As I mentioned in an earlier post (Finding Time For Yourself), this year I’ve been trying to incorporate art into my daily routine. For the most part, this has been in my sketchbook, with pen and paper. But today, I took some time to experiment with digital painting. This painting is based on a photograph taken by Bhakti Iyata (source: Pixabay.com). I had a lot of fun painting digitally. It always takes time to find a groove when working with new media, and digital is no exception. But my goal was to capture the essence of the image, the feeling, and keep things kind of spontaneous. Oh, and experiment with the painting process and “media” available digitally (i.e. all the fancy schmancy brushes).
I’m liking the results, especially considering the amount of time I spent on it (maybe an hour or so of experimentation). I’m not completely in love with the airbrush streaks on the woman’s hair and the horse’s mane, but that’s okay. Art is a process. The more time you spend practicing, the more you can refine your skills.
As an aside, if you have a photograph that you’d like turned into a painted art piece, please get in touch (contact Betsy). I’d love to help talk with you about how I could create a custom art piece from one of your treasured snapshots.
Now, back to the daily art thing. I have been pretty consistent! Yes, I’ve taken a few days off, but other days I’ve had time to finish more than one sketch. It’s interesting how creative inspiration strikes.
My takeaway so far from this endeavor?
- it’s good to let your goals have fluidity. I don’t want to be stuck doing something daily “just because” or out of obligation. The whole purpose of this was to spend some time every day doing something for myself.
- Don’t feel pressured. Yes, I wanted to say “I’ve completed a drawing every day” — but realistically, I know this isn’t feasible. Some days I’ve just done quick sketches. Other days I’ve had time to spend an hour or two drawing. Just do what you can, when you can.
- It’s good to take a break. Time off gives balance, refreshes, energizes you. Our work week has a weekend (even though many of us don’t stop working), the creation story has a day of rest, exercise schedules incorporate “off days.” It’s no good to be in a state of constant activity. Rest, reflection… they’re good for the soul.
- Include others. Some of the days I’ve had most fun drawing were when I did collaborative sketches with my son, Toby. It was fun to work on something together, to chat as we drew, and to have more than one creative opinion expressed in the final piece. A note to Type A individuals — if you let a child collaboratively draw with you, set aside any expectations or need for things to go a certain way. It just won’t happen.
Am I going to continue?
Yes, probably. Though I am not officially committing to a drawing (or painting) every day, I’d like to continue engaging the creative portion of my brain daily. It’s really interesting how much that overflows to the rest of my daily routine.
In a nutshell… find time to do what you love on a regular basis, even if you have to make major changes to your definition of that activity. Five minutes drawing. Reading one chapter of a book. Taking a five minute walk. Playing games as a family once a month.
Whatever it is that energizes and inspires you, make it something you can realistically do.