Don’t Pout

January 18, 2013

pouting child

Children seldom attempt to hide their displeasure when things don’t work out the way they want them to.   Some will resort to pouting, an expression that reveals itself in an upturned bottom lip as well as tension in the areas of the chin, nose and brow.   Children who find success at changing outcomes in their favor whenever they practice this expression will inevitably resort to using it more frequently.

But whether you’re a child or an adult, it’s best not to pout.  And if you must, do it quickly, then forgive, forget and move on.  Pouting may look cute on a child, but it’s never so on an adult.

~  Text and image copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2013

Boundless Energy

March 10, 2012

frisbee dog

Some dogs have an energy that seems boundless.  Such a dog is Trey, a Staffordshire cross.  Although he lives to chase the ball, Trey also loves playing frisbee and exercising on an indoor treadmill when it’s too wet to go for walks outdoors.

This drawing of Trey was created with a combination of charcoal pencils (black, Venetian Red and Terracotta) and colored pencils on paper.


March 9, 2012

Mutts are considered by many to be the  ideal dog as it’s thought that they possess the combined strengths of each breed represented in their mix.  This portrait is of Sasha, a Black Lab/Shepherd/Border Collie mix.  The drawing was done with black charcoal pencil and colored pencil on paper.



February 14, 2012


Zentangling is a meditative type of doodling that’s easily accomplished by anyone regardless of skill level.  The most basic of materials, paper and a dark felt marker, provide an excellent starting point for this relaxing and creative activity.

Here are two examples, one done with a fine tip black marker and the other done with a brown calligraphy marker.

zentangle with calligraphy pen

Thanks to Gerry at Torch Lake Views for introducing me to this art form.


July 9, 2011

Lotus by Amy-Lynn Bell

Lotus flowers hold a special place in Eastern religion.  Found growing in the mud, these beautiful lilies represent both our groundedness here on earth and our longing for the divine.

This 30″x40″ painting was created with acrylics on canvas for a friend who loves yoga.  The colors were chosen to coordinate with the decor of her new home.

Nova Scotia Bobcat

January 24, 2010

Nova Scotia Bobcat

The colored pencil drawing of a Bobcat begun earlier this week is finally complete.  Earlier stages of the image can be found at

Nova Scotia supposedly has the largest population of bobcats in North America.  They are Canada’s most common wildcat and keep the populations of small rodents and mammals such as Snowshoe Hares in check.  For photos of bobcat tracks, see my nature journal post  Bobcats in the Backyard.

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January 22, 2010

Here are different stages of one drawing of a Bobcat made with colored pencils. The first stage, shown above, was done on January 20th, and only reveals the Bobcat’s eyes.

The second stage, done on January 21st, shows more facial features.

The final drawing, completed January 24th, can be viewed at Nova Scotia Bobcat.

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The Baltic Wheel

December 12, 2009

baltic wheelsThroughout the ages, various cultures have created labyrinths to provide users with the opportunity to reflect while in motion along a given path. Their design integrates the circle with the spiral, two of the earth’s oldest symbols.

Forms are numerous, with applications in a variety of sizes and materials (stones, sticks, plants, fabric) created for either indoor or outdoor use. 

Scandinavian in origin, the Baltic Wheel labyrinth provides two paths to the centre: a long and a short.

The above drawings are preliminary sketches for a labyrinth that is presently in the planning stage for the MacDonald Park in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. The scarlet circles show possible placement of mosaic tiles. 

The hedge border will be Autumn Joy Sedum.

All that is necessary…

November 11, 2009




October 16, 2009


Hand-drawn with coloured pencils, each of the mandalas shown above incorporates a Maltese cross.  Maltese crosses traditionally have eight points, each representing a Christian virtue held sacred by the Knights of Saint John.

negative mandala

 The mandala at left was drawn with oil pastels on heavily textured paper.  It has more of an organic appearance due to the absence of straight lines and hard edges.

For more information about mandalas and how they are being used to promote world peace, see The Mandala Project.

To see some mandalas created with natural materials, see Autumn Mandalas  at Flandrum Hill, my online nature journal.