I’ve been feeling disconnected from inspiration lately. I’m glad to be in enough of a routine that it doesn’t stop me from putting something on the paper, but the muse is not really speaking to me. When I have time, then I guess I can just push colors and lines around and see if I can find my way back to something that sings.
Another long day and short studio time. This was actually the second start; the first one bugged me so much I’m not even showing it. It’s on the other side of this page. Is that a violation of my own rules? I said I’d show whatever I drew on my daily page, I think this is the first time in 9 years I’ve given myself a do-over.
I suspect this year the ‘rules’ I set myself might change a little. I have a lot of piles of drawing-covered paper in my studio by now. More and more often, I’m going back later, to work and build on drawings I already posted. I originally started this blog to make sure I established a practice of doing the work every day. Now that’s pretty solid, and I want to figure out how to build on it.
I’ve been challenged to show my art in a gallery space at some point this year (the Art Salons don’t count) so I’ll have to start addressing what makes a work feel finished, and how do I display it.
I’m looking forward to a year of pushing my boundaries. I hope you also have some challenges and inspirations that are calling you to rise and meet them in a joyful way.
I did not draw a picture this day; I spent it all shaping this chunk of cedar. It’s about the right size to fit into the palm of your hand and close your fingers securely around it. The cord is singed because I took it to the ironworker clan’s forge and passed it through the fire, then dunked it in the quenching water. I’m not done working on it; back home it will be part of what helps me curtail the time spent on daily drawings so I can pursue other projects.
I started this daily drawing practice nearly 9 years ago, with the intention of getting myself to prioritize art-making in my life. It has been really rewarding; I look forward to spending time every day, basically dreaming while awake and playing with art materials.
The daily drawings have a way of expanding to fill the time available, and soaking up most of my studio time. With more free time and a proper studio, I’m starting to feel a little frustrated by having a backlog of projects that are never quite finished, and drawings I wish I could spend more time on.
I’m going to try a shift in my ‘rules’ for the daily drawing: I will spend no more than an hour on each one. This will mean that sometimes what I post will not feel finished to me, or may be more of a sketch or an idea. If I continue working on the drawing, I’ll post the finished version on the page with the original post, and flag it on the various social media (currently Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Ello and Instagram)
I’m including some views of my studio just for fun. Can’t get over my good fortune in having such a place to work in every day!
I think this one owes not a little from childhood books like Rootabaga Stories, Raggedy Ann and The Wizard of Oz series.
Speaking of which, I just found this link and it made me very happy:
Studio blog notes: I’m finding more often that I’m not finishing the drawings I start for my daily page. Whether it’s that I’ve gotten more ambitious, or am simply growing in to spending more time in my studio, I now have stacks of drawings I want to revisit in one way or another. This is interesting, and I’m not sure how I will integrate it into the basic premise of my daily drawing. I’ll try to write a dedicated post about that soon.
I gave myself Beltain Eve off so I could attend to the serious business of making sure Old Man Winter was well and properly disposed of.
This is my final “April” practice portrait. I’m so grateful to friends who sent wonderful photos of themselves and loved ones for me to practice on, I certainly know interesting folks!
I feel like I learned a lot, and got a sense of how much more there is for me to learn. But for now, it will be nice to get back to my stream-of-consciousness structure, and more flexible time – each portrait took about 3 hours, and I do have other projects that need time and attention.
As always, thank you for looking!
Once upon a time, a long time ago, I shared a post like this on Facebook:
“20__ Pay It Forward: I promise something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, you must re-post this status, offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 20__”
This is an 11 book edition. Each volume contains a dozen prints of my daily drawings, which are thematically related. It’s been a long time since I did much bookbinding, so I used this edition as a chance to practice rusty skills. So though your book may be imperfect, I hope it will amuse you!
I’ve sent 5 books off to the people who responded to my original post. I will keep one book for myself, which leaves me 5 to give away. If you are interested in receiving one of these books, comment here or send me a message before the morning of Tuesday March 13th. I’ll choose 5 people at random.
I would like the rules of the game to be observed; if you receive one of these books, please then find a way of giving something you made by hand to 5 other people. Obviously I don’t care if it takes you more than a year to do it!
I did a little “process” post a few days ago, and felt like I didn’t really say much of what I wanted to get across. (see 11 February 2018)
So I took photos again during this drawing, whenever I paused between spates of scribble and brush, and I’ll try writing about it again.
I started this blog, not as a showcase for my fabulous talent (lol) but because I had determined that if I really wanted to feel like I was taking time in my life to make art, then I had to take time to make art. Every day. The blog was a way of holding myself accountable. I hoped it might also provide encouragement for other people who were feeling creatively stuck. So it felt important to show all the work, even the stuff I personally thought was weak or lame.
My big block was that I love art-making and have some skills, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I was stymied by choosing subject matter, and was super judgmental about whatever I made. I dismissed drawings that were playful, whimsical or sweet as being trivial, but had no idea how I’d make ‘serious’ art. I’d get a bit bored focusing on observational work, even though I think it’s really good to do occasionally for skill-building. And I do really love a good still life, landscape, portrait, or nature study. I long ago dismissed the idea of trying to make a living in the arts, because I was not able to stand up even to my internal critics. Some of the actual critiques I faced in my few years of formal study stopped me from exploring large format painting, which I still haven’t picked up again, 30 odd years later.
I determined to choose parameters for my daily drawings that would give me enough distance from my internal critics to get around them. I try to get into each drawing session with a clear mind, no preconceptions about what I will produce. I keep a range of materials handy, and try to settle down until I feel an intuitive push toward some material or idea. I try to stay as open as I can during the whole process, working with whatever happens rather than criticizing it when it’s not what I intended or expected.
So with that background, here’s what happened during my drawing time on 2/13/18:
So I’ll call this the drawing for today, put the date on it, and turn it loose on my blog. Sometimes the drawing snaps into focus sooner or later, and I can tell a more coherent story about it, but this is not one of those days. Still, I really believe that nothing is wasted, if you’re paying attention.
Thanks for looking and reading!