Rock Balance Art in NY

I was hiking on the IBM Glen trail in NY and came across these gems. They were SO cool and of course I had to make one for myself.

I find this art fascinating – it is so pure and organic. And not only that, there is something about the connection you feel to the earth when you make one. You have to concentrate and be gentle to get that perfect balance.

I’m thinking of finding more near home (or making my own) and painting the images on canvas. I think these little sculptures or 3D art would be a great inspiration for abstract art on canvas.

Anyway, enjoy!

Comparing your art to others/ Quakertown Artist

Do you compare your art to others?

Guilty as charged ✋. I think we all do it from time to time as artists. Especially when you create something and you are so proud until you see someone else’s work. I REALLY struggled with this while I was in art school.

art comparsion

Comparing your arty always isn’t a bad thing but it can be.

In fact, tonight I am getting together with my fellow art friends on zoom and we are doing an art critique on what we are currently working on. I value other peoples opinions and perspectives and it sometimes it helps me get “unstuck.”  This is the piece that I will be “bringing” tonight for the critique.


So, when it is good or bad to compare your work to others?

When it is a good thing:

  • You learn something
  • It inspires you to do art
  • It encourages you
  • It gives you another perspective 


When it is a bad thing:   

  • It discourages you
  • You “wish” you can do art like the other artist
  • You stop appreciating you and your talents
  • It creates jealously and doesn’t help you grow as an artist.

To grow as an artist, it is imperative you get out there in the art world and keep learning. It is crucial to expose yourself to other artists. But be careful that your are using that as positive energy rather than negative.

Keep being creative,




How to get into the Art Zone/Bucks county Artist

Many people may just think professional artists always does good work or is always (as we call it) “in the zone”. Ha! I am here to tell you that is not the case! I posted this on social media a few days ago and it really speaks truth in volumes:

in the zone
Credit: Cristiana Voinea aka Blacksmiley

So you are not alone. Here are some tips for when you aren’t in the zone or how to get into the Art Zone.

  1. Don’t be so hard on yourself  Really. Take a chill pill. You aren’t going to have productive days all the time. And that is ok. Be grateful of the productive days and give grace to yourself on days when the art isn’t flowing.
  2.  Work on something else. I used to be stubborn and not go on to another art project until what I am working on is finished. What a fool I was. It killed my creativity at times. Even if I have a deadline, I may take a break and work on something else for a bit and come back refreshed. See this? I still haven’t finished this and it has been a few months. And you know what? It is ok. I will get back to it.

How to get into the art zone- Bobbi Shaw Arts

3.  Play  Do something artsy that you don’t have to accomplish at all! Take some clay out, even crayons and get play like a child. You be surprised how that can get you in the zone.

4. Listen to music and look at some art. Get some inspiration from others. Browse some art online. Go to a museum if it helps. Sometimes just music can put me in the zone

5. Get out your sketchbook. If you use a sketchbook right, it can be a wonderful tool. A sketchbook is a place of ideas without judgement. Think of it as a personal journal, but for art 😊

6. Take a break. Sometimes the simplest answer is the most effective. We feel sometimes taking a break is wasting time, but that is not true. I have at times not take a break and things took me 10x longer. A break can refresh your mind and you can come back recharged.

What do you do that gets you into the zone. I would love to hear it in the comments.

Keep being creative,




What is en plein air painting?

Painting en plain air is the practice of painting outdoors, capturing people, landscapes and scenes in natural light – rather than painting indoors from reference sketches, photographs, life models and so on.

1. Dress accordingly and travel light

First, prepare to take or wear layers of clothing to avoid colder-than-expected or steaming hot conditions.  Second, think minimalism when packing your art supplies. Do I need 20 brushes or can I bring just 3? Can I work with a limited palette instead of bringing 30 tubes of paint? Do I need an easel or can I make one with the supplies at hand?

2. Keep the process simple 

Limited palettes rule when it comes to travelling light. You will just have to plan ahead. Visualize want kind of painting and colors you want to do before heading out. You don’t have to make it complicated. Relax and have a fun attitude.

3. Plan and schedule your time

Are you planning to make finished paintings while you’re out? Or loose sketches? Or something in between, something that’s more than a sketch but that still requires work back at the studio?

Most people are so busy nowadays that they can’t find three or four hours “out of nowhere” unless they consciously pencil those hours into their schedule. It is important to make time for you! This is one of my biggest tips when it comes to art : I need to schedule in my “me” time and so should you!


4. Plan how to transport

I personally use a backpack because I am already used to hiking. A good Pochade box can be really useful, not only for packing your items but also to act as a small easel.  You need to decide what works best for you.

5. Plan on wildlife

In that way, painting outdoors is a little like camping.  Bug bites, wildlife, unexpected weather conditions, or a dog walking without a leash at a park. Plan for ticks (use repellent), pack sunscreen and the like.  Clean up after yourself and carry everything out. Leave no trace behind.

6. Don’t be hard on yourself

You will have to deal with your natural self-consciousness. You may have people walk by, stop and look and ask questions. You also can’t be a perfectionist and be hard on yourself. En plein air is an experience. It is a time for learning and discovering things. And most of all, a time of relaxing and fun!


Keep being Creative!

Bobbi Shaw












I work better under a schedule-Quakertown artist

Things have been very quiet in my studio since the shutdown in mid March. I had ALL this time to work on my projects but I couldn’t get motivated.

I usually have a very busy schedule and for YEARS I have said: “If only my life slowed down. I’d get more done….” well life DID slow down. A LOT. And I am getting less done that I had previously!

Then I got a message asking for a commission. Requests came in. A spark started. I got my fire back! I didn’t realize that the structure I complained about, I needed all along.

Don’t get me wrong: I properly needed the rest. I am grateful for life slowing down. But it also made me grateful for my busy life.

Portrait commission, Work in Progress, Quakertown Artist

It also started to get me excited to promote myself again. I felt bad promoting art during a pandemic. But you know what? That is what I should have been doing. It took some requests to get me to realize that.


I guess maybe I felt life was on hold for a while. But life never stops. It may chamge but never stop.

I found during these crazy times, I am learning a lot about myself.

What have you learned during this time?


Keep on being creative,



Making sense of the new normal-Quakertown Artist

Life with Covid-19 outbreak: when things seem uncertain

It has been a rough couple of weeks for all of us. I hope you are all healthy and taking care of yourself.

Most of all: I hope you are being KIND to yourself.

Like me, you probably are seeing many social media posts of all the things your friends are doing during the shut down. They are painting the house, fixing the garden and catching up with projects. And if you have artistic friends: they are doing “art” everyday.

Well, don’t feel bad. Give yourself some grace if you aren’t getting things “done.” I FINALLY this week starting getting stuff done. I finally started to embrace the “new normal”.

For a few weeks, I didn’t get any art done. I didn’t get my house cleaned. I didn’t read or even watch much Netflix. I’m not sure what I did except : process everything.

I need time to process everything. I work well on a schedule. When my schedule gets out a whack, I am useless!

I finally made a “new schedule” in the new situation. It only took me over 2 weeks! So, be kind to yourself! Everyone will process this differently.

I finally got out and worked on a my new project last night: McCooles while watching The Tiger King. (I mean, what else are we going to watch?)


And fortunately for me, I got my first puppy days before this all hit. So, again that through off my schedule too! He is a nice distraction in all of this.


So literally for almost 2 weeks, I snuggled with a puppy and enjoyed my family. That is it. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t get to any projects. And that is ok, because that is what I needed.

So be kind to yourself doing this time. Don’t feel guilty or compare yourself to others.

Stay healthy and take care of you,



Drawing Advice from Famous Artists- Bucks County Artist

These are some quotes from famous  artists. I hope  this  encourages  you! Notice the struggle some of the artist had revealed in the quotes.


  • One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil.” Balthus
  • Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Drawing is putting a line (a)round an idea.” Henri Matisse
  • You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.” John Singer Sargent
  • In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing. Vincent Van Gogh
  • Have no fear of perfection, you will never reach it Salvador Dali
  • How you draw is a reflection of how you feel about the world. You’re not capturing it, you’re interpreting it.” –Juliette Aristides
  • In drawing, one must look for or suspect that there is more than is casually seen.” –George Bridgman
  • Drawing is not what one sees but what one can make others see.” Edgar Degas





What are you favorite drawing quotes? Keep on creating!





Don’t let critics get to you-Quakertown Artist

Did you ever hear of the artist Pierre Brassau?

In February 1964, four paintings by a previously unknown avant-garde French artist named Pierre Brassau were exhibited at an art show in Göteborg, Sweden. The French artist attracted the most attention.

Little did they know, this “french artist” was a chimpanzee. 

Meet Pierre Brassau:

monkey artist

Pierre Brassau was the invention of Åke “Dacke” Axelsson, a journalist at the Göteborgs-Tidningen, one of Goteborg’s daily papers. He came up with the idea of exhibiting the work of a monkey in an art show as a way of putting critics to the test — would they be able to tell the difference between modern art and monkey art? Apparently this hoax proved that most art critics could not tell the difference between a professional’s artist work and an ape!

People are going to criticize you. It is life. Many times, if you are onto something or trying something new, critics come out of the woodwork.

Don’t let people’s criticism bother you. Don’t let critics get to you. This goes for anything in life! Does that mean to be a fool and ignore everyone’s advice?

Of course not! Our goal is to always better ourselves. We are only in competition with ourselves. And taking constructive criticism and advice is very beneficial!

But don’t let it DEFINE you. People are going to give you their opinions whether you want it or not.  Learn to embrace constructive advice or opinions. Don’t let what other people think get in the way of your goals.

If critics can’t tell the difference of a monkey’s art or modern art, is popular opinion worth it? I bet if you could ask Pierre Brassau, he wouldn’t care. And neither should you! Just keep creating!!


10 ways to be creative- Quakertown Artist

1. Explore in secret with NO restrictions 

Let your mind go and just create without any goal or judgement. I usually grab my sketchbook each night and just doodle whatever comes to mind: I don’t think about it. Many of these sketches look awful: but it helps me unwind and come up with ideas. 

2. Find some inspirations 

Find 1 or 2 people that you admire and study all about them. Find out who inspires them and study them too! Learn and be inspired.

3. Hang out with creative people.

Whoever you associate with, it is what will inspire you. When I get into a creative funk, nothing cures it better than hanging out with my artsy friends and arting. Or going to an art museum with them.

4. Journal or keep a log book

You don’t have to be a writer to journal. You can even draw out what happened to you that day. What inspired you about that day? What frustrated you? Jot down some notes on the key parts of your day.

5. Go somewhere new: Get out!  67465577_2509277149131063_5129784002038726656_n

Seriously, leave your normal surroundings and go somewhere new! Get out of your rut. Go hiking! Visit a new town. Go to the library. Try a new experience. Changing your surroundings can really help start creativity.

6. Play

Really….just play. Grab some play dough, be a kid again. If you have children, spend time with them and play! Using your imagination in a childlike manner sparks creativity. Nobody is more creative than children. 

7. Restrict yourself

Try to paint a landscape with a limited palate, like 3 colors only. Try writing a poem with only the same 15 words. Challenging yourself forces you to think outside the box.

8. Start a new hobby or another project

Even if you are a great artist, doing the same thing over and over can actually stifle your creativity. Change things up a bit. Start a new hobby. Or have other side projects that you can jump back and forth. 

9. Start a schedule

If you are like me, you need to schedule your creative time. Otherwise, life will take over and you will neglect that things you WANT to do. Make sure you schedule, “you time.” 

10. Don’t be hard on yourself!

We can be our own worse critic. STOP! Be kind to yourself. If you are having fun and being creative, you win! Don’t compare yourself to others.


What are some ways that help you be creative? I would love to hear about them!

Keep on creating,

Bobbi 🎨

What is success? Bucks County Artist

Did you know…Vincent Van Gogh possibly only sold 1 painting during his lifetime?!

Legend has it Van Gogh only sold one in his lifetime. In reality, he did sell a handful but it was such a little amount, that the legend stuck. 

However, since he make over 900 paintings in only ten years, a handful of sold paintings isn’t much no matter how you dice it. 

So here is the question….Was Van Gogh a success? 

van gogh

You, I and the rest of the world may say: “Of course he was! He is one of the most famous artists of all time! “

But, I am not sure Vincent would agree with us.  Maybe he would.

But here is the next question: What is success? What defines success? 

Many people define success different ways: 

  • Fame
  • Fortune
  • Accomplishing a lofty goal
  • Building an empire
  • Impacting the world

Being successful means:  the achievement of desired visions and planned goals.

So success can mean different things. The real question is:

Are my top success goals worthy to pursue?

Fame, and fortune can be a fine goal, but it is not worthy of a top goal.

Look around at famous people or people that you admire. Many of them have “everything” we believe it takes to be successful.  But if you look closely at their lives, a handful of them are depressed, have drug abuse or are switching around partners constantly. Their “success” isn’t enough for them. It doesn’t satisfy them.

A worthy goal for success is something that will fulfill your life. Notice I didn’t say something that makes you happy, but something that fulfills your life. 

Does your goal…….

  • Encourage selflessness and serves others?
  • Build meaningful relationships?
  • Builds others up? Builds you up? 
  • Makes you grow as a person?
  • Gives you purpose?
  • Gives you peace with yourself?

It doesn’t matter if you sell a ton of paintings, make it as a musician, or be able to climb the corporate ladder. Have your top goals that will fulfill your life. The other stuff will come, and when it does, you will be able to enjoy all of your success with a fulfilled life. ❤

Keep on creating, 🎨

Bobbi Shaw