I've always been a doodler when it comes to keeping my hands busy, but in the last few months I've been drawing with more intent and focus on the finished piece. Some of my sketches are, well...really bad. Like, I'm not sure I'm ready to put this barely passable stick figure "out there" yet, bad. Others are somewhat better, and I'm willing to share (see image at left), but what's been making my sketching projects more fun is using different surfaces while doing it.
You'd think a hardcore bookophile like me would be hesitant or horrified to tear pages out of a book to use in my art. But I feel quite the opposite when I do this. I've always been a staunch believer in writing/the written word as an art, and one thing artists should always do is embrace and use the materials at hand. While I certainly wouldn't tear pages out of my favorite books or something worth a lot of money, repurposing books found in thrift stores or garage sales, is a great way to merge to arts together.
To prep the book pages for watercolor or acrylic paints, I painted a light coat of gesso on each page. Then once dry, I used a charcoal pencil to sketch. I only allow myself 10-15 minutes on each page. I am trying to teach myself to better focus in short bursts of time on just what's in front of me, but at the same time, allow my creativity to flow. This has been harder than I initially thought.
Drawing and painting doesn't always come naturally to me. Over the years I have in turn been madly happy with what I'm creating, or madly frustrated to the point of giving it up for a long time (years!). I've always turned back to easier (to me) crafts like sewing, knitting, or something else where there is more assembly in the process vs. just a blank page and a writing instrument in your hand. I find comfort in these crafts and will never give them up. But my "words" for 2014 are Change and Push and I'm determined to do both in my drawing: change the way I think about my ability to draw. Push myself to learn more and draw more...good, bad, ugly, or beautiful.
I'm pleased with the start!