Life is a Balancing Act


park benchI thought I would do a follow up post on my 2016 guiding work “BALANCE”

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to me and how I am going to achieve it.

I have used two tools to help me


 writing down all of my thoughts at the end of the day to discover what I enjoyed and what I didn’t enjoy/

Life Balance Wheel:

A tool I use with my coaching clients to help people visually scale areas in their life.


What I have discovered so far

I feel out of balance when

  • I work too much – and yes this means paint too!
  •  I haven’t had meaningful conversations with anyone other than my husband
  •  When I have not spent enough time making music
  • When I have enjoyed live performance in a while
  • When my house is out of order
  • When I feel rushed and pressured
  • When I don’t take time to meditate
  • When I spend too much time on the computer
  • When I don’t spend time in nature
  • When I don’g create

I have never embraced a 9.00 to 5.00 working philosophy so that is not going to happen now. I have never known the difference between a weekday and a weekend. I have been self employed for over 30 years.  I work ANYTIME.  Sometimes I work ALL THE TIME!

I for the most part have always loved my work. It does not seem like work. It is hard to stop.

For me it requires great discipline not to work!  It really is just a lifestyle for me but I know it is not healthy.

So what to do!

Five Things I am Implementing

  1. Get out into nature once a week or more. ( A walk in the neighbourhood does not count!)
  2. Balance my Chakras daily
  3. Connect with a friend for a conversation every week
  4. Schedule time to play music – by myself or with others
  5. Enjoy an evening sauna to relax and catch up on reading or journaling

What do you do to stay in balance? Is it something you struggle with or could use some help with. I am offering a complimentary thirty minute coaching call to help you find your BALANCE.

Skype, google hangout,  phone or in person. Just contact me  to set up a time.


Cheers – here is to a balanced week ahead!












Back to My Roots

1602 Scrivener- Back to My Roots SM

This is the second painting of 2016. A remnant from a class demo on landscape painting that took a few twists and turns today.

I find myself doing a lot of reflecting at this time of year and this painting takes me back to my roots.

Growing up on a farm on the prairies seemed like a simpler time. A time with less stimuli and more time to ponder. Long snowy days and days filled with sunshine.

A time when neighbours dropped by and had time for a visit.

Simpler in terms of stuff! We lived simple – a small house only 400 sq. feet with 2 bedrooms in the eaves. By today’s standards that would be crowded for 6 people. It was the way it was, we did not know any different. I have already experienced the small house movement that is becoming all the rage.

Farm house

The larger house in this photo belonged to my grandfather.  When I was around 14 we built a new house. I got my own bedroom!

We lived outside a lot.  We did not have many toys but invented toys and games. I learned to skate at the neighbours house on the outdoor rink using skates two sizes too big stuffed with tissue.

In grade one I went to the one room school a mile away and we walked to and from most days. It had to be extremely cold to get a ride.

Carlea School


I learned to play softball in grade one on a mixed team, There where only 16 of us in the school up to grade eight.

I drooled over the art of a grade four boy.

Although I can never go back could I just recreate some of that simpler living in our now complex world? I think that lines up with my guiding word for 2016 -BALANCE

Slow down, take time to ponder and reflect.


What are you pondering?

Leave a comment  – I would love to hear your thoughts.


First Painting of Jan. 2016

Scrivener 1601---The-Big-Tree---11x14-SM


I joined a 30 day challenge to start off the New Year. Not sure I will be able to keep up with it everyday but I am going to try!

I have a lot going on with having my speaking engagement tomorrow at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery and my Make Your Mark Mentorship program for 2016 starts on Tuesday.

My partner Rick had surgery in late November and has developed a blood clot as a result so there have been lots of trips to and fro the Medi Center and hospital. Not to mention all the extra things that come with caring for someone.

I am not going to be focusing on any particular theme for this challenge but rather finishing a waiting in limbo painting. There will be a large variety!  I will be offering them at a discounted price for one day. They will also be posted on Social Media.

This painting is about GROWTH and STRETCHING and FLOURISHING – all things that seemed to be a good theme for the beginning of the year!

My wish for everyone in 2016 is to have a fantastic year of GROWTH and to allow your self to stretch and flourish!

The BIG Tree SOLD before I had a chance to write the blog post.



My Guiding Word for 2016

Every year I select one word as a focus word to guide me through the year. I have decided on “BALANCE”  as my word for 2016. Balance


Balance is having the right amount — not too much or too little — of any quality, which leads to harmony or evenness.

In 2015 I found I was out of balance and spent too much time in my art business.  It is hard not to when you love what you do! My studio is like a magnet. But at the same time I felt that I did not stay fresh and I felt burnt out at times.

What does that mean for 2016?

It means I am going to reduce the hours I spend on art and art related work.

I am going to spend more time in nature. Walking, canoeing, and camping. This is where I connect with my inner self and become refreshed and renewed. Balance

In turn this leads to better work.

I am going to spend more time on music – both making it myself and listening to it live. This is another activity that feeds my soul.

I am going to spend time doing projects that have been put on hold.  Unfinished projects take lots of energy!

I am going to explore some new activities – like belly fit, zumba and Qi Gong.

I am going to meditate more.

I am going to connect with friends more regularly. Being an artist is an insular life and it is easy to spend too much time in your own thoughts!

How am I going to do this? 

I am going to rely on a schedule. I know that sounds linear for a creative person but it is the only way I will be able to replace some of my studio time an achieve my goal of balance.

What is your guiding word for 2016?

Studio News for September

September is a great month to catch one of these three exhibits in Parksville and Qualicum.

Play On Award

Play On won an Honourable Mention award at the Federation of Canadian Artists Arrowsmith Chapter fall show. The exhibition is currrently on display at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville until September 26, 2015.

                                    Play On                                Soul Sisters

Play On and Soul Sisters are on display at the McMillan Arts Centre for the month of September.

Qualicum Stationers Gallery September Exhibit

Patt’s work will also be on display at Qualicum Stationers Gallery until October 15th.

Cafe Adagio September Exhibit - Copy

And be sure to come by Cafe Adagio on Harrison Street in Parksville and enjoy one of their specialty coffees while taking in Patt’s exhibit there until September 28th.




Why Painting Ponds is a Passion

When I was a child growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan I loved going down to the pond. It was a small pond where the water accumulated from the drainage culverts under the railroad tracks. For me it was a place of solace. I loved watching nature and the life in the pond – catching tadpoles and frogs.
As an adult I am still intrigued by ponds and marshes. I love going out in the canoe and escaping to a quiet place with the sounds and sights of nature.
Lily pads and water shield plants have always fascinated me.
Painting ponds takes me back to that place of solitude and allows me time to meander in my thoughts. It is like a painting meditation for me.

You can watch a video about my inspiration here.

Here are some of the paintings in my “pondscape series”. Click on them to see the full size image.

In a Cage

This painting was juried into the FCA Abstract Show

Scrivener-In-a-Cage -Acrylic -36x36 -dementia trapped in cage

The Story Behind The Painting

This painting came about after caring for my Mom who lives with dementia. For me the cage represents isolation, locked up words and feelings of being trapped. The birds represent the longing for freedom from the trapped inner feelings. The rich colour of her dress is indicative of her rich inner life. The contrast between dark and light represented the challenges and the hope.

The inscription on the piece reads:

“Words are all but forgotten,
Memories lie deep within”  
  Patt Scrivener


To Purchase
I would love to hear your interpretation. Leave a comment below.

10 Things to Try When You Have a Stuck Painting

My guiding word for this year is COMPLETE so even though I work on more than one painting at a time I am working hard to finish them and not loose interest when I hit a block. Here is a list of 10 things to try if you have a stuck painting. Go ahead and give them a try!

  1. Don’t worry about the end result – you are stuck!
  2. Try adding a new colour
  3. Bring out the sandpaper
  4. Use coloured construction paper to block oiut areas
  5. Take a photo and look at it on a large computer monitor
  6. Turn your painting upside down
  7. Try adding a different medium
  8. Try a different brush stroke
  9. Draw into your painting
  10. Put away your brush and use your fingers or unorthodox tools!

If you need more guidance I put a workshop together to help you get to “THE FINISH LINE” – it is one day  and you will leave feeling good about moving forward on a few of those stuck pieces.

You can register online or by phone at 250-248-2775



A New Home

1512 Day12 Scrivener A New Home LR

“A New Home”  Today we found out that the Provincial Health Region had a permanent placement for Mom. She would be moving to a new home. A facility where the qualified staff would be there to care for her, Part of me is relieved and the other part of me is full of emotion – worry, anxiety, fear! I am not looking forward to move in day and yet I really am ready to get back to my own life, Nothing is ever easy when there are two sides to the coin.

Raw Beauty

1511 Scrivener Day 11 Raw Beauty LR“Raw Beauty” is about more than the unclothed human form. When you are put in the position of being the caregiver for a loved one or any one for that matter you want to give them their privacy as much as possible. When viewing them in the raw you tend to look through them and past all of that into the beauty that lies deep within.