Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back At It (and other things)

I know I've been gone a while. A lot has happened. The birth of my first grandchild has taken me to a new place!! I am smitten!

On that note, I am starting to eek out some time for my art. Not big projects or finished paintings. Mostly sketches and random drawings of my dad. Here are two that I felt turned out well. My favorite subjects!! I know many of you are not on facebook, so I will try to share more here.

I briefly toyed with the idea of teaching again. At this point I still think it's too much. But its a good sign that I want to teach again.  And that I am back to doing art.

I want to talk a little bit about sketching. I know I've talked about it before, but it has grown into a huge deal worldwide with the latest Urban Sketcher's Symposium happening in Chicago this summer. While I follow all this online and have learned a great deal from it, my take away is this:  Sketching is a way to do your art without pressure. We don't as a rule show our sketchbooks to others, so it can be private, like a journal. It can also be taken anywhere without too much of a struggle. It is also usually small, which takes a great deal of pressure off us!! A sketchbook is a place to explore and make mistakes. It is a place of growth. Of expression, free from expectations. And last, it is a place of record. It not only records our experiences, but it records our growth as artists. In our sketches we become more of the artist we were meant to be. I have come to value them in a new way.

I often like my sketches better than the finished painting I did from the sketch. They are free-er and less stiff. They have a shorthand that I seem to forget when I attempt a painting I may show. Most viewers like the finished work better, which confuses me. I remember seeing some plein air and sketches that Thomas Kincade did and I was so much more impressed with them than his tight "painter of light" works. Not dissing him here, or his other work, just saying that I have a preference to that approach. In them I saw the fine artist he was beyond the machine of commerce he was known for. 

 For me, the sketch conveys the feeling the artist has because it is raw. Less fussed over and more to the point. Often I dont have time for any details other than what it was that was speaking to me at the time.  The finished work is more of a complete sentence, with correct grammar and spelling and phrasing. (I've never been able to spell, so that might explain some things!) Lol.

I've encouraged you all to sketch before, and I do it again here. Take a class of some kind if sketching doesn't float your boat. Find some friends to do art with-I've found this to be key in my motivation. Join a group, make a paint date or sketch in the evening while watching TV. I challenge you to do some art once a week. It's my personal challenge. Seems easy, right? 

I'm also hoping to get back into blogging here again. I did want to mention that my other blog Caring for Dad hit a bit of a snag when I changed it's address I lost all subscribers. If that was any of you, I apologize. You can find the blog at I've posted there recently after a long break as well. 

Happy Wednesday!!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Day 60

Day 60 already? Where had the time gone?? It's been wonderful to actually DO this! Many have asked me to show more of my process, so I snapped a few shots of day 60.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

52 days of drawing or 1/7th of a year.

If you divide 365 by seven you get 52.1428571. I used a calculator. In case you thought I did that in my head. When I reached 50 days of drawing everyday I patted myself on the back because I seriously didn't think I'd be able to keep it up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I did this from a "screen shot"
Inspiration. What is it, and how do you find it? The answers to those questions will be different for everyone. The biggest challenge with sketching everyday (besides actually sketching everyday!) is finding inspiration. I can sketch a coffee can and get excited about it once I start, so a lot of it is just getting started. And drawing coffee cans can be exciting. But I can make daily sketching much easier to keep up if I'm excited by the subject. 

The point of this whole venture, and there is a point-(which I will explain in another post) is not achieving a goal of 365 sketches. That will be the outcome, but it is not my goal. Not the point. Having pretty little sketches to look back on is also not the point. Again, there are several reasons I'm attempting a daily sketch habit, but it's not at all about product and all about process for me.  

catching the gesture
We do art because we enjoy it, right? We don't usually willingly participant in something we don't enjoy doing. So when art becomes something you must do for whatever reason --deadlines for commissions or shows or dumb self inflicted daily sketch challenges for example, it becomes more about the product than the process. Getting it done. And that's going to rob me of the joy when it becomes something I have to do. Some self inflicted goal I must meet. I can't keep things exciting and fresh every day if I'm just going through the motions. Making sure I get a sketch done everyday. Instead I want to make art everyday that is meaningful. Not change the world meaningful. But small glimpses of what I might find meaningful. 

my husband is always a subject of interest! 
Art speaks. It resonates with people and speaks to them. That means the artist that created it gave it that voice. I have an artistic voice and my story is in my work. I discovered this many years ago and it changed the way I made art. Each artist has a unique voice and I felt I needed to ask myself--"self, if you are going to do-and then have 365 continuous sketches-what do you want that to say?"  And not to get all deep and philosophical, myself just answered "a record of what you love".  Ok, let's go ahead and get all deep and philosophical--I believe my art reaches people if it comes from a place that has depth. Love, pain, joy, etc. Not all my work will have the same depth of message, but my aim is to be true to my voice. Have you found your creative voice? If you haven't found it yet there are some very good books that might help clarify that for you. One I found helpful early on was Finding Your Visual Voice. I'm sure there are many others on the subject but this is the one I used when I was trying to figure out my "style".

A photo I found on the app Sktchy
Your voice, like you as an artist, is ever changing as well. Right now that is very true for me. Occasionally you have to ask yourself questions to help you move out of one phase and into another. To clear the path so to speak. So to wrap this up and not bore you, I asked a second question of myself- "self, what do you love?" Well, I find love in many things. But right there at the top has got to be people. I love doing portraits and drawing the figure, so I know that I will be doing lot's of that in the next 350 days. I love to look at people and see how different we all are! Everyone has a nose but there is not one nose that is the same! And the key to getting a drawing to look like the subject is really being able to see. Seeing is a key skill in art and 365 days of really looking at things will most definitely bring back my skills. Because you "lose it if you don't use it". Luckily, it is "like riding a bike" or muscle memory, it will come back with use.

So the for the next 332 sketches I set up some goals. At least one face a week. Draw at least 5 minutes a day. Set a timer for 30 minutes so I don't overwork it. (I can come back the next day!) Don't make it about the product but enjoy the process. Seems simple doesn't it? So far so good.

No excuses-you always have a model!! fast selfie! 
I will be posting them daily on my facebook art page but not on the blog. Here I will hit a few good ones or talk about what I'm learning. And I will be learning--because you're always learning something from every work! So as always, thanks for reading. I hope you're inspired to do some art. Maybe not daily, but more than you are doing now. Because as Picasso once said "Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life".

Tuesday, January 10, 2017



A friend of mine has an art page on Facebook where she shared her desire to carry her sketchbook everywhere