Art, Find Your Flow

Day Thirty: Find Your Flow

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 ❤️

Art, Find Your Flow

Day Twenty-nine: Find Your Flow

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 ❤️❤️❤️

Art, Find Your Flow

Day Twenty-seven: Find Your Flow

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 🙂

Art, Find Your Flow

Day Twenty-six: Find Your Flow

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 😉

Art, Find Your Flow

Day Twenty-four: Find Your Flow

I’m not feeling particularly motivated today. I’ve started to worry about where my sense of commitment will come from when the #FindYourFlow program ends on the thirtieth. Will I keep going? Will I convince myself that continuing doesn’t really matter when nobody’s looking? I have benefited so much from the group through the support and inspiration they offer, but most importantly, the accountability the group provides.

I am in the middle of another flare-up…the second one in less than a month after being free from them for nearly nine months. I am frustrated, hopeless, left once again not knowing what to do. It is strange when some unknown thing ravages your body unpredictably. I want to give up…crawl into bed and never get out…white flag waving. But I keep getting up, keep trying the next thing in case it is the answer, keep going and going. I think it’s time to get in touch with that part of myself that gets up despite everything telling her to stay down. Who is she? Where does she get her courage? Her tenacity? Her hope?

Despite my not feeling well, I still felt the importance of continuing with the daily practice. When I returned from vacation yesterday, my three rose bushes were ravaged by thousands of beetles. The roses bring me so much joy, and I could not ignore the similarities between their plight and my own. I have given them tender loving care, cutting back the parts that were no longer serving them, and I know soon enough they will spring back to life and bloom once again. My watercolor today symbolizes their fight for life, their beauty, despite the circumstances.

Art, Find Your Flow

Day Twenty-three: Find Your Flow

Today was a long day – another ten hour drive – this time heading home. When thinking about my sketch for the day while driving, I thought a watercolor of the road and surrounding forest would be fitting and representative of my experience today. It seemed there was only road and more road and more road.