thoughts about life, art and color


To Journal Or Not To Journal

Many artists journal, daily, occasionally, have or carry a sketchbook. They say it helps them to call in their creative spirit. They say it helps them to grow as artists. It’s highly touted. I haven’t done this since I was in school because I became a “headsketcher”. I work out visual problems in my mind while I’m doing some unrelated tasks, I’m thinking it through, line by line, color by color, layout, etc. Now I do fulfill my need for moving marking tools on paper by doodling on napkins, tax returns (for some reason frowned upon), and recently, a tablet; but no real work through it record nor calling in my muse on a regular basis. However, I was faced with a dilemma. My current project is too large and has too many components. I’m writing and illustrating a book, so I couldn’t seem to stay motivated because the project is too large for headsketching. I was hitting a wall, a very large, very strong, very nasty, white brick wall. Got the image? So after pondering and questioning myself, do I really want to do this journal thing? I decided to jump in the water thinking maybe there’s something to it and what could it hurt, I was already in the weeds so… I did it and it’s wonderful!
I’m taking an online journaling class with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer because she follows the more is best notion and seems to throw control pretty much out the window but don’t let that fool you. She definitely knows what she’s doing and why. Her process allows one to throw caution and perfection to the wind and just have fun. But it is really helping to stretch which is something I think we probably all need. I’m being fed as an artist while playing, that’s a win-win. I look forward to beginning my day with this half hour and who knows, maybe I’ll keep it up forever. It really does jump start the creative process. So thanks Julie, I’m having fun while feeling more creative. It looks like I’ll get that book done after all.


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Hang In There

Wednesday was the first day of spring…REALLY?!? It’s so cold here these eggs need coats but because my annual ritual of standing eggs during the vernal equinox worked, I know spring is here even though it doesn’t feel like it outside. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of something unpleasant or difficult, it’s hard to hang in there believing things will improve, they’ll work out, and brighter days can be ahead.
I am not a fan of winter but this year it seemed to be especially challenging. Many years ago I heard somewhere that the only day of the year that you can stand eggs is during the vernal equinox. I don’t know if this is true or not but I don’t care. Dealing with winter is a challenge for me so I needed something to make me believe that spring is here no matter what the temperature is so every year I can hardly wait to get out my eggs on March 20th. This year was super special because I was able to stand three eggs in less than six minutes, a record for me.
Lessons: keep at it no matter how bleak it looks, believe even when it seems like it will never be ok, you actually might get better at something if you keep practicing (I’ll remember that one for my piano lessons) and know that eventually…things will get better.