Adventure 317 ~ Daily Sketching Practice [Day 7]

Daily sketching practice Day 7It’s raining really heavily here today. It’s nearly dark. Winter is on the way.

After lunch, I sat down on the sofa to do my sketch for the day. I noticed that the rain caught my attention ~ in fact, today it seemed like the only thing in the world was rain. I watched the rain. I listened to the rain. I noticed how the rain made me feel. And then I drew the rain.

I let myself draw automatically, without thought. I had a sense of discovering what I was sketching rather than knowing what I was sketching.

As with some of my other sketches, I created a colour key. I noticed which of the colours in the sketch drew my attention first, and the second, and so on. I waited for an association to come up for each one. This is what came up :

1. Black = stability
2. Pink = optimism
3. Red = enthusiasm
4. Green = new growth

I think the sketch is a good reflection of how I’m experiencing both myself and life right now!

This is the final day of my sketching adventure. Now what I’m supposed to do is leave the sketch book for a while and come back to it later. When I come back to it, I should be open to noticing what I notice : maybe emerging patterns, colour combinations I might want to explore further, common themes and metaphors.

I’ve got a lot out of this adventure. Much more than I expected I would. I can see how I might integrate art into some of my other work and practices (like journalling and storytelling). And I was pleasantly surprised by my inability to judge my own art one way or the other : it’s just my art. It’s my art and it’s another way of becoming connected to the outside world and to the inside world. And that’s pretty cool.

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 313 ~ Daily Sketching Practice [Day 3]

sketching diary day 3For today’s sketch I focused solely on my inner world and painted “me”. The odd thing is that “me” is the small hole, the uncoloured  “empty” space, in the middle! It looks like I am hiding away – and even if you look for “me”, I’m invisible.

It’s certainly true that I feel a little empty and tired today, in need of some time and space to refuel and get some perspective. And as I consider what it might mean to be invisible, I’m not sure how I’m responding to that : it neither feels good or bad … more like … interesting. Hiding away might be a good way to recharge though.

To make this sketch, I connected with “me” and my feelings and then just let my hands do the work – they selected they colours and drew the shapes as I watched. I didn’t think about what I was sketching ; I just let the sketch happen. The sketching process helped me to connect with and explore my inner experience a little further. Without the sketching today, I may have either been unaware of how tired I actually was, or (more likely) ignored the signals to take a break.

So, I’m going to respect the signals and relax this afternoon.

One of my friends is an art therapist. I may send the sketch to her and ask her what she makes of it.* UPDATE * ~ you can read my friend’s interpretation of my sketch below today’s video.

Stephanie Johnson, art therapist, makes the following observations : ” First impressions, it’s a mandala of sorts and everything is spiralling out which suggests embryonic stages of something. It is focused and centred and there is a lot of movement and energy going on but maintaining the focal point at the centre. So there’s a “radiation” type movement which makes me think that it’s driven from the inside but has yet to take a specific direction, which is an exciting point so the energy feels quite positive and cheery. Also the colour palate is bright and energetic. The centre feels quite nurtured or protected from the swirling outside that doesn’t seem connected to it in the same way as the more solid colouring. ”

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 312 ~ Daily Sketching Practice [Day 2]

sketching diary Jane TalbotToday I took my sketch book with me to the forest. I noticed what caused a “Look at that!” response in me as I walked my dog along the forest trails. At the end of my walk I sat down and sketched, placing in the foreground that which had drawn my attention :

1. The yellow-gold larch
2. The dark green ferns.
3. The other-worldly, emptying beech branches with their multi-coloured leaves and their mesmerising way of creating a kind of invitational depth (as you might be able to tell, it’s the beech branches that captivated me the most!)

Autumn yellow larch

November fernAutumn beechEverything else, I put into the background : a bokeh-blur of autumnal tartan.

As I sketched I noticed how relaxed, calm and open my environment was making me feel.

I am just going outside and may be some time.