I didn’t get any studio time this day, but instead went to a drag show hosted by my friend Lily DeValley. I made a bunch of sketches that did not please me, which reminded me that I haven’t done much practice in observation in quite a while. Here’s the most finished one, which doesn’t really do Edith Arsch justice. But hey, it was a day, and I did some drawing.
This evening I sat looking at the blank paper, thinking that I have no ideas, no particular ambition, nothing really to say with my art. This first hurdle is where the inner critics can get off a clear shot, before I get absorbed or distracted by lines and colors. They often speak the loudest when I am most tired or over-extended.
After 10 years of practice, I am able eventually to just pick something up and start making marks, and see where it goes, so I did that. But after 10 years of practice I still often have that anxious moment before a blank sheet of paper. Time and practice may not change who I am, but they have given me more tools for dealing with the things I fear or worry about.
This practice of making and sharing daily drawings has been an adventure, a kind of journal of self-discovery. I try to keep making what pleases me, without tailoring it to please some real or imagined audience. And yet, I have so much gratitude to those people who follow my art-making, and have encouraged me with their responses. I am aware of this web of friends, who balance out the voices of my inner critics.
As we sit in this season between years and between decades, the darkest time (or brightest, depending upon your hemisphere!) I wish you all courage, persistence, resilience, and the time and will to do the things that give your life the most joy and meaning.
I dreamed vividly last night, that my friend was officiating the wedding I wish she hadn’t missed. On a white sand beach, wearing the bluest, shiniest mermaid queen gown. The bride and groom recounted the story of their romance using sleight of hand with oreo cookies. The parents were all dressed in white, and radiantly happy.
This will be my last post for about 2 weeks. When I get back to home and scanner, I’ll post whatever I’ve managed to draw while on the road. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate; and may everyone find themselves in circles of love and gratitude with family and friends.