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!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A New Season

Autumn Harvest
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

It's been a while since I've shared here. What with sick animals and back aches and broken washing machines - the list goes on - it's been a very stressful few weeks here, dare I say months? I'm ready for a new season.

In the midst of all that chaos, we're still hoping to sell our house. We had to let our "new" home go and are prepared to settle into another winter here, but we remain open to whatever unfolds. In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of baking.

I managed to finish a project I started in August that was a little different for me. I may still tweak it a bit, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Watch for it to appear in my Society6 shop soon!

Feral Stare
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

There's still time to enter to win a copy of my print "Gracie". Contest closes Friday, September 30th. Full contest details in the Summer issue of RURAL magazine.

Follow me on Facebook @CarolynnAnctilArtist and on Instagram @CarolynnAnctil for all the lastest news!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Shady Lady

Shady Lady
Original Watercolour Illustration
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

I've really been enjoying the splash of bright colours that have made their way into my studio lately. This latest image is the third in a series of art deco inspired images I've been playing with. It's available to purchase, along with the others, through my Society6 shop as a print or on mugs. 

Don't forget to enter my print giveaway. Details for entry can be found in the Summer issue of RURAL Magazine. Contest closes September 30th, 2016.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Print Giveaway!

Original Watercolour Illustration Giclee Print
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

I'm excited to announce that I'm hosting a print Giveaway in collaboration with RURAL Magazine!

I created "Gracie" especially for this special event and am thrilled to be offering her to one lucky person.

Check out the Summer edition for full contest details on how you can enter to win a signed and numbered giclee print of "Gracie". I've made it as easy as I can and the winner will be chosen through random selection.

If you can't wait for the results of the draw and would like to own a copy immediately, she's available to purchase here.

Contest closes Friday, September 30th. Bon Chance!

P.S. - if you want to stay current with all that's coming out of my studio, follow me on Facebook @CarolynnAnctilArtist

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Bathing Beauty

Bathing Beauty
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

Our summer has been unusually wet, which is odd because everyone was bracing for drought conditions this year.

I wanted to create an image that captured the essence of a lazy, sun drenched day at the beach watching the waves roll in. Those days seem like a distant memory for me, so I gave it a slightly retro flair.

Bathing Beauty is available to purchase in my Society6 shop now and is available framed or unframed. Take advantage of FREE international shipping now through August 7th!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Muse

Lady With Lotus
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

Yesterday I was drowning. Today, I'm sailing under clear blue skies again.

I'm mixing metaphors, I know. 

I admitted I was lost, ceased struggling and that, I believe, made all the difference.

After I wrote the previous post, I remembered that I'd recently acquired a new book by Niya C. Sisk entitled Seducing the Muse, Get Unstuck with a Creative Love Affair*. I'd been looking forward to reading it and the timing could not have been better or the content more suited to my current needs.

I pulled up a chair and sitting outside in the shade, I began to read. Let me just say this - I love this book. I felt like I was in the company of an old friend who knew exactly what I needed to hear and how to say it. Someone who understood the intimate nature of one's relationship with her Muse. It can be a mystical, magical dance of mutual admiration. 

Niya's is a book I will refer to again and again.

As I was drifting off to sleep at the end of the day, I wondered how long I'd be adrift on the creative sea. It was then that my Muse appeared.

"Oh, Honey," she said in her sweetest voice. Holding out a cool glass of ice water to me, she said, "Here, drink this."

And, as she did, a vision popped into my head of a graphic image, something I was excited to create, something completely different from anything I'd done so far and oh so compelling.

We hope you like it. This may be the start of something new. 

Lady With Lotus is now available to purchase in my Society6 shop.


*Seducing the Muse, Get Unstuck With a Creative love Affair by Niya C. Sisk is available for FREE for a limited time on Amazon Kindle.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Well is Dry

Original Photograph
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

When it's no longer fun to create, I know something isn't right.

When something I normally love to do becomes a should - I should spend some time in my studio, I should finish that piece I started, I should (fill in the blank) - then I know the creative well has run dry.

Onion Blossom Bee
Original Photography
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

I know these swells and valleys well. Today I'm in the trough, tomorrow I may well be riding the crest of a wave again. Experience has taught me that it's best to just ride it out. 

Stealth Kitty
Original Photograph
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

So, I'm taking this time to breathe in the sweet rain scented air after a summer storm, to listen to the coyote call to the full moon, and watch our resident fox hunt mice in the far field.

Wild Sage
Original Photograph
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

To collect wild sage and wrap it with a length of pretty ribbon on the front porch, a refreshing glass of iced tea beside me.

All things have their season. What season are you in today?

"Oh the freedom of the day 
that yielded to no rule or time..."
Diane Ackerman
Searching for the Comet

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Gallery Exhibition

Broken Barn
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

I was thrilled to receive confirmation today that 7 of my photographs have been selected for inclusion in a group exhibition this summer at our local Art Gallery.

The exhibition is part of the biennial Saskatchewan Prairie Light Photography Festival 2016 and my work will share space with fellow members of the Image West Photographic Association.

The image above is being used to accompany the exhibition announcement on their webpage and I'm very excited to have my work validated in such an exciting way. 

The exhibition will open July 4th and continue through August 27th with an artist's reception on July 16th. Full details can be found on the Art Gallery of Swift Current website.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Today Is Brought To You By the Letters B & C

B is for Bellybutton
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

I recently completed two letters in my growing collection of my alphabet themed series. I'm having fun with it and am steadily adding new creations.

C is for Curiosity
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

In the interest of full disclosure, I really do think faeries live in my garden and alternate worlds exist just beyond the veil. 

C is for Curiosity Detail
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

Ssssh....don't tell anyone!

These will be available as limited edition prints in my Etsy shop soon! In the meantime, check out the new pricing on many favourites.


All shipping worldwide is FREE for until June 5th in my Society6 shop. Stop by for a visit and treat yourself or someone you know to something unique and playful today!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Goodbye. I'll Miss You!

Pearl - 20 days old.

It is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to my handsome rooster, Pearl, and 5 of his girls.

We're moving two provinces away and, as anyone who has moved will tell you, some downsizing is always required. I've lost a lot of sleep over this decision and I simply can't take my entire flock with me. Two or three days in cramped quarters with 11 hens and 1 rooster just won't work. 

So, it is not without a few tears that I am handing over 6 of my birds to a new caregiver. They're going to a good home. A local 16 year old has built a brand new insulated coop to house them and they will be his first tenants. I'm sending Pearl and his girls with lots of information on the care and feeding they've received for the first 2 years of their life with me. I credit their success in surviving, in spite of me, to the information provided by Lisa Steele on her blog, Fresh Eggs Daily.

Over my husband's objections, I am keeping 6 laying hens and, when the time comes, I will do my best to transport them to their new home safely.  

Pearl - 2 years old

Things will be a lot quieter around the old hay bale from now on. You're one of a kind, Pearl, and I will miss you. 

Monday, May 09, 2016

New Product Line Up

I'm pleased to announce that my artwork is now available through Society 6 in a variety of formats, including tote bags, mugs, wall clocks, and many more beautiful products!

I invite you to stop by and browse for a gift for yourself or for someone else on your list.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Photo Contest

Prairie Damselfly
Original Photograph
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

Rural Magazine is hosting a photo contest in their Spring issue. Hurry over to enter. Contest closes May 15th.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

P is for Project

A is for Angel
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

I'm unofficially working on a little project. Can you guess what it might be..?

F is for Flying
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

These illustrations are available as limited edition giclee prints. Visit my etsy store for details.

Friday, April 22, 2016

S'il Vous Plait

The Buzz in Watercolour
Original Photography
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

I'd like to say I painted this, but it's a photograph I processed in Photoshop. The Frenchman and I visited a charming cafe recently and enjoyed the most delicious lunch. I wanted to capture the ambiance of this lovely resting spot and I like the soft watercolour effect, however...

The Buzz
Original Photograph
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

...the menu, written in French, gets lost. I can't decide which version I prefer. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lofty Plans

Lofty Plans
Original Watercolour Illustration
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

I love the way an idea evolves and morphs from one thing into another. This illustration began as a simple drawing of a fellow at a drafting board, which then grew to include a few rusty gears, and finally a background suggestive of blueprint plans.

Please visit my etsy shop to purchase

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Vintage Views

Firestone Home & Auto
Original Photograph
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

Early on this Easter Sunday morning, my husband and I got up, made coffee, and headed into town to photograph some old architecture while everyone else was still waking up.

Original Photograph
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

I took these photos with my phone and processed them in Instagram.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bedtime for Bunny

Bedtime for Bunny
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

With Easter just around the corner, this bunny is making sure he gets enough rest.  

Available for purchase here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Gypsy Spirit

Gypsy Spirit
Original Watercolour Illustration
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

This illustration feels like the embodiment of Spring - playful, flirtatious, and colourful. She didn't originate that way in my mind, but now that I see her alive on the page, I recognize her similarities to the season of new life.

Gypsy Spirit is available to purchase here as a Limited Edition Giclee Print.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Humble Beginnings

Every illustration has its beginnings as a humble stick figure. Limbs are placed and proportions are established before a character can begin to take shape. This is where magic patiently waits to be released.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Meditations on a Spider

"Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, 
for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Winter weighs heavy at this time of year. The novelty of a fresh blanket of snow has given way to weariness as the wind relentlessly molds and carves snowdrifts across the driveway. Afternoon naps provide a welcome respite from the stormy weather and the entire household discovers the pleasures cats have long known about napping.

If it wasn’t for my dog and my flock of hens, I probably wouldn’t set foot outside my house all season. Supply runs to the grocery store being one possible exception. I’m working hard at resisting my natural impulse to hibernate like a bear and am, instead, doing my best to emulate the spider.

Evidence of their steady industry has been appearing in the nooks and corners of my house lately. I confess a certain grudging admiration for their work ethic and have begun to view them as healthy role models, as I work to build my illustration business.

If I weave and spin a little bit every day, perhaps I will eventually have something beautiful to show for my efforts too. It’s a sound business model.

I think I’ll go sleep on it.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Nobody's Fool

Nobody's Fool
Original Watercolour Illustration
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

Every once in a while, when I sit down to draw, something very unexpected appears. I had an entirely different image in mind, when I began this illustration, yet as I moved my pencil across the page, he began to magically take form. 

He struck me as a forlorn fellow who was a little down on his luck. If he puts a smile on your face, you can put a few coppers in his pouch and bring him home to entertain you. Click here. 

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Pink Summer Dress Reworked

Pink Summer Dress Study
Pink Summer Dress
Original Watercolour Illustrations
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

Last year, I illustrated this young girl in a pink summer dress. I'm quite fond of her, but felt she needed some context, so I placed her beside a white picket fence with climbing roses.

She is available to purchase here as a Limited Edition Giclee print. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Rural Magazine - Winter Love & Two New Illustrations

Working Girl
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

I'm pleased to debut two new original watercolour illustrations in this month's issue of RURAL magazine. They appear on pages 10 & 11 in this beautiful publication that's celebrating Winter Love. 

Both works of art are available as limited edition giclee prints and can be purchased here

If you're a new visitor to my blog, I'd love to learn how you found your way here. Leave a note for me in the comments section.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Stepping It Up

Step Up
Original Watercolour Illustration
by Carolynn Anctil © 2016

It's my intention to step up my creative output this year and work on building more of a business with my artwork. That said, sometimes, I like to create purely for the fun of it. This little imp just popped into my mind late one night, so I thought I'd give her life.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

My First Business Advertisement

Business Ambassador
Original Watercolour Illustration
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

I conjured this little guy up nearly 2 years ago and he has been hanging around ever since, biding his time until I figured out how best to utilize him. I was recently offered an opportunity to advertise my many talents and thought he would suit the role of Business Ambassador perfectly. Don't you agree?

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Beginnings

Memories of Autumn
Original Photography
© Carolynn Anctil 2016

I had big plans for a sacred closing out of 2015 and a welcoming in ritual for 2016. Then, I got a wicked headache that would not go away. So, while I did cross a few little things off my list, mostly I slept and rested. It was a little anticlimactic and disappointing.

Then, I got to thinking. Time is a construct of the human mind and December 31st is just a date on a calendar. I can start a brand new year any time I want. 

Every day is a new Point A.

So, if you, like me, are a little behind the rest of the world in bringing 2015 to a close, don't dismay. Set your own schedule. Proceed on your own terms and with your own unique ideas of what constitutes an appropriate ceremony, if you choose to engage in one, and Begin Again at any time.

In years past, I've chosen a Word for the year. Many of you will be familiar with this process introduced by Susannah Conway, and for several years, it worked well for me. 

This year, however, I'm drawn to focus on how I want to feel, a concept articulated by Danielle LaPorte in her book, The Desire Map. I first started to give this some thought about a year ago and it's taken me this long to unearth my Core Desired Feelings. They are, in no particular order, (...drum roll please...)



How did you make your New Year's Eve special? Have you chosen a Word for 2016? I'd love to hear.