Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tractor vs Roller Coaster

Momentary break to post a quick sketch of my hubby in the field.  This was drawn shortly before the roller coaster plummeted and we took my pop-in-law back to the hospital last week.  Lots of little ups and big downs since then.  Coasting right now and that's not so bad.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Oxygen Mask

Rollercoaster medical stuff.  Ongoing home renovation.  Sketchbook Skool.  Everyday life.  In all honesty, it can be a bit much.  I whined in Skool that it's been difficult finding time for daily journaling and when I did have time, my mind was in "No" mode.  "How do I fight this?"  My query was answered by Danny Gregory - our main Skool instructor.  He kindly responded that journaling during critical times can be the best times:  "Making art may be the best way to slow down, take a breath, and unwind. It's not selfish if it makes you feel in balance. 
Failing that, give yourself a break. If it's not a welcome distraction or a way of getting insight, then maybe you are seeing trying to draw as yet one more burden, one challenge too many."

I read that and my first response was "Hey, I don't want to give up!"  Then, "Well, maybe I should back off."  Then, "No, I need to rediscover the zen in sketching."  So, I picked up my small Moleskine and a pen, walked into the garage, and sat on the floor.  My husband likes home repair and carpentry, but I find it mostly tedious.  He's seriously crazy busy with work and worry about his Dad.  The baseboards must be done before the carpet guys come on Monday.  So, I'm sanding baseboards.  I needed to sketch the blasted sander.  As usual, I started out tense and annoyed.  However, each mark was less forced and a certain calm settled in.  Adding the bits of watercolor balanced the scales and I was ready to return to reality.  Sketching with pen is a little wonky, but I honestly don't care. 

In case of emergency -
Put your oxygen mask on first so you can then help those around you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Bravery

Home renovation continues along with worrying about my pop-in-law's medical issues.  We're on another roller coaster ride.  C'est la vie.

Along with the ceiling painting and pharmacy runs - Sketchbook Skool started Friday.  This six week course is taught by six different artists who keep impressive illustrated journals.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the videos of their processes and learning new techniques.  Week one is already quite inspiring in spite of my lack of homework time.

I finally did a little sketch yesterday and an illustrated page this evening.  If this is going to be a long term habit, it needs to be less time consuming than the pages I did for last year's online watercolor journaling class.  So, I tried less for perfection (whatever that is) and more for just getting the image on paper and adding journaling.  This took maybe 30 minutes.

I was feeling awfully intimidated from the moment I entered the class a few days late and saw all the absolutely fantabulous pages, some by very seasoned artists.  Then I got over it.  I had an inkling I wasn't the only one, so I posted the following to the group's Facebook page:

An observation on feeling intimidated: 
The fantastic work of my klassmates was ridiculously intimidating at first.  I'm a little out of practice, but not a beginner.  Still, I kept thinking "I have no time.  How can I measure up?"  I've seen some similar comments.  I finally kind of yelled at myself "We are all unique & this is NOT a competition!"  Then I did a 5 minute sketch between errands.  Skool is about learning a wonderful lifelong habit.  In addition to our teachers, we learn from each other.  Every artist has their OWN voice and journey.  How boring if we were all at the same point of the journey and drawing in the same style. 
I'm blown away by the beginners diving right in.  You rock!  Anyone out there still hesitating?  Just start - pen to paper and then share.  Don't imagine your page has to be perfect (that's impossible anyway) or even recognizable.  It's YOUR life and YOUR art.  You know we'll be supportive and kind - offering advice when requested.  Get to it!

That was earlier this evening.  So far over 60 people have liked it and there are a bunch of "me too" comments.  Wow!  I guess it's obvious I wasn't the only one feeling intimidated.  By the way, some of my classmates really are brand new to drawing and they are doing fine.  So, random reader, you can do this too.  Grab a pen and slowly draw something simple.  Add a few words.  Illustrated journaling - it's a good thing.

Update:  127 likes and 37 comments.  Yeah, I'm definitely not alone.  Really digging the camaraderie.
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