I started this daily art project to get into the habit of making art daily. I sometimes feel like the biggest procrastinator in the whole world and while making art brings me much joy and feels coming home over and over again, I resist making it like a pro (professional procrastinator, that is!). I know much of this is due to fear...fear of failure, fear of rejection but I think also some fear of success.
I don't really have much formal art training, just a few classes here and there, and this causes me much angst...like I don't know what I'm doing, my work is amateurish, etc. Some other things I feel like I'm missing in all this are the skills/strategies to overcome creative block, to find inspiration, to discover my own artistic language, and my artistic voice/style. I feel like at least some of this comes through art education but I could be totally wrong. Anyway, one thing I've noticed even after just one week of doing these drawings is that I really like the soft/dreamy look that a few of the drawings have. This is really interesting to me because I tend to like bright, vibrant colors. Several paintings I've completed and that are also in progress use bright jewel toned colors. But I'm really loving these softly colored drawings, especially the mushroom pictures.
Another thing I realized just this morning is related to my personal artistic language/symbolism...I love drawing/painting mushrooms! I don't particularly love eating mushrooms...except when I'm at Benihana, they know how to make them so delicious! But I realized this morning that I often refer to myself as a mushroom. My husband and I moved to the Pacific Northwest because of the wet, cloudy weather. Whenever people start going on and on about how happy they are that the sun is out and they start bugging me about going out into the sunshine, I often tell them that I'm a mushroom (while internally rolling my eyes at them ;) )...I prefer when it is dark and damp! So, it totally makes sense to me that mushrooms would be a personal symbol and part of my artistic language. How cool is this realization? I'm blown away by it and that it came after just a week of playing around. Now I have an idea for a whole series of small, acrylic paintings of mushrooms. Amazing!
I'm sticking with this daily art project indefinitely...no end date planned. Part of it is to create a daily ritual/habit of making art, especially since I'm not so good at sticking to things (as I've already mentioned). I'm also sticking with it because it's giving me an opportunity to try things on a small scale and to learn important lessons...like with today's drawing...sometimes it's best to quit when you're ahead.
Today's drawing started off nicely...yet another mushroom study. I sketched the mushroom in and got some of its color laid down then started with the background. The background looked nice to start with but seemed too simple. Maybe the real problem was that I tried to follow the reference photo too closely. I thought it all just looked too simple so I started adding stuff to the background and adding and adding. Well, I just took it too far (in my eyes) but once it's there it's there. But rather than let my inner critic rip me apart and insist that I tear that page out and dispose of it lest anyone see this disaster, I am posting it publicly in many places...it is what it is and I learned from it...so nothing was lost but much was gained.
What is one of your personal symbols...even if you aren't an artist?