I’ve been struggling with anxiety all day because I signed up to read a scene from my novel-in-progress at the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA Alumni Reading event tomorrow afternoon. I’m not a fan of reading my work in front of people, but I know how important it is to do it anyway despite my fear and anxiety. Wish me luck!
As my sketchbook practice for today, I finished Nina Rycroft’s #EmojiMe Skillshare class. I drew one character with a disgusted facial expression and one with a fearful expression. It was surprisingly difficult for me to draw those facial expressions. It doesn’t help that I’m still struggling with sketching with graphite instead of my beloved blue pencil. However, it feels great to have completed another illustrating class.
I am feeling quite fatigued today, so I thought it would be best to return to something familiar and not too taxing. So, for today’s sketchbook entry, I returned to Nina Rycroft‘s #EmojiMe Skillshare class where I picked up where I left off with anger. I also wanted to practice sketching with graphite again rather than my beloved blue pencil. Sketching with graphite was a challenge as was trying to draw an angry face. This took a lot more work than I expected. Happy faces seem to come somewhat naturally to me, but angry faces do not. I had to keep erasing and redoing the eyes and mouths in an attempt to make my characters actually look angry. The characters that did finally emerge are intriguing to me. They have a story to tell which is something that I don’t usually feel with the happy characters that I’ve drawn.
I am very happy that, even with my fatigue, I figured out something to do, and I sat down and did it. Once I got started, my attention was diverted from the intense fatigue I was feeling, and was fully focused on the process of sketching. I have been doing at least one sketch a day for the last 45 days which is quite an accomplishment for someone who hadn’t drawn for years and never even had a sketchbook. I owe my renewed commitment to developing my artistic skills to Karen Abend and the support she offered in her two amazing programs #SketchbookRevival and #FindYourFlow. I am looking forward to seeing where my commitment to this journey leads me.
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 ❤️
For today’s sketch, I decided to continue with Nina Rycroft’s Emoji Me class and created a character with a surprised expression. Over this nearly thirty days, I’ve gotten quicker with the character sketches and have also been figuring out what artist’s tools work best for me.
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do after the #FindYourFlow program ends tomorrow. I may just start working through the many books I purchased from Sketchbook Revival artists or take advantage of some courses I’ve got waiting for me. My creative mind is on fire and wants to do everything all at once, but I know that leads to overwhelm and then giving up. In the next day or two, I’m going to do what Karen Abend has taught us, make a plan and set an intention for whatever I decide to do next.
What I think I will miss most is the accountability of being part of the group and the thirty-day challenge. Well…really more than those…I will miss the input of group members that have made me feel that what I’m doing is not futile and a waste of time. Sometimes it feels like that when you’re all alone. So I say with the deepest gratitude, thank you to all of you. This has been an incredible experience.
And to Karen Abend, you are a rockstar! I have no idea how you managed to respond to every single post from every single member with thoughtful comments, but you did. You are truly amazing and have jumpstarted the latent creativity of so many of us through your programs. To you I say: thank you, thank you, thank you ❤️❤️❤️
Two projects I’ve been working on are coming to a close – the #FindYourFlow thirty-day challenge and the #StorytellingFlow six-week course. As the end of the month gets closer, I can feel my anxiety rising. What’s next???
There are so many options, and nothing is really calling to me like Sketchbook Revival and then Find Your Flow and Storytelling Flow did. I don’t know what to choose, and I’m running out of time. I don’t want to lose the momentum that’s been created over the last several months. I know I need some kind of accountability in order to stick with my creative practice on a daily basis, but most of what is available to me does not include that essential component. Oh…What to do? What to do?
For today’s daily practice I continued with Nina Rycroft’s Emoji Me Skillshare course. This is a representation of sadness which is right in line with how I feel when I think about the ending of #FindYourFlow. I used Derwent Inktense pencils for the color.
Two more days…sigh…and it will be over. BUT, I will have my first full sketchbook! What an accomplishment!
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 drove over ten hours to spend time with my oldest son…and to spend time at the beach. I haven’t been to the beach in eleven years. My soul aches for it every day. I’m so excited to be able to burrow my toes in the sand, and to hear the rhythmic music of the waves. Heaven.
For today’s sketches, I completed Nina Rycroft’s Drawing Eyes class with the last video – almond-shaped eyes. I actually did rough sketches yesterday in anticipation of the long day today and then did the ink today. I decided to not do color today since I am just getting settled in.
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.
I really, really, really did not want to do my sketches today. It is so good that I have the accountability of the #FindYourFlow group because I don’t think I would have pushed through this resistance without it. I told myself just to watch the next eye video. When that didn’t really motivate me, I walked away for a couple of hours. When I came back, I told myself I could just do the sketches in blue pencil, and that would be enough. I didn’t have to add pen or color. That worked. I sketched the three characters in blue pencil, and when I was done, I was motivated enough to continue with the pen and color.
Today, I continued on with Nina Rycroft’s Guide to Drawing Eyes class. The down-turned eyes were perfect for today because they fit with my mood. I used Staedtler watercolor pencils for the color.
Today is a new day. The chaos of yesterday is over. When I thought about it, I realized nothing had really changed. I had hope for a couple of hours that the mystery of my health had been solved, and then it was back to not knowing. At this point, I think acceptance is the next step. I have been fighting for a long time, and I am tired. I am going to focus on developing my artistic skills, and let the Universe take over my health situation. When the time is right, I will get back up and fight, if that is what I’m called to do, but for now, I have done all I know to do. I am incredibly grateful that I have the #FindYourFlow group to keep me motivated, and incredibly grateful that I have a life and a job that is flexible and tailored around the health issues I am experiences. The Universe is supporting me in myriad, magical ways, and I’m going to focus on that. Plus being immobile so much really allows me to focus on creating and building my skills. Maybe that has been the Universe’s intention all along. Maybe I wouldn’t slow down, so the Universe found a way to make it happen so that I could step back on the right path towards happiness.
Today’s sketches were fun. I sat down and thought about my commitments and intentions for today’s session. My commitments were to spend at least thirty minutes sketching and then to post my completed sketches here on the blog. My intentions were to really feel a sense of commitment to the #FindYourFlow process while completing the sketches, and also to feel joy in the creation of three new characters. I have to say, I really did enjoy completing today’s sketches. I completed the next section in Nina Rycroft’s Guide to Drawing Eyes – rectangle eyes. I decided to change the face shapes today from ovals to rectangles, and I added color to the sketches using Raffine Aquarelle watercolor pencils. I am learning that there is one character each day that I’m drawn to that I spend more time on adding more details and more elaborate colors and shades, and it is usually the female character. I do love the first boy’s expression – he reminds me of my son when I ask him to do something. Ha! Ha!