I spent Sunday sketching and drawing, something I haven’t sat to do since last year. The night before, I pulled my big art bag out and looked through some spiral sketch books to see what I had. I usually keep a couple going at once, a 6×9 and a 9×12. I’ll sketch images that come to me, or images that I see in front of me. I may do just a rough sketch and then skip a page and begin another. I leave every other page blank on purpose. I will go back and forth through the sketches later and add more detail. So I always have dozens of drawings in various stages of completion. If I do anything I particularly like, I’ll watercolor it or maybe use some pastels to finish it.
I’ve smartened up and now check my inventory before picking up more supplies. Last time I ordered erasers, a week later I found a dozen in my bag. My sketch bag is a big black canvas briefcase that holds a dozen spiral notebooks as well as my pencils, charcoals, sharpeners, smudgers and beloved art gum erasers. As an aside, Office Depot has art gum erasers for 59c and Michael’s craft store had them for $1.79 – big diff.
Sunday morning I woke up with several images in my head that I wanted to get on paper, so I quickly did a dozen rough sketches. I know not to get too hung up on details unless they are flowing out of me. I never force the finish of a sketch, it will get finished as it all comes to me, even if it takes years. Sometimes I’ll sit and draw something start to finish in one session, but not often.
My drawing and painting style changed after a car accident in 2000 that left me with reduced fine motor skills in both paws. It’s mostly no big deal and I can do anything with them, it’s just that fine detail work like drawing takes longer now.
I like the simplification of my new style, it brings out my childlike delight in drawing and painting. I think it’s funny that years of discipline and practice and muscle memory of the strokes can go out the window and I can be left with paws that sometimes have minds of their own. When I put pencil to paper now, there’s the mystery of not knowing what may come next; where the next errant stroke may take me. I find a kind of freedom in that, like it’s literally out of my hands. It gives me a chance to practice dealing with change and dealing with the unexpected, with learning how to go with the flow every time my fingers make some unexpected move or fail to complete a curve.
Drawing is one of those things I enjoy that lets me lose track of time. I know anything I can get lost in puts me in the Now. And in the Now is where all the magic is, where my thoughts are most productive, where my ability to consciously attract is at its highest.
When I am drawing or painting in the Now, I usually have no resistance. I’m in that state that Abraham-Hicks calls releasing resistance, and in the vortex, in the flow. We all have something we do that puts us in the vortex. For some, just washing dishes and doing housework puts them in the vortex. For others, those are chores.
Like with my art, if I was the kind of artist who wanted my work to be a particular way, I’d be disappointed if I failed to complete a stroke that gave me the exact result I wanted. I’d be bummed if my portraits looked nothing like my friends. Instead, I may start out with an idea in mind, but I’m willing to let my paws express it as they want to, no matter what it ends up looking like. I’m not real attached to the outcome.
Being attached to the outcome is what keeps most people from picking up a pencil and drawing. No one wants to be judged or mocked. I don’t care what people think of my goofy art, it is fun for me to do and I feel like show and tell when I share it.
Like the image to the left, I was in the yard watching my Maine coon kitty Izzy standing in the bushes, so I drew him. As I drew him, he began to look more tiger like. Then I decided to watercolor it, so I made him a tiger. Does it look like Izzy? Well, kind of. Does it look like a tiger? Well, kind of. Will the Metropolitan Museum of Art want my work anytime soon? Likely not.
Do I care? Nope. I don’t do it for them, I do it for me. I do it because it’s fun. I draw and paint because it’s something I’ve found that works for me, that brings me into the Now and makes me feel relaxed and refreshed, that takes me away from the outside world and into a fun world of my own.
What brings you into the Now and lets you release resistance?
What does that for you?