creativity is calling

by | Jul 26, 2022 | art supplies | 11 comments

As you may have guessed, I really miss my studio.  It’s not so much that I miss that specific physical space, but I miss having a dedicated place for creative work.  As well as a dedicated space to keep all of my creative tools and supplies.  But, as they say, missing makes the heart grow fonder.  I will enjoy having my own studio space all the more when we close on a new home.  Until then, I am making the best of setting up at dining tables and drop-leaf occasional tables and outside.  All of my hosts have been supportive and encouraging ever as paintings are drying in their garage, balanced precariously on available surfaces.

I have also been trying to focus this time on research, learning, and practice.  When you’re in flux, it’s a good time to nurture your creative soul with playtime and refill a depleted well by learning from others.  I have been researching all sorts of fun things like monotypes, drypoint, and silverpoint.  I have been playing with different mediums and, instead of sticking to one discipline, have been “putting my fingers in a lot of creative pies” as my friend Shaunna puts it.

I have been filling my sketchbook with everything from pen & ink thumbnail sketches to pencil sketches for pattern design ideas, to master studies in acrylics.  (You can see some of that HERE and a sketchbook tour HERE.)  I’ve been taking classes on classic drawing techniques, abstract painting, and studying the masters.  It’s been so enriching and enjoyable.

Manet master study in acrylics | 10 days of art | miss mustard seed

Someone who always encourages me to grow as a creative is my dear friend, Jeanne Oliver.  I met her over 10 years ago at a blog conference when her ruffled-edged camera bags were the envy of all.  I have watched her creative journey evolve and have had the privilege of getting to know her better.  She is the kind of person who sends me a text when she’s on her morning walk to ask me how she can pray for me and my family.  Jeanne is not just an internet acquaintance, but someone I consider a real-life friend.

Whenever I see her posts on social media, read what she’s up to, meet with her over Zoom, take one of her classes, or purchase something from her shop, the word that comes to the forefront of my mind is affirmation.  It just comes out of her.  She wants to affirm you as a person and as a creative.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | wallace seymore | miss mustard seed

Since I don’t have a permanent address right now, our mail and packages (mostly mine), are being shipped to my parents’ house.  It has become a source of entertainment for my parents and they have started placing bets on how many packages will arrive each day.  My mom has been stacking the boxes and parcels on my side of the bed…

packages piling up | miss mustard seed

One box that was added to the stack after the picture above was taken was from Jeanne Oliver.  This year, she started carrying Wallace Seymore drawing pigments and is expanding the line to carry their tubed paints and other art supplies.  Of course, I needed to get in on that action!

Right when I opened the box, I saw that affirmation that I knew I would get from her.  “I am a maker.”  A knob hanger that asks for other people to honor the quiet creative time of the person behind the closed door.  It’s not selfish or frivolous to ask for time to create, work, and play.  We all need that.  It’s heart work and soul work.  We were created to be creative.  It looks different for everyone, but we all need that time, even if it’s just in small pockets of time.

And the door hanger is a much nicer way to ask for it than telling the boys to not bother me unless there is fire, blood, or vomit.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | miss mustard seed

When I opened the package, I had to just admire the branding and presentation.  I just eat up good branding with a big ole serving spoon.  Not only are there messages of affirmation, but you’re washed with the smell of sage and lavender.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | wallace seymore | miss mustard seed

And, knowing Jeanne, she has picked out every last detail down to the crinkled craft fill, the bulb pins, and the thick cotton string.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | wallace seymore | miss mustard seed

I also got a few goodies from her as a thank you for teaching Alla Prima, a class offered on her site.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | miss mustard seed

She sent along some teas and an antique European tea towel.  The cool thing about this towel, which Jeanne wouldn’t have known, is that my middle initial is V and my maiden initial is W!  So, the VW is perfect.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | antique european tea towel | miss mustard seed

She also sent a beautiful handmade ceramic brush by Her Name is Mud.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | her name is mud ceramic brush | miss mustard seed

And a little leather notebook with more affirmation – Creativity is calling.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | leather sketchbook | miss mustard seed

The items I selected from Wallace Seymore are a set of JMW Turner pigments.  Oh my, just look at that color palette!  I have read quite a bit about Turner’s materials, which is fascinating.  He actually carried around a small leather palette that folded like a wallet and would fit in his pocket.  Dabs of dry watercolor cakes were lined in two rows for him to rewet with his brush in order to paint in a small sketchbook.  It’ll be a fun project to make up a Turner watercolor palette with these historic pigments.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | wallace seymore | turner pigment set | miss mustard seed

I am equally excited to try this set of tempera paints.  Tempura paints are traditionally mixed on a palette with egg yolk, but the paint has to be used in one session and then disposed of.  These tube paints are gum tempera and are ideal to use for underpaintings for oils.  They have a very unique quality and I can’t wait to explore them.  And those colors are so yummy.  It’s like a little jewel box.  (This is the Venezia Gum Tepera set.)

jeanne oliver | art supplies | wallace seymore | venezia tempura | miss mustard seed

I have some Wallace Seymore watercolors I purchased from a seller in England last year, but I love that I can order a more extensive selection of paints and supplies from Jeanne as their US distributor.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | wallace seymore natural watercolours | miss mustard seed

jeanne oliver | art supplies | wallace seymore natural watercolours | miss mustard seed

The paints will be available on Jeanne’s website soon.  Until then, you can purchase Pigment Cigars and Ancient Drawing Pigments, which are in stock.

jeanne oliver | art supplies | wallace seymore pigment cigars | miss mustard seed

If you need a creative boost, you can also sign up for any one of a number of amazing creative classes on Jeanne Oliver’s website.

You can find more posts about art supplies HERE.


  1. Kimberly Bruhn

    Okay, I LOVED that ‘maker’ sign and your admonition to your boys but I had to tell you a funny about that…when our three kids were all young (there were 3.5 years between the three…don’t try this at home) my husband offered a $5 reward if the kids could make it to the tile floors of our bathroom before bleeding or barfing! His friend’s kids visited once and said “why would you pay them to do this?” hahaha

  2. Mayanna

    There is nothing more invigorating to an artist than a tray of pastels or jars of pure pigment. Sennelier has lots of pigments too. Getting new supplies is like new supplies for the first day of school.

  3. Gwen

    Love your criteria for interruption…fire, blood, vomit.

    • Janet

      I used to say this to my kids but when the water heater broke they didn’t say a thing because I hadn’t added “flood”.

      • Marian Parsons

        That is so funny and also not funny! I might have to add natural disasters to the list. 🙂

  4. Margo

    I want to take a drawing class and I have been researching on-line drawing classes. Do you have a recommendation for a drawing class that you’ve enjoyed?

  5. Irene Kelly

    Just checked put Jeanne Oliver’s website and found it to be very difficult to navigate. First of all the font on home page with the list of departments is so small. Then all that flashing of prices etc is hard to focus. I wanted to buy one of the pouches but the photo was not still long enough ro examine. Maybe you will pass this info on to her.

  6. jenw

    Oh, I don’t paint, but I sure want to order those paint tubes. LOL They’re just SO pretty!

  7. Deb

    I can wholeheartedly recommend the Alena Hennessy classes on JO site. I took them after I saw Marian mentioned the site and they have been great fun. A friend and I instituted art night every Wednesday during pandemic and are still going strong!

  8. Chrissy Harris

    Love all your thoughts on the creativity calling time is now after many years home educating and buying lots of art supplies ..there are plenty still for me .
    Traditionally powdered Tempera paint is what the youngest children use for their school artwork here in NZ .It’s easy to mix up and with a spot of detergent lasts longer than a day.
    Of course not in the range of beautiful colours and tones you show here ..they are delicious !
    PS . Sorry for the wee spellchecker-tempura is a whole other subject 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you for the spell check! Tempura is an entirely different thing and I just missed it. 😂


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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