Some days are just devoid of inspiration. You want nothing more in the evening than to just hit the sack. And there’s merit in this–I am in full support of sack-hitting: sleep is the Great Restorer.
But sometimes, like exercise, it’s when you don’t want to do a thing that you should do that very thing. Starting a visual journal blog is fun. Keeping it up regularly is a different story. It’s when you are about a week into a new workout that it begins to hurt and you can either give up because of it or push through in spite of it, and end up being glad you did in the end.
Needless to say, tonight was one of those nights, but I wanted to draw something. I said in a previous post that self portraits are generally my go-to when all else fails, so for lack of something better and more creative and certainly more exciting than my face, I stuck with the fall-back plan.
Hey, at least my face is always there and always free. You gotta pay a model.
I used to be vehement (adamant?) about drawing from life in the sketchbook. While it is true I still hold the sentiment that one of the best forms of artistic discovery does lie in drawing from observation, (and ya just CAN’T draw a bicycle or horses correctly from memory) I’ve since modified this belief for several reasons. Principally, since becoming a mom my time has become a series of slots throughout the day, most of which are taken up by caring for my toddler, M. The rest of the slots are generally allotted for chores (no longer having ANY clean underwear, for example) or appointments. This leaves just a very small slot for me in the evenings to draw, so I need to figure out what to sketch, and fast.
Sometimes the opportunity presents itself for drawing from observation, other times I utilize reference photos I take myself, and sometimes–like today– I’ll just dream up something. The mental image usually comes to me at some point throughout the day, making itself clearer as the day progresses, only to be completely sharpened once I put it to paper.
I mentioned I’ve been on an “old masters” kick recently (Maybe not the old old masters…more like the 19th century-masters? The Impressionistic masters?) and because of this I’ve rediscovered the luscious, page-scratchingly tasty wonders of compressed and vine charcoal. In fact, I think I’m falling in love!
Sorry, watercolors, we might need to take a little break. It’s not you, it’s me. Promise.