I find it fascinating that if I give my creativity even the slightest nudge, it will take off. For today’s creative practice, I decided to return to the #StartWhereYouAre book by Meera Lee Patel. In my #handmadeartjournal I’ve been pulling out the pages and using her art work to create the left side of the spread along with my own embellishments, and then answering the prompts with my own writing and art work on the right side of the spread.
A few weeks back, I reached a point where I was stuck. The prompt asked the reader to list her passions on one side and the goals that encompass them on the other. I don’t know what my passions really are. Lately, I’ve been working to disentangle my own passions from the passions, opinions, guidance, and judgment of others. Because I couldn’t answer that prompt, the book, and my journal, just sat there staring at me every day.
So today, I decided to approach it by starting out simple. I would just create the left side of the spread with Meera Lee Patel’s artwork and then deal with the answer to the prompt on the right at another time. But…my creativity took over. It said: Who said you need to know right now what your passions are? Why can’t you just say you don’t know? It was right. So, instead of writing down my passions, I wrote down my dreams, and my confusion about what is mine and what belongs to others. I wrote and then turned the page and wrote over it again. Then I just let my intuition take over, and WOW! Like Meera Lee Patel says…Start Where You Are!
I am constantly amazed by what happens when I just let my intuition take over without judgment or parameters. Things I never would have thought of emerge. Once again, I have proven to myself that if I just sit down and start, my creativity will take over and something will get made!
I am still trying to process everything that has occurred over the last two days. A seven year relationship burned to a pile of ashes and washed out to sea never to return. Breathe. Release. Breathe. Release. Breathe. Release all that no longer serves me on this journey I’ve begun.
For today’s sketchbook practice, I did not “feel” like doing anything. I procrastinated and procrastinated. BUT, I did not want to break the momentum of sketching and creating that with today’s sketch will complete a sixty day streak. So, I returned to my beloved blue pencil and let go letting my intuition take control.
This is what she brought forth: A Guardian overseeing this process of grieving, feeling, releasing…reassuring me everything will be okay…that what is happening now is for my highest good. I know this to be true. It’s time to shed the old me and step into the vibrant light that has been patiently waiting for me to open my eyes. And so a new story begins…
Today I watched Shereen Sun’s free #WomanUnleashed #IntuitiveWriting session. Shereen took us through an intuitive writing process using oracle cards (or whatever is in front of you) as a starting off point. I have done this before, but I’ve always looked at the messages first. This time I let just the images speak to me.
What I found a little eerie and cool is that many specific words came up in my intuitive writing sessions and on my personally selected oracle cards that then came up in the video discussion. Goosebumps… Even as I write about this more and more connections between my own writing, the video discussions, and the oracle cards are coming to me. More goosebumps… I’m finding this happening a lot with the Woman Unleashed videos. Like we’re all on the same wavelength or something.
I decided after the video I would draw something based on three words from the session that were highly energized for me: Sun, Goddess, and Lessons. Sun was particularly potent as I pulled The Sun card in the second writing session and the author’s name includes Sun. I envisioned in my mind a Sun Goddess and began to sketch what I saw. Then I pulled out my PanPastels. They are one of my favorite mediums to work with. I intuitively added color and had to quiet my logical mind’s input several times in order to hear my intuition. What emerged was not what I imagined but was fascinating nonetheless.
The card I had pulled for the first writing session was the Sacred Fool from the Sacred Rebels deck. My first response was fear. Was I being a fool following my art practice? Should I be doing something else? I wanted so much to read the message that came with card so I could know for sure, but I knew it was time to listen to my own voice.
What I heard was that I let fear control me when fear is so small compared to who I am. My life has been controlled by foolish beliefs that don’t serve me. The voice said that I often react to things negatively first (worst case scenario catastrophizing) then later try to find the positive. It asked me how I might interpret this card as positive. Then a message came through clearly: “Be the fool. Go after your dream. See how small your fears are. You are the one controlling the fears. They are not controlling you.”
I find it interesting then, that what emerged from my sketchbook session today is not the Sun Goddess I set out to create, but is instead clearly my own Sacred Fool. Goosebumps anyone?
I decided to go back to character sketches for today’s sketchbook practice. This is a representation of “joy” from Nina Rycroft’s Emoji Me Skillshare class. I used Raffine Aquarelle watercolor pencils for the color.
It felt good to get back to character sketches because I really connect with my intuition when I’m drawing characters. There is this little voice or pull (it’s hard to put it into words) that will say, “There needs to be a different chin there,” or “The jaw should be rounded here and here.” The best I can describe it is like being able to see in my mind’s eye a characteristic before it exists on the page. I could have a square jaw already drawn, but the sketch will keep calling for a round jaw until I change it. This fascinates me, but also causes some irritation because what I set out to draw is never what comes out on the page. Oh well 🙂
Today I created purely on intuition. There was a particular color that I really love – the somewhat turquoise blue – so I just started with that and let my intuition lead the way.
I’ve realized on this vacation, which is coming to a close today, that I often keep myself from having fun because I don’t feel well. There have been several instances this week where I did not want to go somewhere, but because I did, I had an incredible time. I’m not one to push through the pain like I used to because it often makes things worse, but I do see the need to push myself to get out more and experience life even when everything in my body says to stay home and rest. I will need to find a balance somehow.
Balance is a theme that comes up again and again in my life. I am a Libra, so…not surprising.
We dined at the beach this evening. I was struck by our shadows on the sand as we waited for a table to become available. That was my inspiration for today’s watercolor sketch.
Today we went to the beach early in the morning to avoid the treacherous heat. It was incredible to let my body be held by the ocean. I’ve missed that feeling. The powerful push and pull. Digging my toes deep into the sand. That, to me, is the definition of heaven.
I stayed with the water theme in my sketchbook for today’s practice. I put in the pier first, and then saw the perspective was off, but I rolled with it anyway. I used several liquid watercolors this time. I’m happy with how it turned out.
Something interesting I’ve learned is that ideas for additions always come to me when looking at a photo of my work. I see my work differently from a photo perspective for some reason. I want to keep that in mind as something I can add to my daily practice if I’m looking for ways to build on, improve, or change a piece I’m working on.
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, I continued with Nina Rycroft’s Guide to Drawing Eyes class. The focus was on leaf-shaped eyes. I did three characters that represented the three leaf-shape eyes demonstrated in the video. I did decide, however, to use my Winsor and Newton travel watercolor set in preparation for vacation. There is definitely a loss of control using traditional watercolor instead of watercolor pencils. Additionally, the sketch paper in my sketchbook did not hold up very well especially on the first character’s shadow on her face.
I have one video left in the eye class, so I will have to decide what to do next. I will not be in my traditional setting, so it is going to take some adjustments. I’m wondering how I will do. Will I stick with the daily sketching? Will life get in the way? I’m trying to be proactive and plan as best as I can. I am feeling the need for a change, so I will see where my intuition and change in setting leads me.
Since I finished Nina Rycroft’s Face Shapes class yesterday, today was the perfect day to watch Karen Abend‘s next #FindYourFlow video on resistance and procrastination. In the video, she discussed self-discipline and self-awareness as ways to help with resistance and procrastination that comes up when implementing a daily creative practice. One of the suggestions she had was daily revisits to the thirty-day plan I created at the start of the program in order to come up with daily commitments and intentions based on that plan. It was incredibly helpful (and I loved the accompanying PDF she gifted us with) because when I reviewed the plan I had created, I realized at its core was a desire to focus on character development. This realization helped me decide that, moving forward, I would continue with Nina Rycroft’s illustration classes and move on to the Guide to Drawing Eyes class.
I wasn’t sure how exactly to make it more than just a bunch of eyes on the page. I wanted my practice to be a bit more fun than that…so, I decided to create characters based on each eye shape.
Today’s sketches are based on Nina Rycroft’s round eyes. She suggested three different round eye types, so I created three characters based on those. I kept the noses and mouths the same (for the most part), and kept them in the same location on the face. I used the same oval-shaped face for each character as well. When I was done with the rough sketch, I let my intuition guide me on what to do next. On the first character, I tried a new graphite pencil over the blue pencil, but it didn’t feel quite right, so I decided to use a Sharpie art pen to outline the characters rather than a graphite pencil. When that was done, I still felt the need to add more, so I decided to add color! Since I’m working on basic sketch paper, I had to choose an appropriate medium, so I decided to use watercolor pencils and then add a very light wash with a waterbrush. The paper held up nicely, and I’m really happy with the results.