

…and I wrote on my email newsletter about a new bent pen recently. Here’s a photo of it…

…and here below is some mucking about that I did with the new pen in one of the larger new sketchbooks.

I’ll play around with my new inks later this week! I cannot stress enough the importance of play – aka mucking about – to creativity and mental health. Wahoo!!

I hope you have fun doing your own mucking about this week. See you next Monday-ish.

12 thoughts on “New ink, new books and the importance of mucking about

  1. What a wonderful reminder that self-care can take the form of a luxurious bubble bath or reading new books or playing around with art supplies. We need to identify what recharges us and do more of it. I feel like I may need that reminder tattooed on my hand so I quit forgetting to prioritize self-care.

    1. I’ve also found it hard to prioritize self-care and to think of what self-care item would help during the time it’s needed. Nowadays I keep a list of self-care recharge activities that have worked for me in the past and I literally set a regular calendar item to pop up on my phone as “do one item from the S.C. list” ( the “s.c.” stands for self-care). This has helped me remember a bit better to do self-care before it gets too dire a need.
      Please take care of yourself!! Quite selfishly I value your presence on this planet!! You are loved by me!!

      1. That calendar item and list is a good idea. I do practice self-care (art time is a go to, of course) but I can become inconsistent with it when times are busy or stressful – precisely the times when I am in most need of self-care, of course – so I need to be more mindful of it.

        1. I find for me that knowing I need to be more mindful of something helps me to make a start… and then practicing self-forgiveness when I forget is a big component of my self-care practice. Learning to, at the very least, to not make things worse by yelling at myself internally has been priceless. I realized recently that self-forgiveness is a gift that I give both to myself and to other people as it helps me “be here now” in more loving ways. As W.H. Auden says “…let the more loving on be me.”

  2. Ah, Powell’s. Wonderful to even think about. I love the vibe in their coffee cafe’ too. I’m glad your deadline work is done and you were able to get out to enjoy a day of fun. Your new pens and inks are lovely. Thanks for sharing some of your ‘mucking about’ with us. I enjoyed a moment to just see and imagine. 😀 Have a great week, Sue!!

    1. Yes!! It’s delightful to share the love of a place like Powell’s!!! Perhaps we’ve even passed each other unbeknownst in that glorious book and coffee haven!?!? Thank you for sharing these pleasures with me!!

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!