Over the last few weeks I have been going through the supplies I have on hand and deciding what I need to replace or add. I’ve added a few new tubes of watercolor, some brushes, and a tablet of paper. I’ve looked through my books and bought a couple that really interested me. I added a couple of pencils, some black permanent pigment pens, India ink, rubber masking, and a couple of other things. Cleaning up and re-organizing the studio helped keep me from adding duplicate materials, as well as discard old things which were no longer functional. I still need to inventory my 22 x 30 inch sheets of watercolor paper.
Another thing I did was to set up this blog, and go through YouTube in search of how-to videos and subscribe to channels, many of which I have added to the links here. Making a video is a lot of work and takes time, but watching a video is one of the best learning tools. You can stop it, start it, watch it again and again. For me, this is one way I find helps me to master something.
Now, I need to get started at really focusing on this side of my life and do something. I have laid down some washes and practiced on different papers – this is all good. The truth is, I’m rather scared of doing this. The fear of failure is there, and in the back of my mind I hear voices of the past, of comparison, and so on. All people who pursue the arts at any serious level hear these – but the ones that really, really want it continue despite real or perceived challenges.
Cruising through different blogs, I came across this link from the Smithsonian. Jump over to it – it’s a thought on creativity in difficult times, as well as how one can create without spending a lot of money, which is what many a hobby can be!
My New Year’s resolution – intention as one newspaper put it – is to return to art and creativity as a part of my daily life. Ever since I was a kid, paint and paper and ink have been the big draw. The biggest problem with me, though, is distractions. Staying focused on one thing is not easy for me. The result is what I would like to master is pushed aside as too hard or time-consuming, or by comparing myself to this or that person. In particular, this applies to watercolors and drawing, but it also applies to so many other areas of my life.
My life style is my main crutch. I blame it for everything. My 10-hour work days leave time for little else. A 30-minute lunch where all I do is stuff food in my face to make it to the next task is another excuse. So my question to myself is what can I do to change my sense of frustration and of waiting for more time? More time isn’t coming, that’s for sure. Each second vanishes before it is even acknowledged.
Art requires thought, but it also requires just diving in and doing. I tend to get stuck in thought or stuck in doing, but somehow neither alone gives much satisfaction or sense of accomplishment. The two need to be tied together. Learning and practicing, thinking and doing, analyzing and trying again – this is the process.
Thus, my resolution: for the remainder of my holiday break, I will focus on watercolor and drawing. Once I return to work, my favorite mechanical pencil and a small sketch book, along with my camera, will be with me. One drawing at lunch. One photo a day. Evenings have no guarantee of time, but the long weekends do have that element.
Let’s see where this goes.