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Almost everyone that I talk to about creativity tells me that they are no good at art, that they aren't creative, that they cannot draw at all.

That was certainly me - I wasn't allowed to take art as an exam subject as I was judged to be too bad at it. From the age of 14 to the age of 44 I did not pick up a pencil or paints. I believed that I was no good at art, that I wasn't particularly creative, that I couldn't draw.

Quite obviously that was nonsense - I have been earning my living by drawing with a sewing machine for almost 20 years now. Yet it was something that I believed in my heart.

The things that you are told as a child often stick in a way that far outweighs the casual, throwaway nature of the remark.

I have written this course along with the Scottish landscape artist Jenny Roberts. Jenny is a self taught artist whom I first came across when she was doing a daily ten minute painting project during lockdown - you will have seen her work in A Seasonal Way Winter 2021.

In this course she explores collages on tiny squares of paper, a new technique to me but one which I am finding very addictive. I have two aims with this course.

Firstly to encourage you to notice the natural world in a time of year when it is much easier just to curl up by a fire and stay indoors.

Secondly it is to give a framework for regular, ten minute creative sessions, which can fit into the busiest of lives and become a habit. We chose a technique that I have never tried before so that I am the beginner.


  • In the first part of the course I talk about inspiration and colours and choosing a colour palette.
  • In the second part Jenny gives some instruction on painting and modifying papers and putting together a box of supplies while I talk about incorporating non paper things like textiles and dried plants.
  • In the third section we actually get collaging and there will be a forum post to share your creations if you want and I shall be posting on the Instagram Close friend's feed.
  • Finally we will talk about how to use your art works - framing them, as cards, made into a book.


The setting up of a work area and box of materials takes longer than ten minutes - perhaps an hour - so it is spread over a week.

After that I suggest that ten minutes a day, or even every other day will give you a beautiful selection of artworks to frame.

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