The Reluctant Blogger

Shirley on the Pakistani border


If you love art and adventure – like I do – then I think you’re going to enjoy reading this blog. As a professional artist, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite stories about my adventures in front of the easel and when travelling the world. You’ll hear the inspiration for some of my works and the stories behind them. While you’re here on my site, I hope you will take time to click around, explore my art and – of course – post comments and share what inspires you!

Art is my first love, and I spend most of my time working on paper or canvas. I also spend time teaching aspiring artists. Now, on the advice of a young writer/editor/friend, I am exchanging my brush for a keyboard and entering – somewhat reluctantly – the new world of social media and writing.

Painting with Words

I am not used to writing or, as I see it, “painting with words”. When I was in my 30s and 40s, I wanted to live a life so full and exciting that when I got to the age I am now (or maybe a little older), I would pen an autobiography. As a consequence of all my earlier adventures, I would have something vital and interesting to say. Did I live a full and adventurous life way back then? Probably not.

If I analyze it, I am probably much more adventurous now. After all, nowadays I spend almost every winter traipsing around Southern and Southeast Asia, dragging along my less-than-enthusiastic husband. He often serves as my Sherpa, carrying art supplies and helping me on and off the steep steps of trains, buses, tongas and longtail boats and keeping me from getting too “eve teased” by the sometimes voracious Northern Indian men.

Remember my wish for an exciting life? It has come true in ways I could never have predicted. And here I am writing about it from the perspective of art and teaching and travel. From time to time, I will be highlighting pieces of my art that I am most proud of. Some have met with critical acclaim and some have particularly deep meaning for me on a personal or professional level.

Be Gentle

If you like what you see, please let me know. If you don’t like something, be gentle with your criticism. Tell me at least three things you like before you launch into what you don’t like. This is the model I use for doing art critiques during the workshops I teach. It gives everyone some useful information about what to keep doing and what to avoid in the future.

I plan to post regular updates. And, if you like what you read, or see, I’d love for you to share my site with your friends and colleagues. So let’s start talking! Don’t be shy – post a reply and tell me about yourself. I want to know… how does art light a fire in your soul? I can’t wait to hear from you.

And hey, I’m feeling a lot less reluctant, all of a sudden!


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