Drawing is my therapy

Drawing is my therapy. I find when I put pencil to paper (or Apple Pen to iPad) my mind quiets and I can focus just on the blank page in front of me. There is a feeling of calm that washes over me as my ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions are turned into illustrations and words.

Over the past month I’ve felt a strong pull to draw and get my ideas and thoughts ‘out of my head’ and onto the page. It’s hard to describe in words, but once they are on the page I can look objectively at the feelings and gain new insights. I thought I would share a few of my recent illustrations from my sketchbook and the story behind them.

Cheerleaders
The idea for this illustration began with my feelings around being my own cheerleader and not searching for external validation on social media for my art. I thought to help me visualise my cheerleaders and make them more real in my mind I would draw them. I’m actually going to print my cheerleader illustration out to have in my office as a daily reminder that I can cheer myself on!

My heart
An illustration about how my heart is feeling over the past few weeks. My son is starting school for the first time and this time of transition has brought out mixed feelings and emotions for me. So I drew what I was experiencing, that way I could look at my feelings as an observer rather than being swept away by them. I found after drawing my feelings a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.

“My son is starting school for the first time and this time of transition has brought out mixed feelings and emotions for me. So I drew what I was experiencing, that way I could look at the feelings as an observer rather than being swept away by them.

Measure of Success
I found my mind was thinking a lot about what success is and how its measured by society versus my own views of success. So I drew how I currently measure my success in life in this little illustration. While this illustration is still in sketch stage, I’m looking forward to playing around with colours.

Fresh Starts
The start of a new year is a time when I often feel pressured to set big goals and if I don’t have it all done by mid-January I’ve failed. So I decided to lean into this feeling and then turn it on its head, by getting back to what the new year actually is – a fresh start. So I drew different fresh starts that can happen throughout the year, and how these slow moments like the change in seasons or a cup of tea can give you a new beginning. I wanted to communicate to myself and others that it’s okay to start 2019 slowly and really get comfortable in the new year, rather than rushing.

Follow me on Instagram for more illustrations and behind the scenes photos.

Four affordable summer holiday activities

I love finding activities that are fun, affordable and explore our local area. So I thought I would put together a list of four affordable summer holiday activities Harry and I have enjoyed these holidays.

1. Strawberry picking

Eating fresh strawberries reminds me of summer holidays as a child, so with basket in hand we visited Beerenberg in Hahndorf to pick strawberries. Once we arrived, Harry was so excited to see so many strawberry bushes in a row and meet the resident farm bull who greeted us on the walk to the patch. I love looking at the world with child-like eyes and our only task for the morning was simply finding the juiciest strawberry. And Harry loved running up and down the rows, while picking strawberries and sampling the produce!

Cost: $4 per adult and $10.95 per kilo for the strawberries you pick. Harry was free as under 12 years.

2. Veggie patch

Every morning we tend to our veggie patch, we water the plants together and look for new growth, bugs and bees. During spring we bought summer seeds from The Little Veggie Patch Co, made a seedling tray and watched their progress before planting them into our patch. Everyday Harry and I look for new flowers on our zucchinis and spot which is a female or male flower. We watch our sunflowers unfold and bloom and see the visiting bees throughout the day. There is a new activity each day like pulling weeds, spotting a butterfly, picking fruit and then making food with our produce. I can honestly say our veggie patch has been the best investment, Harry just loves tending to our plants and learning about where food comes from. If you don’t have a backyard you can use pots to grow herbs, tomatoes, climbing veggies like cucumbers and flowers too!

Cost: $40 for a summer seed bundle, less than $8 for seed raising soil, your time and love.

“Everyday Harry and I look for new flowers on our zucchinis and spot which is a female or male flower. We watch our sunflowers unfold and bloom see the visiting bees throughout the day.”

3. The Botanic Gardens

We love exploring our local Botanic Gardens in the city or at Mount Lofty. We usually take our picnic basket and enjoy a yummy lunch or afternoon snack, and spend an hour or two wandering through the different areas of the garden. It’s fun to visit the gardens in summer to see the sunflowers blooming and sit under the giant Morten Bay Fig trees, which even on a hot day are surprisingly cool be under!

Cost: Free. Additional cost, the ice-cream you just have to buy from the kiosk.

3. The Beach

It wouldn’t be an Australian summer holidays without a visit to the beach. We often pop down to the beach in the early evening when the UV index is often lower and enjoy a picnic dinner, while watching the sunset. Harry loves to take all his construction vehicles and dig tunnels in the sand. We spend time strolling along the beach, finding the perfect seashells and rocks to take home. We actually have a little jar at home filled with sand from Harry’s first visit to the beach as a baby.

Cost: Free. Added bonus, finding sand in your car for the next week!

Summer holidays are such a special time and I know most of my favourite summer holiday moments are from activities that didn’t cost a lot. I would love to hear about your top summer holiday adventures while growing up or with your little one in the comments below.
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