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 year I took part in the October drawing challenge Inktober. It was a lot of fun and ended on a high note so even though I struggled to get going I quickly forgot about the struggles. This year I looked forward to Inktober for months and even got numerous friends on board. Then it came and I chose to use a brand new Leuchtturm sketchbook and picked a theme. And I totally flopped. Sure there are sketches that I liked in that month and I did draw in ink every day. But overall the experience was disappointing. Why so different this year over last year? My drawings this year were easily better than my drawings from last year. Still I did not have fun and ended up looking forward to it ending. It is easy to blame it on the sketchbook I chose not behaving with ink the way I am used to but I could have easily just used something else and not forced myself to keep up with that sketchbook. I could also blame the restrictive theme of portraits that quickly bored me. But really the problem was me and my own expectations and my unwillingness to let go of them and enjoy the process. So now I am back to that book and sketching in ink and not sharing the drawings with the world and I am happy. No November challenges for me. Yeah right!
My little sketchbook that I am filling with abstract impressions of what catches my eye here in Oxford is filling up quickly. Funny how sometimes the most humble little sketchbooks end up becoming my favorites.
We get beautiful weather in England. And I get to sketch it here in Oxford. Two days of blue skies and abundant sunshine in a row is certainly something to celebrate.
Single people or people traveling without young children enjoy your much easier to plan with fewer limitations holiday!
Don't overschedule yourself on holiday. Think relaxation over sightseeing. And if there is some monument or museum that you just have to bring your kid(s) to, avoid an early ticket.
Go out on your own to see the sights that you are most interested in and let your partner do the same.
Get a place with a pool. This makes downtime so much easier and more effective.
Don't stay out all day sightseeing. Come back to rest midday or early evening if you got a late start out.
Memories over photos. Really look with your family rather than taking constant selfies.
Draw and journal your trip as you go and finish it up at home with collected ephemera like handouts and tickets.
Late start plus a convoluted journey led me to London to sketch Hampstead Heath with the London Urban Sketching group. Next month they are coming to Oxford!
I had big plans to attend another London Sketchcrawl this Saturday followed by a mini Sunday botanical garden sketching trip with my eldest. But recovering from illness (again!) means I need to reevaluate those plans. No matter what it will be an art filled weekend.
Became more mini when a three day two night overnight in the big city became one uncomfortable overnight in a bad AirBnB rental. At least I got some sketching and cafe visits out of the trip!
A new challenge for 100 days? On top of my 365 creativity challenge but with a narrower focus. And the 30 days of blogging. Sure, why not? But only if I can roll it into my main challenge.
1) self portraits - 100 of them in a row, ouch! Not medium specific. Challenging to keep it interesting and not get terribly sick of myself.
2) drawing - probably too broad of a theme
3) painting - same problem as above
4) daily floral - another good option. Good chance to practice florals.
5) daily portrait - like #1 but with more flexibility.
Effiel Tower sketching was required during the trip and I wasn't about to let some rain stop me. The running ink just adds to the atmosphere and memories for this trip.
A year ago in March I decided to keep a regular daily sketchbook and picked up my first set of watercolors since childhood. Things have changed a lot for me in this year and a sketchbook and some paint has always been nearby and along for the ride. I am super grateful for this adventure and looking forward to sketching more and continuing to grow my skills in the coming year. Thank you for following along. Here is some then and now. I try to only compare myself to my past not to other artists.
At the end of 2014 I decided that I needed to take on some sort of big year long sketch challenge. But with an international move looming and tons of change coming I didn't know exactly what type of challenge was going to work for a full year. I really liked the idea of focusing on ink and watercolor and setting a time limit but instead I simply promised myself that I would create in my sketchbook 365 days of the year and leave it at that. I am glad I started out easy on myself because early in the move I got sick and stayed sick for over three weeks. I was able to fill pages in my sketchbook during those weeks, but just barely with real struggle. Temporary housing limited space and supplies and that also limited what I made. But the boat shipment did come and after six long weeks in a new country in temporary digs we moved into our new home and my art studio was one of the first rooms I unpacked. With that everything changed. I was able to spread out and create and my creativity and energy flowed as a result. I would reward myself for unpacking rooms by giving myself uninterrupted time in my art studio. And now here I am finding myself doing 30 minute ink and watercolor paintings in my sketchbook everyday.
Did you plan any challenges for the new year? What are they and how are they going?