Elaine Watts
Watercolourist and Printmaker


(posted on 10 Mar 2024)

Here we are 10 weeks into the year and I'm only now publishing my year's slogan, and the thinking behind it. I'm wondering if it will make you think about how you approach your life. Stay with me a while before I post some photos of my recent art adventures! 

As background,  after a big year of travel and some other misadventures,  as well as working hard on my art, and doing some reading, thinking, and writing, I found myself strangely (and a bit worryingly) short of my usual energy and enthusiasm.  In fact, I recognized that I was feeling drained and de-energized by things i was doing, and interactions I was having.  Upon further reflection I saw that my remaining time is getting shorter (as it is for all of us) and that most of these draining items weren't how I wanted to spend my  time, energy and effort. Furthermore I looked at where I DID have energizing interactions, and what I wanted to have more of in my life, going forward.  In conversations with a very wise cousin, he said "Yes, isn't it great when 1 +1=3, and you really don't want to be in places where 1+1=  -3".  Exactly,  thank you Terry!

And yet, I still was short of energy, to create some fun, excitement and, well, magic, for 2024. It felt like I'd have to push a rock up a hill! Then suddenly I realized that there is an awful lot of magic already out there in the world, and maybe I didn't have to do anything except look out for it, if I didn't feel like making it myself. Things like flight, like technology, like music, books, art, medical and scientific advances,  the wonders of nature...there's so much out there if you look at it with the eyes of a child, or even an adult!

So...drum roll...I determined that my theme for this year is ""Let the Magic Begin!"  It's about being watchful,  alert, on the lookout for amazing things in the world, noticing them, appreciating them, talking about them with others. If you don't look for the magic you'll never see it! It disappears, just like that!

Hope you've hung in for that, I'm interested in your thoughts about this idea. Does it resonate for you?

And now for some art!

First stop in Australia was a screenprinting course where I played with birch trees (on paper and fabric, and wood)

mermaids, and dragonflies

Great fun, not sure how much more I'll do, as of course it requires more gear but possibly I can find a local screenprinter who will share? I've always thought the idea of functional art was worth exploring. 

Then off to Sydney for a course with Seraphina Martin, my original etching and printmaking instructor who I studied with for 4 years before buying my own etching presses. We had such fun playing with all her supplies for monoprints and monotype,  as well as collograph and viscosity printing. What a great instructor! 

Again I played with birch, mermaids , and dragonflies, as well as lots of other ideas.


There will be more magic created in my studio when I get home. Meanwhile I've had magical experiences with cyanotype printing (stay tuned to my Facebookpage for more postings), the best dolphin sighting ever, a platypus sighting, a huge carpet python seen from a safe distance, and much more magic!

This is a wonderful world. Over to you! Create some, or watch for it! Who doesn't need a little magic in their life?