Monday, September 28, 2020

Something Is Better Than Nothing


There's so little at stake with keeping an illustrated journal, and yet it's a great creative outlet. It can simply be a record of images and thoughts that go along with everyday living. There's little pressure to make every drawing a good one. If the drawing is awful, maybe the writing will make up for it. If it doesn't, who cares? It's just a visual/verbal playground and a learning laboratory.

Lately, as sheltering in place has droned on, stalling my motivation for creating paintings, I've turned to a more regular illustrated journaling practice. I tell myself, "Something is better than nothing" and just start drawing -- trusting that somehow I'll continue to develop as an artist.

My latest favorite sketchbook is a hardbound "large portrait" 8.25" x 5.5" size from the Hand-book Journal Co. It has drawing paper with a good tooth (but too toothy) that accepts light watercolor washes. I use my carbon platinum fountain pen for the ink  and then whatever watercolors I have on hand.

Here are a few more recent spreads...

See how poorly drawn this guy is? Who cares. Something is better than nothing, and the spread does capture that heat spell. 

Madeline is an art buddy. We meet every 2 or 3 weeks to sketch -- with masks, and from a distance.

Our son texted a photo of his family's regal dog in those red booties. Just too cute not to draw. I'll probably make the family a card from this spread, with the right side the front of the card, and the left side the back. 

We escaped the box last Friday and drove to Sausalito. Biked a few miles and then ate outdoors at Scomas. The day felt so free and I wanted to capture it. This drawing isn't very good, but it does bring back that sense of freedom I felt. The air quality was great and the temps were in the low 70s -- now that's the kind of weather the Bay area is supposed to have. 

Later I was watching a demo video on watercolor and gouache from artist James Gurney's blog (great blog with great short demo videos!) and made notes on the right-hand side of the spread above. I often do make notes on art articles/videos in my sketchbook. Why not? 

I do feel I caught the character of this tree with this very simple drawing. For me, this spread will forever conjure the lovely feeling I have as I walk along the San Francisco Bay nearly every day.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

More About the Sally Project

I met Sally forty years ago when I was twenty and she was the one in her sixties. I was a waitress at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant on...