Just a Bit Sketchy
Learning to See
Over the past several years, my purse has gotten larger and larger to the point that an older gentleman recently commented that it wasn't a purse, but a lethal weapon. The guy he was with said that I needed to have intermittent beepers when I backed up because I could hit someone with my bag. Exageration? Ummm, well, it's not too far off. I do like to carry a big bag, but a large reason for that is because I like to carry my sketchbook and paints with me... always.
I've always loved to draw. I remember drawing princesses with those cone hats that princesses wear, with the gauzey pink fabric flowing from the point. Cut away castles and interiors were another favorite. As I got older, I started really paying attention to details of things, how things connected, what made my subject look a certain way. And I'd draw it.
I don't really think it has to do with skill as much as it has to do with seeing. I think an artist has just learned how to see differently. I've had people comment on my illustrations, "How do you do that? i can't even draw a straight line." But I think if you really look at something....I mean REALLY look, and then take the time to see what the shape is doing...where it's going, how it's made, you'd be able to draw it. You're just drawing what you see. But the object is to learn how to "see" again.
Don't Be Afraid to Fail
Another thing that has helped me a lot is the realization that not all drawings are good ones. With drawing, as in life, you can't be afraid to fail. So don't go into your sketchbooking thinking that every page is going to be a masterpiece. My sketchbook for me is nothing more than a visual journal. I draw at various events, while I'm waiting, on my lunch break. Anytime when i'm feeling relaxed. Not every day is a good one. Not ever sketch is beautiful. Just let it go, learn from it and move on.
The Waiting Game
Having your sketchbook handy is great for all those times that we're kept waiting (Okay, don't sketch in traffic!). But seriously, I've had so many health issues this past year, I've sketched many a time in the doctor's office waiting room. What to sketch? People, for one. Once, while waiting for my appointment, I witnessed this man get angry at the receptionist when she called his name to go in to be seen! Seriously. Because the receptionist said he name, he blamed her for infringing on his privacy! So I drew him all in one continuous line...and then I colored his tie red..because of his stupid anger.
Another time, i waited so long that I started drawing my shoes. Or my purse as we were waiting for a movie to start.
Drawings while you wait
One of my favorite times to draw is when I'm drawing with my daughter. We had gone on a mother/daughter camping trip up the coast and we both took our sketchbooks and our watercolor pencils. We spent some time each day drawing.
One of the days, our big splurge day, we stayed in a bed and breakfast in Healdsburg. Rather than take a photo of the interior, we spent some time drawing it.
Drawing Your Feelings
Finally, I think that drawing does help me get in touch with what I'm feeling. From the style or the color, I can see how I was feeling that day. But no matter what, I always feel better after drawing. Oh...and added bonus...it's a great diet aid too! (Secret...this is why I like drawing in restaurants...you can sit and keep your hands busy after dinner while your friends are having dessert!)
So grab a pen...or a pencil, or a crayon....anything...and give it a shot. Draw your day to day. Draw the ordinary and mundane things in life. There is beauty in the simplest of things. Take a good look at what you're looking at...and go for it!
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