The Art of Warm Fuzzies

Posted: March 18, 2016 in art, drawing, HISTORIES, painting, positive reinforcement, warm fuzzies, Writing
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Have you heard of the Art of Positive Reinforcement? Rewarding the behaviour you want in children with your attention, in order to encourage more of the good behaviour. According to, ‘Warm fuzzies, also known in the 1960s as “positive strokes,” is something that parents who want to raise emotionally healthy children cannot do without.’

I’m here to report: warm fuzzies make adults feel good and ‘emotionally healthy’ too. 

We can give warm fuzzies to others by being generous with supporting others, and we can give them to ourselves through practising self-appreciation.

This week, a dear friend, author and illustrator, Teresa Robeson posted a terrific piece on her blog called Decades of Progress.

‘Kim Zarins shared a post on Facebook of a well-known illustrator’s art as a child versus a piece he did recently, contrasting the improvements in his craft. I thought that was a fun thing to do.’

Me, too. I like the whole concept behind this post idea and it seems to me that this could be a good way of giving ourselves as artists, warm fuzzy material. First, we get the positive reinforcement from other people, our friends and peers who see the post.

Through the images on her blog, Teresa demonstrated how her artwork had evolved over the years. We all said, wow, your artwork is awesome.

Then, Teresa also got to bear witness to her own growth.

So, second, there is the fuzzy warmth inside of saying to ourselves, ‘Wow, your art has changed and improved.’

Teresa Robeson

A visual retrospective is a nice way to chart our progress. It creates positive reinforcement of ourselves. Warm Self Fuzzies.

This morning, I went back through the archives and scanned my artwork, which I’ve faithfully kept from the age of five. This is about taking stock.

So with this is mind, here are a few examples to show the evolution of my art…

Family portrait, age 5

Family portrait, Age 5

spring fairies1

Character portrait, Age 8

I loved drawing pictures at school. As a lot of writers do when they’re little, I made my own books. The above drawing of Roma is from my book, The Spring Fairies.

The Wateow, from 'The Colour Secret,' late teens

Character Study, colour pencil, late teens.

This picture is from ‘The Colour Secret.’ ‘The WaTEOW,” or Woman-at-the-end-of-the-world. It marked my first attempt at an early chapter book series, The Great Adventures of Splat the Wonder Dog.

MaryThought, pencil sketch, age 27

Teddy bear portrait, pencil sketch, age 20

I enjoyed art and I continued to sketch in pencil as a hobby after I left school.


Self-portrait, pencil sketch, age 25

Self-portrait, pencil, age 25

In my spare time, side-by-side with writing, and raising boys, I always did some sort of drawing and art.


Character Portrait, ‘Free Wally!” age 29

When I was in my twenties, I started writing and illustrating picture books, experimenting with painting using gouache on simple watercolour washes. I took one of my picture book manuscripts, ‘Free Wally!’ to show a friend, Liz Sutherland, an artist and art teacher. Liz said, “They’re good. But you should learn oil portraiture, because you need to learn how to be bold.”


Oil portrait, of my youngest son, Nathaniel, age 40

I studied oil painting with Liz for the next three or four years, through two pregnancies, when I could hardly reach the easel for my enormous stomach. By the time I finished my last oil portrait class, I had learned how to be BOLD!

Nice one. Retrospective done. Warm fuzzies abound!

How do you give yourself and others warm fuzzies? How have you kept a record of your creative evolution?


Keep Creating!

Yvette K. Carol


“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ~ Henry Miller


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  1. You’ve always been so very creative! I never drew much as a child, hence my terrible drawing at the age of 8. 😀 Isn’t it tons of fun to go back over our artistic endeavors to see how we’ve grown? I love that self-portraits of yours at age 25! Thank you for the shout-out, dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      My pleasure.
      I was a bit put off by the self portrait. My first impulse being to want to fill in the pupils with black. But then I decided to leave it in the original form and now, it almost seems as if the eyes look into the distance, beyond you, because they’re only the outlines as well. I’ve come around to liking it, too 🙂
      And yes, in answer to your question, it was tons of fun! 🙂
      Thanks for bringing the idea to life in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

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