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Timid Turtle Creative News - September 2021

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Well hello there art-makers, art lovers and those who just plain love visual arts! The heat of summer has abated, fall is in the air and it's time for us to share some of our recent goings-on!


This summer we were pleased to deliver several new pet portraits to their proud owners. Diana really outdid herself, painting not only a bunny, but also a cute dog and a handsome horse. Each painting was a labour of love, preserving both the pet’s likeness and personality.

Now that autumn is approaching, it’s time to think about Christmas. Yes, it’s still about four months away…but if you’d like to delight your friends and family with the gift of an original pet portrait in oil on canvas, now’s the time to put your order in! It’s really a wonderful way to honour either a living pet or one that has crossed the rainbow bridge.

Because each portrait requires such time and attention, we can only accept a few commissions for the Christmas season. If you’re interested, drop us a line and we’ll make sure you get on the list for this year!



One of the questions we’re most frequently asked is about our name. Why “Timid Turtle Creative?” Well, like all good things in life there’s a story behind our name. Many years ago, we bought a piece of property in the country. It was a beautiful place, filled with rolling meadows, treed mountains and green forests. Best of all, it had a pond filled with life: birds, insects, plants and (most importantly) turtles. We loved to watch the Western Painted Turtles swimming in the pond and basking on logs in the sun. We marvelled at their brightly coloured plastrons (undersides), thinking they looked almost like abstract art. Unfortunately, when we came near the edge of the pond the turtles quickly slid into the water and disappeared. If we were really quiet and still they would sometimes come back — but usually not until we left. That made it hard for us to show off the turtles to our friends and family. We had to explain that while the turtles were really there, they were quite timid. In time, we came to call this place Timid Turtle Pond, our own piece of heaven and a great escape from everyday life. And when it came time to establish our business, it seemed natural to name it Timid Turtle Creative as a tribute to the place we feel most inspired. So that’s the story of our name! Is it what you expected? Would you like to read more stories about the pond and our adventures there? Let us know!



People often say art supplies are expensive. And yes, they’re mostly right…some of them are. But they don’t have to be! In this video on our Make Art With Diana YouTube channel, Diana shares five of her favourite art supplies that are super cheap and in some cases cost almost nothing at all! Check out her five picks — then let us know in the comments if you have any favourite cheap art supplies you can’t live without!



Many artists (most artists?) work from reference photos, some of which they create themselves. But what makes a good reference photo for painting? How do you know what to look for?

In a video titled How to Take Good Photographs for Painting, artist Ian Roberts offers several examples to illustrate how you can choose and analyze a reference photo. He reminds us that when you take photos you’re curating the world…and you’re curating your photos when you choose what to paint. That means many photos don’t make the cut — maybe one in 100 will be useful — but it’s an important process nonetheless.

His final point in the video is a good one: Finding and trusting what you want to paint is important. This video might help you do just that.




Autumn is one of the best times of the year for plein air painters — painters who like to go outside and create on-location rather than in the studio.

Every plein air painter needs a good, lightweight easel. After all, no one wants to lug a 30-pound easel up the side of a mountain just to do a little painting! The solution is a pochade box, something many artists have never heard of.

A “pochade” is a colour sketch; opinions vary about the word’s origins — some say it comes from the French word “poche,” which means “pocket” while others say it comes from the old French verb “pocher” which means “to sketch.” Either way, a pochade box is a must for the outdoor painter.

Our favourite pochade box is the Guerrilla Painter Pochade Box. Guerrilla Painter makes pochade boxes in a number of sizes; we like their smallest model because it is light, compact and easy to take with you hiking or cycling. It holds 5x7 panels, weighs only one pound and has a built-in tripod mount and rubber feet.

Check it out here, on Amazon. You’ll also find easels designed for outdoor painting at other art suppliers, such as Opus, but none as small or light as the Guerrilla Painter box!


Thank you for reading! We hope you have a great September. Please be in touch if you have feedback, questions or just want to chat.

If you know anyone who would enjoy or benefit from the content in this newsletter please forward it to them.

Diana and Paul

Timid Turtle Creative

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