How to Use the Course Videos

Companionship and Encouragement, not “how-to”

The videos in this course are not technical instruction. For the most part, it’s just me sharing a few thoughts about the day’s thinking prompt, and working in my journal on the day’s activity prompt. Think of it more like working together with a friend. A friend who doesn’t mind if you peek at what she’s doing. 🙂

The videos are lightly edited, mostly to remove sections where I wandered away to get clean water or look out the window while something was drying. In most of the videos, once I start working, I won’t say much so I don’t interrupt your flow.

Travel Your Own Path

I can only be myself, so in these example videos, there’s going to be some sameness to the look-over-my-shoulder part that reflects my interests, color preferences and mark-making. Try to mimic the ongoing exploration and engagement, not so much the actual direction I take with each prompt. 

What’s the point of videos like that?


You get to see the pace that I actually move my pen or brush when I’m really working. Which is a LOT slower than what you see in most instructional videos (mine included), where the emphasis is to get to the instructional points as efficiently as possible. A lot of us, myself included, unconsciously mimic the somewhat frantic pace of the videos we watch. Perhaps these videos will counteract that a bit. 

I do still edit the videos for length. When I work in my studio journal, I may stretch an activity over several days of short 5-10 minute sessions, if I’m going through a busy period in my life. Other times, I may work for an hour or more. For the course videos, I’ve edited to combine multiple short sessions or present only part of a longer work session to keep all the videos about 15-25 minutes in length. So, you will see how I actually move my pen or brush while working, but there are still chunks edited out. You should not expect to complete the same amount of work in 15-25 minutes, unless you are a LOT faster than I am!

Counterpoint to the Inner Critic(s)

Even if it’s on video, sometimes just working along with another artist can help you settle in and start working without all the usual voices in your head telling you that you don’t know what you’re doing, and you really oughta be doing something more productive. You’ll get an opportunity to see that I don’t know what I’m doing, either, at the start. And often at the end of a session, too. And maybe days later, or not ever. And that’s normal and perfectly okay for the kind of creative exploration we’re doing. 

And you’ll get to see examples of me working on activities that don’t really result in anything exciting. That’s just how it goes for me, and for most working artists I know. The only way I know of to get a few really great ideas is to try lots of things and not worry if they turn out to be silly, ugly or awkward. Even an ugly experiment often has a little clue to what might be worth trying next. 

Besides, there’s a lot of freedom in experimenting on top of a silly, ugly, awkward beginning. What have you got to lose? And, if you can’t transform it, you can always cover it up. I hope seeing me do some of that will help you quiet your inner critic.

Practical Stuff

I suggest you set up to work before starting the video. Then watch the introduction, and maybe watch me work for a minute or two if you’re not sure how to get started. Then jump in and work alongside me. Pretend we’re just sharing a studio while we both work in our notebooks. 

If you get stuck or run out of momentum, take a peek to see how things are going in my journal. It’s a video, so there’s no need to worry about missing something; you can always rewind. 

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