Sunday, 3 November 2013

Appreciating the Ordinary, Embracing the Wonky

Dear Helen,

As you know, I'm a sucker for a good online, go-at-your-own-pace workshop.  And recently, I jumped into another one, called "Draw your Awesome Life" taught by Joanne Sharpe.  I've taken classes from Joanne before, and I like her enthusiasm and her free-wheeling style.  She emphasizes being yourself and drawing or lettering in your very own style, versus trying to be perfect and realistic and all.

Even though I've been sketching and painting pretty regularly, this class beckoned to me for a bunch of reasons.  In art, I'm drawn to the idea of finding beauty in the ordinary.  So the idea of using the bits of every day life and seeing the "awesome" in them is right up my alley.  Also, there's a sense of gratitude in all  of this -- recognizing the wonderfulness of the simplest bits of every day living, and appreciating it and even celebrating it in art. This feels like an important reminder for me, especially in this phase where I'm feeling so, well, transitional.

Plus, the other goal was to just get myself to loosen up.  I feel like my sketches have gotten tighter and fussier (and more boring) and I need something to get away from that.  I think this fast and loose and fun approach is just the thing to shake me out of that.

So yesterday, I spent a bit of time -- and a very little bit, actually -- doing the "draw one leaf five ways" assignment.  Very freeing.

I have been reminded how much I like contour drawing -- how it really is loose and freeing.  Wonky.  Remember how I said I'm trying to "embrace the wonky" in my sketches?  I keep forgetting that.  Contour drawing makes me remember.

I don't know where this will lead.  I think the loosening up is what I need right now, the permission to draw fast lines and splash the paint around.  Will this transfer into fiber art?  Who knows.  But it feels right, right now. 

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