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 ❤️
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!
Well…since starting the #FindYourFlow thirty day program, my house has never been so clean! I spent a couple of hours this morning cleaning (something I never do) so that I could avoid the anxiety I feel when I sit down to draw. I need to have things planned out in advance, need to know exactly what I’m doing, and this daily practice is testing me more than I thought it would. It is one thing to say that I will do something, and quite another to actually sit down and do it. For example, I like to buy art supplies but have a much harder time sitting down to use them. Of course, this is different if I know exactly what I’m going to do with them. For this program, though, instead of planning out every day, I’ve decided to go with my intuition. It’s bringing up all kinds of issues for me because I always need to feel in control of everything. Even though I know I control very little, it is really about feeling in control for me. Because of my lack of skills, this practice is way out of my comfort zone of imaginary control.
Today I decided to start Nina Rycroft‘s face shapes class on Skillshare. I thought I would just plow right through the whole class – ha! ha! – but changed my mind, slowed down, and stuck only to the first video of the course – kite-shaped faces. I am fascinated that no matter what I think I’m going to draw, the result is fairies or other mythical creatures. I sense a theme emerging. We shall see.
I find myself struggling with not creating something pretty or eye-pleasing to look at. It feels like it’s not art if it’s rough sketches or dare I say it again…not perfect. But this is all about showing up and putting something down on the page – not perfection, not pretty, just something.
So, with that being said, here are today’s sketches:
I watched Nina Rycroft‘s A Beginner’s Guide to Drawing a Self Portrait on Skillshare last night. I thought that’s what I would try to do for day two of Find Your Flow. I woke up this morning, and the desire to dive right in to drawing wasn’t there. I have this belief that I have to be in the mood to draw (which I’m hoping to curb by participating in this program for thirty days straight). Rather than push it, I decided to run some errands, have some lunch, and then sit down to draw.
I wonder why things always look so much easier to do in a video (ha! ha!). I guess it’s a good thing because it suckers me into believing I can do it so I’m not as resistant to trying. Anyway, I began to draw and immediately got frustrated. It was not working out as effortlessly for me as it was for Nina on the video. I have this intolerance for the learning process and what it produces. In my writing and my art practice, I think perfection should just come flowing out of me effortlessly. Clearly, that’s never going to happen, but I hopelessly cling to that belief anyway. To ease my frustration, I took a break and than came back to it. I was still immensely frustrated. The final result is not what I imagined in my mind, but I reminded myself that taking part in this program is about building skills and a daily art practice, not about perfect outcomes. Success is measured in sitting down and drawing every day for thirty days; nothing else. So, here is my self-portrait: