I'm not very good at drawing. Yet. And there's no shame in that, because I haven't ever had any training, and I don't practice. Yet.
I started off last year, gung-ho to learn how to draw. I found Danny Gregory's The Creative License to be wonderfully inspiring, and checked out armloads of books about drawing from the library. For a brief time, I sketched in my notebook in the evening, and had fun seeing what I could accomplish. I liked many of the things I sketched by copying from the pages of the books I was reading, but I was invariably discouraged when I tried to draw from real life and, in my mind, failed miserably.
I've been participating in Dana Barbieri's eCourse, "Artfull Sketchbook," this month of April, and she has challenged us to spend time each day--at least fifteen minutes--drawing in our sketchbooks. (She follows up each week with plenty of paint-y play, as well.)
Being in her class, and being challenged to draw on a daily basis, sent me back to my sketchbook from the beginning of last year. I was surprised to see how much I seemed to "get" the concept of a sketchbook back then. I wasn't trying to keep an "art journal" with publication-worthy spreads; I truly used it as a playground to try out ideas, subjects, and techniques.
I thought I would give you a peek at some of the pages from that sketchbook, before sharing some of the things I've done since Dana's class began.
I have a file of pictures I have pulled from various magazines and catalogs to use for drawing inspiration, and I have been using these images for my recent drawing practices.
I tend to enjoy the more abstract, doodling kind of drawing, because I don't have to be hard on myself that it didn't turn out the way it's "supposed to."
Caatje's ribbon drawings to create some of my own.
The "mark-making" is easy and fun--sort of like the "therapy" of Zentangles and doodling. But I feel like I am trying to take the easy way out instead of challenging myself to get better at something that I clearly have yet to develop any talent in. (Though when my husband saw me painting my little bunny picture, he called me "artistic" with a certain amount of surprise in his voice, and made my day!)
It's fun to try something and discover that you have a natural and easy gift for it. But that's pretty unusual, too, I think. I am hoping that with a little more consistency than I've shown in the past, I'll be able to put some practice into drawing, maybe even have an opportunity for some more formal education on the subject, and see some progress in my talent.
I'm not expecting any miracles, but I would love to get "good enough" to pursue drawing as a pasttime and find satisfaction in the results.
A closing thought from Bill Brown: "My sketchbook is the opposite of my job. It's like a pocket-sized vacation."