Falling in love with art

Creativity in everyday life

In order to continue being creative for a long period of time, you need to love what you do.  Falling in love with your art is essential.  If you have tried watercolor but struggled with it a lot, give it up and try another medium like acrylic or pastels.  Just like a sport enthusiast may like running but not curling, you do not need to like every method of making art. It is Ok to try different mediums in order to find the one that best suits you.  Find your love.   Experiment and enjoy each one but in the end, pick one that gives you the most joy. You will know which one that is when you are doing it. You will feel like ‘this is the one’, almost like falling in love.

12 x 12
Acrylic, collage on canvas

Most artists work in more than one medium.  Degas, a famous impressionist is well known for his work with dancers in pastels but what few people realize is that he also did many sculptures of dancers.  Picasso worked as a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright.  Each artist however, has one speciality. Picasso’s was painting and drawing but he loved to dabble.

Falling in love with your art is important but it does not guarantee that you will work happily and without problems.  Many artists dabble in other mediums when they are blocked.  Doing something different allows the creativity to flow in a different direction and the artist to relax.  Once relaxed, all artist blocks go away. There is a method to the madness. Experimenting in a different direction allows new ideas to come out and all the time, subconsciously solving the problem that created the block.   

Sometimes it takes a while to find the right medium for you.  Also, that medium might change over time. Originally, I started with watercolour because it was child-friendly.  If the children got into the paint, it was easy to clean. Later, when I was sure they would not touch my paint, I switched to acrylic.  I loved acrylic but it was not child friendly. I chose to wait until the right moment to change. 

You need to fall in love with every facet of your art (almost).  I love painting but I struggle with making the first mark on a white paper or canvas, for example.  There are parts that are definitely harder than others. This is a normal reaction. The key is to work through the hard parts and not give up.  Loving what you do does not mean that it is easy all the time or that all the different steps are also easy. If creativity was easy, we would not enjoy it so much.  Working through a challenge is fun too. Find the aspect of art that allows you to fall in love with it and make it a long lasting relationship.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Enabling your creative side – Creative moments in the kitchen

Creative moments in the kitchen

How can you be creative in the kitchen?  When you are chopping vegetables, for example, do you arrange them by color? Do you see an arrangement for a painting sometimes?  Do you arrange your food so that it is colorful? If there is yes to any of these questions, you are already being creative in the kitchen.  Now you just need to step up the activities you are doing.  There are several ways to do this:

mixed media

  1. When you are cooking – add flourishes or details. For example, instead of putting the cooking pot on the table when everything is cooked, transfer it to your favorite platter. Add a garnish. Make it look good.
  2. When you see the potential for a good painting while preparing your meal, photograph it. Build up you references for your painting and then keep chopping. Some of my best paintings, in the early days of my painting, came about this way. If you are a photographer, just shoot yourself a photo. Pay attention to your everyday life.  There are opportunities you may not realize are there.              
  3. Add some of your kitchen paintings (or photos) to your kitchen wall. Decorate with your inspirations. Put up unfinished paintings on your wall too.  This is a way for you to look at the work in a different light and see potential next steps.  This also allows the rest of your family to realize how serious you are about painting (or other interest).  They might even have noticed that you are interested.  Remember that most people live in their own bubble and rarely move out of that sphere.  Putting your work on display will make them notice.  Eventually, they may even start helping you with ideas.  My son was playing with carrots one time, arranging and rearranging them.  Look Mom, he said, I made the carrots look good like you.    Children notice details you don’t ever think about.

 What is the worst thing that can happen if you do this? Nobody will notice…. Maybe. You will get unasked-for advice. Being creative feels good and the idea is to start now. After you decorated your dish with that fancy radish, did it feel good? Is it a good memory? Will it be a good memory in 5 months? In 5 years that radish will be forgotten but it will have been the start of a creative movement in your brain, a creativity that is still there. Minutes lead to hours that lead to days and soon there is a path towards a career.

Start today towards your goal to be an artist.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …


* I adapted Zat Rana idea about the10/10/10 concept to make it work for me and my creative moments. The concept is that for personal growth, it is important to examine your actions and how they affect you.   Rana’s article is from: https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-10-10-10-method-make-decisions-like-warren-buffett-and-ray-dalio-99e4857d05e3


Creativity in Everyday Life – Enabling your creative side

Creativity in everyday life

Enabling your creative side – getting started.

Creativity is not limited to just writing, singing, playing an instrument, painting or acting in a play.  Creativity can be everywhere and in your daily actions.  For many years, I didn’t have the time to paint (my creative moment) and I felt the tug of that creative ‘making’ of things that were out of my own imagination.  Slowly, I realized that you can be creative in little simple ways that make you feel like you are making a difference and exploring your creative side.

Sunflowers in the wind.  8 x 10 in.   by Doris Charest

In this series, I will discuss different ways that you can be creative on a limited amount of time.  I will guide you through recreating other parts of your life and your home so that little touches are added that use your creative side and, on the side, get you started with your own art practice and become your creativity coach.  Coach may be too strong a word.  I prefer friend.   Each blog will give you steps you can take to create your own ‘art space’ and adding touches in your life that will change your approach and lead you to a more creative life. Everyday life is busy but adding touches of creativity into each day will make you happier (at least that is what happened to me) and lead you to a more creative path in your life. 

While you may have a job, children that need your time, a house to take care of, a lawn to mow and sick family to visit, you can still tap into your creative self.  Instead of spending hours creating, you use the time that you do have.  This may be anywhere from a minute or two to as many hours that you have.  When managing a lot of different activities in a day, you may only have minutes.  Starting small is fine.  This step involves making a list.  This is the list you will refer to when you start feeling you forgot what you were aiming for.

First, you decide which part of your life you will want to expand and add some creative touches.  For example, if you want to add extra creative touches when you are cooking.  Decide what you will do?  Do you want to increase the flavors? Do you want the food to look better? Present the food in a better light?  Do you want to increase the quantity? Write down what you want to do. List 3 areas you want to work on.  This is a good start.  Do not list anything that takes hours or days to accomplish.  Stick to items that can be done in a short amount of time.   Start by:

1.Area of creative expansion (what you want to change) -for example; you want to start drawing again

  1. List ways you can do this — for example; you can go to life drawing class, spend 15 min. a day drawing what is in front of you, join a course on drawing (this is a commitment since you have to pay for it and will probably go), or draw your children when they take their naps.
  2. Start time — give yourself a deadline. Today is best. 
  3. Done — for example; List how many drawings you will do. When you are done, check them off. 

Writing goals down leads to a commitment.  This is a basic start for what you want to do.  Remember to be flexible.  Sometimes, you write something down but as your mind sorts ideas, even better ideas come to you.  If you really want to step up the game, show your list or give your list to a friend then ask him/her to keep you accountable.

Remember: Do not start big. Start changing small things.  All big projects start with the details.  A multitude of small details lead to the big project. All this will lead you to being an artist with your own vision.  The next installment is about starting small in everyday life with cooking.  Cooking is a big part of our everyday activities and a good place to start.   

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …


Open house and sale of work by Doris Charest

Open house at 33 Rayborn Crescent! Work for sale for one day only. Ten of us have worked for a year to create new work for you.  Come visit us and see what we have done in the past year.  On March 11, 2017, my fellow studio mates and I are having an open house.  This means that from 10 am to 4pm, you can come visit us at our studios.  We are selling and showing work.  There will be some demonstrations.  We are having a silent auction and the proceeds from this go to the food bank.  We are also donating 10% of sales to the food bank.   

There will be work for all tastes- realism, impressionism, expressionism, and contemporary.  There is landscape, abstract, florals, mosaic and more.  We are scrubbing and cleaning so the studio does not look so messy.  So come see our spruced up studios before they get messy again.  

Artists Teaching Art

Teaching art is rewarding in ways that I did not expect.  You create a love of art and an appreciation for the basics in art but there is more to teaching than you think. Students teach you, the teacher, something that you may not expect.  Read more… Monet IMG_9160 small A sample of one of the assignments I gave at Ella  –  Painting in the style of Monet

Many artists end up teaching. Some prefer adults and others children. I don’t think it matters who your favorite students are, sharing your skills with others is a reward in itself.

When I teach, my favorite moment is when a student discovers they can create ‘something’ all by themselves. I call this the ‘aha’ moment. Out of drops of paint and a scrap of canvas, they have created and captured a moment in time or a piece of their psyche and creativity. Whether the work is realistic or abstract, capturing something that pleases the eye and the soul is a magic moment. It is equal to the ballet dancer executing the perfect movement, the baseball player hitting a home run, the musician capturing the essence of a piece of music or a hole in one golf shot. A perfect moment.

These moments come out of us in well spaced moments in time. The trick is learning the skills to create the magic moment more frequently. As a teacher, I find that teaching the students the skills to do this and getting the effects they want consistently is my ‘magic moment’ as a teacher. Seeing the students develop abilities that were not quite there before and gain confidence makes my heart warm with joy.

I had one of these magic moments when teaching at ELLA (Edmonton Lifelong Learning Association). For three weeks every year, Ella puts on courses for anyone ages 50+ to enjoy. You can take up to 4 courses a day in a multitude of subjects. There are courses on topics ranging from archaeology, history, music, politics, writing, fitness, using technology or art. There are interest group meetings and lunch hour speakers.

I was teaching an art class called ‘Introduction to Contemporary Painting’. We started learning about Klimt, Monet and Picasso in the first week then created paintings in those styles. Later we went on to try Pop art, Ready-made art, Abstraction, Minimalism, Sociological art, Linear Minimalism and our final project was an installation.

I had a great group of students.  My youngest student was 55 and the eldest 84.  There is one thing that I realized and that there is no age difference when it comes to creating art.  We all create at the stage we left off the last time we did artwork.  Then, we go on from there.  Skills have no age.  

You can learn them at any time.  The one important ‘skill’ you need is bravery.  You need to create without fear.  What comes out of you is your own particular interests in colours, marks or shapes.  The way you put it out there is totally formed by all your unique experiences.  Those life experiences will always differ from the person next to you.  What you create will always be unique.  What you need to to be brave enough to accept this, be content with it and go on to carve out your own uniqueness.

This is what I have learned from my students.  They have taught me more than I can ever teach them.  Teaching gives back more than you ever give to others.  Remember this fact.

Below are some of my student’s projects.  I have permission from my students but I have kept the names off to protect their privacy.  Enjoy the variety and quality of this work.  I had a great class! IMG_1059 sm IMG_1060 sm IMG_1061sm IMG_1063sm IMG_1064sm IMG_1065sm IMG_1066 sm

Welcome to my new website!

Doris Charest
Welcome to my new website.

I will be blogging about what it is like to be an artist.

Everyday life as an artist.  What is it like?   Well, I can assure you it is not boring.  There is always some new challenge on the horizon.  I will talk about  getting ready for shows, daily life, preparing courses and much more.  Keep in touch and you will find out ….