Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Autumn Blessings

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I hope you have plenty of family, food and fun!

For those scattered around the world, I wish you Happy Autumnal blessings (even if it's Spring where you live!).

I am so very thankful for the friends and family I have, for our good health, the window on the world provided by the internet that allows me to pursue my artistic passion and for the small, everyday joys that come my way.

Thank you for being a part of my life!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Losing My Way Before Finding It In An Unlikely Way

I have found myself in an odd place here of late and I wasn't really sure how to move forward.

I added a house (based on an ornament I have in my studio) at the lower inside right corner.
I wasn't overly interested in sketching and since I have 973, 974 things on my need-to-do-right-now list, motivation has been scarce. As in, none. It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while, I hit a wall or plateau and it all seems to come to a screeching halt.
Ollie, hanging out on the back of the card
The thing that usually goes first is my personal sketching. It used to terrify me when that happened. I'd freak out thinking I'd never draw, paint or create again. Time, that most benevolent teacher, has taught me that panicking doesn't help and that eventually, the desire/need/compulsion comes back.

Sometimes, it's a slow dribble that becomes a steady drip before the faucet fully flows. Other times, it's a deluge all at once. I prefer the slow dribble because the deluge has a tendency to be overwhelming and I find myself unable to pick a place to start.

Back of the envelope
What gave me a spark this time was a mother's request. In a group I play with on Facebook, a woman requested for folks to write to her two daughters as they're very, very homesick for the United States.

They are currently in Norway for a year and their journey is only in it's third month!

Are you familiar with Beatrix Potter's picture letters that she sent to her governess' children? The illustrations Beatrix created in those letters would later become the basis for her books. The thought of having received a letter like that as a child stayed with me when I read Ms. Potter's life story.

Front of the card
How could/would my life have been different, if at all, should I have seen someone using art in such a normal, everyday way? I dare say it may not have taken me until my mid-20's to find my path.

So when the mother asked for letters to ease the girls' homesickness, I decided to give Beatrix's approach to art a whirl. I cannot tell you how much fun I had coming up with simple illustrations!

I didn't want to stop. I sprinkled little illustrations along the sides of the letter and in place of a few words. Then I made a list of other possibilities I could doodle if the girls decide to write back to me.

Either way, creating this letter did the trick of opening me back up to the joys of creating. I think because it was something so outside of my normal round, it helped to remind me of why I love to create.

Now, if it will help to alleviate some young ladies' homesickness, it will be even better!

When you lose your way, how do you get back on track when you've misplaced your desire to create?