No. This is not me.

Witch. Child's drawing.

This is a portrait of one of the witches that lived under my bed. It was one of my first drawings.

These witches had the disagreeable habit of terrorising me after dark. Then, one day, my mother gave me some important news. “Witches,” she informed me, “are very small. Not much bigger than your thumb.” My thumb at that time being somewhat insignificant, I no longer found it necessary to cover my head with the sheet when I went to bed.

Witch. Life size.

Witch. Life size.

This portrait is more or less to scale. I hope you will find it much less frightening

Did that teach me the importance of imagination? At six or so I already knew it. Maybe I was even then beginning to forget it. I know what Picasso meant when he remarked that it took him a lifetime to learn to draw like a child.
I’m still an artist and I do love to show my art, but a gallery is not enough. I hope that as well as giving you a few tips on my current passion, touch tablet painting, my pages may cause you to look at the world in a new way.

When I say ‘look at’ I mean that literally. After all, my blog is called ‘Seeing Things’. I hope you will. I’m fascinated by how we see and remember things. Drop me in a library and I will head straight for the psychology shelves. I’ve been listening to some fascinating podcasts on the latest neurological research. A photon or two of proper light is beginning to fall on the dim and largely undiscovered world of our vastly complex brains and how they function.

If you really want to know what I look like…

Valerie Beeby
Valerie Beeby

29 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hey! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  2. Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.******************P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  3. My 2 year old loves using the iPad Mini for games and looking through the photos. Unfortunately she gets a bit energetic with flicking through and has deleted a couple of pics I really wanted to keep! Is there any way I can lock/ protect the camera roll to stop accidental deleting pics? I don’t have a computer unfortunately. Just iPad Mini?

    1. If you have your iPad Mini on a WiFi connection, you can save your pictures on the iCloud. Go to the Setup page (tap the cogwheel icon on your main menu page) and find the item for iCloud. Tap the item called Photo Stream, and when activated, this will automatically back up your recent images. Photo Stream pics don’t seem to appear in the Photos gallery, but you can find them in an album in the iPhoto app.

  4. Great Blog!And you may be just the person I need to answer a question!.

    I’m a cartoonist looking to use a tablet to draw. I was going to get a note 10.1 but expenses aren’t looking likely to stretch that far. :( So my question is; If I get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (either 7 0r 10.1 inch), can I draw on them using a stylus and relevant art app?..

    Many thanks :)

    1. Hi Rob

      Yes, you can draw and paint on the Galaxy Tabs.

      The Galaxy Note family – Notes 1, 2 and 10.1 exclusively have the S Pen, which is marvellous for drawing, with a fine point and pressure sensitivity. However, there are plenty of styli you can get for other machines.

      The only problem for artists is that there are many more drawing and painting apps for iPads than there are for Android machines. One thought might be to try and find an iPad secondhand.

      You may find it helpful to see a few tips on the best Android drawing/painting apps at:


      Hope this helps.

      1. I’ve always woeenrdd why some people have certain animals they love. For example I have a friend who loves owls (I’m going to email her about your post) My youngest son loves penguins and my older son loves moose. I always thought there must be a spiritual connection.

    1. What a treat! A baby owl. Bonnie sent me over, hadn’t been here before but I am sure I will be back – I am an owl lover thru and thru and I miss my owls that used to visit the night hours near my house.

  5. Hello Valerie

    Congratulations! Because Seeing Things was one of the best blogs this year in the Mobile Art, Media & Music category, you’ve won a 2011 Golden Retrevo Award for outstanding feats in indi gadget/tech blogging! You can check out all of this year’s winners (including yourself) here: http://www.goldenretrevoawards.com

    What To Do Now: (besides jump up and down)

    – Get The Winner’s Badge – Here is the badge code for your site:

    – Tell your friends on Twitter and Facebook:
    Seeing Things just won a Golden Retrevo Award (http://goo.gl/8ZSQ3) in the Mobile Art/Media category!

    – Check out the Golden Retrevo Award Press Release: http://goo.gl/okcOC

    – Look for Retrevo to start linking to some of your articles from our Facebook page (of over 55K fans). http://www.facebook.com/retrevo

    – Some of your articles (with your permission) may be selected for reprinting and linking in our newsletter and/or on Retrevo.com (which sees over 5M monthly visitors).

    Again, congratulations. It’s blogs like Seeing Things that make the world of independent gadget/tech blogging so fun and interesting. We look forward to seeing the content you produce in 2011!

    Thank you,

    Jennifer Jacobson, Public Relations Director of Retrevo Inc.

    About Retrevo
    Since its founding in 2006, Retrevo.com has grown into one of the largest, most trusted consumer electronics shopping and review sites in the world, helping shoppers decide what gadgets to buy, when to buy, and where to buy them. Retrevo uses Artificial Intelligence to sort through over 50 million online gadget-related data points to review about 97% of gadgets on the consumer electronics market (daily). Retrevo then applies its design and user interface expertise to guide shoppers to the right gadgets and gadget accessories. Retrevo is a well known Silicon Valley based company that has recently been featured in such publications as Time’s TechLand, AFP, Fortune, Wired, BBC, SmartMoney, Mashable, TWICE, and Electronic House.

  6. Hi Owl,

    wanted to tell you about our new iPhone app called Magic Artist. You can snap a pic, and it will then draw that photo onto a blank canvas… paint stroke by paint stroke! (I can email you a promo code so you can try it for free, please let me know: philipp.lenssen@gmail.com) Favorite results can then be saved to the photo album. Here’s a video demo: http://youtube.com/watch?v=cKAEndFxMTY — and here’s the App Store page with more screenshots: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/magic-artist/id381043965?mt=8

    hope this is of interest, thanks

  7. Me again.
    I was hoping you could list “iCreated” on your blogroll of “Art of the iPhone”since it contains hundreds of pieces of original iPhone / iPad art and is updated daily.

    The app also has a Apps page that has mini-reviews of over 250 art and photography app, each linked to the iTunes store, so it would also be a great addition to your “Websites of the Art apps” section.
    It’s free this month, so please download it, look it over, and consider my requests.
    Thank you , and

    1. iCreated is indeed full of information as well as inspiration! Marvellous. You’ll now find a link to it on the sidebar, and I do hope whoever reads this will go off and explore it. Well worth it! Thanks very much.

  8. Oh! How I relate to all of this! I’ll go with you to the library — you head to your psychology section, I’ll go to the Arts section. And the Literature.

    Then we’ll meet in the Readers’ lounge (the one with all the tall windows and lots of daylight and comfy furnishings, and trade articles and book sections. (I’ll sneak in a couple thermoses of hot coffee.) You can keep your “studio” on as long as it’s on silent. :)

    And what you wrote about creating your own fantasy worlds from great films and books is right on! I’ve been doing that from the time I first read Heidi of the Alps.

    You may not write as breathing, but it sure seems so. I love your humor and how you see the world, and then how you present it here. Creatively scientific. That’s a lovely thought.

    One last thing, my friend. My degree is also from Oxford… er, that is, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. :)

  9. Hello,

    This is Rose writing from http://www.huliq.com. I visited your blog and liked your content.

    Would you be interested to send us a guest post on any of the issues related to the topics that you cover in your blog. We will publish it in our site http://www.huliq.com

    In return with each guest blog we will give one link in the author’s biline back to your blog. We only ask that the guest post ( we prefer it be a news coverage, sources can be Google News, CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo News, BBC and others) be a unique story and not be published in your blog.

    HULIQ is indexed by Google News and Google requires that the length of the unique news is at least 5 paragraphs. We desire it to be at least 6 paragraphs if possible. And that all need to be a unique content. Once you send us a new story totally unique we will immediately publish it with you link in it, and within 15 minutes it should be indexed by Google News.

    Please let me know if you may have any questions about http://www.huliq.com.

    If you want to consult the topic with me first that’s perfectly fine as well.

    Many thanks

    1. Hello Ana. I drew this witch when I was around six or seven. Since Hitler often shared the dust balls and cobwebs under the bed with the witches, you may judge that that was rather a long time ago!

  10. Hi Kevin,

    I just recoloured the background image. This is a little striped, stick-shaped rectangle called bg.jpg which is repeated along the top of the screen to make the panels. It is to be found if you go to to your blog –> themes –> amazing-grace –>wp-content –> images –> bg.jpg (Hope I haven’t missed any folders out but you’ll find it I am sure.)

    Just recolour it as you wish and replace the bg.jpg with your own version.

  11. Valerie:

    On Vladimir Prelovac’s website you mentioned changing the background color of your header – could you let me know how you did that? Thanks.


  12. But did I see the owl flying over St Anne’s this lunchtime? Plenty other fascinatingly uninteresting people there…

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