How do you find the time to draw regularly, ideally daily? I’m an ordinary 40 something with a family and for many years drawing was at the bottom of my priority list. Below earning a crust, washing, tidying, making supper, and trying to work out what I should be doing with my life. So what changed?
I’ve been to art school, completed a degree in textile design I thought I knew a bit about drawing but for the last 21 years I’ve really only drawn occasionally and when asked to produce an illustration. I realised I needed to start again and began to research drawing and sketching on the internet. I discovered Danny Gregorys’ blog and for Christmas 2011 I received some water brushes with great plans to turn over a new leaf and start sketching daily. However the water brushes were tricky to use, life took over again so they languished in a draw until Christmas 2012 when I was given Danny Gregory’s book “Everyday Matters”.
December passed and I still had that niggling feeling that I needed to find a way to draw regularly but there never seemed to be time. Life was hectic enough. January passed then at the end of February I signed up for Jani Franck’s 30 day Unearth your Creative Nature e-course. This helped me realise that with just a little forward planning; and some basic materials always at the ready, I could integrate drawing into my daily routine. In March I went to a Bristol drawing club meeting at The Looking Glass. See Drawing the Drawers, again this reminded me how much fun drawing could be and that it could be quick and spontaneous. I began to hone my sketching kit. I landed a water colour illustration commission in April and this inspired me to improve my water colour technique and colour mixing. I culled my paint box of it’s rainbow colours limiting myself initially to just cadmium red, ultramarine blue, lemon yellow and cadmium yellow for the entire painting. I kept raw umber burnt sienna and lamp black in my box for the time being. I had gone from a box jam packed with 36 half pans (I’d filled the paint brush space as well!) to only seven colours. More recently I discovered Eds’ Mostly Drawing blog, a wealth of useful info and links to other blogs about sketching and sketching kit, mixing colours and of course plenty of beautiful drawings to inspire.
I started posting a daily drawing on 26 March 2013 (why wait for January 1st to come round again…)
Now I’m exploring new territory, pushing myself to try new ideas and materials. Still developing and experimenting with sketching kits. I might miss the odd day or longer here and there but I have noticed already how drawing more-often-than-not changes the way I look at my surroundings. I’m looking more, noticing more, living in the current moment a little more. Life is more creative, more fun!
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” (-Picasso)