|"Red and Yellow Bouquet"|
Art making is fun, but can be fatiguing. You paint all day; by the end of the day you feel pooped out. The last thing you want to do in the evening is more art-making. That is why so few professional artists I know of sketch daily. I can come up with only two names! After a hard day of painting, which is in many ways drawing with a brush, you don't feel like picking up a pen or pencil and draw for fun. You'd rather watch TV or read a book. Or go to bed early. Quite a few artists create illustrated travel journals, but don't expect them to keep it up at home.
I am embarrassed to admit that I was not an exception. Until a few weeks ago, I used my home-made journals as scrapbooks for printouts of my blog entries and family photos. All I can say for myself is that I have been keeping a pictorial journal for more than five years; the current book is Vol. 42!
But my beautiful journal books with Fabriano 140 lb watercolor paper were meant to be more than the receptacles of photo printouts. I was supposed to fill my journal pages with drawings, paintings, and insightful comments. Perhaps, that was the problem. I may have been intimidated by the high-quality material; how do I mess it up with insignificant sketches? A terrible dilemma it was.
One day, I was rereading Danny Gregory's Creative License. He said something about how trees died for us and that's why we must "waste" our sketchbooks by drawing things inside. A light bulb went off! I have stacks of sketchbooks, pens, and other art supplies that haven't seen the daylight for ages. What am I hoarding them for? For afterlife? It was time to use them up!
Here are some of my daily sketches--some done from life, others from photos--I want to share with my readers. Several led to paintings. You see, creativity thrives with practice.
|"Flowers from My Garden" (pen and wash)|
|"Smithsonian Castle Rose Garden" (pen and wash)|
|"Limes and Lemon" (pen and wash)|
|"Pink Hydrangea" (watercolor and water-soluble crayon)|
|"Snow White and the Huntsman" (water-soluble pencil)|
|"After Shirley Trevena's painting" (watercolor)|
|"General Stonewall Jackson's Equestrian Statue" (graphite)|
|"Ducks" (Micron pens)|
|"Clock Tower at Ellicott City, MD" (Micron pen)|
|"Cherubs at National Gallery of Arts" (watercolor)|
|"Limoncello Bottle" (pen and wash)|
|"Flute Concert" (Micron pen, 5.5 x 7")|
The very last image was drawn during my daughter's end-of-the year flute concert at the Levine School of Music ten days ago. I noticed a boy who was playing with his flute while sitting out advanced pieces. He was bored out of his mind; I wasn't because I was occupied! You may notice that some sketches are on a page with my blog entry or photo. I tried to be imaginative to come up with an image that fit the odd shape and shared a theme.
Now the question is this: how long will I keep up with my daily sketching? A month, six months, a year? I hope forever!