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Art, Creative Soul Series

Day Ten: Find Your Flow

The consistency in this practice is paying off. Instead of my mind fretting over all kinds of madness when I go to bed, it now is happily occupied trying out different noses, eyes, and mouths on imaginary face shapes. What a fascinating thing this is – proof that my mind is at work on creating art even when I am wholly focused on something else. It’s just really, really cool!

Today’s sketches are again a continuation of Nina Rycroft’s Face Shapes class. These are my attempts at the heptagon-shaped face. I only have one section left in the class – oblong shaped faces, and I will have completed the class. I have some ideas about what I might do next as the thirty days of #FindYourFlow continues, but I haven’t settled on any one thing yet. I am going to leave it up to my intuition to guide the way.

I’ve been catching up on the recordings for the Creative Soul Series with Jennifer Currie today. If you get the chance, take the time to listen/watch them. The whole series is FREE! They are incredibly inspirational, and I’m learning so much!

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Art, Find Your Flow

Day Nine: Find Your Flow

Today has been a better day. I wasn’t motivated to sketch this morning, so I decided to wait until this afternoon. This is oftentimes not the best way for me to get things accomplished because if I don’t get things done in the morning, I get distracted, and whatever it was doesn’t get done. But I managed to carve out some time this afternoon to complete the sketches.

I found myself thinking the following while sketching today: What am I doing here? What am I gaining from this? Am I learning anything? Am I wasting my time? I have a habit of only allowing myself to do things that have tangible results, convincing myself that I don’t have time to do anything else. But today I reminded myself that this process is just about showing up each day and following my intuition, that is all. If I learn nothing else but showing up and listening, those two things will be enough.

Today’s sketches are a continuation of Nina Rycroft’s Face Shapes class on Skillshare. They are all teardrop-shaped faces. I had fun with these. I really enjoy seeing how different characters emerge as I follow my intuition with eye shapes, mouth shapes, ear shapes, and noses. It is incredible how just shifting those around can create a vastly different character.

Here are my six new characters 🙂

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Art, Find Your Flow

Day Eight: Find Your Flow

This morning I woke up to the news about Anthony Bourdain, and my heart is heavy. His apparent suicide, along with Kate Spade’s suicide, is a reminder that every one of us is simply human no matter how superhuman some of us might seem. We all hurt despite outward appearances. Let’s just be kind to each other. Extra kind. Kind even when kindness isn’t called for. Kind even when we just don’t feel like it. Kind even when all we want to do is lash out in anger. Let’s just be kind to each other.

I was unmotivated to do the daily sketches today, but I sat down and did them anyway. That’s what is so important about being part of the Find Your Flow group. There is built-in motivation and inspiration I can pull from when I am emptied out of my own. I continued with Nina Rycroft‘s Face Shapes class this time utilizing square faces.

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Art, Find Your Flow

Day Seven: Find Your Flow

I made it through the doctor’s appointment yesterday, and I’m feeling less anxiety today. I had a biopsy done, and the results should be back in about a week. Now it is all up to the Universe, so I am focusing on other things in the meantime.

Today is a busy day of appointments, so there isn’t much time for a blog post. I found myself waking up early to get started on my sketches to make sure they get done. I am settling into a routine, and that feels good. The sketches are easier now. There is less erasing. I think I’ve reached a kind of acceptance now that let’s whatever wants to come, come without judgment.

This morning’s sketches are a continuation of Nina Rycroft‘s Face Shapes class – the round-shaped face. Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Art, Find Your Flow

Day Six: Find Your Flow

This morning I found myself wanting to procrastinate. I looked around at all the things I need to get done around the house, and had to stop myself from doing those things instead of my sketching practice. I really wanted to distract myself from the anxiety I’m feeling today. I’m going to see a new specialist this afternoon, and I really don’t want to go. I have been down this road again and again, and it never ends well. I tell myself maybe this doctor will be different, I get my hopes up that an answer will be found, and then it all plays out the same way. At first, the doctors are enthusiastic to see me. They believe they will be the one to figure out the mystery that is me. But after they have run all their tests and come up with nothing, they get frustrated or lose interest, and tell me there is nothing they can do for me.

I have not been well for eighteen years. About seven years ago, I believed the mystery had been solved when an endocrinologist discovered a parathyroid tumor. It was quickly removed, and I was declared cured. But, my health has continued to decline. I have really good days, and then I have days that take my feet out from under me, and I just have to let it do what it does until it’s done. Life stops, plans stop, everything stops. I am learning to accept this, but it’s not an easy thing to do. Neither is continuing to carry the hope that the next specialist will be the one to finally figure it all out.

Despite my need to procrastinate and distract, I sat down and sketched my six characters. Today’s lesson was Nina Rycroft‘s oval-shaped faces. I really like the results. I received a Caran D’Ache non-photo blue pencil in the mail yesterday, and I absolutely loved sketching with it. It felt like putting silk down on the page, and I love the results. It’s amazing how having just the right creative tool can make such a difference in the creating experience.

Here are today’s sketches. I love the second character. She looks like I feel today. Ha! Ha!

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Art, Creative Soul Series, Find Your Flow

Day Five: Find Your Flow

Today was an easy day. I think the journal exercise Karen Abend had us complete yesterday for the #FindYourFlow group really helped to put my inner critic into perspective. The group sharing their fears also helped me to realize I’m not alone, and the only thing my inner critic is succeeding at is blocking me from creating with a judgment-free mind. Karen had mentioned speaking to yourself as you would a friend, and I thought, would I make the comments I make to myself to anyone in the #FindYourFlow group. Not a chance! So, it was time to stop doing it to myself.

Today began the Creative Soul Series hosted by Jennifer Currie. I decided to listen to the video while completing my sketches today. Surprisingly, there was no judgment during my sketching session because I had kept my mind occupied by the wonderful conversation between Jennifer Currie and Laura Horn. This is something I hadn’t thought about doing before, but I see now that it may be beneficial for me to play something that can distract my logical mind while I’m sketching in order to bypass the judgment that has been crippling my creative practice.

For my sketching practice today, I completed the next video of Nina Rycroft‘s Face Shapes Class on Skillshare – rectangle faces – and created six new characters. It went smoothly, and I can see a noticeable improvement in the sketches, and that makes me happy!

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Art, Find Your Flow

Day Four: Find Your Flow

I love having the support of the other members of the Find Your Flow group. Yesterday, I was feeling incredibly frustrated, today is no different, but some of the suggestions from the group helped me work through it today. I’m not happy with my sketches…again, but when a member suggested that I do the sketches, then set them aside to revisit later, that made sense to me. I thought, how amazing would it be to have a sketchbook full of various characters to explore in July. Wouldn’t that be better than none at all, even if they weren’t the best sketches…yet?

So, for today, I continued with Nina Rycroft‘s Face Shapes Skillshare course, and set the goal of drawing six faces for each face shape. Today’s lesson was heart-shaped faces. You can see the results below. What I learned today is my perfectionist side is getting the best of me…and…I have yet to find a decent eraser. I mean, is it really too much to ask to have a decent eraser? (ha! ha!). It is probably user error, but me and erasers don’t get along. I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Members of the Find Your Flow group got our weekly video guidance from group founder and leader Karen Abend. This week is about our fear of sharing our work, and also comparing ourselves to others. She led us through an exercise in allowing our inner critic to raise her objections and then time to allow our inner love to raise her voice in rebuttal. A braid of various threads is emerging for me. The first thread is that I don’t know how to have fun. I don’t even know what “fun,” is for me anymore. Some of this has to do with my life being filled with lots of serious things that have demanded my focus for many years – a son with special needs, a chronic, sometimes debilitating dis-ease that rises up unpredictably. Some of it has to do with giving up certain vices that I thought brought me joy – the biggest one being alcohol. Fun used to be going to bars and getting drunk or even sitting on my back patio with friends and getting drunk. It helped free my social side – something that is almost non-existent without alcohol. Even though I stopped drinking heavily and socializing many years ago, I never redefined what fun was for me. I just stopped. When I completed the inner critic exercise this morning, what came out was a series of reprimands about having fun, that now is not the time for such frivolous things, that if I take the time to have fun, I will lose everything. These are serious times, and there are lots of serious things that demand my attention. How dare I take the time to have fun?

Then I gave voice to the loving side and what she said is so important I wanted to share it all with you.

You are pure magic. Look at what you’ve already created without a daily practice. Can you imagine where this could go with some focus and daily practice? The possibilities are endless. Listen to what the others in the group have to say – they are the messengers. You have created the life of your dreams already. Granted there are a few things yet to evolve, but you spent a large part of your life doing the “right” thing, you deserve this time to create, grow, and nurture yourself. This is your next step, it is why you are stuck. I needed you to see beyond the scope of full-time jobs and tangible, measurable results. It’s time to leave that world behind. It is no longer part of your journey and you’ve been carrying that much too heavy burden for much longer than was necessary. Set it down here and now. Feel the weight of it as it releases from your body and lands on the ground. This lightness of being is what freedom feels like. Set it down. Journey home without it. It no longer serves you. I cannot wait to show you what I have prepared for you. It is already yours – the journey can be light or heavy – that is your choice – but you will get there either way. Why don’t we have some fun along the way? Set your burden down. Let’s go!

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