Tuesday, February 07, 2017

In Transition

Original Watercolour Illustration
© Carolynn Anctil 2017

I'm not entirely sure what I want to say here today, I just know that I'm in transition. My artwork is undergoing a change, as is my lifestyle.

Some of the things that are affecting this change include our decision to take our house off the market and stay where we are for the foreseeable future. This decision has made it possible to make plans again and to reassess what it is that we really want out of life and what that looks like to us.

For me, it's a move toward a simpler way of living. Not long ago, I used to look forward to slipping into my bed an hour or so before lights out, all cosy and warm, and reading a real book made of paper and ink. Now, I snuggle into bed and stare at a blue screen for a while until the eyestrain becomes too much and I turn out the light. So, Step One for me is to return to reading actual books with bindings and a pretty bookmark tucked in between paper pages to mark the spot last read.

It also means reducing our use of electronics in a more general sense. That means turning off our wifi unless we are using it for a specific purpose. The same goes for our flatscreen tv and the microwave, which will be used less overall, as well. 

It means looking into installing a landline telephone again and only using our mobile phones for navigation and for communication when we're actually mobile. Which, naturally means, less SMTS (Social Media Time Suck) and more time for food preparation, time spent in nature, conversation, and art creation.

I'm also advocating reintroducing softer lighting in the evenings in the form of beeswax candles, which makes even the simplest meal more intimate and enjoyable. 

My word for the year is Hygge - a Danish word meaning, the art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open-hearted and alive.

It also speaks to what Danielle LaPorte calls Core Desired Feelings in her book The Desire Map. Mine are Serenity, Simplicity, Liberty, Creativity and Harmony. 

Ultimately, my goal is not to create hardship for ourselves but rather to make more conscious decisions about what we bring into our home and how we choose to use it in order to live a more fulfilling, rather than a 'filled' life.


I've been making art! Visit me here to see my latest watercolour illustrations.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

I Am Restructuring

Hello Lovely People.

Effective immediately, I will be taking a step back to reassess my creative direction and restructure my business.

On Monday, January 9, 2017, my work will no longer be available to purchase through Society6. If you have been waiting to make a purchase there, I suggest you take advantage of the opportunity to do so at the currently reduced prices on offer, as I will likely not make my work available in this way again for the foreseeable future.*

In recent months, I have been devoted to producing and promoting original watercolour illustrations on-line, primarily through Society6. I have participated fully by offering my designs on a variety of products, ranging from coffee mugs to shower curtains and I've come to realize that it has only served to dilute my artistic vision and has had a negative impact on my original intention to develop as a legitimate artist.

They say you teach people how to treat you. While I have no complaint with the quality of products Society6 offers, it has become very apparent to me that this platform is not a good fit.

If you've been following me on Facebook, you will know that their marketing strategy relies heavily on discounting their product offerings - products that bear my original designs. The frequency with which this occurs effectively devalues my work and undermines my efforts to establish myself as a legitimate artist. What makes it worse, is I am given no opportunity to opt out of these sales that are good for everyone, but myself.

Going forward, I will be producing less work and endeavouring to create higher quality.

For the time being, I will continue to offer a select number of signed and numbered prints on my Etsy site, where I can offer a more personal service. I will also continue to share my progress on my Facebook page and Instagram feed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to leave a comment here or contact me directly via e-mail.

My objective in 2017 is to grow as an artist, to focus on quality, not quantity, and to develop both my own unique style and my technique. It is my desire to reconnect to the stirrings in my soul that first led me to pursue artistic expression in the first place. I hope you'll join me.

*Special requests for specific items currently available on my Society6 shop will be considered on an individual basis, however, they will not be made available at reduced prices, so please bear that in mind should you contact me to discuss that.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Illustration and a Poem

Original Watercolour Illustration
Copywrite Carolynn Anctil 2016

I completed what will likely be my last illustration of the year. I based it on a photograph I took several years ago and it's been one of my favourites.

For the longest time, I saw these two men as old friends, enjoying a warm summer's day, comfortable in each other's company.

After spending some time with them over the last few days, I think they're father and son. 

What do you think?


I wrote a poem the other day. That, in itself, is not all that remarkable. I don't consider myself a poet though and I kind of surprised m'self. Enjoy!

Keep Going

I feel a small drop in the vast ocean of time.
What possible influence could I have on distant shores?
Yet, fjords and caverns are carved by one such as I.

Keep going.  Keep going.

You don't know whom you touch by simply drawing breath each day.
Hold fast to your dreams, ethereal and coy.
Hold fast to the thin thread that draws you ever closer to your soul's desire.
Heed that soft whisper that breathes "Destiny" against your neck and sends shivers down your spine.

Train your eyes to see the faint glimmer of promise in the gloaming
as though a candle set amid a dark forest thick.
Set your shields against the gathering mist, brave one, and forge ahead
with all you have been gifted with, knowing that, 
though your journey be long and fraught with danger,
you never travel alone.

Written by Carolynn Anctil 2016
All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 12, 2016

Best Nine of 2016

These are my most liked images posted to Instagram this year. Thanks for all the love!

I'm @carolynnanctil on Instagram. I'll see you there!

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Back to the Paint Brush

Once Loved
Original Watercolour Illustration
Copywrite Carolynn Anctil 2016

If feels good to have a watercolour brush in my hand again. I confess that, after a month away from it, I feel a little rusty. This was a quick sketch to get the creative juices flowing again. I'm looking forward to spreading a little colour around again.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Whole New Month and a SALE!

Original Illustration
Copywrite Carolynn Anctil 2016

It's a whole new month and I've nothing pressing on my agenda. Whatever am I going to do with all my time?

I recently realized that I do best when I've set myself some form of accountability and the monthly challenges that do the Social Media circuit have been a successful model for me.

Having just finished Inktober, I'm now wondering what would serve me best. I'm still noodling that over and am taking a few days to tend to other things that were set aside for the month of October. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, now through Sunday, November 6th, there is $5 OFF Everything and FREE shipping in my Society6 shop

Monday, October 17, 2016

New Illustration Release!

No. 16
Original Illustrations
Copywrite Carolynn Anctil 2016

I've really been enjoying the Inktober challenge and have decided to offer a few of my most recent illustrations for sale.

These, in addition to a couple others, are currently available for purchase in my Society6 shop. May I suggest that you consider purchasing your Christmas gifts from artists and small businesses this year? I would certainly appreciate your patronage!

There are still a couple of weeks left in the Inktober 2016 challenge and I'm posting my illustrations on social media. 
Follow me on
Instagram @CarolynnAnctil and 
Facebook @CarolynnAnctilArtist 
to watch my progress! 

Saturday, October 01, 2016


Original Ink Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

I've decided to participate in InkTober this year. Brainchild of illustrator, Jake Parker, The Inktober Initiative is a 31 day challenge to improve inking skills and develop positive drawing habits - both of which I could certainly benefit from.

I may not do a drawing every day of the month because life has a way of intervening. There are a few things I'd like to work on to improve, so I likely won't follow the daily prompts either. I will, however, give it my best attempt to produce something as often as possible throughout the month of October.

I'll be posting my illustrations on social media. 
Follow me on
Instagram @CarolynnAnctil and 
Facebook @CarolynnAnctilArtist 
to watch my progress!