Friday 20th April 2018

Creative Learning. 2017.42.

Creative Learning. 2017.42.

My Tuesday posts have been about Education and Schooling since I started the new look blog in January 2015.

I am branching out today to write about what I have learned about being creative. I am educating myself!

In the past I might have given myself a go at some art or some kind of scrapbooking or even some making craft.

I did classes and I liked some of what I learned.

But I learned something about myself. It was that I don’t actually enjoy a formal lesson because as soon as I had them I found my creativity drying up. No-one actually criticised me I guess except myself. I did not measure up to what I thought a product should look like.

Until 2013.

I was enjoying playing with art and craft (an old Infants teacher never forgets doing that with little kids!) with my grandchildren but I felt I needed more. Then I was introduced to a website here and fun challenge called Index Card a Day.


Fast forward to 2016 and I discovered another love. Making mandalas. It was a match made in creative heaven. I had bare minimum of a lesson via a book, and got some materials and then I let my creative self take charge.

This is why I now love my creative learning. It is self-paced. I am not afraid of sharing because I already like the process and the product is secondary.

Taking the pressure off has made the world of difference! I can see that this is something that may affect others who are creative in terms of art, music, drama, writing and photography.

Has something like this occurred for you or someone you know?


Joining Kylie Purtell and bloggers here who blog on Tuesdays.



  1. I’m a big fan of your mandalas, especially the flowery ones. The thing I love about life is that there is always an opportunity to learn something new, and as BB King says “the beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

    • Thank you my friend. I love your approach..and your quote! Let me know if you would like a flowery mandala and in what size and colour. Happy to create and send to you. D xx

  2. I think creativity without the rules is the best and only creativity there should be! Photography is a great creative outlet for me, I really love to try new things and techniques and I love that once you know the “rules” there are then no rules about breaking the rules!!!!

    • So true. The classes I took in both photography and art helped me learn quite a bit. This was especially true about quality of materials I use. It was better to spend more to get the result I liked rather than skimp. For a ‘rules’ based person all of my life it has taken till now to realise these rules are breakable.

  3. I prefer to experiment with my watercolours and try new things rather than go by what the textbooks tell me what is the correct way of doing it. As a creative person I think you can get too caught up with trying to create work that is perfect, rather than having fun and enjoying the creative process. Nowadays I play a lot more with my paints and stress less about what the outcome is going to be. This way I find I enjoy myself and my work more 🙂

    • The play! Of course, the process is the play isnt it? I too love that. Sometimes it is the movement of the loaded brush across the page that gives the most joy!!

  4. Yes I am with you. Even the books and classes I have paid for I tend to use more as inspiration and basic guidance and then do my own thing. So great watching your learning and growth over the years. As a fellow mandala lover and creator I enjoy yours a lot xx

    • Thanks Deb. Always grateful that your shout-out to me back in 2013 got me further into a world of creativity via Index Card a Day. I am not sure if I will take part for the 5th time this year..I said that last year but still did it. However, when it (creativity) starts to feel like ‘have to’ then I am usually listening to that signal. Agree about the paid courses and classes. I have picked up techniques and media tips but love creating solo. I went to an art class in 2015 (more to get to know people) and it was not that friendly and we all just ended up trying to emulate the teacher. That’s not for me. Great to follow your journey in creativity as always. Denyse x

  5. Oh absolutely! I took a 3rd year undergrad subject in writing fiction back in 2000. It was more than a decade before I started writing fiction again!

    • Somewhere that subject stayed ‘hidden’ until you were ready. When you were ready..then off you went. And now…wow. So much excitement and anticipation as your first manuscript gets the big lookover. Congrats again Bec. XX

  6. I love making resin bangles and rings – well all types of resin jewellery. I haven’t made anything since Phoebe was born though. I must get back into doing it. I do enjoy being creative.

  7. I love your mandalas, Denyse, especially the flower ones. I did a children’s picture book writing course a couple of years ago and found it so hard to complete the weekly tasks under pressure. I completely understand where you’re coming from. Creativity can’t be forced.

    • Exactly! I think we can learn some skills and tools but creativity is something we need to find for ourselves and within ourselves. It comes out in surprising ways. I have found the past 2+ years a big challenge for my emotional health and yet my creativity has soared in this time. I find that really interesting and satisfying too.

  8. Your mandalas constantly bring joy to my heart Denyse, I love that you find them in nature.