Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Drawing a Day - 30 Day Challenge

Back in 2010 a friend of ours, Becca J traveled to London, England to study there for a semester. Since Becca’s family and ours both lived in New London, Minnesota; both of us are artists, and Becca took private art lessons from me while she was growing up, we decided to write (as much as possible) a daily blog together - Becca from London and me from New London. We called it: ‘A Painting a Day, An Ocean Away.’ My kids were still in high school, so I didn’t always have time to draw, and Becca was busy studying, so it didn’t end up being the everyday thing we had envisioned, but we tried…

After all these years I have decided to revisit this drawing-a-day idea. I need to sharpen my drawing skills, and daily drawing is a good habit for any artistic person. Good drawing skills are the foundation of any creative, artistic adventure you are interested in. Since I want to be successful on this drawing journey, I decided to set out boundaries and guidelines for myself – after all, I am an artist and can get distracted, or even veer off on a totally new tangent without even looking back…

I decided to share these guidelines for you on both my blog and my website. I hope they will help you decide to take this adventure too. Here are some tips to get you started:

 I have decided to do my daily drawing for 30 days. Hopefully, during those 30 days, I will have started a habit, and it will go for the rest of my life. That is my intent anyway. Since my husband is a pastor and Sundays are our days of rest, I will not be drawing on Sundays but will be ‘back at it’ Monday through Saturday. The nice thing about drawing is that you can take a pencil and notepad with you wherever you go and do some sketching.

  • o        Here is a very quick sketch I did at a coffee house: 
The next thing I need is an organized studio space I will not be doing all of my drawing in my studio, but it just makes me feel better to organize first. When I am in the middle of a project, my studio space ALWAYS gets disorganized!!!!! So, to clear my mind, and get rid of at least one of the typical distractions, I organize. 
  • I then need to decide
    • practice-only, or
    • finished drawings for paintings, or maybe 
    • some doodle art for coloring pages?
    • All three?
    • For me, I feel I need to some of each of those three kinds of drawings. But I need a plan. (That is a later step.)
  • For me, I feel I need to some of each of those three kinds of drawings. But I need a
    plan. (That is a later step.)
  • My next step it to gather supplies together in one place. What do I need?
    •  Paper? Canvas?
    • Drawing tools?
    • Drawing boards?
    • Easels?
    • Pencils?
    • Pens?
    • Pastels
    • Watercolor Pencils?
    • Ink?
    • Paint Brushes?
    • Pictures?
    • Still Life Ideas?
  • After deciding on and gathering the supplies I will be needing, I am now ready to create a theme, a list, or just plain ideas to draw... This may take some research and time, but It’s worth being prepared.
  • Walk around and make a list of still life ideas – inside and outside
  • Check out and print off photographs you’ve taken that you have always wanted to draw or paint.
  • Check out online animals, buildings, landscapes, etc. If you use any of these for final drawings or paintings, make sure they are copyright free.
  • Brainstorm your own ideas.
  • Make sure you photograph or scan your challenge. Keep a file of your drawings.
  • After a month go back and look at your beginning drawings and compare them with the drawings you created at the end of your 30 days. You will be amazed how much you better you have gotten!  This will be an encouragement to continue drawing on a daily basis - especially since you are now in the habit of doing it! 😊
  • I need accountability!!!! Here are some ideas on how to make yourself accountable:
  • Ask someone, or a group of friends to do this challenge with you.
  • Ask someone if you can check in with them daily, or weekly.
  • Blog about your challenge.
  • Post it on your social media sites.
  •  Now all you need to do is draw…

Feel free to post your drawings under the comments. I will be posting drawings from our Creating Art Together Group once a week for the next month. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Spring, O Spring, O Spring, O Spring!

Now, I love winter with all its beauty, sparkle and wonder. But spring with its sunshine, warm breezes, and gentle rain always leaves me wanting... This time of year I start looking forward to flowers and planting season. Of course, I love the return of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and all the critters too. I am so glad I live in an area where we experience the change of seasons. 

Dragonflies! Who doesn't love them? A few years back I did a dragonfly series.  I have decided to no longer do many art fairs. I will still do our area's Studio Hop and possibly Celebrate Art, Celebrate Coffee, but am in much need of a break. The problem is, I can't keep all the artwork I create. My solution...sell it online for all of you to have an opportunity to purchase it. From time to time I may just give a piece for free. Check my website and sign up for my newsletter for that opportunity Most of my original dragonfly paintings have sold but for some reason, my top two print and note card sellers haven't sold. Hmmmmm.... here's your chance 😍