I'm in Boston now visiting friends and sketching whenever I have a moment free. Yesterday I did some people watching on the beach and sketched them while my kids swam. It was great. But mostly I'm just spending time with friends here. But in a few days we will be heading to Chicago and in a week I will be surrounded by Sketchers and sketching nonstop. I'm so excited. Who else is going? I packed rather light and everything but my sketchbooks fit in a small bag. I'm interested to hear what others are bringing.
When you are a bit of a perfectionist it is a bit hard to complete art and put it out in the world. And half done projects are a serious danger. But for the third year in a row I kept at my #the100dayproject despite the bumps and hesitations along the way and finished it only a few days late. In the end I learned a lot and am glad that I did it. Follow #100daysofmetals if you want to see the whole collection.
As I write this I am more than 1/4 of my way through my #100daysofmetals challenge for the 100 day project. While I haven't missed a day it is still a struggle and I have had to accept that I am not going to love every piece I do and that's okay. That's not the point. Growing as an artist, making connections and following through with your plans and commitments are the ultimate goals for me.
Last week I took on the intense challenge of #oneweek100people2017 that Liz Steel outlined in her blog and managed to not neglect my other activities and responsibilities. I started out with using photos from the awesome iphone Sktchy app before realizing that I was being far too precious and working far too slow to get to 100 that way. So on Tuesday when I was able to get out in the sunshine and sketch tourists and students around Oxford for a few hours I took advantage. Inspired by the energy of Marc Taro Holmes I sketched 100 people that afternoon perched from my vantage point in the Oxford tourist centre. Now that I had my 100 sketches done by the second day I was free to play without counting for the rest of the week. Thanks for the challenge I learned a lot from the experience and am glad that I joined in. The rest of the week I continued to do slower studio portraits using Sktchy and quick gesture drawings from life. I made it to life drawing on Thursday already warmed up and ready to draw. Balancing this challenge while not falling behind in other areas forced me to step up my game and step out of my comfort zone. I already want to do it again next year.
Here are some of my highlights from the week.
I'm super excited and pleased to announce the grand reopening of my Etsy shop after a bit of a longer break than I had planned when I was packing up to move to England. Please check it out. Currently I am selling a variety of original painting, a selection of my woodblock relief prints and I am looking forward to having prints from my paintings made as I grow.
The first days were rainy but then it was beautiful perfect weather. Lots to do, see and sketch here.
Over on Instagram I am hosting a contest to win a postcard that I sketched in Lisbon. Comment here with a place you would love to visit for a chance to win and head over to Instagram for a second chance to win. I will pick a winner June 8th.
One of my favorite times of the month is when I get to spend the day in London sketching with the Urban Sketching/ USK gang there. It's so worth the journey from Oxford. I am looking forward to returning in June and July!
I am participating in the #100daychallenge over on Instagram for the second year in a row. Last year was florals, this year is patterns. I am not giving myself any restrictions in terms of materials/ media used or format this time around so there is a lot of room to explore, grow and do things on the go when needed. I hope you join me.
My Midori Traveler's Notebook has traveled all over Europe with me this past year and Greece for our first trip in 2016 it has been by my side even more. Feeling very inspired and filled with energy to create here in the sunshine
Head over to my Instagram for another original art postcard giveaway. Details on how to enter can be found there. I am in Athens Greece with my paint kit always by my side! I've been sketching my way though this city and my family has been super tolerant of me slowing them down or disappearing for periods of time as a result. An artist must create, especially in a place like this.
It is term break here in the UK and my kids are home from school for two weeks. We enjoyed having their father around and abundant sunshine on Friday and going into London over the long weekend. Today he wS back to work and I took us to the local Oxford University Botanic Garden and the three of us sketched there for hours. So far so great with my creative nature loving kids. They never even asked to turn the TV on.
It may be rainy and grey in England, but there are still springlike moments to celebrate. Elements of spring are all over my daily art practice.
My own past through family photo albums. Studying and exploring this time period is filled with painful memories that I have spent years building a wall around. Confronting rather than avoiding. Reframing my experience with mature eyes. Deep breaths.
Bummer that it fell on a Monday of all days but I hope that everybody got a chance to carve out some creative time today. Did you make anything today? What? Did you do anything different than your usual Monday routine?
Back in late December I started keeping a simple inexpensive soft cover sketchbook for thumbnail sketches and experiments. That book is now full and has had a big impact on my work. Now I leave room in all my sketchbooks to experiment and play and my work is better off for it. Thank you messy book!
Do I want to spend it being afraid taking timid steps? No I do not! Today is my birthday and this morning I asked myself what I wanted to do with my day and this is the answer I received. And this time I listened to it and was rewarded for my willingness to push past the fear, play and experiment.
Essentialism in illustration is pretty powerful. I was working on some slow and detailed watercolor illustrations of hats when my five year old wandered over and pointed to the beret and said Paris! She then called out the witches hat, the winter hat and the police hat. I abandoned that watercolor painting (for now) and went in this direction instead.