Inktober Day 9 – “precious”

Today’s word is “precious”, so I went from a reference photo to see if I could draw a decent image of my sweet Finn as a puppy. In the photo he’s sitting in our neighbor’s yard, under a shower of little white flowers, next to the sidewalk.

My zing factor is medium high, which is pretty good. I’ll take it. That green is special to me, I’ve got one half-pan of that stuff and I horde it – this is a mistake, I either need to mix my own or just buy more. Because that green needs to be on everything, all the time.

One of the things I’m really loving about this project is that all my Inktober pieces are in one little book. I’ll have this little book forever. I’ll always remember this month, this crazy month with all the pain and all the packing up and getting rid of things for the move.

A big clue to me that I needed to start drawing again was this: I love to look back on my old art, but I rarely look back on my diaries. For years, years, I have written like a fiend in a diary or journal. Since I was eight years old or so. And it’s rare for me to look back on them. Maybe once a year do I read them. And when I do, oh, they’re so cringe-inducing.

Looking back on drawings and watercolor sketches I did years ago is a completely different experience. I spend long minutes gazing at one piece, remembering where I was, what the day felt like, what I was thinking at the time. None of that is telegraphed to any other viewer, but I know. The effect is powerful, and moving to me. It’s stronger than with most photos, too. Just the most basic drawings will bring this heavy wave of memory. They don’t have to be “good”. Realizing this was a major reason I decided to start drawing again, even though my past experience with it had been so hard (I had very poor art self-esteem).

2 replies »

  1. I’m glad you are sharing these drawings. You know the drill, the more you draw the better you draw the more you’ll draw. I have no proof it works on anything else. I do keep my sketchbooks. I’ve dumped journals but my children will have to look at the sketchbooks when they clean house. They are the best indication of who I was when I was.
    Also pup.
    Daniel Smith is still a real store in Seattle (Yelp says they still are open). They used to be very generous with advice on building your own box of paints and mixing to build your palette. Or at least somebody was. I know it’s a trek. Dakota Art in Ballard often has a good soul at the counter. Call ahead?

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    • Yep, practice, practice, practice! And to be even more repetitive, the practice is good practice – i.e. I notice that every time I think, “I should just doodle something,” and my mind says, “Oh, I’m not inspired,” or perhaps, “Oh, I’ll do it later,” but then I STOP and I ACTUALLY DRAW…..the result is always that I feel a little muscle in my head somewhere gets a little bigger. Watch out world, I might be developing self-discipline.

      I love the idea of dumping journals but keeping sketchbooks. 🙂 For me, so much writing is about working through things. And I’m an anxious person, always have been. Which is an inescapable part of my family’s experience of me, but I don’t want to compound that by leaving them with my legacy of anxiety diaries. Leaving them with art is a better gift in so many ways.

      Dakota here in Ballard is great, we go there all the time (we live just up the hill). But they’re very expensive, so we often traipse over to the place in the U-District that gives us discounts for taking our online classes. I really ought to go visit Daniel Smith before we move, that sounds fun!

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