100 drawings: still beginning.


100 days: 64 – 70

You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.

~ Barbara Sher.

100 doodles from 100 photos in my phone. The story continues…

The more years I spend in this life, the more comfortable I am with being a beginner. I’ve been drawing since I was first able to grasp a pencil in one of my tiny uncoordinated mits. Some decades on, the coordination is improving, it’s still a practice.

It’s true what they say – the 10,000 hours, the daily habits, the solid routine – these all help to develop a skill, but not with a finishing point. Beginning doesn’t have an ‘end’.

There was a gap in my 100 day project when I was sick and returning to it felt a bit like starting over. The muscle memory in my drawing hand was wonky, the sense of pen line following eye following outline felt stilted and unsure. So, stilted unsure lines is what I worked with. And I began again.

And beginners are cool. (Ever spent time with a kid? Ever been a kid? yeh, they’re cool, they ‘get’ what being a beginner is all about, cos there’s no pretence at being anything else. They’re cool with it. And so am I).

Here’s the next instalment of daily drawings, the photos that inspired them, and some thoughts that went alongside.

Week 10:

day 64

I saw this guy amongst a family of curious metal creatures on my travels somewhere in Washington last summer. Irresistible! Now I’m humming Pigs on the Wing quietly in my head again.

day 65

I’m not so much a hearts n flowers kinda gal. I’m not so much the pinkypurple gal either. So something contrary is about me today and it manifested like this. The photo I doodled this from is the corner of a photo frame that is home to my delightfully mad mother on my mantelpiece. She’s been away causing her own special mayhem and confusion in the afterlife almost 6 years now. But she’s also everywhere. And firmly fixed inside my head with all the good and not-so that brings. Like everyone’s mother is.

day 66

This guy is one of a family of about 7 or 8 similar characters, each one a little carved drawer in a tall skinny cabinet, home to the inevitable bits & bobs that accumulate in a house. (The original Instagram post of this drawing was missing the original photo as I’d mislaid it in a way that shouldn’t happen with digital files. It was there, then it vanished, and now it’s back. Tricksy little dude.)

day 67

It’s a world of contrast. I picked up this image on a happy sunny day, laughing with friends, midway through my holiday and about to go on an adventure across the US. One year on and it all seems so different. Causes for alarm and fear seem to be ramping up everywhere, my friends across the other side of the world are in fear as large parts of their country are either on fire or under water.

And this is on top of the 21st century spin cycle we’re all hurtling through, and the bruises we get along the way. So if your ride is more bumps and bruises than beautiful right now, I wish you well.

day 68

Like many of the photos I take, it’s often the shadows formed by shapes and surfaces that catch my eye. Today’s photo is the detail of a fancy bit of architecture in Barcelona. Gotta love those wavy lines. And circles! Oh my, I always got time for circles!!

 

day 69

My inner magpie is also drawn to all the shinies as well.

Only when I see these two (yesterday & today) drawings and their photos side by side now, I notice how I translated gold into turquoise for the drawing in both. Like a reverse alchemy.

 

day 70

Today I’d like to introduce you to a couple of the inhabitants on my bookshelves: Tiger came from London Zoo last year, and Stripy Cat was a gift from a friend many years ago (he since acquired a single googly eye, at a glance it looks like he’s wearing a monocle, he’s that kinda cat yknow).

They live together in a wicker basket in a copper bowl along with some spare bootlaces and some other odds and ends. Of course.  Welcome to another corner of my world 😉

 

Join me back here next week (-ish) for the next exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7 ~ Week 8 ~ Week 9

 

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 drawings: back on track


100 days: 57-63

“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.”

~ Lovelle Drachman.

100 doodles from 100 photos in my phone. The story continues…

When I set out on this project, I was talking about it with some friends, I remember saying howit might not be 100 consecutive days, but I’m determined to see this through to the end”.

And sure enough, some days happen where life just takes up too many hours. Drawings don’t get finished or don’t get posted. But every day I do something in this little sketch book, some little finishing touches, some therapeutic scribbles, some color as a background. Something. 

That was until August rolled around. And one week in, out of nowhere, I got sick. 

Illness is something (thankfully) foreign to me. I’m blessed with a body that is mostly cooperative and easy to live in.

So I was utterly unprepared for two weeks of  24/7 hospital chaos after a ruptured appendix!  A week or so later (My usual ‘what day is it?’ state is amplified right now)  I’m still quite woozy, only functioning on about 20% of my usual energy levels.

But I’m back! and the daily practice is resumed. And I’ve missed you!

So let’s get on…

 

Here is week 9:

day 57

I’ve felt an affinity with these seed heads since I was a kid. They’re magical. They are like a totem in my life. I suddenly recognised this one day last summer, part of a bigger epiphany that words don’t do justice to. And then I saw these everywhere I went. This one was a cushion in a cafe.

 

day 58

Me n my shadow. And my big flopsie summer hat.
I have a habit of jumping forward in time and leaving notes for me-in-the-future. I do this I diaries and art journals. Silly things usually or a little doodle. This book is no different, I’ve skipped forward and jotted odd fragments of sentence, sometimes a question. I don’t usually look at it until I’ve done my drawings for the day.
Today’s page said “today I want to…”

From somewhere I heard the words “be long”. Long, like i am in this shadow.

Today I want to belong.

 

day 59

A Fish Dish. That’s all!

day 60

This is the stained glass cat who dangles in my kitchen window. She has udders on her back. Never noticed that until I came to draw her. Strange… Meow 😉

day 61

A good percentage of my photos are happy accidents, this included, it’s a photo of my tummy – but I loved the stripy pattern too much to delete it.  I was wearing the same top as I drew this, so as a bonus, the two images combined in real life!

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 18.35.59

day 62

There’s nothing so cosy as candlelight, is there? This mosaic glass jar sparkles as the candle flickers.  Surrounded by shadowy scribbles.

 day 63

Today’s is an almost ripe rhododendron from Kew Gardens. Although now I look again it’s got an air of red cabbage about it. 

 

 

Join me back here next week for the next exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7 ~ Week 8

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


Last Chance!!!

Until the end of August I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 ways to learn


100 days: 50-56

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” 

~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Every day for 100 days I’m pursuing a daily drawing practice, inspired by a phone full of photos to fuel the ideas for these days doodles (me-from-the-past still thinks that sounds funny to say… essentially it’s a camera I can make phone calls from. If I have to. I’m not much of a phoner)

Every day I learn something new. Some days its to do with drawing, but more often it’s a bigger learning about the bigger world. I can’t always articulate the enormity of these lessons. But I will have a go: Here’s the next 7 learnings I’ve uncovered!

Here is week 8:

day 50

I saw these forlornly abandoned Christmas baubles gathering dust on the sale shelf in Oxfam one January. I had to adopt them. To me they aren’t all that Christmassy (but then, neither am I) so they hang in my home all year round. It reminds me of a little globe, but of a foreign planet, I think the hatching marks remind me of the notation on  maps. This planet has a canal around its equator and stylised land masses. If such a place existed I’d be curious to visit, but I don’t think I’d want to make my home there. (Much how I feel about the world outside of my head).

day 51

I saw this statue in a shop in Seattle. It was enormous. Those are big dinner plates stacked either side, but even they don’t do justice to the imposing scale here. That’s one thing, translating a few tonnes of stone onto a 5″ square of paper…
The other thing? Yeh, the other thing. That is about how much character is in the nuance of the line.

This whole series is about drawings inspired by the photo – absolutely not about drawings copied from the photo. But faces hold so much more than line and form. Even sculptures. This is not the same face. Sure, they’re similar, maybe cousins. Perhaps a different point along the timeline of life. It’s all about impermanence, right?

 

day 52

The way we document our lives in today’s world and how the details are captured and time stamped has profoundly shifted our memories, I believe.

I love to collect rocks and shells when I visit a beach. I fill my pockets. Sometimes I’ll choose the best ones to keep, sometimes I’ll make a little beach mandala. And then they are forgotten and gone. If any come home with me, they are just anonymous rocks, disconnected from their environment they are separated from their story.

But this little pile of stones is special. It’s trapped in my memory as this photo is sandwiched between other memories, of beach time with dear friends. This handful of beach treasure I took back to the house we were staying at and arranged on a bigger rock in the garden. Because of this photo all the connected memories are still fresh. I look at it and I’m right back there again.

So again, in  a different kinda way, it’s all about impermanence, right?

 

day 53

Today’s photo combines a few things that make me happy: turquoise, geometric patterns & memories of Tunisia. And a chance to show off my super-power. Everyone’s got one – what’s yours? is  yours useful?  My superpower is the ability to match color. Is this useful? well, only in a very limited way. But it makes me smile every time I do it, so I guess that’s enough for now. 

 

day 54

Today’s colourful characters were last seen on the window sill of a house I stayed in last summer. Every corner of that place was decorated with this kind of quirky charm. (I was completely at home as soon as I arrived!) Every place I went I was surrounded by scenes like these, feeding my imagination to make up stories about the worlds of inanimate objects. Remember the movie Toy Story? Yeh, then you know where my mind wanders to.

And again with nuanced qualities of the faces: See how the scene shifts – background lady on the left looks aghast at how she’s been portrayed, not impressed she was caught yawning in the original I suppose, or suddenly aware in that in her redrawn predicament she’s teetering dangerously off balance. The second has emerged from her serene meditation and now looks to be pulling a selfie-duck-face. 

day 55

I’ve had this postcard for more years than I can remember, it’s tucked in the cover of my diary.

You know how some things are so familiar we don’t see them any more? Sure, I see the peacock, but until I came to colour him in, I’d completely forgotten that he’s orange. The peacock-colour-background tricked my thinking…

Things like this remind me of all the ways a drawing practice ripples out into the way we really see what’s around us. Things like this make me wonder how much I don’t see everyday. 

day 56

Everyday drawings of everyday things. My dragonfly t-shirt. Faded out Illegible nonsense and shiny details. So for me, at least, I go to read the faded graphics and they’re either upside down when I’m wearing it and looking down, or back to front in the mirror. Seeing it like this, to me, looks odd, in the same way we never see our faces as other people do.

 

I like some of my drawings more than others, and it’s interesting to see how much attachment I hold to my reaction. It’s all practice I tell myself. It’s all learning. It’s awkward and uncomfortable to put some of these out there, unpolished, unfinished (cos only so much time – these are sketches not paintings), wonky and lopsided. This is the truth of my drawing: Learning through authenticity. 

Join me back here next week for the next exciting instalment!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6 ~ Week 7

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


Until the end of August I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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100 ways to count time


100 days: 43-49

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.”

~ Andy Warhol.

The continuing saga of a daily drawing practice:

Because of reasons I can’t fathom – perhaps rooted in an overly developed sense of optimism – I sometimes take on ridiculously ambitious projects. 

And because  – and this is a weird one –  although I have a good sense of what a period of time feels like when it’s quantified in a familiar way: a month, a fortnight, a weekend, a couple of hours… I could not, cannot, imagine 100 days.

100 days?

What does that even look like? 

Translating it into three-and-a-bit months, or about 14 weeks, I still can’t get a handle on this length of time.

I wonder if it will take shape when I look back at it from the other end? I’m not sure.

I’m in the middle of it now and it feels quite large.

What I have learnt is, the tipping point of any time period, usually marks a change of pace: The second week of a fortnight’s holiday goes faster; The afternoon passes quicker than the morning. Familiarity, I imagine, makes it travel more easily and without catching on so many memories along the way.

I’ve hit the apex of this project now. Let’s see what happens next. Meanwhile:

 

Here is week 7:

day 43

The source of inspiration for every one of these daily doodles is the eclectic collection of photos on my phone.

Like everyone, there are the accidental photos – inside of pocket – blurred floor – you know the ones. Coupled with the fact I love collecting abstract images of cool shapes, textures or color, without a particular subject matter, I’ve got a few that I can’t be sure if I took them, or if they just happened. This is one of them. Its place in the timel ine reminds me it’s from the glass collection at the V&A art museum.

What I love in this is the contrast of glass, the shapes and swirls and reflections in the foreground against the solid square blockiness of the windows behind.

day 44

A drawing can have a character that comes from something outside of the person holding the pen. I’m coming to see this more and more with every day’s drawing.  I notice it here in the expression on the face of this blue chicken – it seems to have translated from the photo with more than just simple representation of lines. Perhaps the daily practice is edging me toward more accuracy. Perhaps. But I sense there’s more to than that.

day 45

A through-the-looking-glass view of my nest. More yellow than I notice it day to day.

Misremembered details, slightly skewed perspective:  every single drawing in this project is a metaphor for life.

day 46

Turkish coffee tastes like holidays to me. There’s this this tiny Turkish cafe near here, where it’s served in a fabulously ornate array of silver shininess!

day 47

Today is about swapping colours but keeping shapes.

Ferns fascinate me. I love their fractal qualities, I like the notion we live in a fractal universe, so any reminder I see in nature is pleasing to me. Why are my ferns orange not green? Just the first pen I picked up. I don’t always have big meaning behind what I do. Even with colour.

day 48

This one is a portrait entitled “LOOOOK!” because we all know if someone’s taking more photos of trees, perhaps more than a ‘normal’ person does, just saying “LOOOOK!” over and over isn’t always enough to grab their attention. You might have to photobomb those darned trees as well. 😉

day 49

Allow me to introduce the giraffes at London Luton Airport. These are the fabulous creatures who keep you company as you have breakfast and wait for your holiday to begin. Although I began with their natural setting, albeit a different shaped grid pattern, the unconscious choice of colors I ended up with gave them a more natural looking background than airport ceiling.

Once again I feel like these drawings are not originating from me, just passing through. They chose me as their vehicle to arrive in the world.

 

Half way!! Join me back here next week for the next exciting instalment!

 


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5 ~ Week 6

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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a week of doodles


100 days: 36-42

Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing.  Making your unknown known is the important thing.”

~ Georgia O’Keeffe.

Since the beginning of June I’ve given myself a bit of drawing time. Usually it’s the first thing I do in the morning although some days it spills out into the evening, or some grabbed minutes while I’m waiting (something to boil, something to upload, something to dry or begin or finish… you know those waits, don’t you?).

This project has become part of the punctuation in my days. In my daze.

 

 

Here is week 6:

day 36

36 36a

I always find sanctuary amid trees.

Light filtered through leaves and birdsong can right a lot of wrongs. I’ve done this ever since I can remember. As I wander, my mind wanders, to all the other folks who’ve walked amongst these trees over the years, the centuries, all of time.

Then I think about the tree roots reaching out and touching under my feet, the myriad of patterns and connections, home to zillions of bugs and small beasties.

And squirrels. I love squirrels too.

 

day 37

I like capturing the minutiae of my world because that’s where the memories are stickiest.

I bought these brass bells in London when I was a teenager and they’re among the few things I have from that time. The beads came later, in my 20s I got into glass beadwork.

This bundled collection of things lives on my wall of inspiration. I can look at it through someone else’s eyes and see a cacophony of color and mayhem, but what I see is the  time line of oddities that brings me to now.

 

day 38

Today celebrates scribble. Something in the movement of a good scribble scratches the mental itches and unwinds the brain tangles. A big, full bodied scribble is the best exercise for body and soul, this little condensed few square inch scribble is the next best thing. Today’s photo is a Henry Moore sculpture in Kew Gardens, those swooping swerving curves are perfect to scribble around in.

 

day 39

 

Over in another ongoing project I’m immersed in purple this month, and look how one idea spills out into another: the ceiling at the Royal Albert Hall in all its gloriously sumptuous splendour. These domes are for acoustic effect, but they’re a delicious feast for the eyes as well like hundreds of satin jellyfish hovering over your head. Just magical.

 

day 40

Last summer I travelled through part of the US by train. One day I’ll edit together the video footage (it’s on the list!) meanwhile I look at the photos and I’m right back in my little sleeper carriage looking out, open mouthed, at the enormity of the scenery.

This is Utah.

Oh my days!

 

day 41

One of my most favourite things: street art. This face was smiling out from a metal shutter, watching the world go by, somewhere in Barcelona. I’m fascinated by his eyes.  

 

day 42

 

42: the answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything. And the image from the same exhibition I began this book with, Pink Floyd at the V&A. When I was a young thing, their music was my 42.

So it inadvertently came back round full circle. As things seem to do.

 


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week~ Week 5

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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Drawing on Metaphors continued…


100 days: 29-35

The urge to draw must be quite deep within us, because children love to do it.

– David Hockney.

I’ve made a nest of art supplies at the table where I play each morning – I can’t use the studio – too much to get distracted by. Instead it’s me, my coffee, my phone (photo album & podcast player) and an ever growing amount of art supplies.

I’m getting more into watercolor – I love the immediacy – quick coverage instead of painstaking doodles. I’m sure to flip between these two approaches as the 100 days winds by. Maybe? We’ll see…

 

Here is week 5:

day 29

Do you get as excited as me about tiny mosaic tiles? Gold coloured ones? Yep, I thought so. I needed something undemanding today, something fun. Like lots of different ways of making lots of different little squares in pencil and pen and paint. Some with edges and outlines and scribbled bits and some with none. Each one beautifully individual. And essentially the same. 

 

day 30

 

If there was room in my backpack, I would have bought this thing without hesitation. But that’s the case for too many things in this shop of treasures I stopped at travelling through Washington. Ah, but this thing, with it’s mirrors and circles and spaces in between, it is all I could ask from a beautifully pointless object. I love how the design is so simple yet tangled me up in drawing it, getting lost in the connections and the spaces.

Another day, another metaphor for life.

 

day 31

Something about lizards and geckos really fascinates me. (Don’t get me started on axolotls). I saw this little guy in Barcelona. Now he’s scuttling forever through my scribbled thoughts of the day.

 

 

day 32

 

Things I’m realising in this #100dayproject : the photos I think will be easy to draw often aren’t, and vice versa. It’s getting easier to let go of expectations and just draw, but I have to re-remember this almost every time.

In Betty Edward’s book on drawing she recommended when copying from a photo to draw upside down. This was in the back of my mind today. Only, of course, a photo like this doesn’t have an upside down. My brain, instead, chose to try and mirror image what it was seeing. … Poor little brain, sometimes this game is more of a stretch that it wants before the coffee has fully soaked in. 

 

day 33

Who could resist this ferocious toothy beast? I can’t remember where he came from. But he’s here now.  I wish I could credit the original artist, but somehow all memory of the origin of this has escaped me.

 

 

day 34

What a difference a color makes, this flint wall has turned into opal. Have I discovered my own alchemy here folks?

Why revery? It’s just a word I heard, it travelled from my ear straight down my arm, out through the pen onto the page. That’s all. Defined as a ‘state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing’ – I think the word knew it belonged on this page and didn’t need to consult me.

 

 

day 35

“You can get the monkeys off your back, but the circus never leaves town.” ~ Anne Lamott 

Of course these aren’t monkeys, these are zombie kangaroos. But I heard this quote while I was drawing and it would be long forgotten if I didn’t write it down.
Today is another window view, this one from Seattle. I like the blended worlds of reflections and the other side. Inside/outside mish-mashed into a form of ephemeral art of its own. 

This is a place I’d like to explore more. (The ephemeral-reflection-art-idea-place. And Seattle too)

 


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3 ~ Week 4

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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My Indigo June


Twelve Colors in Twelve Months: 2017 is my year full of color. I called it Twelvty. Because that’s just the way my mind works… and because I like made up words.

Each month I take another step around the color wheel, and focus on making art in just this color.

I like the liminal places – like dawn and dusk – neither one nor the other – just on that tipping edge in between. So naturally, I’m especially drawn to the tertiary colors (which is great – there are six –  so every other month I’m back into one of my favourite color zones).

 

Last month’s color was blue-violet: the moody-mauvy, midnight-indigo, and the fragrant bluebell & lavender space in the spectrum.

Last month also marked the half way point through the year, which is a place I like to step back and reflect.

These are some thoughts on the story so far.

 

Each month, along with its own color, has its own flavour, it’s own particular energy. It moves in its own speed, and I’m coming to realise, this is something over which I have next to no control.

Each month as I focus my creativity in the current color, I’m learning to bide quietly and see what comes out. To begin, I thought this was from the associations each color invites, but now I’m  seeing it’s also from the cumulative volume of spirit this entire investigation is amassing. 

The power of a single pointed focus in color is in its absolute simplicity.

Restricting the dither attached to one choice frees up space to play with the others, and to maximise them beyond the usual stopping point: tone and shade, materials and media, size and shape. Or then stripping it all back to its origin: just pure color. 

 

 

I’m  compiling an art journal of my ideas and experiments as I move through the year. It’s a re-purposed world atlas (cos this is an adventure – it seemed fitting). Each month’s has about 4 pages of playing space, and at the midway point this book is bulging with inspiration, expectation, and possibilities.

Twelvty_ArtJournal_1-6.jpg

 

Would you like to see this month’s pages?

If you enjoyed that, you can see the previous month’s pages here

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. I will ensure it is guarded at all times by dragons. Hungry dragons.

 

Drawing on Metaphors


100 days: 22-28

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

~ Thomas Merton. 

Received wisdom states it take anything from a couple of weeks to almost a year to form a new habit to the point whereby it feels automatic. Of course some folk are more habitually inclined, and for anyone a habit that’s enjoyable is easier to fit into an exiting routine.

Existing routine – did you hear that? Like I understand the meaning of this phrase!

However, this daily drawing habit is a month old for me now, and I’m really enjoying it. Each day I’m learning more about myself in ways I never though would be possible through such a simple activity. After all, I probably draw something most days anyway. But this is different. This has got rules: use a phone photo. Even when you don’t want to. That’s the basis of all these drawings, even if it’s a scribbled outline with free-form-jazz-doodles going on inside and all around. And I post the drawing daily. Even when I don’t want to. So what you see here isn’t curated highlights, it’s the day-to-day ordinary.

Here is week 4:

 

day 22

   22 22a

It’s just about a year since I had an enormous revelation that I still can’t express in words. So I look for symbols instead, in the hope that by collecting them I’ll be able to turn the understanding into words I can share. It’s about connection and communication, it speaks of time and fragility. Impermanence, and the whole essence of what we’re here for. I can see it in this image and I can’t explain how. This week I had another revelation: I don’t have to have the words. I can just be with this as it is for now.

day 23

23 23a

I saw this in the V&A, I was entranced by the colours, the shape, the sheeny-shiny glaze, all those edges and faces. I want to make one of these!

day 24

24 24a

This guy was hanging around outside Barcelona Zoo- it’s ok, he wasn’t alone – there were a few of them.

day 25

25 25a

I’m back in the  Barcelona photos … cos it’s such a photogenic place! In a three day trip earlier this year I must have taken hundreds of photos. Already bewitched by the art of Antoni Gaudi, I was in bits when I found myself actually walking around inside of  it. 

day 26

26 26a

“What thinks?” Are thoughts generated somewhere inside this head? or is it a receiver for energy that’s outside of us? Today It feels like floating in a soup of information, drenched in world noise, trying not to drown.

I like to listen to podcasts as I draw. As an on/off meditator and long time student of Buddhist practice, I really enjoy the podcasts produced by the Insight Meditation Center, Audio Dharma. They get me thinking about thinking… 

day 27

27 27a

Who, what is this? He’s inspired by a series of fabulous creatures by Jane Alexander at the Tate Modern. Everyday I’m learning so much, about drawing, and on a deeper level through the drawing practice. My observation is getting sharper, but more importantly I’m getting better at course correcting when I don’t get it first time. And I’m kinder to the part of me that’s learning , practicing, not expecting a perfect representation (I’ve already got a photo- this is something else) I’m developing the art of allowing.

day 28

28 28a

When I’m not hung up on accuracy I can forget the details and just go for the essence. I can float back in time a few months and return to the awe that floated me around these magical dreamlike Gaudi buildings. I can’t pretend this is easy, but I’m learning. I am, and it is, all a work in progress. It’s such a trip.


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

Week 1 ~ Week 2  ~ Week 3

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook

 

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

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Exploring through drawing


100 days: 14-21

“The way we do anything is the way we do everything.”

~ Martha Beck

Do you have patterns you keep falling back to?  

I’m three weeks into this 100 day project, and I’m noticing more patterns – not only the literal doodled patterns and shapes I return to in my drawings, but the patterns of thought in my behaviour and habits.

It’s the spirals and swirls, AND it’s the haphazardness and self talk that accompanies every process. The consistency of my inconsistency, how I dart between the extremes of all & nothing, the wonkiness of the line and skewed perspective, the mid range despair before conceding: this is my way. I gotta learn to like it, keep practicing, don’t stop and dwell here. Keep moving, keep learning, trust the process. 

 

Here is week 3:

 

day 14

14 IMG_8424

The 100 day project is teaching me so much already: about commitment for instance. I did not want to post this one. I could easily have drawn something else, or skipped on to the next day, and no-one but I would have known. But there’s the key: I would have known.

I’m doing this for all sorts of reasons, and getting better at drawing ‘real’ things is one of them. And showing up to myself is another thing. So here I am literally doing this! Morning panda eyes, this is me. (Oh, and how I see my hair: full of doodles.)

 

day 15

15 IMG_6591

The word that stood out in the whatever-I-was-listening-to today was Dissolve. I’m enjoying the connection between this, the meaning of ‘forming a solution’, merging to become a part of, and my unending seeking of answers. And to let all that dissolve too. Let it all go.

The photo I used is a fabulous light I saw in Barcelona. It’s like the sun ☀️ . .

 

day 16

16 Untitled-1

Somewhere between keeping it simple – 1 color, black pen & pencil – and totally over complicating with all the doodles and patterns. Both. Everything. All of it. .
One thing I’m working on in this project is the notion of leaving white space. Breathing space. Moments of quiet.

So by making quiet space a part of my drawings I’m training myself to let this into other parts of life too.

 

day 17

17 IMG_5998

I went to the Tate modern gallery on my birthday, and walking up from the station I was captivated by this image. So many lines and angles, triangles and patterns.

I just noticed the synchronicity of the numbers: Day 17, and my birthday is the 17th. I like when you his happens. I take it as a clue I’m on track with what I’m doing.

 

day 18

18 IMG_4559

‘Do What You Love’ it said, and round the corner ‘Love What You Do’.

That’s it. Right here. That’s what I’m doing.

 

day 19

19 19hat

Today is made of wonky lines of words and scribbles. Some days have more words than others, and this was one of them. Been thinking a lot about dreaming, last night was a series of distinct dreams within dreams, like Russian dolls, fractal layers.

This morning I found a podcast series about lucid dreaming, so that was my ‘morning drawing listening’ for today. .

 

day 20

20 IMG_0799

I take so many photos like this, I can’t resist the textures and patterns in stone walls 😊
The words ‘safe understanding’ meant something at the time I wrote them, but I either got distracted or overestimated what me-in-the-future would remember about the context. Nonetheless they’re good solid words to be on a wall.

There was a time when photos would exist only on paper, and once developed would get muddled and out of synch. I would not have kept the memory of seeing this wall in the chronological organisation that digital images have, so would have soon forgotten that today’s image was within minutes of the following (much more memorable) one. Things like this counter balance all that’s infuriating about digital life.

 

day 21

21 IMG_0823 (1)

I invited this girl I found while I was exploring Sacramento.  Last year I tripped across the states by train from Seattle to Chicago. I had just a few hours here between trains, it was early morning before the day had really woken up so I strolled around looking for art. And I found it!


If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here: Week 1 & Week 2

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook

 

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)
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100 days: 8-13


So here’s the thing: I’m not ordinarily a jump-out-of-bed-filled-with-enthusiasm-for-the-new-day kinda gal

(Oh, how I wish… I’m working on this one)

And I get twitchy at the thought of constraining myself to  a regular routine. 

I’m not quite sure why the disparity between the me I’d like to embody and the me I currently am, other than  – the reason for most things – people are complicated creatures.

It’s part of my BIG WHY behind taking on this challenge

It’s a practice within a practice, the bigger challenge of this life: to keep learning, keep evolving, keep shape-shifting – to become a morning person, a person who carries a sketchbook, a person who can draw circles and faces and recognisable things without drowning in judgement and criticism…. a person with a wholesome, creative, regular daily habit —  to who knows what next.

I figure only practice will get me from the version of the person I’m being now to the one I want to be next. One step in front of the other, one page at a time.


Here is week 2:

 

8/100

8 7

I am magnetised by trees, hypnotised. I can just stand and stare at them. And I do. One of the (many) reasons, I love the shapes the branches make – the gaps and spaces – like windows to the sky.

 

9/100

IMG_8366 IMG_0868

I forget what or where this was. I don’t think that matters much. What’s most interesting to me is all the metaphors this brings to mind. Today I’m thinking about junctions, connections, the joining togetherness and shifts in direction.

 

10/100

IMG_8404 IMG_8235

I notice how today I’m just not feeling it. I get caught up in the details and miss the bigger picture. The perspective is skewed and botched. And I say ‘but it’s art, it’s a drawing not an exact copy. It’s *inspired by* …’ while all the while I’m wanting to practice and get better at observing, at seeing the whole picture, at planning and scaling and accuracy and all that stuff. It’s all metaphors and it’s all practice.

 

11/100

IMG_8409 11

This is a path I’ve walked down hundreds of times, a shortcut between two rows of houses. In the morning the sun shines through the tunnel of overhanging trees and dapples the path. Already I’m thinking I’d like to revisit this photo, see it through the eyes of a me-on-another-day.

 

12/100

IMG_8431 IMG_0403

I found this curious group in a shop in Washington. I was travelling light so could only come away with this photo. In my drawing I could only fit three of the characters, so the others might appear later in the book (I feel like they should be together in some form). In the drawing the two on the left look a little conspiratorial while the green dude on the right looks worried. I only noticed this just now. What do they know that I don’t? Has separating them from the herd caused some friction? 

 

13/100

IMG_8435 13

It’s curious (to me) how taking a photo traps a moment, a memory, and holds it, contained in a little rectangle. This rectangle contains the mixed feelings of the drive to the airport, going home from a holiday, in a place I called my second home for sometime.

 


 

If you want to follow along this project day by day I’m posting on Instagram (where you can also see more WIP & detail pix) & Facebook

Do you have a daily creative practice? I’d love to know how you find it effects the way you make, the way you process your ideas…

 


All through this summer I’m offering a special discount in my Etsy Shop to all the folks on my mailing list – so clickety-hop aboard today if you want to snag a bargain!

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(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)
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