For #DailyArtDevotions Day 20, I addressed the voice of my inner critic, then covered it over with rich watercolors. What was unexpected is somehow the art on the other page caused a mask on the canvas paper that showed up as I added the watercolor. It is a fascinating design, that looks like a tree getting ready to burst forth from the rainbow of colors. How amazing is this happy artistic accident?
To create a door as a cover for the inner critic transformation, I selected a sheet of scrapbook paper. As I situated it in the journal, I noticed there were marks on it that looked like a nose and mouth – another happy artistic accident. So, I decided to do a pencil sketch of the woman who is protector of my artistic transformation.
Yesterday I listened to Lynn Andrew’s free #WomanUnleashed session, Writing Spirit. In the session she discussed the Writer’s Wheel which could also be called a life wheel or solve a problem wheel. I loved Lynn Andrews’ explanation on how we can use the wheel to stand in the center and identify where we are at (south), where we want to be & what practices we can implement to get there (west), look to spirit for inspiration and direction (north), and then evaluate what is and isn’t possible/feasible for us (east). I loved how she talked about starting in the south and then gathering information, practices, inspiration from the west and the north before encountering the critic in the east. Many of us start in the east with the inner critic and never make it any further around the wheel. I think it might be a useful trick to appease the inner critic by letting it know its concerns will only be addressed when its time comes and not before – that time being after all other directions – south, west, and north have been fully addressed. One step I took towards the west was applying for a scholarship to attend a workshop that I believe will help with getting me unstuck in my novel writing.For my sketchbook entry today, I drew an elaborate wheel in pencil and included important notes from the session. I had intended to then copy it all over in ink, but after adding watercolor to the page, I liked the pencil in the background. So, I decided to ink just a few things and then leave the rest in pencil.
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?
Today I stayed with the water theme. I decided to use a blue liquid watercolor and add a little white. I wanted to achieve some depth and movement in the painting by using darker and lighter shades of the blue and with the addition of the white.
It is nearly 100 degrees today, so we have no plans to spend time at the beach. Yesterday we stopped by for about an hour and then came back and spent time at the pool. I have significant body image issues, so it is very difficult for me to put on a bathing suit. Last year was my first time in a pool in nearly seven years. It was like pure heaven. I promised myself I would not let my body image issues rob me of such an experience again, but of course, I did not keep that promise to myself. Before yesterday, it had been an entire year since I had gotten in the water. It is still really difficult to give myself permission to do such a thing, like somehow having a large body means I am not deserving of such an experience. I got in the water, though, and it was again pure heaven. I love to just float and feel my body as light instead of something that weighs me down so heavily in my daily life. I want to remember that light feeling and carry it with me each day as something that is possible for me.
Today, I watched Karen Abend’s #FindYourFlow support video and really thought about the idea of fun. My logical mind wanted to continue with the character sketches, but my heart wanted something different, something fun to signify the change of scenery. After finishing the video, I sat for a little while and let my imagination take over. I realized that I was really limited in what supplies I could use. I only brought watercolors and pencil and pen. That led to some frustration on the perfectionist side of me. But, supplies I could use were out of my control so I had to work with what I had. Then I got scared to try something new. Maybe I should just stick with what I had been doing. What if what I came up with was a huge failure. I have such a fear of the blank page, the unknown, both in art and in writing.
Time to suck it up buttercup!
Something HAD to be created today. When I got over the initial irritation and fear, my mind started to issue challenges. Play on the page…Wouldn’t it be fun to draw the ocean? How about in one color? How about in a favorite but atypical color?
One of my favorite colors is violet. I decided to use that color in a liquid watercolor and to utilize a round brush I hadn’t used before along with my favorite dagger brush. Everything is limited here, so for a water cup, I downed the rest of my coffee and used the washed out paper coffee cup for water. I did add some white along with the violet because I followed where my intuition led me. I even listened when it told me to stop. It’s fascinating that I have a voice behind all the chaos, and through this sketchbook practice I have begun to hear it.
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 🙂