Weekly Challenge | En Plein Air

Good morningggg! I’m sitting here in beautiful Victoria, Vancouver Island on a little artist retreat, but I didn’t forget about you guys! Here are Ann Liao and I’s weekly challenge. We got to go outside and be all analog and it was fantastic. We hope you had a creative week! Practice creativity and connect with others ❤️

August Update – Explorations Foster Creativity


Happy August! Hope you guys are enjoying the Summer in San Francisco. I took that picture last week at the Marin Headlands. More about that later in this update!

This month, Ann realized through exploring various creative avenues, the importance of being kind and compassionate towards our inner artist. Meaning to accept that not everyday will be a super creative one. Some days we are more creative and productive than others, but it’s all about being compassionate towards ourselves, letting ourselves rest when we need to and being thankful for the days when creativity is higher. Forcing ourselves to be creative on low days and beating ourselves up does nothing to enhance creativity. Instead, taking time to thank ourselves for showing up and putting something on the paper. That’s all that matters anyway!

Here are some beautiful explorations from Ann

As for me, I’ve been spending an abundance of time crafting and sewing as I found solace and creativity through those avenues. Making and being creative can be done in many ways, so learning to explore outside of traditional ways of making fosters creativity. It’s all about what works for you. I’ve tried so many avenues the past six months. Crayons, watercolor, finger painting, acrylics, collage, ceramics and the list goes on. I found a few techniques that I really enjoy, so I’m continuing down those avenues. Again it’s about the process and less about the outcome. If anyone would have told me that I’d be sewing every night and learning how to hand sew through YouTube I’d probably laugh my head off. But here I am, learning the basics for sewing and crafting, eating popcorn and listening to Norah Jones. Not for everyone but for me, this works!

Some pics from my sewing adventures

Here’s what we got up to this month! If we ever have a newsletter I think it’ll be as long as the Wall of China. But here are some of our favorite moments from July.

1. Launch! Summer Watercolor 101 – Workshop

We finally launched our first workshop: Summer Watercolor 101 (insert high-fives here)! We were a bit hesitant to do this at first, because our hope is to have everyone enjoy everything during our event, but upon running two of these events in July, we realize how people really enjoyed a focus on a medium. Here are our goals for “Summer Watercolr 101 – Workshop”

1. Learn – Learn the basics of watercolor 101
2. Make – Create a watercolor piece to take home!
3. Connect – Connect with others through being creative! We are here to help and guide your explorations

Pics from workshop at AOL:

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Beautiful 💁🏻❤️🎨

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Make, make, make 🎨💁🏻!

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2. Fostering the Practice of Creativity Through Weekly Creative Challenges

As part of our practice in creativity, we decided to give each other weekly creative challenges. We’ve been alternating challenges each week, usually on Monday mornings, so we have the week to work on it whenever we can. I’ve been surprised by the outcomes of this because in between all of our usual outlets for creativity, we don’t have that practice to try something new or to explore. It’s a reminder to me that being creative is always about the process and for us as artists, to develop the right habits. Here are some pics from our weekly challenges in July:

Week 1 – Non-Conventional Challenge

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Week 2 – Mandalas

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Week 3 – Natural Abundance

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3. Visiting Artist @ Headlands Center for the Arts – Open House

I heard about the Open House for the Headlands Center for the Arts from a friend Irena. It was a great opportunity to get some fresh air outdoors, disconnect (literally disconnect as there is no reception there) and connect with local and international artists. My mom was in town so we got to visit together!

4. Getting Inspired @ Renegade Craft fair

I’m super into crafting and Ann needed to do holiday shopping for her hubby, so of course I dragged Ann to the Renegade Craft Fair @ Fort Mason! So many vendors, so much creativity in the West Coast!

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Behind the Scenes

  • Sip & Sketch – Acrylic Workshop  – (in beta)
  • Sip & Sketch – En Plein Air Workshop  – (in beta)

We’ve got two new workshops that we’re working on, so stay tuned! Before we start a new workshop, we have to physically try out every activity to make sure they work, are fun and allows people a creative avenue to explore.

We’re very excited for the en plein air workshop, which will be the first time we take a group outdoors. Stay tuned and have a great August!

Upcoming Events in August

For those of you who’d like to join an event our next upcoming public event is at the YMCA Embacaradero. If you’d like us to host an event at your office, please contact us at : sipandsketchme@gmail.com

Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook! We hope you find some time to explore, try something new. If you’d like to take part in our weekly challenges feel free to post your challenge on our Facebook page!

Wynne & Ann

Sip & Sketch @ AOL and Crunchbase

Here we are once again hosting our Sip & Sketch event for AOL! Ann and I expected only a few but many showed up! We hope that you had a great time. Watercolor isn’t easy 😉 You guys did a fantastic job, hooray! Keep on practicing creativity and connecting with others.


Wynne at Kids and Art Org 

A few weeks ago I signed up as a volunteer for the year end art making event held by Kids and Art Org, a non-profit organization that connects families with children with cancer and the arts.

Our mission is to team-up kids and families who have been touched by cancer with local Artists. Together they create art which is later auctioned. The proceeds from these auctions go back in the program and to other cancer charities. -Purvi Shah (Kids and Art Org)

The event was held at the Google campus in Mountain View, and saying that I’m thankful for the experience is just a smidgen of the immense amount of creativity and passion that was felt that day. I met so many artists and volunteers that day and watched as dozen of kids spent the afternoon making art and sharing with others. If you ever get an opportunity to give back in San Francisco, this is an amazing opportunity to make, give back and to make a difference.

– Wynne

Sip & Sketch @ YMCA


We hosted another session of Sip and Sketch at the YMCA Embarcadero tonight, photos all courtesy Ann Liao!

Thanks for coming out to practice creativity and connect with each other! We hope that Sip and Sketch will light up a little fire inside of you, so that you can find time to be creative and nourish your inner artist.













At the end of the evening, we all got to take one of Ann’s papier-mache sculptures home 🙂

– Ann & Wynne

July Update – Limitation Sparks Creativity

Over the past two weeks, Wynne and I have been preparing for up-coming Sip & Sketch Events. With limited budget, workspace and time, creativity did not falter, but sparked even more! It made us think of creative ways beyond those boundaries. Throughout the process, I’ve rediscovered the joy of crafting and I wanted to share some thoughts to inspire all of you to take part in the act of making, an activity that is both therapeutic and fun.

Be Resourceful & See Potential in the Unexpected

This point can simply be summarized into one word: Pinterest. However, I want elaborate more on that because while Pinterest is great for all kinds of DIY ideas, it can get overwhelming sometimes. For city dwellers especially, there are workspace limitations that makes it difficult to achieve big DIY projects. But that shouldn’t stop you! Scale down to materials that’s more accessible and flexible for your workspace. Check your pantry and junk pile, what do you have there? Use up what you already have, make do, be resourceful. This is where the mind works in wonderful ways to observe, strategize and come up with crazy ideas. fabric-flower In our case, we knew we wanted some floral decor for our events. We also knew we can’t splurge to purchase a bouquet each time considering there’s other supplies to buy. So we decided on making fabric flowers so that we can re-use them without worrying being scrunched up on commutes. Using a thrifted pink dress, a silky PJ bottom and some dollar store sewing materials, you can achieve the likeness of a real flower. fabric-flower2 Tip: Goodwill always has 50% off on selective pieces if you’re lucky to find them, which is what I did and it will save you a few bucks. We found that the best DIY guides are the ones that provide a video and detailed blog post reference like such: Fabric Roses & Peony Flowers

Time Over Money

“I’d love to do that but I really don’t have time for it” is what you might be thinking. It’s an honest point, time is a limited resource not many of us have these days. But we’d love to encourage you and let you know that art shouldn’t be a sacrifice, it’s a compromise. It is a part of your day, it’s the extra step you’d take to make bacon and eggs instead of a cereal bowl because you know it’s good for your body as art is good for your mind and soul. It can be something you do while binge watching the last season of Game of Thrones. It can be something you do while you wait for the cupcakes to finish. Taking 5 minutes here and there is a great start to add art into your life. paper-mache For this week, I challenged both of us to make papier-mâchés. Even though it’s a very time consuming process, it cost us almost nothing to make! We used everything in the recycling bin: tissue paper boxes, old newsprints drawings, cardboard from Amazon orders and last year’s magazines. We put on our favourite podcast or playlist and took the time to explore. Here’s the benefit, when you move your hands, you’re also exercising your mind to release and de-stress. When you take the time, you are exercising your creative power to connect with how you feel at the moment. Each move you make frames your vision for the art piece, and that’s pretty impressive. The creativity developed here cannot be achieve through a purchase transaction of an already polished object on the shelves. paper-mache2 Tip: Did you know a simple cornstarch mixture works just as well as store bought glue? Plus it is cheap to make and kidproof. Here’s a great recipe to try out!

Appreciation for Creation and Maker

Once you start making, your views of the world will start to change. The same idea as knowing your farmer, knowing where your food comes from and how it’s made. The more we made things, the more we appreciated life itself. While exploring in the land of fabrics, Wynne found meditation and ways to repurpose old fabrics into a new creations. Of course, there’s a lot of trial and error, the entire process of cutting, sewing, fixing, re-doing made her appreciate the final piece 10 times more. Meanwhile, crafting has given me new appreciation for nature’s designs.  I’m learning new details like a cabbage peony versus a lotus peony. Knowing these subtle differences makes me a better observer, a better maker, a better painter.

So we see how creativity can spark brightly even with limited budget, time and space. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great conversation starter. It gets people to discuss and share the act of making, it’s a great way to connect with others, something we emphasize greatly here at Sip & Sketch.

So please, PINTEREST THE SH*T OUT OF EVERYTHING and have a blast! Share your stories with us @Sipandsketchme on Instagram or Twitter. We would love to see what you’ve created!