Edith Holden`s sketch book.

Watercolour, Edith Holden

I found a lovely book in a second hand store that I remember from when I was young.  “The country diary of an Edwardian lady” by Edith Holden.  I always wanted to have it and so I grabbed the opportunity.  It was written in 1906 but only published in 1977. It was an enormous success and often given as a gift. According to the Sunday Times newspaper, it was the best selling book in the 1970’s and remains number 4 of the overall best seller list for the last 40 years.

Each month has notes about the important days in the month, interesting information about the month, together with some poetry, entries about the things she did, and sketches and paintings of birds, insects and animals she came across on her regular walks.

It is a beautiful example of how important a journal is. This was obviously done for her own pleasure, but someone (an artist) realized just how inspiring it was and had it published. I find this so interesting. Just think about it, of all the books in the world, one of the best selling books happens to be a beautiful copy of a sketch book! A sketch book that was never intended to be published.

This book gave me lots inspiration, and by the way, it is easy to find a second hand version on Amazon or ebay.

The winter is ending, the  plants and flowers are waking up. So now is a great time to get out there and look for them. Show us all what the new spring is bringing in your area, by drawing and painting what you find for us.

Watercolour, Edith Holden

Watercolour, Edith Holden supll

The materials I use in the video are:

  • Pentel color brush #101 (water solvent)
  • Pentel  brush GFKP Japan (water proof)
  • Molotow masking liquid.
  • Raphail brush “softaqua” imitation squirrel  -0
  • Da vinci brush, harbin-kolinsky- 6
  • Habico brush – 0.3
  • Atelier scrub brush -8

Two professional secrets for you...

The Molotow masking is the best I have ever had for protecting the page from colour. It is very delicate and is easy to use for details.

I also have to say that the Atelier scrub brush is the best I have found to rub out the masking liquid. It doesn’t leave the residue of an eraser and doesn’t risk oil stains from using  a finger. Even more important, it can remove a water colour stain quickly and easily, even the next day. It is only a brush, but it is also one of the secret tools used by professional artists for corrections…

Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden

Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden

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David Bowie – The Inspiration of a Creative Mind


David Bowie’s ‘cut-up’ method of writing lyrics.

David Bowie will be remembered for his music, being a singer, a songwriter, musician, record producer, painter, actor. For me, it was his dedication to creating art and for being avant-garde artist who has already impacted several generations and created new genres of fashion, music, and culture. Bowie almost single-handedly created the category of “art rock” with his application of avant-garde techniques to conventional song structures and rock ‘n’ roll attitudes.

I remember seeing an inspiring video clip of David Bowie describing how he used the “cut-up” technique to write some of his lyrics. I have hunted around and, although I didn’t find the one I was looking for, I found another and I am very happy to share it with you all. (link below).

wikipedia: “The cut-up technique (or découpé in French) is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. The concept can be traced to at least the Dadaists of the 1920s, but was popularized in the late 1950s and early 1960s by writer William S. Burroughs, and has since been used in a wide variety of contexts.”   

Bowie further explained his use of cut-ups like this: “You write down a paragraph or two describing different subjects, creating a kind of ‘story ingredients’ list, I suppose, and then cut the sentences into four or five-word sections, mix ‘em up and reconnect them.” The technique allows songwriters, he says, to “get some pretty interesting idea combinations,” even if they “have a craven need not to lose control.”

 collage. How to be creative, watercolours , watercolour. ink. My sketch bok. learn to draw. flowers watercolour flowers. creativity course, How to be creative, watercolours , watercolour. ink. My sketch bok. learn to draw. flowers watercolour flowers. creativity course, How to be creative, watercolours , watercolour. ink. My sketch bok. learn to draw. flowers watercolour flowers. creativity course, How to be creative, watercolours , watercolour. ink. My sketch bok. learn to draw. flowers watercolour flowers. creativity course,  collage How to be creative, watercolours , watercolour. ink. My sketch bok. learn to draw. flowers watercolour flowers. creativity course,I use the cut-up technique a little differently. This is what I do:

  • I have a shoe box full of cuttings.
    • It could be a part of a newspaper, magazine, diary, poetry, short story, novel or any other source of text.
    • You can start your shoebox today. I promise you won’t regret it. in a few months you will open it and go back into a daydream that will bring you to a very happy place. Add to it whenever you get something interesting to add.
  • When you are ready to make a collage, open the shoebox and put all the pieces into a hat and draw them out at random.
  • Arrange the images together and see what message they are giving.
  • Glue them to the page



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10 Artist hacks

Hack Artist hacks

How to be creative.

“Art is theft”
“Good artists copy, great artists steal” – Picasso.
In art school we had a professor that said something like this: If you use one idea from someone else it is a copy, if you use three ideas from different artists and put them together your work becomes original.


Start by taking the serious humorously and humor seriously.

1)   Don’t comb your hair and make it look like a mess, maybe “bed head” is a good idea?
2)  Don’t clean your house.
3)  Talk before thinking.
4)  Colour your hair, (recently I finaly coloured some of mine pink, and I am so happy with it)
5)  Spend money on something you wanted for a long time and buy something you really want and can’t afford.
6)  Do silly things like…..dance in public or just before for boarding in the airport lay down on the floor and draw something in your sketch book.
7)  Stay up and til 4 o´clook in the morning and do some artwork, poem, paintings ect.
8)  Dress up in weird clothes, It can be clothes with strong patterns, strong colours. A nice dress from the 1950`s and red shoes and make sure you end up looking cool.
9)  Meeting friends in a restaurant ask for food that makes other think of you as difficult ask for vegetarian food, or organic/ biodynamic food, without palm oil and of course free range chicken.
10)  Show up late and give an excuse that is something like: I felt like walking through the streets that is beautiful and romantic. 11) And of course steal ideas for your art work and sharing it with others.

Rose, hair Artist hack Artist hack

After Christmas I’m going to write more seriously about what I think Picasso meant by saying “Good artists copy, great artists steal”.  Then I will not be kidding and joking.

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How to be creative. Tip of the week number 3

magny tjelta. http://www.jeanettenilssen.com Photo: Jeanette Nilssen

CREATIVITY TIP OF THE WEEK- How to get focused.

Sometimes we find we have no ideas, and other times we find that we have too many.  And having too many can be just as much of a problem as not having any at all.

In this article I will talk about why it is important to select a few good ideas at a time.

Focusing on a few ideas makes it possible to finish them, which will have a more positive impact on your art work.

When I started studying in college, every idea I had, exploded in my mind, into 100 more ideas. At first, this feels great. It feels wonderful to have them coming along. Everything is perfect, What starts as one lightning bolt from the sky and a big WOW, begins to grow, and more images and ideas appear. It make sense, it is so very exciting and it is so much fun, just like drinking a glass of Champagne.

magny tjelta. http://www.jeanettenilssen.com

But time after time, these many ideas of mine crashed into each other and I ended up with a complex mess. All of the good ideas were lost among all the other good ideas I didn’t know when to stop andjust choose a few ideas which can be much more powerful. I was wasting all the ideas and just digging myself into a hole. I was like a kid in candy store I couldn’t choose which ones I wanted. I then realized that I had to stop and just go true with one or two good ideas.

So what do I do to control it?

First I select a few of the ideas and make them into a project and work on just those selected ideas at the time. One or two ideas can be kept fresh and clear. We can follow them on a journey to somewhere exciting and new.

I know that I will be responsible for carrying many enormous ideas to fruition in my lifetime and often have several projects at the same time. But each project will focus on  just a few ideas. Trying to cope with too many ideas in one project just becomes a heavy burden.


magny tjelta. http://www.jeanettenilssen.com

Our single ideas are easy, we can follow them and we get to dance around with them. You don’t have to waste time figuring out where to go, you just start the journey and quickly finish it!  You know what to do with them. It is much better to relax and do one or two small ideas at a time and see them finished.

If you find you are stuck on a project maybe it is because you have too many ideas or don’t have any fixed idea of what you are trying to do.

Try these tips:

  • Have you thought about the ideas that you are trying to achieve in your project? If someone asked you, could you summarize it in just a few ideas.
  • Re-evaluate the projects you’re working on now. You can always redirect them if you want.
  • Write down the aim of your project and stick to what you have written down.
  • If your ideas change – record them and keep them for another project.
  • If a project is going slowly, see if you can split it into smaller, more focused projects.
  • Give yourself a small project with just one or two ideas and get it finishedin a week.


magny tjelta. http://www.jeanettenilssen.com

magny tjelta. http://www.jeanettenilssen.com artist magny tjelta. http-::www.jeanettenilssen.com . online classesAll photos by Jeanette Nilssen

In my next post I will tell you how I save my extra ideas and make them artistic and fun.

P.S. you might also want to check out: 10 ways to stay creative 10 Ways to Stay Creative

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And if you like my blog, please feel free to tell other creative people about it.






The joy of sharing and collaboration.

Magny Tjelta// BKFR 80 år

Having fun and being free about your art work is not something you can control. It just happens if you are open, and we have to embrace it and take advantage when it occurs.

The artist in The Artists Organisation in Rogaland have just celebrated its 80 years anniversary . I was lucky to participate in a book about the artists in the region. The book is an overview of the local professional artists. One thing I love about the book is that all of the artists came together and decorated the covers.

This was a day where I had no fixed plans about my work.  I knew just that I was going to paint, and the subject wasn’t important. I just wanted to do what ever came in to my mind. As an event Cathrine Gilje and I sat in a book store decorated some of the book covers, and soon we started to decorate the books together. At a certain time we swopped our paintings and started to work on the each other’s  work. This gave me a kick. I really love the results.

You should do the same if you want some new inspiration.

Magny Tjelta// BKFR 80 år

This books are all decorated and are original work by the artist in the Art Organisation in Rogaland.

What I like is the playful state we where in, and the result was very inspiring to me, her style is very different to my art work, but there is some things we share, such as a fascination for older photographs. This day in the book store turned out to be a lot of fun.

Have a look at Cathrine`s  homepage.

Foto: Geir Egil Bergjord
Foto: Geir Egil Bergjord
Foto: Geir Egil Bergjord
The work by Cathrine Gilje and meIMG_8312_1024DSC_0085_1024IMG_8304_1024Magny Tjelta// BKFR 80 år


Foto: Geir Egil Bergjord
Foto: Geir Egil Bergjord

My Paintings Magny Tjelta// BKFR 80 år    Magny Tjelta

Magny Tjelta// BKFR 80 år

I hope your day is off to a beautiful ! 

Sharing the Magic of Creativity

And if you like my blog, please feel free to tell other creative people about it.

How to be creative. Tip of the week Number 2

how to be Creativityhow to be Creativity. DIY- Smal magical Creativity cards

DIY- Mini magic Creativity cards

CREATIVITY TIP OF THE WEEK – Give your Creativity an Art Energy Snack.

 Imagine kneeling beside a mountain stream and cuping your hands to drink the fresh, cold, clear water, standing under a waterfall or plunging into a pool or lake. Any one of these will make you feel wonderful. My favourite is the fresh, cold, mountain, spring water. It invigorates me, clears my head, and gives me energy to continue my hiking, to climb further up the mountain.


But getting to that cool, clear stream is not easy. It can take a long time of putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again. It is tiring and it absorbs my energy, and after a long time walking, I can feel I am not making any progress at all.

Art and creativity can be like a hike. You can feel that you are always doing the same old things, over and over again, and not making any progress. Does this happen to you? Do you sometimes find that your paintings just don’t turn out interesting? Feeling disappointed with one’s own work can be very discouraging. It can be a real killer. But this is not at all uncommon for anyone doing drawing and painting.


how to be Creativity

how to be Creativity

Creativityhow to be Creativityhow to be Creativity

Mini magic

Now, what if I can give you a short cut?

Well, it is not really a short cut. It is more like an energy snack or a few squares of sweet chocolate to give you a boost when you need it most. Something that will help your push your weary art legs a little longer until you reach that cool fresh stream.


Some time ago, I published a box of 100 cards full of ideas. It is in Norwegian, but today I have found a way to share some of the cards with you.

The cards can be used in several fun ways, but the simplest game is to draw a card, read it and then do what the card tells you to do. You can, for example draw a new card every 30 minutes and change the subject, or just stick to the first card you pull. Set your own rules before you start to play.
I hope they end up as successes in your eyes

Maybe you don’t like the task you get and you want to change it. Well, no one is watching, and if you really want, you can change it. But one very important thing I learnt in art school was, if there is something you don’t like doing………..you have to do it, for this is a trigger! And where there is a trigger, whether it is good or bad, there is energy and this energy will bring you somewhere. Maybe it will bring you far on your creative journey, who knows? That is how we learn and this is what makes us break into something new. Don’t be afraid to try new things. New is different, new is good. New is creative. What do you have to lose? The most important aspect is you will certainly learn something.


To make your Art Energy Snack cards, download this PDF and print it out. I recommend watercolour paper if your printer can handle it. (You should check the printer instructions if you haven’t tried to print on thick paper before.) Print them on the back of a drawing or painting you are not completely happy with. Then cut along the lines to make small creative cards. Next you can personalize them, give your cards a charm of their own. Decorate them more, write more ideas on them, add your own cards. Do what ever you want with them. Just have fun with them. I know they will reward you, if you give them a chance.

how to be Creativityhow to be CreativityThis was my tip of the week, but please tell me your tips too. What you do to keep going? I love to hear from you. I’m always pleased and often surprised with the wonderful ideas my readers share.

how to be Creativity. This smal magical cards can give your some Creativity Energy.

How to be creative? You might also like:


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And if you like my blog, please feel free to tell other creative people about it.

How to be creative. Tip of the week Number 1…….

how to stay creative drawing, watercolour penDo something different (and have some fun at the same time).

One of the things that can stop you being creative is being afraid to make mistakes.
Another is not knowing how to break outside the usual things you do.
You can often set rules for yourself that are smothering your creativity and you don’t even know it.

Break outside the bad habits, play a game with new rules.

Part of the role of a true artist is to challenge the status quo, to make people think and question the things they take for granted. So, true creativity involves breaking some rules. It doesn`t have to be completely different to what you normally do … and sometimes the best way to break some rules is to make a new, unusual rule and see what happens. I have described what I did below, and because it is a game of chance, you do not have to love your new creation, but, you must follow the new rules of the game and the game will become fun.

how to stay creative drawing, watercolour penI have been drawing a lot lately using my new pens, they are pretty awesome watercolour pens that are both rich and bright. ( LYRA  Aqua Brush is a water-based ink pen)


What I did today was to find a way to let go of my usual choices of colour combinations. My new rule was that I had pick three or four pens with my eyes closed and use those colours in a drawing no matter what!  I also decided that I could only spend 10 to 15 minutes on every drawing.

how to stay creative drawing, watercolour penhow to stay creative drawing, watercolour penAnd do you know – I liked it. I had to draw with unusual colours  combinations that I would not have chosen together. Some were ugly combinations, but they produced very interesting results. It can be inspiring, when the process produces an interesting outcome. When I look at them all afterwards, I see that the new rules have produced very inspiring results.Drawing .how to stay creativlyra art pen2What do you think about this one?

Drawing .how to stay creativlyra pen

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Drawing something beautiful in my sketchbook

magic sketchbook.flowerDrawing on black paper


Here’s a couple of my sketchbook drawings from this weekend.

I got some flowers and a pineapple at the supermarket. The flowers where on sale, they were going a bit sad, but I think it makes them more interesting to draw!

I rarely draw studies for my paintings, but I sketch a lot, in fact, anything that is placed in front of me. I guess these can be seen as studies too but they are not intended as preparation for other art work. I am now trying to form a new habit of working 20 minutes a day in this sketchbook because I know the more I do, the more creative I will be.


flowerDrawing on black paper


flowerDrawing on black paper

I’m never really that well prepared, and I am just trying to make them turn out OK. Most of the times the images are jumping from my mind to the sketchbook page, and it never turns out how I imagined it would be,  and this make it much more interesting to me.


flowerDrawing on black paper

Find Inspiration in Nature

Here are 6 ideas to help you get some inspiration from nature:
  1. Go for a walk in a park, a forest, in the countryside, the beach, a mountain, or a lake. Bring your sketchbook and draw everything that looks beautiful and lose track of time for a while.
  2. Bring your camera in your pocket and photograph the trees, birds, flowers, animals, plants and anything else that is interesting.
  3. Listening to nature sounds. Maybe you like what i like……. bird sound for drawing. You will find lots of videos on YouTube.
  4. Draw or paint a scene from an old photo of a forest.
  5. Find some books about nature, look at the beauty of the oceans, forests, flowers, and caves and then plan what you like to do.
  6. Buy a new plant or some beautiful flowers and draw it in your sketchbook. (buy flowers that smells good) I fond the nature in the supermarked……LOL


flowerDrawing on black paper

Wishing you magical wonder vibes for the day.


flowerDrawing on black papermagic sketchbook.flowerDrawing on black paper. art

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10 ways to stay creative

10 Ways to Stay Creative

 Creativity block? Where’s my creativity gone?

How I stay creative

I have always been creative and always wanted to do work that is related to art and design, but sometimes I suffer from the dreaded creative block.

It happens to all artists, everything is going well, it is fun it is great, you are floating and you forget to fill up your creative storage and you reach that mental block !!! And then BOOM! You crash and you think it´s all lost. It is not lost – it is still inside you, and you just need to know the secret that will let it out again. Sometimes all it takes is a simple bit of joy and inspiration to get motivated and keep on working. However sometimes it is much more complicated. But you cannot simply wait around for inspiration. Consistent creativity needs discipline, hard work and openness.

Creativity is not a solid substance, from time to time it varies. No one is always 100% creative, just as no one is always being smart.  Over the years I have found different things that trigger my inspiration. They have truly transformed the way I live as an artist. And now I will share some of my experience and secrets with you.

Don’t “play it safe” try to let go and be brave

Sometimes your art finds a style or medium that works, but when everything gets slow then you need expand to keep on developing. Try something new or a new variation of what you have been doing. Let go of  thoughts like: “my style is  …” “I always been  …. “ “ I only like…..” If you want to get over the block you got to climb over it or dig under it or go round or whatever it takes to get to the other side, it will NOT be easy, but it will be fun and rewarding. When you start to use new tools it will give your work depth by continually evolving and trying new things. Take a look at some of the tips and begin your journey to your creativity .Please let me know how it is for you.

1  Reserve a couple of hours every week for you to do what YOU want to do – with no interruptions from work or family, or chores.

2  Meditate  ( … and if you don’t know how – learn – Youtube has very good   lessons).

3 Do a walk. Leave lots of time, bring some food, a drink, and camera or a sketch book.

4 Do somthing you have never done, but have always dreamt of doing.

5 Go and meet positiv thinking pople. They will back you up.

6 Bring a new smell in to you home, what ever makes you happy.

7 Writhe lethers to your gran grand (grand) child.

8 Set time for a new hobby. Dancing? Cooking? Learn a language? Play some music? Listen to some new music? Write a short story? Knitting? woodwork?

9 Get your self a nice sketch book and carry it with you at all times. so that   you don’t lose any precious ideas

10 Contact an old friend and, talk and talk.

 I got one more for you

11 Learn how to eat an elephant.  It seems impossible, but you have to take the first bite.  Then it is easier. Take one more bite and there is less elephant. If you take one bite and one more bite, then one more, soon it will not seem impossible. And before you know it – you will see that you have made progress.  So – how do you eat an elephant – now you know – one bite at a time!


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