Tag Archives: Sketch

Timeout for Art: Not Much

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sketch

Another week gone by with no time in the studio.

Another week with not much to show for it, in the way of art practice.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Though my participation in most rituals of the Catholic Church have fallen by the wayside, I like Lent. Just like the start of a new year, or the milestone of a birthday, the beginning of Lent offers another chance for improvement, renewal or a fresh start. It comes right about the time I have disappointed myself with most  of my New Year’s resolutions, so it gives me an opportunity to redeem myself in some small way.

I thought of giving up all sweets (oh, NO!), or just chocolate (but I just opened the second package of wonderful chocolate truffles that I received at Christmas), or bread (but I just bought that nice loaf of sourdough). I thought of giving up swearing or drinking, but I don’t really do enough of either to make it a true sacrifice. I thought of adding something that would do me good, like exercise or meditation. I thought of committing to doing something for others, like writing a thoughtful letter each day to people who would appreciate it, or some other form of good deed. Nothing really struck me as a winning commitment.

This morning, at my messy desk with a cup of coffee and a glass of water, as I rushed to sketch the scene in front of me so that I’d have something to publish here, I decided. I am going to make a sketch every day. I won’t say “drawing” because that implies a finished work, and a level of time and energy that I may not have. A sketch every day – for Lent – is a reasonable thing.

Drawing

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Drawing is a good word.

When you sit down to render an image, you are pulling it out of the air, really.

I also feel the act of drawing is pulling me.

It nudges me to look closely, to pay attention and to remember. It forces me to make decisions along the way.

I started my drawings this week the same way  I  worked last week, in a very small format, with permanent ink.  I went a little bit larger for sketches of a couple houseplants.

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Finally,  my largest offering is still only 5 x 7 inches.

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I’m struggling with this more than I like to admit. I’ve let myself go rusty at a skill I was good at and took a lot of pride in. It is difficult to note how hard it is to make that first mark, decide on the view, plot the composition, work in the shadow…

It’s all good exercise, though.

I started this blog after a period of great loss and sadness in my family. I wanted to slow down, to savor the days and to pay attention.

Writing has helped me to do that.

Drawing helps, too.