Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sketching Addiction

So how do you make a commitment to a sketch a day journal for an ENTIRE YEAR?  By now, as I said a few blogs back, most of us have given up our new years resolutions.  Let's face it, it's hard to stick to this stuff.    Our "beginnings" are usually good things.  I mean no one vows to drive on the wrong side of the road once a day, right?  These are good habits and intentions we have.  Things we are trying to cement into place to make our lives better.  So why don't they stick?

Why don't we just keep our resolutions?  Is it really that hard to change?  Well, yes.  Most of the time we just loose steam.  It seems less important than it did when we started.  Or, life gets in the way.  You only have time for so many things in a day and crowding one more thing in is just one too many!  In my life I know that if it does not flow easily into my routine it will not last long!  So I've learned that to effect any real change in my life I need to have a clear focus and make it as easy to do as possible! 

We know it takes 21 days to break or form a habit.  But what is a habit?  The definition of habit that applies to this is A: a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance  B: an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.  and finally C:  addiction. 

And so A and B are what I'm talking about.  This little sketch book is maybe 5 x 8 with half page entries for each day.  Honey, that's a 5x4 inch space to sketch in--it wont take all day!!  We can fit this in our purse and take it with us.  My point is that it's easy to fit into my life from a size and time standpoint.  Now all it takes is the doing!  So in making it easy I will be more likely to do it and therefore establish a habit.  

Now while definition C has negative connotations, might I suggest that's what artists are?  Addicts.  Addicts in a good way.  Addicted to beauty.  Addicted to expression.  Addicted to the flow of watercolor pigment on the paper or feel of a brush in our hand.  Addicted to the potential of blank canvas or the smell of the oil paint.  We see the world as something to be embraced and recorded. 

So I hope this daily sketching habit becomes and addiction or "nearly or completely involuntary".    I've sketched daily for extended periods before but never a year.  I saw the value in just the short times I took the challenge and I'm excited to see how this changes me and my art.  I will have a visual record of a year-will there be recurring themes?  Will I see improvement in my drawing skill?  Will I find out something about myself on this journey?  I'm sure all of those are true and more. 
Robert Henri says you can't finish a thing you have not begun. I invite you to do it with us. Become a sketch addict!! 

Happy sketching! 

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