Art Studio and Life #18 featuring artworks and painting

Hello lovely family and friends

Do you like to create anything?

I bet you do, or you’d like to. If you don’t, is it because you feel you don’t have enough time?

 I think humans almost can’t help themselves from creating, it’s like breathing.

Writing of all kinds, making wire cars from scrap, sculpting, doodling, painting, mime, coding, sketching, cooking, knitting, making Lego, YouTube, TikTok, craft beer, pottery, graffiti, dancing, making candles, flower arranging, Anime, tattooing, inventing, woodcuts, making toys, filming, choreography, nail art, clothing design and manufacture, sermons, landscape design, making comics, marquetry, decoupage, photography, crochet, make-up art, cake icing, designing products, making models, painting models, kintsugi, scrapbooking, making crosswords or sudoku, tatting, sewing, printing, making Christmas decorations, origami, embroidery, cartooning, making memes, graphic design, acting, card making, calligraphy, making soap, lacemaking, carpentry, designing and building houses, doll making, writing and making music, quilting, weaving, interior design, jewellery making, rebuilding classic cars…

Phew. What did I miss?

How many of these have you done/tried to do? Any that you want to have a go at?

I am, therefore I create. (Mangling Descartes, but in a creative way.)

It’s not surprising that we are creative, since we are made in God’s image, and the first thing we hear of Him doing is enjoying making things.

Some find creating a relaxing hobby. Others, like me, have ants in their pants until they create. There are times I have got very grumpy about needing to create. It would be so much simpler, and more lucrative, to yearn to be an accountant. As it is, I just need to get on with it. And, hopefully, remember to photograph the process.

Creativity     Oil on canvas 60cm x 90cm             Sold

The baby represents the human soul. Creativity springs from our soul and is rooted in eternity (the galaxy of stars). It is our creativity that brings beauty to life from nothing (the desert). The beauty we create nourishes others too, and spreads life (the bee).

Some of you creative painters may be struggling with where to start with painting colour?

Fill your Oil Paintings with Light & Color – Kevin D. Macpherson

This is the most helpful book I have ever come across, thanks to Garth Kitching who lent me his copy and inspired me to buy my own.

So how do you paint a baby? Or a lemon, or anything for that matter?

Step 1:

If you are short sighted, take your glasses off so that everything looks out of focus. If you are not, half close your eyes and sort of squint, so that the thing/image you want to paint looks blurry. Doing this helps you to see blocks of colour, rather than details, and helps you to see where the main darks and lights are.

Paint the lightest light – it will always be lighter than you think it is, but not pure white.

Step 2:

Paint the darkest dark – it will always be darker than you think it is… As Kevin points out in his book, a white shirt in shadow may be darker than a black shirt in sunlight. I don’t actually paint with black paint because it can look flat, instead I use Indigo and Burnt Umber for a more vibrant ‘black.’

Step 3:

Paint the mid tones

how to paint a baby by painting the mid tones
how to paint a baby

As I painted the mid-tones, our beautiful soul baby emerged.  Oh, this was so lovely to paint!

Step 4:

I repainted lightly over the first layer, refining it.

The skin tones looked blue in the previous photos, because the camera gets confused by strongly contrasting colours, but they were all shades of peach and brown. I was not actually painting a blue baby.

So, there you are, lovely painters, paint the lightest light, paint the darkest dark, then add mid tones.

And to all the other lovely creatives – may you make something that you love this weekend! In so doing, may you make the world a lovelier place.


P.S. For some reason I have noticed several people wearing hoodies with my name on. That’s nice.

P.P.S. You may be wondering how the cats are?

A blog featuring the wonders of human creativity, how to paint a baby and the decline of cats since the middle ages


  1. Peter Laithwaite

    “It would be so much simpler, and more lucrative, to yearn to be an accountant.” Having worked, on and off, as an accountant I fear that the right side of my brain is severely underdeveloped. I don’t feature very much in your long list of creative activities. But for me when all the numbers are in their right places, and add up to the correct totals, and provide really helpful information for my client, I certainly experience a sense of having “created” something of value. Sadly, I have to admit that I trained as an accountant 60 years ago, even before the arrival of the humble adding machine, not to mention the COMPUTER! The world has very rapidly moved on since then.
    I subsequently also trained as a church minister. Yes, “sermon” made it onto your list, so maybe there are a couple of alive cells in that creative part of my brain after all. As you point out, God is the ultimate source of creativity. Thankfully I discovered in the church environment, that his works are indeed wonderful, especially in the lives of ordinary people.

    • Barbara Podmore

      I have worked as an accountant for a period of time, and there is something creative and satisfying about a completing a set of financials, but it doesn’t come naturally to me! Sermons are great creative fun though. I’m working on one currently from Philippians, and of course, there will be LOTS of pictures….

  2. Sandra Fletcher

    Thanks Barbie, love your dedication to creating art and an entertaining blog every week I look forward to reading.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Thanks very much Sandra! It’s my way of enjoying life!

  3. Francis Podmore

    One of the course textbooks at Harare Theological College in Zimbabwe was “Cat and Dog Theology”. I kid you not!
    The basic idea is: The dog thinks “You feed me, so you must be God”.
    The cat thinks “You feed me, therefore I must be God”. 😊

    • Barbara Podmore

      Yup, like dogs having owners and cats having staff.

  4. Francis Podmore

    I have just googled “cats and church” and “cathedral cats”. There’s lots to explore there 🐈🐈‍⬛🐈🐈‍⬛
    [Should that read “There are lots to…”?]

  5. Rosie Button

    Don’t forget – ancient Egyptians cats = gods…

    • Barbara Podmore

      Indeed, I don’t think the cats have ever forgotten, just us lowly minions!

    • Francis Podmore

      Why do you say cats (or that cat) went to church?