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ArtSi Email – Art Activities To Your Inbox

We are working with the Hospice of St Francis to support our communities by sending out a weekly Artsi (Art of Self-Isolation) email which will contain a creative activity which you can try at home. If you would like to join the mailing list to receive these emails, please email:

Below are some of the amazing artworks we have seen, week by week. If you would like to have a go at any of these activities, please email: to be sent any of the previous weeks’ emails.

Week 1 – Mandalas: Mandalas are simple patterns that you can create with just a pen and paper. Suitable for all ages, they can be as simple or complicated as you like

Week 2 – Making a Memory: this week’s prompt is inspired by Elaine who is keeping occupied by painting pictures of special memories and sending them to loved ones. 

Week 3 – Printing – this week we encourage you to household objects that surround you and transform them into printing tools. 

Week 4 – Zenful Zentangles: zentangles are easy to learn, relaxing and a fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

Week 5 – Photograph Collages: We tend to have a few off photographs lying around that haven’t quite made the cut for a frame or album. Now is the time to use these photos as inspiration for art. You could paint, draw or sketch over your photo or cut out shapes creating a different image. The possibilities are endless…

Week 6 – Art & Nature: It’s important to try and get as much fresh air, sunlight and nature as we can right now. Not only does it benefit us physically, but it can also help your mental wellbeing. This week, try bringing the outside in by creating an artwork with found objects such as leaves, twigs, flowers, tree bark, seeds etc.

Week 7 – Still Life: Paint, draw, collage or sculpt any item or object in your home or garden that you are drawn to or inspired by. From flowers and vases to pebbles and fruit and vegetables. It could be the colour, shape or composition that interests you.

Week 8 – Create a Holiday at Home: As we are possibly facing a summer with a lot more time at home, this week have a go at creating your own ‘holiday at home’. Inspire your artwork with your dream getaway, this could be as simple as a relaxing caravan holiday to Cornwall, or a month-long trek in the Himalayas. Find comfort in a warm, tropical colour palette, or replicate the buzzing excitement of a new city to explore. Dream away – the possibilities are endless!

Week 9 – Self Portraits: This week we’re taking inspiration from local artist, Su Dean. Su has been a Creative Therapies volunteer at the Hospice for over 5 years. During lockdown, Su has been creating self-portraits which capture her feelings and expressions at the time. We invite you to create a self-portrait in any style – abstract or representational.

Week 10 – Khamsa Hands: The Khamsa/Hamsa is a symbol of good luck that originated Morocco and has spread to many Middle Easter and Mediterranean cultures. Hands have always been symbols of strength and power and the word Khamsa means ‘five’ in Arabic – referring to the five fingers. A Khamsa with spread fingers is an avertin hand, whilse closed fingers bring good luck. This week, try creating your own Khamsa by tracing around your hand and decorating with colours, symbols or shapes that resonate with you. 

Week 11 – Create a Self-Care Collage: More than ever it is important we focus on self-care. This week, create a collage about your own self-care plan using magazine or printed pictures, drawing and paint, or even with photos from Google. The idea is to create a visual reminder of what helps you feel good and what you can do to take care of yourself. The following types of self-care may help identify what works for you:

Physical – sleeping, stretching, walking, exercise, healthy food, yoga
Emotional – stress management, compassion, kindness
Social – support systems, positive social media, communication, asking for help
Spiritual – time alone, meditation, yoga, nature, journaling, sacred space, religion
Personal – hobbies, personal identity, knowing yourself
Space – safety, healthy living space, organised tidy space
Financial – saving, budgeting, money management, paying bills
Work – time management, work boundaries, positive workplace, breaks

Week 12 – Playlist

This week we’ve put together a Spotify playlist for you to try painting to music. Explore your artistic responses to a selection of music found here:

Using the music as prompts, experiment using line, shape and colour to convey your individual experience of the moods and rhythms and create a collection of abstract artworks.

Week 13 – Positivity

As lockdown measures begin to ease, we might start reflecting on the last few months and the ups and downs that have accompanied them. This week, try capturing your own ‘photo of positivity’. This could be a representation of something that has helped you feel better over the last few months, a newly learned skill or hobby, or a symbol of what makes you feel hopeful for the days ahead. You are welcome to capture your representation of postivity in any media if a photo is not for you!

Week 14 – Watercolour Wonders

This week’s Tip comes from our Creative Therapies volunteer, Jil. Jil said “This (below) was made by first creating a water colour wash on my paper. Whilst wet, I applied clingfilm on top of the paint and left to dry. The idea is to see what surprise patterns the clingfilm leaves in the paint, and then to develop an image inspired by these patterns. I used a black fine liner and a little more water colour to bring out the parts that I wanted.” Jil discovered ‘the eye of the storm’ in her watercolour wash – what will you find in yours?

Week 15 – Woven Jewels

Have a go at creating a ‘woven jewel’. You can use sticks from the garden, kebab skewers or lollipop sticks. Woven jewels are inspired by a traditional yarn weaving first created by the Huichol Native American group of western central Mexico who live in the Sierra Madre Occidental range.

Week 16 – Kandinsky Circles

The circle is a profound, universal symbol. It is said to represent wholeness, completion, inclusion, the life cycle, eternity and the universe. Circles are everywhere; we live on a circular planet that receives the light of our  circular sun. Circles are in our DNA, the whorls of our fingertips, the irises of our eyes, our cells and the egg that gave us life. We are all made of circles. Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinksy was a Russian painter who is generally credited as the pioneer of abstract art and often featured circles in his work. This week, have a go at creating an abstract circle-inspired artwork!

Week 17 – Miniature Artwork

This week’s idea is inspired by artist, Yvonne J Foster, who created a lockdown challenge ‘My Miniature Art Gallery’ for the love of sharing and keeping connected. You can find out more here. Portrait miniatures have also been popular throughout history, first appearing in European royal courts in the 16th century. By the 18th century, their popularity was widespread with leading miniature painters establishing themselves among the wealthy elite in many European cities. Create your own mini artwork, or a series of artworks for your own miniature gallery exhibition.

Week 18 – Drawing with Scissors

Henri Matisse was a French painter who lived from 1869-1954 and was known for his use of colour. During the last decade of his life, ill-health prevented Matisse from painting and he developed a cut-out technique as a response to being confined to a wheelchair. Some of his best-known art was created during this time and he made it from the simplest materials: shapes cut from colourful pieces of paper. He described these works as ‘drawing with scissors’. This week, keep it simple and create your own ‘drawing with scissors’. Try not to plan too much and see where the scissors take you!


Week 19 – Koru Art

The Koru is the Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand) given to a new unfurling fern frond and is an integral symbol in Maori carving and tattoos. The Koru is used in Maori art as a symbol of creation. Its circular shape conveys the idea of perpetual movement and its inward coil suggests a return to the point of origin. The new unfurling fern frond symbolises new life, growth strength and peace. The Koru therefore symbolises the way in which life both changes and stays the same. This week try your hand at spiral-inspired artwork.