Sketching beyond the "Challenge"
To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. Kurt Vonnegut
The discipline of a "challenge" allows me to hone a skill in a way that my normal practice doesn't. It builds muscles and techniques in a particular domain which sustains that practice somewhat beyond the challenge.
For me it looks like allowing a spread to take a week if it takes a week, allowing a little bit when I can, or a lot when I can, it looks like ease and permission. It also looks like leaving my water colours and sketching materials spread out on the kitchen table just in case (while my art journal is spread out on my work table and a pile of books plays jenga at my bedside and so on- I'm sure it requires much patience from my beloved to live with a multi-passionate, multi medium artist). Some days I start a sketch and I may not lay paint down for a few more days, or, as in the image at the top here, I paint/sketch a little vignette in one corner and build the page out over the course of the week.
There are no rules, the practice requires only one thing- practice. That is showing up and doing "the work" and I do the work for the joy of it when and how I can. Sure I love the idea of working in my sketchbook daily, of growing my skill and style in that way, but since I also like the idea of working in my art journal daily, painting daily and hitting the mat daily and all the other things; until I learn to bend and stretch time I will continue to allow a whole lot of ease and permission around my practice being just what it is- a practice. Practice is the process itself. Life is a practice.
How do you manage your creative practice in all its fullness into your life with all its fullness?
Treated myself to a new pen and I am absolutely loving it. The Joy pen from Lamy- as a calligraphy pen it is beautiful for sketching because of the variety in line it creates from the thin to the wide.
The Sketchbook Challenge really highlighted the inability of the journal I was using to take water colour so I am testing new journals and loving this one.
Here is the obligatory first page testing the paper by painting my palette.
Join me for In the Garden, its part of my practice. We begin on 2nd of October. You can find details here