Today is the last day of the #FindYourFlow challenge, and it is bittersweet. I am proud that I completed all thirty days even under some very difficult and unusual circumstances. I proved to myself that I can do art no matter what and that art does not mean perfection. Another accomplishment is that I have filled my first sketchbook ever!
Sketchbook Revival and then Find Your Flow have set me on the path I’ve always wanted to be on and didn’t know how to get to. Thank you Karen Abend for shining a bright light and showing me the way with ease, compassion, love, and support.
Another unexpected result of the challenge is that I’ve made a blog post every day for thirty days! Another first in my life!
I’m not sure what’s next. Today has been a difficult day physically so I have not been able to do the reflections and make a new plan yet. No matter what I decide, I will keep making art a daily requirement. In the meantime, I have started watching the #womanunleashed videos which have given me much needed inspiration to keep going with this daily practice. I’m looking forward to sharing with you whatever comes next.
Today I decided to create a watercolor celebrating all of us. Another member had shared her piece of heart art to celebrate the completion, and I thought I would do the same. I hold so much gratitude for all the members, Karen Abend, and also Nina Rycroft for her amazing Skillshare videos which were a reliable companion to me throughout these thirty days.
Below is the heart watercolor. I love how, even though they were random, the lines from the watercolor drips found a way to connect the hearts, just like how we all are now connected.
Below is also the paper towel I used as it created its own really cool art.
Much love to you all ❤️
I found myself wanting to get all serious with my sketchbook practice today. I wanted to return to the seriousness of sketching characters, get back to what I started during the first half of the #FindYourFlow challenge. But…my mind wanted play. The watercolors kept calling me. I kept telling myself, “No, get back to the character sketches.” I kept procrastinating. Then some new watercolor brushes came in the mail. I got super excited. Set up my table to do watercolor, try them out. But then my serious mind said, “No, get back to the character sketches.” I put the watercolors and brushes away. Procrastinated again. Then my son’s therapist arrived for his session, and I thought, “I will just play with the new brushes while she is here.” That worked to bypass my critical mind. And…dare I say it, I had FUN creating today’s sketchbook entry. Character sketches will have to wait for another day…or more 😉
Today I thought about the journey…the artistic journey…the life journey we are all on…the way there are no straight lines, no direct route from point A to point B. There are times we fall off the path completely, then by magic or sheer will, we seem to pick back up right where we left off, sometimes many, many years later.
There are dark patches in our paths where it feels like we will never see light or vibrant colors again, but no matter how bad it’s been, the light and colors eventually come back as does the darkness. Again and again we follow this circuitous path towards what…well, I don’t know. Maybe, it is a journey back to ourselves, to our core, to our heart center.
I imagine it is a journey of shedding all we’ve been taught, those things that we believe blindly, that have become a part of who we are, but that do not serve us in any way except to keep us tethered to our feelings of worthlessness, of not being good enough, of not being deserving of all the goodness the Universe has to offer. I am starting to become aware of those beliefs, those messages that were given to me by family, advertising, friends, lovers, and so many others. It makes me angry that I so easily took them on as my own without question. What might my life look like if I excavated those beliefs and exposed them for the falsehoods that they are? Who might I be then? What might I create if my intention was to create only for the pleasure of creating and not for receiving validation, approval, and love from others?
I recently signed up for a thirty-day “Find Your Flow” program with Karen Abend that begins on June 1st after taking part in her incredible Sketchbook Revival. My hope is that my participation in this program will help me to develop a daily practice of creating art. I have been a writer for as long a I can remember, but my struggle with persistent writer’s block, and despite it, an unquenchable desire to create, led me to art. I’m just a beginner, and don’t know much about anything, but I’m willing to give it a try anyway.
Something I’ve learned through my many starts and stops in my “creating art” journey is that it takes practice to develop skills and that learning is an on-going, life-long process – there is always something new to learn. I have come to realize that I allow myself a freedom in art creation that I have not allowed in my writing practice. I can see now how I have blocked my own writing process because of the need to always be perfect the first time around – that somehow, because I earned an MFA in creative writing, I should know everything there is about writing and what the hell I am doing. I definitely do not. I’m okay with accepting that when it comes to art, but not my writing. Why? I don’t know. I am hoping that through my exploration of art creation, I can wind myself back around to a writing practice that actually works, and along the way develop some much-desired artistic skills. I have always been frustrated with the inadequacy of words to fully encompass what I see in my mind. I am hoping that developing artistic skills will help me to fuse the two together in a way that is self-satisfying. If you are called to do so, please follow along on my thirty-day journey…and then beyond.
*The above photo is a watercolor that I created in a handmade sketchbook I learned to create in Kiala Givehand’s Sketchbook Revival session.