Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hand me that pen...

I'm one of those people who grew up thinking she couldn't draw.  I think it was partly because my sister Laura was a dedicated and talented artist who drew beautifully and I thought I just didn't have her talent.  But over the years I've come to realize that drawing is one of those things that can be learned.  I took some watercolor painting classes years ago and loved them but work and family pulled me in a different direction, and I've not done much actual drawing since.  But recently, I've been working on drawing -- well, a loose sketching, really.  And I'm having SO much fun.

I started participating in the drawing lessons Miss C is doing as part of her curriculum this semester, and we're watching lessons online by an art teacher in New York City.  It's pencil drawing so it's learning about how to shade and shape using value and line. It's a whole different thing than I've ever done, and I'm finding it quite interesting. 

And then, on a whim, I signed up for a short online sketching and watercolor class from Jane LaFazio, whose colorful and breezy sketch style I adore.  During the first week, we drew "every day objects" -- hence the rotary cutter, below...


  and this week, we're drawing things from nature -- today, for example, I worked with leaves and seed pods from a maple tree on my street.

I'm sort of surprised at my reaction to this.  I love the peacefulness and meditative sense while really studying something to draw it.  It's an intense concentration but restful at the same time.  But mostly I'm feeling that this is doing wonders for my confidence.  I'm not aiming for anything fancy, mind you, but I feel good at what I'm doing and I'm learning each time I try something new. So each time I finish an assignment, I think to myself with some surprise, "Hey!  I  can draw!"

Yep, I'm still sewing and working on the various projects I have going around here -- but now I can stop for 15-30 minutes and do a small drawing and I feel as refreshed as if I'd taken a nap.  It's amazing. 


  1. I love seeing this! I am a big advocate of drawing. It makes your brain grow!

  2. You just inspired me! It's Sunday morning so no reason to say I have no time; I pulled out some kitchen shears and did a sketch ... maybe I won't say 'I can't draw' anymore but I may say 'I can't draw yet'! Your sketches are great!

  3. Online art classes(!!!)--maybe I won't have to wait until the kids are grown before I get back to school. I was thinking I'd take a class with H. next year at the community college, but online would be way more convenient.
    YOU ARE BRILLIANT and your drawings rock.

  4. I am so impressed by your determination to do this -- finding the time, finding the method that works for you, and sticking with it long enough to see results! Like Terry, I firmly believe that confidence in drawing helps any artist. I know that I need to get back to drawing myself, but I have not been as tenacious as you. :-) Keep it up, the sketches look great.

  5. Oh your sketching is wonderful! Such detail!...hmmm maybe just maybe...

  6. Bravo! Last winter (or the one before) I got out the Prismacolor pencils and did little sketches of Norfolk pines in terra-cotta pots for my Christmas cards. I had the house to myself, the sun was shining and the work was so wonderfully enjoyable. I made 12. It was the most Zen experience.

    When I was first starting to blog, I was also painting a red pear every morning. Sort of my Morning Pages. I loved that as well. Why am I not doing something small like that every day? You have me asking that question and demanding a good answer.

    Thanks for the push--in the right direction!!!!

  7. Love your sketches, and I feel the same way you do. I didn't even know I wanted to learn to draw a few years ago, but now I'm loving it. It's great fun seeing the progress I've made over the last few years - I'm sure you enjoy that as well.

    And thanks for your comments on my blog!