Last week: Stay at Home begins

March 23, 2020 | 7 Comments

Last week I decided to stay home even though everything was still open here in Sydney (a lockdown started at noon today). As I work from home this wasn’t a big deal, although it did feel strange not to go to a local cafe or the gym.

Earlier in the week I struggled to get things done – part of this was the direct result of spending too much time looking at news and social media but another part was simply catching up after the big Oneweek100people, the week before. (Note: doesn’t it feel as if that challenge was a lifetime ago?) Towards the end of the week, after being more careful to control what I read, looked at and listened to, I was much more focused and in fact felt somewhat fired up to do my best each day.

Although I share a lot of my life here on the blog, it’s in fact fairly curated to focus around my art. There is a lot of my daily life which I don’t share! So I’m going to be a little more personal today…

Just like you, I’m deeply concerned about the situation worldwide at the moment. I’ve found it difficult to think about anything else at times – especially when trying to get to sleep at night. But towards the end of the week I stopped checking the news in the morning so that I could just focus on the tasks for that day. I also listened to a few podcasts which spurred me on to work hard and do my bit to stay strong for the sake of my community and to keep going for the sake of the economy.

Towards the end of the week I realised that talking to my friends about art and getting my brain fully engaged (for a few hours) thinking deeply about art got my creative juices pumping. And I felt so much better. And so I decided to start doing some Instagram live interviews with my friends and I recorded my first ‘episode’ with Rob Sketcherman from Hong Kong on Saturday. It was such an inspiring chat and a lot of fun. It felt so good to be able to totally switch off for the 45 minutes while we talked! (Note: I’m working on a way to share this permanently so stay tuned for more about this in a separate article.) 

But most of all, I’m spending more time reading my Bible and focusing on trusting the future to God. And this is the thing which is grounding me the most and giving me a sense of calm! And then on the weekend, my best friend and I decided to revisit some bible studies we started 20 years ago on women of the Bible. She moved out of town and we stopped… but of course now we realised that we could do it via Skype! For those of you who are interested… I’m reminded of a memorable study we did looking at Rahab on September 11, 2001 (yes, on the day)! We looked at her faith to put the crimson cord in the window and believe in God’s promise that she would be safe even though the walls were crumbling around her. What a great reminder for us in any kind of unknown and unstable situations.

So anyway, I’m fired up to be focused and work hard and although I’m deeply aware of the situation, I want to keep talking about art as normal. I want this blog to be a positive place for you to come and visit.

I want to explore interesting stories as I sketch from home and continue to push myself to learn new things. I’m finding that getting into the ‘learning headspace’ is actually giving me incredible relief to the mental distraction! There is something about stretching the brain through learning that gets me excited. I’m also working really hard behind the scenes to get ready for a Group Run-through of both my Watercolour and Foundations courses. More about that later in the week.

As for my sketching…here’s the collection from last week. It’s a little hard to find the time to sketch, but I’m trying to find a way to fit it into my hectic days.

Random bits and pieces. I shared a lot of time lapses on my Instagram stories on Day 1.

View from my balcony as previously shared. Here you can see it in the context of the whole spread and the white space around it.

Doing homework for the Group Run-through of SketchingNow Buildings and thinking about Italy. This is from a photo of Lucca.

Keeping an eye on the carpark I can see from one window in my apartment.

My Foundations cup as shared previously. Obviously I didn’t have much time on Day 3.

Three days worth of wonky coffee. Because I’m a leftie I often work right to left. I like celebrating personal quirks in my sketchbook.

A super quick sketch of my desk during a live webinar.

A sign that it was a super busy day. The only sketches, my coffee, sketching during a meal and a blind contour during a Skype call.

And finally one from last weekend. I love playing compositional games in my sketchbook with white space and blocks of text.

I hope you are all safe. Sending you another a big virtual hug!



  • Valie says:

    Bonjour Liz, un petit mot de l’autre bout de la terre en France. Je suis nul en anglais mais google fait une bonne traduction 🙂 , je peux donc suivre avec plaisir vos actualitĂ©s et vos conseils. Je profite du confinement pour travailler mon dessin et l’aquarelle. J’espère que l’habitude quotidienne prise ne disparaĂ®tra pas une fois la vie “normale ” reprise …c’est un challenge !
    Un grand merci et un encouragement Ă  partager vote foi en Dieu. Vou aviez Ă©veillĂ© des soupçons dans votre post sur votre sac prĂ©fère mais ce dernier post et un appel Ă  mettre notre vie entre les mains de Dieu. Soyez bĂ©nie d’avoir partager celĂ . A mon tour de vous partager le psaume 46 qui dans ce temps particuir me fait beaucoup de bien.

  • Thank you so much Liz for your inspiration. I started working on my sketchbook more. In fact I take rides and try to sketch form my car, so that gives me a creative outing. Love your skethbook pages.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Marina – great to hear that you are working more in your sketchbook and are getting out and about.

  • Thank you for sharing, Liz! Your post reminded me about the book Deep Work – I think I’ll revisit it to see if it will help me to focus!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Elizabeth! Ah! Deep Work, that’s a great book and idea to re-read. Hope you and Toby are doing okay!

  • Lauren LoRe says:

    thank you so much for posting this!! I recently added to my “to do” list to look your site up and get back into sketching.

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