Art · Find Your Flow

Day Sixteen: Find Your Flow

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.

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Art · Find Your Flow

Day Fifteen: Find Your Flow

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.

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Art · Find Your Flow

Day Fourteen: Follow Your Flow

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!

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Art · Find Your Flow

Day Thirteen: Find Your Flow

Today was the day. I counted to be sure. Five business days since the biopsy. I called for the results half thinking this will end up like all the other tests, half hopeful that an answer would be found this time around. I had a biopsy two years ago for the same dis-ease – it came back positive. It’s crazy to feel relief at being diagnosed with something incurable, and yet I was overjoyed and relieved to finally have a diagnosis after sixteen years of declining health. I was referred to an oncologist, a bone marrow biopsy was done, a second opinion sought, a finding that the original positive result was a false positive. Depression, hopelessness, everything negative you can think of followed. I was back to no diagnosis, the echoes of so many doctors’ findings “it’s all in your head” echoing off the walls. Fast forward two years. More unexplained symptoms. A decline, decline, decline. This diagnosis the only one that makes sense, even to a new set of doctors. A request for a second biopsy just to rule it out once and for all so we can move on.

Today was the day. The nurse says something about a protein build-up, I don’t really understand what she is talking about.

I say, “this was a test for amyloidosis.”

She says, “Yes.”

I say, “Is it positive?”

She says, “Yes.”

“I have amyloidosis?”

“Yes.”

Holy shit!

Two years later and another positive biopsy. I feel relief at first, then skepticism. Did I hear her right? Did she make a mistake reading the results? Are they going to take it away from me again? Are they going to say it was a mistake…again? Am I going to have to go through all this again only to be told there’s nothing they can do, it’s all in my head?

Then I realize, I have lost two years of treatment. How much damage has been done? My amazing primary physician says, “they can’t call you crazy anymore.” He’s already referred me to the oncologist, but they can’t get me in until August. A waiting game…

UPDATE: I decided to call back the doctor’s office and ask for a copy of the results to be sent to me and guess what??? The results say that the biopsy was NEGATIVE for amyloidosis, NOT positive. I am feeling quite angry right now, but I thought I would at least post an update here.

I didn’t want to sketch today, but I made a commitment to my daily creative practice…no matter what. So, I continued with Nina Rycroft’s Guide to Drawing Eyes class. Today is square-shaped eyes. I created three characters using the three square eye shapes from the video. I added color again, this time using Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Aquarelle for the skin and Derwent Inktense for the rest of the color. The sketch paper did not hold up well because it’s not made for watercolor, but there was an interesting bubble effect that showed up on the skin that I think is really cool. And, the baby looks a little sinister which I like 😉

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Art · Find Your Flow

Day Twelve: Find Your Flow

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.

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Art · Find Your Flow

Day Eleven: Find Your Flow

Today was the last section of Nina Rycroft’s Face Shapes Class. I really enjoyed the class. I am proud of myself for slowing down and taking my time with it. My usual way is to plow through everything at warp speed just so I can say I’ve finished it (usually in one sitting). This is especially true with these videos because each one is only a few minutes long. However, because of the goals I set forth with #FindYourFlow, I decided to just tackle one face shape a day, creating six different characters, and it was very beneficial for me.

Here’s what I learned:

  • I take on too much and try to get things done too quickly. I need to slow down, take my time, and really pay attention to and absorb what I am trying to learn.
  • I was only drawing one face shape over and over again before taking this class. This class has expanded my knowledge of face shapes, and as such, has expanded the possibilities of character development.
  • Each element of a face is important and shifting even one thing can vastly change the character that emerges. It is amazing the difference eye shape, mouth shape, nose shape, and even hair shape can make for the character.
  • I love sketching with the Caran d’Ache non-photo blue pencil. I love it more than I do graphite. When I go over it with graphite, it loses something. I need to find a graphite pencil that goes down on the page as smoothly as this pencil does.
  • I started out wanting to draw just one character over and over again for the #FindYourFlow thirty days, but realized during the practice sessions that it wasn’t going to work for me. I was flexible rather than pushing through as I usually do, and the very last character I drew for the face shapes class is a very good candidate for the character I was looking to create. So, through my flexibility, and my willingness to expand my practice to all kinds of characters, the one I was looking for emerged anyway, and I had a lot more fun.
  • I can do things slowly even though it goes against my nature.
  • I can do things slowly, and it is beneficial to my progress.
  • I can do things slowly and still finish them.
  • Everything doesn’t have to be done in one sitting. I can learn to trust myself to come back to it and finish it.
  • Small steps are still progress.
  • I am proud of myself for going through something slowly, coming back to it day after day, and completing it.
  • I followed my intuition rather than my logical mind, and it worked out very well. I am proving to myself that following my intuition is safe to do.

I don’t know what I will do for tomorrow’s #FindYourFlow session, but I am going to let my intuition guide me in the direction I need to go.

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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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