YouTube: Blick Art Supplies Unboxing

First, this video & post is not sponsored by Blick Art Supplies! I purchased all the supplies. Second, as an artist, I always enjoy seeing what products other artists use. In that spirit, I am sharing my latest order from Blick Art. I hope this inspires you to try some new supplies. I conducted an instagram poll and 100% of voters said “yes” to wanting to see what was in the box I posted, so here it is!

What’s in the box?
To strengthen my painting skills this year, I am taking Donna Downey’s Live Paint class and needed some supplies The open acrylics and medium were purchased for that class along with the paint brushes and holbein acrylics. The 1/2 gallon of red is also for this class!


Other supplies:

  • ecoline brush pens – a wish list item! excited to explore these as I’ve seen many artists using them for art journaling and lettering
  • empty 1/2 pans for my daniel smith watercolors

  • stabilio woody pencils – another wish list item, and i meant to order the set as well. i had a black and white of these already and really liked how they wrote on top of paint and are water soluble
  • derwent graphitone pencils – also saw some great reviews from other artists on these, so excited to try in my mixed media
  • bulldog clips – a must for holding open my art journals!
  • golden glazing medium & matte madium – I was running very low on both
  • liquitex gesso – I just poured my last drops out of my large container into a smaller one, so needed to order another refill!

unfortunately, one paint color (golden’s medium violet) and some palette knives are on backorder, so waiting on those from my order!

YouTube: art journal flip through, 2017 #drawriot daily

I often try to remember how I discovered artists on instagram and usually fail. Instagram is a wonderful place to connect with artists! But however it happened, one day I found Tori with drawriot and was intrigued by her daily art journal.

After going back to school in 2016, I knew art would be limited and decided that I would attempt Tori’s #drawriot daily prompts for 2017. My hunt to find the mini moleskine turned into a comedy that forced me to begin the journey at the end of February! I searched amazon high and low, ordered one that didn’t arrive! The envelope came, but the moleskine was not inside. There were no more to be found, so I found a couple sellers on abe books. I received one from Europe late in the game, and received one from a US seller. However, the US seller was not the right mini moleskine! It was a weekly instead of daily. Finally, I had one to use and began the journey a bit late.

Even though I didn’t fill every page, and technically wasn’t successful, I look at this 2017 art journal as a story of the year. School, life events, and a hurricane left some pages blank and partially completed. However, new friendships and adventures fill the other pages.

Follow along on my 2018 adventure #nicolewatsonartdaily2018 

You can find Tori at: &

One Little Word 2018

photo and bracelet by lora at eager hands

One little word.

I’ve struggled for years trying to pick one word to focus on for the coming year, so much so that I’ve never done it. How can you focus 365 days of unknown on one word?

This year I again tried to think of a word. However, it was different. The word came to me right away, and it’s perfect. It’s not a word that feels finite or too focused. It’s a word that allows me to grow, change, improve, explore, create, and just be.

My one little word for 2018 is CONTINUE.

To remember my word this year, I ordered this beautiful copper cuff bracelet from lora over at eager hands jewelry. You can also find her beautiful feed on instagram.

Here’s where my mostly art blog and website will get a little more personal. Hopefully you’ll learn a bit more about me in the process.

I want to continue:

  • Finding purpose
  • Exploring art
  • Decluttering life
  • Improving health
  • Focusing on self
  • Drinking coffee
  • Savoring moments
  • Seeking faith
  • Moving on
  • Healing
  • Being
  • (and a few other more personal –ings that I’m savoring in my heart)

For my birthday in 2016 my husband gave me a necklace that had the word journey on, it was perfect to represent what I was going through. I unofficially adopted it as my one little word for 2016-17. The last two years found me on an unexpected journey. Sometimes the unexpected is just what is needed, even though it is difficult. A change that left a huge hole in my purpose sent me on a path to finish my degree, research to improve my health, hang pictures on my walls, donate bags of clothes, toss bins of clutter, visit museums, meet friends for coffee, read a book, attempt daily art, start selling on etsy, and begin the search for purpose.

And, I’m not finished. In 2018 I want to continue making up for lost time that left me with the clutter, empty walls, and no time for myself and art.

This past fall was difficult. Hurricane Harvey affected me more than I expected, and this put a little halt to some of the progress and the daily art. Thankfully our house didn’t flood, but we spent several days stuck inside preparing for the worst. We moved food and our wedding china and grandparent’s dishes upstairs. I’ll never forget turning off the lights and going upstairs knowing that if the rain bands were as bad as the night before, our first floor would flood. It was a huge exercise in letting go.

Yesterday I purchased a new pair of tennis shoes. It was part impulse buy (thanks, Costco!) and part very much needed. That morning I tried on several pairs of shoes since it was cold and I couldn’t wear my usual flip flops, and they all fell off my feet. I still have a long journey ahead, but I’m stepping into 2018 with new shoes to continue this journey.

Donna Downey Studios Artist Gang 2018!

donna downey studios artist gang 2018

Today, my dream of sharing my art with the world begins.

I am thrilled to announce that I am a member of Donna Downey Studios 2018 Artist Gang! This is a dream come true on many levels.

After some unexpected changes in life in the Spring of 2016, I decided to return to Iowa State University and finish my degree as a distance student. I originally entered ISU just out of high school to study journalism which turned into art and design with minors in advertising and Russian studies. Then, I met a boy, left school, and moved to Houston, Texas. I intended to finish my degree in Texas and was even accepted to the Art Institute of Houston, but it just didn’t seem right. Fast forward to a wedding, a career, leaving the full-time job to do freelance and contract work from home…then life taking an unexpected direction after losing some of my contract work leaving me wondering what to do next (enter: school!).

Lots of people asked me what my plans were after graduation. I often responded something to the effect of, “Hang the diploma on the wall and smile.” In reality, I hoped to pursue art. I’ve been helping others with their dreams through freelancing, and it was time to focus on my own. First goals were website/blog and social media presence in the hopes of the ultimate dream of being on a design team. A surprise email from Donna during Thanksgiving break from class fast forwarded the goals and fulfilled my dream.

On December 16, I officially graduate from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree and a Russian Studies minor.

It was my plan to have my website ready for the announcement. Then, it snowed in Houston. That sentence sums up my two years. Unexpected, unplanned, sometimes a bit shocking, but in the end, exciting.

Thank you for your patience while my website is a work in progress (#wip) and the paint is still drying. I am so excited to develop my art, business, brand, and meet so many wonderful artists along the way.

Now, off to finish my final project, take a final, and graduate! I’ll see you on the other side with paintbrush in hand ready to create.

Be sure to visit the 2018 Artist Gang page to see the other members, read their bios, and follow each one on social media.