I don’t breathe, eat and sleep art. I really don’t live up to that cliche of the artist life. Being an artist is a delicate balance between the daily tasks of everyday living and creating art that I still have yet to master. But when I do turn my attention towards art whether it is my own work or the work of others, my spirit comes alive with awe. It is that liveliness that reminds me and lets me know that this is “my thing”. Other than the natural beauty of Nature in all of Her diverse forms, art is what makes my heart dance and creating it is my act of devotion to the Spirit that created me.
Sitting down to draw is a difficult thing for me. The desire is there but I’m often easily distracted by my thoughts, my daily chores, my doubts, my worries, my daydreams, my quest for inspiration, my need for social interaction and affection, the pressing issues of the world and my feelings of guilt. That last one gets me the most. How dare I try to shut out everyone, the world and all it’s busyness to focus on something I enjoy? I feel guilty for trying to add a sliver of artistic beauty into this life. Who needs beauty and art when people are starving, civil and human rights are being trampled and the love for profit has seeped into every faucet of our existence? I should be doing something more important or at the very least making some kind of political or social statement with my work. Shouldn’t I?
I wonder if other artists wrestle with such things.
It’s been a peaceful day. Got up early and repotted my jalapeno plants. This is my first attempt at doing jalapenos but my second at trying to do hot peppers. (First time didn’t turn out so good.) Then I made homemade granola. It’s almost all gone now because it’s been years since I’ve enjoyed a bowl of cold cereal. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this sooner but now that I have, I’m like a little kid again and I can’t stop eating the stuff. I’m sure I’ll pay for it later. All that fiber coupled with a stomach that doesn’t care too much for milk in any form is definitely a recipe for disaster.
After breakfast I retreated into the simplicity of line drawing. It’s the foundation of all my ink work but often times I enjoy it just as much and sometimes more than stippling/pointillism.
I laid out the line work for my third drawing of my Voodoufairy series. After which I felt like doing some more, so I grabbed my Moleskine and drew up this closed lotus flower.
Tomorrow I’ll bring out my pens but today I’m in the mood only for some graphite.
I’ve had a lot going on and on my mind over the last week that has really zapped my energy and interest in focusing on my art. I’m sure it’s inevitable that life will get that way sometimes. But I came across this article on Zentangles that piqued my interest and I decided to give it a try to get myself out of my head.
As a person who is accustomed to sitting down and drawing with something specific in mind or at least with some vague idea, it was a little difficult to just let go and draw with unfocused intent. The whole time I kept saying to myself “What the hell is this?” It kind of felt like I was doing some kind of non-verbal psyche evaluation where the drawing would reveal something about my psyche. Actually by the time I finished I felt refreshed and ready to do some “focused” drawing. From what I’ve read Zentagles are suppose to be meditative and I’m sure they probably are but from this little experiment, they could be a part of my creative process as a nice little warm up exercise to get me out of my head and loosen up the tension I often feel when I try to start on a new drawing. I’m always open to finding new and simple ways to keep my creative juices flowing in a world that’s filled with so many distractions.
If you’re interested you can read more about Zentagles here