Adventure 311 ~ Start A Daily Sketching Practice

sketching practice - day 1For today’s adventure, I have started a daily sketching practice which I will maintain for 7 days. Not in a million years did I think I’d ever hear the words “sketching practice” coming out of my own mouth!

At school I was informed of my distinct lack of artistic talent. I found art difficult. I just didn’t get it. We were taught  the technical stuff – how to create certain effects .. light, shade, perspective and so on. I was under the impression that it was something separate from me – an external act (drawing or painting) , capturing an external image (something I saw on the outside). It was something that by-passed me, the inside me. Creating art  was something that I decided not to be interested in. Art was something that held nothing for me.

Last night I interviewed my friend Erica Dornbusch as part of my Get Creative! webinar series. Erica is an award-winning Canadian artist. Erica should also win an award for her ability to describe the process of creating art in such a way that you begin not only to believe that there is something in it for everybody, but also that everyone has the potential to express themselves through art.

Instead of being an external process, Erica talks about moments and experiences which resonate with her, which create an inner experience that she pays attention to. Connecting to this inner experience, Erica then allows the inner experience to flow out onto the canvas. So, far from by-passing us, the artistic process runs directly through us.

Erica suggested developing a daily sketching practice . She also suggested reviewing the experience of daily sketching too. The game-changer for me though was understanding that I didn’t need to sketch or paint what I saw : I could sketch or paint what I felt, what I heard, what I experienced …. the essence of a moment.

Now I’m seeing creating art in the same way as I see haiku : it’s all about essence. I’m dedicating 10 minutes  day to my sketching practice. Today is day 1. I sat quietly and noticed what was drawing my attention (all puns intended!) : it was a pain in my back.

So I sketched out the pain and added in some colour. As I sketched, I noticed how I was feeling about the pain – I was very angry with it. And you can probably see that in  the sketch.

The insight that I am angry with my own body for feeling pain was really valuable. As I sketched, I soothed my pain. I cared for my pain … and the hot pain began to cool down!

I also noticed that I did not judge my “work” at all. I was far more tied up with the process of creating it : that seems to be where the real juice lies!

I am just going outside and may be some time.