Working my way through Misty Mawn’s book, Unfurling, has been a wonderful opportunity for me to experiment with different mediums. I have been leading the Book Club on Art Journal Emporium throughout January and February using this book. This week is the last chapter, and it focuses on poetry.
I have been spending the last couple of years living with fear and this week I wrote a short poem about embracing fear to transform it. Then I included it in a journal page.
The poem reads:
Fear, an old enemy
Lock the doors –
Bar the windows –
All my time spent
waiting and watching…
ready to defend or to attack.
One day, I decided
to invite fear in.
I gave him tea.
We talked and cried.
I embraced fear and let him leave.
The door remains wide open –
He stops by now and again,
but not for long.
Here are my daily drawings:
February 21, 2016
February 22, 2016
February 23, 2016
February 24, 2016
February 25, 2016
I have been playing with scribble drawing this week, and I think I like the scribble hand best. I also tried drawing the planes of the face today. It was so much harder than I expected!
Drawing every day, I have not only been learning how to draw better, but I have also been learning a bit about myself.
February 12, 2016
February 13, 2016
In the past, I have only created art when I felt like it. I had to be in the mood to draw, or paint, or do one of the many crafts I enjoy. I had, and still have, a lot of resistance to the act of creating. This is mostly due to my fears and judgement of the potential outcome of any creative project. Will it be good enough for the time I spent on it? How will it compare to other artist’s work? Will it look childish and awkward? Well, very often, my drawings and paintings do not look as I had in mind when I started the piece and I am frequently disappointed in the outcome.
The point, I have discovered, is that I need to make myself draw anyway. It is obvious in my mind that is the only way I will improve, but, my anxiety often keeps me from actually putting pen, pencil, or paint to paper. By making this commitment to myself to draw every day and to post on Instagram, and here on my blog, I am forced to draw sometimes when I am tired, when I am distracted by life, when I just don’t feel much like drawing. Most the time though, once I begin the drawing, I lose myself in the lines, the shape, the form of whatever I am drawing at the moment. My daily drawing becomes a meditation in seeing – a practice, not a product.
February 14, 2016
February 15, 2016
February 16, 2016
February 17, 2016
February 18, 2016
February 19, 2016
February 20, 2016
Like most things in life, it is the tiny little acts we do each day that make the most difference, not larger gestures. Each drawing is a tiny step forward in my journey as an artist and in my soul journey as well. That thought helps me to stay committed to this practice.
Last Saturday I took a beginning sewing class at the Three Little Birds Sewing Company in Hyattsville, MD. The project was a lined bag.
I picked out fabric from the lovely choices they offered – green, of course, for the outside and a sweet pencil print on the inside. We used an iron on stabilizer and sewed handles as well. I love how it turned out! I hope to make more bags, trying out different styles, and eventually learn to making my own clothes as well.
I have always had a bit of a mental block when it comes to sewing. My mother was such an excellent seamstress. She made the dresses for all of the bridesmaids including my flower girl dress for my sister’s wedding. She also made many of my clothes when I was a child. I remember trying to sew a pair of pants when I was about 8 years old to earn a Brownie badge. It didn’t go too well. I was a bit too impatient then and charged full force into anything I did as a child. Luckily, I have more patience today…..well, mostly…..
More daily drawings:
February 7, 2016
February 8, 2016
February 9, 2016
February 10, 2016
February 11, 2016
Drawing is a bit like eating sugar. The more I do it the more I crave it. I feel compelled to pick up my charcoal, or pencil, or pen, and draw as often as I can. This week I made my daily drawings in my sketchbook, as well as some larger pieces on my easel.
February 2, 2016
This was a blind contour drawing where I stopped occasionally to check my position. It is in one single line. This is such a great exercise which forces me to look more at the object than the paper. On the Creative Bug website they are having a Daily Drawing Challenge for the month of February. This drawing is from that challenge. I may not do the project every day, but only those days I am inspired by the demo.
February 3, 2016
Drawing spools of thread seemed easy enough, that is, until I tried to do it. As you can see, my proportions are off in several places. The drawing is a little wonky, but it was fun.
February 4, 2016
The lemons were a blind contour that I added to after I drew the outlines of the leaves and lemons. I played with two shading methods: stippling and cross hatching.
February 5, 2016
These owlets are from a photograph on office calendar. They are so sweet in the photo – fluffy and innocent. I haven’t captured them very well, but I enjoyed trying.
February 6, 2016
Today, I drew several views of a clothespin in ink with added watercolor pencil. I never thought that such a simple, everyday object would be so interesting to draw!
This week I also completed several drawings from an online class I am taking by Jeanne Oliver called Reflections: Paint Your Story. I made three drawings using graphite and charcoal. The last one is also graphite and charcoal, but I also added water.
This last one I quite like. I used a photo of my daughter for inspiration. While it doesn’t quite capture her likeness, I feel it does give a hint of her sparkle.
I can’t believe I have completed a drawing every single day for the month of January! Frankly, I have often come up with challenges or ideas of creative things I want to do, but I admit I sometimes (frequently) have trouble following through. I am pleased with the progress I have made this month. I don’t love all of these drawings, most are mediocre, but, that’s not the point. The fact that I made one each day and posted them represents a huge hurdle for me. A daily drawing practice forces me outside my comfortable complacency into unknown territory. Territory where my skills and confidence are growing.
My favorite this month is this pen and ink of a quail:
One goal this year is to become more comfortable using ink as opposed to graphite. I love ink drawings, but creating with ink can be nerve wracking. There’s no chance to erase!
Then I had some more fun with flower doodles. This type of illustrative drawing from the imagination is what I do when I want to relax and de-stress.
On Sunday, I actually did a self-portrait that comes closest to capturing a likeness! I stood in front of the bathroom mirror with my sketchbook and charcoal. Since I had to see the drawing, I had on my reading glasses, so I drew those as well. I like the simplicity of this sketch.
Today, I went back to my old standby for still life – the pear.
After just one month, I can see tremendous growth in my work, I can’t wait to see the difference a year of daily drawing will make!