new old work

(top) A Tiny Life No. 7 (middle) Geranium (bottom) A Garden - giclee prints available in my Etsy shop © Susan Black

Creativity is not about some innate skill or aptitude we're born with. Creativity is about letting go, being brave & practice. Susan Black

My version of a throwback Thursday where I take a look back at work I created in the past - in this case 2010-ish & when I had no idea what I was doing, and was very much struggling to uncover or discover my own style. I realize now how important it is to just "do the work" to make & create as much as you can, if you do this eventually your voice does emerge. I LOVE all 3 of these pieces now, though it took a long time for me to appreciate them for what they are. All 3 were all created while taking a fabulous e-course from Mati Rose & Lisa Congdon called Get Your Paint On (one of the earliest creative e-courses I enrolled in & I've taken many since).

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties Erich Fromm


sketchbook patterns 23

9x6 watercolour page with Pentel brush pen & red Permapaque pen + Staedtler Mars pigment liners © Susan Black


welcome March !


recent scenes from wintry Lunenburg, Nova Scotia that second photo the gorgeous red building Adams & Knickle at 170 Montague (on my way to the grocery store) a favourite building of mine - this is the store closed up on Saturday.


life in Lunenburg

a sweet little park and a path along the harbour on my way to the Save Easy grocery store / I love Lunenburg red buildings / snowy waterfront with brightly coloured buildings / looking across the harbour / on Montague Street / the Bluenose II all bundled up for the winter / more boats waiting for Spring / sat at the library to look at the beautiful photographs in The Life & Love of Dogs / quotes about our much loved dogs / amaryllis blooming in Saturday sunshine / the golf course on the other side of the harbour /  Polar Prince at dock with lobster boats / a glorious sunshiny winter day / more from my favourite park's path

Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think,
not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe
and have faith that everything will work out for the best.

found on Pinterest

I'm getting really good at not over thinking & worrying too much about life ... getting good at disengaging my over active mind and honestly - it feels wonderful. 

My plan is to once a week, on the weekend, post about my new life here in Lunenburg - photos of this beautiful seaside community, pets, flowers & life in general much like the posts from 29mBlack Street. Other days through the week I'll be posting examples of current projects, my sketchbook, tips/techniques & favourite materials & the general goings-on of me & my ongoing quest to build a sustainable creative business ... my own wee Creative Empire.

Happy Valentine's Day !

& Hey ! follow me on my new social media fav Instagram here


sketchbook day 22

PITT gold pen / staedtlermars pigment liners / pentel brush pen / moleskin water-colour sketchbook  / © Susan Black


daily sketchbook day 21

red paper / staedtlermars pigment liners / pentel permapaque red marker / gelly roll pens / © Susan Black

thank you so much ! for all the sweet comments xoxo Susan


how to begin again

And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new 
and to trust the magic of beginnings. Meister Eckhart

Hello ! & thank you for sticking around while I continue to sort out the beginning of Book 2 of this mostly wonderful story of an illustrator, designer, photographer, animal crazed gal, seeker of truth & beauty, lover of the natural world, thrilled to live by the sea, compulsive planner/worrier, creative business person & more. I have had a few comments wondering where I'd been, where I am ??

I'm still here & I'm figuring out how to begin again.

After blogging with loads of photos faithfully, obsessively, near daily for 7.5 years I know it must seem like a rather abrupt stop. It feels that way to me too. Too many goodbyes in the latter part of 2014 has left me feeling out of sorts in both good & bad ways - first Bleet, my big fat black pudding-bomb cat nearing his 16th birthday at the end of September, leaving my home of 22 years 29 Black Street in Pugwash Nova Scotia and moving to the completely charming & lovely, bigger & way more bustling seaside town of Lunenburg - hello ! goodbye ! / push ! pull ! / bitter & most definitely sweet, and the hardest of all was saying goodbye to dear Miss Dixon - that goodbye created a wound that's still open & raw, in fact ... in some ways more now then the immediate days & weeks after for now all my dust is settling.

Starting a new way is never easy so...
keep starting until the start sticks. Tim Fargo

I moved to Lunenburg on Nov 15th - bringing Oliver & Virgil with me (and seriously I could not have done it without them). I said that big terrible goodbye to Winnie at the end of October in that mostly frantic state you get yourself into when you're at the end and you know it and you want to do the best thing that you can do for your pet. 3 1/2 months later I'm firmly planted sadly in that "I'll never have another dog place". Lunenburg, oh my lovely Lunenburg, is a very dog-friendly community - amazingly so. Dog cookies are offered at most stores, the town hall, banks & the post-office, there is a huge fantastic dog park and every excursion out I run into lots of people out walking with their dog(s). I find myself looking at them, dog & human, with a kind of stunned wonder "how can they do it - how can they love & care for a dog ?" thinking to myself, kind of subconsciously, "oh no beware ... the heartache you're setting yourself up for".  I'm hoping this feeling will pass, I'm actually quite sure that it will ... I know many a dog lover while stuck in that grief who's emphatically said "no more dogs, my heart can't take it" and eventually their heart's did open back up again enough to make room & a home for a dog who needs them.

Every ending is a beginning. 
We just don't know it at the time. Mitch Albom

Goodness I'm rambling on ... slightly off my intended topic - that being I am starting over. I am blogging again but in this place - my Susan Black Design blog. I want my blogging to be much more about my work, my business, my creative process (I'll be sharing projects, tips, techniques & favourite materials) & I also want this blog to be about my everyday life in this new chapter, in my new home in lovely, seriously LOVEly Lunenburg. Stay tuned for more cats, the sea, gardening ... & setting up & decorating our very charming new "tiny life" home - YES we bought a house here in old town Lunenburg !!

* Just to clarify for anyone worried or wondering about the current cardholding members of les Gang - we are still a family of 2 humans, 1 handsome dog, and 3 cats. Doug, Sam & Itty Bitty Betty (who's not so Itty Bitty anymore) will remain in Pugwash until 29 Black Street sells - which we're confident will be soon. We will all live our happy, tiny life together here in Lunenburg at some point in the near future. I certainly did not mean to make it sound like I didn't have a dog in my life because I do and I love him dearly. Young Samuel possibly a purebred Leonberger, possibly a shepherd mix he was a dog found roaming by the dog-catche and ended up in our local shelter. He is as kind and gentle a dog as they come, very smart and very attached to Doug as we always divvied up the dog duties. It always felt like Winnie D was my dog and Sam was Doug's. When Sam & Doug come to visit me here in Lunenburg I love taking Sam out for walks and I get as much dog snuggling, hugging, patting & adoring time in as I can. Miss Dixon was a special dog and she & I had a special bond - I miss her.