Sometimes (often) I need to remind myself that I am still learning and that I need to be patience with my style and keep working and I will get where I need to go. I have been painting for less than a year and I enjoy it more than I ever expected. But the truth is I have no idea what my work will look like in a year or two. My personal style has not yet developed and I get frustrated waiting and searching for it and I must remind myself to enjoy the journey and keep working hard and I will get there. That there are no shortcuts. That said if anybody has some tips on honing in on a more personal style I am all ears. In the meantime I am enjoying the journey in my soon to be relocated art studio with a sketchbook always nearby.
Blogging has been hard for me lately, but making art has not been. I got a slow start at the #inktober drawing challenge that is happening online. Mostly on Instagram. I draw in ink daily, but not the polished masterpieces that I see using that hashtag. Intimidated I didn't post much early in the challenge. But as I continue filling up a sketchbook with ink drawings my confidence grows as my need to be "the best" shrinks. Perfectionism and a low opinion of myself and my work has been my excuse to not push myself for too long. No room for perfectionism this month. Getting out a drawing a day for #inktober. Some were good but many more of them were mediocre or worse and that is okay. It was the act of making them every day for an extended period of time and the accountability of putting them out in the world that mattered. Now the month and challenge are nearly finished and I have my big Doodle Book nearly filled. Then it is on to the next challenge to stretch and push myself.
I want more succulents and vessels for my studio. But right now is not the time to accumulate more stuff. So I browse online and window shop and fill my sketchbooks with my findings. Someday I will have plenty of interesting looking and beautiful plants of my own to inspire me. Just not today.
Happy Friday! Happy Weekend! School meeting cancelled yesterday while my youngest child was still at preschool and my oldest child was at a playdate. Instead of eating one of their yummy fattening desserts I sat outside and drew the Ula Cafe during my free hour. So glad that I had my little portable art studio with me and was ready to draw.
See you on Monday!
Finishing up an art filled week with a sunny and mild Friday and looking forward to the weekend. Loving these early fall weather days here in Boston. On Tuesday and Wednesday I wandered and on Monday and Thursday I stayed close to home. Today I will have two little ones with me so any adventures will need to include them.
The car is in the shop for the next couple of days so I am either on foot, on bike or taking the T around Boston while the kids are at school. There are still jackhammers outside my window so I don't really want to go home to work. Plus the weather is beautiful and mild. What kind of adventures should I go on? Yesterday I stayed in my general area and had a lovely time drawing JP, but today I think I will go a little father. Maybe the South End?
Happy Friday! We are heading to New York for the weekend to see friends, go to museums, eat pizza and other yummy foods and hopefully draw on location. Feeling the art groove in my studio lately that I hope translates to various locations. Maybe I should bring my studio good luck charm with me. Two years ago at a Disney World gift shop I saw my name on this necklace. This never happens to me. They didn't have my eldest daughter's name but they had mine so of course I bought a necklace that I will never wear and hung it in my studio. I still won't wear it, but maybe it should come along in my bag. See you next week!
More more more! Also sleep more to keep myself energized. I went to bed early last night and woke up this morning feeling wonderful. Good morning indeed! We are going back to NYC this weekend and I am excited to bring my sketchbook to various places. After a bit of a slump I am back to drawing whatever comes to mind and strikes my fancy and enjoying it. Case in point moths are interesting to draw but I needed to draw a bird to eat them so I could sleep last night.
The 75 day blind contour challenge has been easy and rewarding. The original challenge is to draw in ink for 75 days or 75 drawings. But I already draw in ink in my sketchbook and a lot more than one drawing a day. But I am not super familiar or confident with blind contours so I decided that 75 days of blind contour drawings in a single sketchbook would be my theme. My drawing has clearly improved from this exercise and I still enjoy doing them yet I realize that 75 days is a long time and I am not even halfway done. That fact is discouraging and tempts me to stop, but I am not going to stop. I can see myself looking through this themed sketchbook in the future when it is complete and that makes me keep going. What makes you keep going?
Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I have had a couple of Sakura, Copic and other felt tipped brush pens and I hated every single one of them. The tip was never very flexible and wore out super quickly too. Junk. So I ignored recommendations on this pen brush hybrid for ages until I learned that the brush has actual individual fibers like a real brush. Very similar to the waterbrushes I use for painting on the go except instead of water it houses waterproof fast drying black ink. Last weekend I used a coupon to pick one up at a reasonable price and I am so glad that I did. The tip is soft and flexible yet very durable and refillable. As a bonus the ink dries super fast and this lefty doesn't have to worry about smearing or a black stained side of my hand. So far the only downside I can find is that I used up an ink cartridge in less than a week and refills are rather expensive. I tried to refill the empty cartridge with bottled ink and an eye dropper and I ended up with black ink all over my hands instead of in the cartridge. It is very different from any other pen I have ever used and takes a delicate and sure touch that I am still getting used to with practice. I ordered a package of ink refills.
Spent some time on Saturday wandering around Fenway by myself so of course I stopped by my favorite Thai restaurant for lunch. Being home with my two children full time over the summer is a lot of fun but it is also exhausting and it is important that I take time to be by myself whenever possible. So my husband Jon took the girls on a hike at Drumlin Farm and I headed to the Dick Blick in Fenway. While I did not end up buying much, being able to shop and then getting lunch at my own pace and not having to manage other human beings was such a welcome break. I left the weekend feeling ready for another week with my little girls.
So glad that it's Friday. It has been a long week of a long summer here and this morning I am super grateful for the upcoming weekend. Hoping to get some beach time and drawing time.
For a few months now I have been keeping a sketchbook in ink and it has changed my drawing for the better. My lines are more confident and my drawings improved rather quickly and steadily after making the switch. About two weeks ago I hit a rut where I wasn't growing as quickly anymore that I found horribly frustrating. And worse I was growing bored with my drawings. So I took on a new challenge for myself. Blind contour drawings in ink. A blind contour is a one line drawing where you don't look at the paper while you are drawing. Focusing on what you are drawing on instead of looking back and forth can train your eye to see details that you may have glossed over in the past. But often the drawings end up pretty wacky. Early on they look like scribbles, but they get better and now I am totally addicted to the process and feel that it is improved all of my drawing. The challenge is to do this for seventy-five days or seventy five drawings. I am already at more than seventy drawings two weeks in so I am going to ignore the number of drawings and focus on the days.
Friday is here and I am looking forward to getting outside this weekend. Long week here with the kids filled with a lot of fun but not a lot of art time for me. Hope the weather cooperates and I get in a couple of morning jogs that leave me feeling energized and inspired. What inspires you? What brings you down?
I drew a lot on vacation. And I have drawn a lot since I have been back home. This one is from a photo I took outside the Art Institute Chicago during our first night there. Walking around the city at night was a memory I feel privileged to have and wanted to be sure to capture the memory in my sketchbook. Since I don't like using pencil using the wash and ink or fast and slow technique by blocking out the basic images in color using watercolor before drawing. That served as my guide when I slowly drew everything I could see. There are a couple of slightly wonky areas but overall I am quite pleased to have this image in my sketchbook. This is my favorite drawing of the week. Thank you Sketchbook Skool for the technique to tackle such a complex image and the focus to keep going and finish it.
I don't think Moleskine sketchbooks are worth their $15 pricetag. But when I found them on clearance for $4 I bought all the hardbound ones they had and then they sat in a drawer while I focused on mixed-media paper and watercolors. But now that I am signed up for Sketchbook Skool and drawing even more often than before I find their sleek pages calling for some ink drawings. I managed to only fall a little behind with the weekly lessons while traveling and am working to catch up. This weeks assignment is six self-portraits of selfies using various techniques. This is not a super fun assignment for me as I am not very interested in drawing myself, especially in great detail. But I am putting in the time and effort and having fun despite myself. It's a good exercise and maybe someday it will become part of my art habit. Thank you Koosje Koene for the push to break out of my artistic comfort zone.