Perfection. I don't have it.

Some artist's seem to attain perfection in every sketchbook page. Andrea Joseph is an example of this type of artist. She hosted the most recent week at Sketchbook Skool and I found putting on her skin and drawing with a ballpoint pen for two days to be too much for me. She's a wonderful and super talented artist but her sketchbooks are far too perfectly composed for how I work. For me sketchbooks are to work out problems, record events and try things out. And for that I need freedom to mess up. Good for her for sure but I need to find my own way. But I can still enjoy her beautifully rendered drawings of often humble objects. 

Ball point pens drawn with ball point pens. I'm sure if I tried this I would end up with a smeared mess on my hands. 

Ball point pens drawn with ball point pens. I'm sure if I tried this I would end up with a smeared mess on my hands. 

Impatient and Anxious. Accept it or change it?

Often I feel very impatient to have my skills catch up to my desires. Learning to slow down, breathe and enjoy the journey rather than fret and worry is something that I struggle with. Anticipating vacations is often something filled with similar anxiety and worry. Drives my husband batty since he is a much more chill person than as well as very logical and anxiety over fun things like vacations doesn't make a lot of sense to him. Thankfully as we take more vacations as a family and I even get to go out on my own once or twice a year this anxiety is starting to wane a bit. But the anxiety I have over my artistic skills and accomplishments still beats strong. I compare myself to others and see all my shortcomings and have a mini freak out. Today I tell myself to relax and enjoy the journey in my sketchbook. Whatever my destination to trust that I will get there. Working on some continuous line and blind contour drawings and other sketches on this lovely Friday. Planning for a fantastic weekend with all sorts of cool and inspiring events happening right in Boston. This weekend I will remember that I can change and not just grow in artistic skills and pick up new positive habits such as keeping a sketchbook and running, but I can also grow and become less anxious over time. 

Learning to relax and see with continuous line and blind contour sketching. 

Learning to relax and see with continuous line and blind contour sketching. 

Stress Relief Watercolor Circles

Vacation travel was wonderful, but as usual I am finding it difficult to adjust to being back to regular life. Especially the not so regular routine that is summer vacation with my kids 3 and 6 home with me and asking for enrichment all. day. long. Camp is expensive and the 3 year old is still too young for most of them and I feel guilty leaving them to watch TV all day and feeding them frozen pizza. So  art we do art projects with together and we go outside to the zoo, playgrounds. playgrounds inside of the zoo, sprinkler parks and more playgrounds. The days are hot, humid and very long. I love them but by 4pm I am so totally done and out of things to do and out of energy for myself.

Meditative watercolor paint circles to the rescue. They look cool. They help me relax. They are fun and simple and require more patience than technique and concentration and they help me get to know my paint better. In the end I always feel better and learn something during the process. In my book that is a total win. This one is available on Etsy.

Focus on the process. 

Focus on the process. 

Fresh Start Monday

My last sketchbook page before this and another sketchbook were stolen. These past few days I have been more focused on the depressive feelings and the loss than about what I can do about it. Sure, I started a new sketchbook right away and I got my phone replaced so I can continue to share images like this one. But in my head was a dark cloud. After a sting of bad weeks and particularly bad Thursdays this week is going to be awesome. 


Fighting off the Darkness

Every morning I wake up and say to the darkness: "Not today, you can't have me today." But I feel the anxiety and depression lurking around the corner all the time. These are emotions that have completely mentally crippled me and almost destroyed me a handful of times. They are as much a part of me as my brown hair and brown eyes at this point in my life. It is something that I have to actively combat. Vacation should help but it mostly stresses me out as I anticipate everything that could go wrong. But I do eventually start to relax and feel less anxious and have a good time. Now I am pretty relaxed and hopeful as we head home, I just need to work hard to maintain this feeling and keep the darkness at bay.