a retreat of sorts

“I am an artist!”. I very much like to say that. I’m not a professional artist and I’ve only sold one painting (I was about ten and the transaction was a bit of a joke… I think I sold that painting for two dollars!), but it is my favorite hobby in the whole world.

When I was little, I would bring markers into the car and hide them under my car seat, and as my mother drove , I’d whip one out and draw on the only surface available to me: my skin. Eventually, my mother took to carrying baby wipes so she could wipe off the swirly red lines, dots, and various other marks I had drawn on my legs and arms. I can’t recall, but I’m pretty sure that’s when she started buying me actual sketchbooks, as opposed to giving me some computer paper to draw on. Needless to say, I’ve been drawing ever since.

My favorite form of artistic expression is a simple sketch. My technique isn’t the greatest in the world, as I have never taken an art class, and my subjects are more fanciful than true-to-life, but it’s what I do, you know?

Lately, however, I’ve been suffering through an artistic block. I haven’t bothered to pick up my sketchbook in what feels like ages, and it’s killing me. I’ve been crazy busy lately, and I know this is contributing to my slump, but this block goes deeper than that: I’m fresh out of inspiration.

I’m not worried, though. I have a plan!

My clever solution is the simple coloring book. I’m not talking about the Elmo, Winnie the Pooh, Princess or Superhero coloring books (although those are fun, too!); I’m speaking of the kind with drawing prompts on each page that encourage you to stretch your imagination and think outside the box. I was lucky enough to come across one on fredflare.com at a reduced price that I just received in the mail.

Written by the illustrator Marion Deuchars, Let’s Make Some Great Art brings you on a journey during which you can practice drawing upside down (it’s an excellent exercise!), sketch in Mona Lisa’s smile, write your own comic strip, or make a cubist style portrait (Picasso is famous for these!). There are, of course, many more exercises to discover in this book, and all of them help you  give yourself a break from your own art struggles, while you keep your skills sharp by going back to the basics. I do believe this is just what I need to jump-start inspiration!

photo c/o fredflare.com

photo c/o fredflare.com

photo c/o fredflare.com

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go make some great art.

xo, bea

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