The first drawing-a-day. This was a painting I made as part of one of our Creative Practice assignments. I finally used my notebook and gouache set that I received as a gift in January. The abstract shapes remind me of a sort of treasure map. I found a complete flow state in creating this piece, which left me wanting to make this a part of a daily creative practice.
Day 2. I played with line drawings of the scrap rope from one of my macrame projects. I like to practice contour drawings, working with pen, looking at the subject and not at the page. For me, it slows the process down, and relieves a sort of pressure that I sometimes find with drawing. The result is a fun and fast exercise with an interesting an abstract image.
My little dwarf "mother-in-law's tongue". One of my favorite new indoor plants. This plant lives near my front door, on the top shelf of the shoe rack and near the sliding doors to the patio. It gets just the right amount of sun here, and I get to admire it from my couch - where I often find myself doing homework!
Pitcher plant study. My boyfriend came home with a pitcher plant this past Mother's Day. He said it was a gift for me for being "such a good plant and pet mom." The plant was definitely in need of some love, and some of the pitchers had dried up and were ready to fall off. I trimmed them and used them as a model for today's drawing.
Drawing in front of the TV. From my perch on the couch, I tried to quick-sketch faces as they flashed across the screen... with varying success.
Leaf-study. I prefer to draw while looking at something right in front of me. If I don't have a live subject, a photograph will suffice. Today, I tried to draw from memory. I kept things loose, and kind of cartoon-like. I'm not totally happy with the result, but it was a productive exercise.
Sketches for another Creative Practice assignment- making my own cards! I had a lot of fun with this project, and revisited one of my favorite drawing projects from years past.
My little lover-boy: Fu Man Chihuahua. My pup is almost 9 years old! I can't even believe it. He has been my partner in crime for so much of my life - and my whole "adult life". He is 6 pounds of 100% love for me - and disdain for pretty much everyone else. He is a lapdog if there ever was one, and is my constant companion (for better or worse!)
Treasure map #2. Process: Step 1: look around the room for shapes. Step 2: Paint them... badly.
Treasure map #3. I've really enjoyed starting this series. I look around the room and try to abstract the different shapes I see: the palm print on my table runner, the oval opening of my water glass, the shape of a shoe or a dog bone. Creating interesting color schemes and compositions on the page is an fun challenge. In this one, I'm not a big fan of the bright green, but I like the tan and dark yellow colors.
Sketches for future ceramics projects. This week, the ceramics studio is on break to prepare for the summer schedule. So, I figured I would take some time to brainstorm some different shapes I'd like to make with the clay, and some different patterns I would like to paint on the figures.
I was short on time today, so I did a quick abstract watercolor painting.
Finishing up some final assignments before heading to the airport! Will be in Hawaii for the next few days! Here is a quick sketch of my computer before packing it away!
Welcome to Hawai'i! Hanauma Bay is a popular place to snorkel on O'ahu. When you arrive, you have to wait around and then watch an educational video about the coral reefs and wildlife before heading down to the beach. I took advantage of the wait-time by pulling out my watercolor set and painting a couple of small portraits of the beach below.
Sunrise over the "Enchanted Lake." Our AirBnB in Kailua, Hawai'i was situated on the west side of a beautiful lake. Due to the time change (6 hours behind Florida), I've been waking up very early in Hawai'i. I haven't minded, though, with views like this - who can complain?! This morning I was up at 5:30am, brewed a pot of coffee, and brought some coffee and my watercolor set out to the backyard to admire the sunrise over the lake and mountains. Breathtaking.
It's wedding day! Not much time to spare, but I took a couple of moments to sketch one of the abstract flower images printed on the scarf I'm wearing tonight!
How is this trip over already! I'm sitting on the bed, just finished packing my suitcase. I wish I could stay another week! There's just too much to see, too many adventures, too many great times to be had! But alas, we have to go home!
We left Hawai'i last night, and got home today... 14 hours of travel and 6 hours lost... so a total of 20 hours between there and here. I feel so tired, even though I slept almost the whole flight. I managed to make Treasure map #4 despite a very tired brain. It's not the strongest Treasure map, but I was proud of myself for not skipping a day.
Rehab day for the plants. Apparently, it rained in Tampa every day that we were in Hawai'i (with no sign of letting up). So, my outdoor plants needed some re-potting with drier soil. The indoor plants, meanwhile were VERY thirsty and in need of some extra love.
Slowly but surely UNpacking from our trip. We've been home for two days but I'm just now getting through my suitcase. One of my favorite ways to document trips is through polaroid photographs. Last Christmas, Kyle got my this camera, which takes great, big polaroid photos. We took about 20 throughout our Hawai'i trip!
Dog bone study. As I was picking up the living room, I noticed that my dog Pickles had only removed her bones from her toy basket. While I was tossing them back into the basket, I was intrigued by their texture and thought it would be a great subject for today's Drawing-a-Day.
Getting back into my workout routine! Wow, the jetlag has really taken a toll on me over the last few days. With my exhaustion, I haven't been able to workout at all. What better day to get back in the groove than Monday?! I do circuit exercises 3x/week, and I use this watch to time the 7 minute circuits. I've learned that staying in shape and taking care of my body is as important to my self care as creative practice.
Kyle and I both have Tuesdays off of work. This is Kyle working from home on Tuesday. : /
Treasure map #5. I thought it would be great to close this series as it started - with a treasure map. I've found great joy in developing this series over the last few weeks. After showing the "maps" to my ceramics instructor she recommended that I paint them on to some ceramic pieces - I think that could be really great. Also, I had a dream last night about interpreting these maps through dance... Physically "wayfinding" through the pathways, past the totems and obstacles. I've started to think of the journey of self care through this course as a kind of treasure map... I'll extrapolate more below.
My initial idea was to complete a "Drawing-a-Day". I love to draw and paint, but dedicating time each day to creative practice has always been a challenge for me. I felt like this was a way to develop the habit of engaging in creative practice, in a low-pressure environment. The drawings or paintings have no pressure of being exact or perfect, and can be done in as little as 30 seconds.
I consider this project to be a meaningful part of my self care because it encourages daily creativity through mindfulness. As the weeks went on, I found myself slowing doe to "notice" things that I might like to draw more often. For example, while tidying house and picking up dog toys, I found myself interested in the surface texture and shape of a dog bone - enough to do a drawing study of the bone. I truly believe that mindfulness is at the core of all self care practices - it encourages being "in tune" with yourself and your surroundings, and encourages thought before action.
Drawing-a-Day. Seems simple enough. Draw (or paint) one thing each day! Yes, simple until you realize it's 11:59 pm and the page is still blank! Above you'll see the daily images of my drawings. Some were 30 second sketches, others took up to 10 minutes or so. I also took the time to jot down a few thoughts either about the environment or subject matter of each drawing or painting. Journaling allowed me to better review the project as a whole, and helps me to connect each image with the moment it was created.
Over the past few weeks, I've enjoyed the added state of mindfulness and creativity that this project has provided me. One theme that I found in this project was the emergence of my series of "treasure maps." I started to think about how the idea of a treasure map could be a metaphor for the journey of self care. The path may seem confusing, or written in another language at first. But looking closer, you find clues and start to follow a path. Along the way you may find both advantages and pitfalls, but eventually the reward is worthwhile. As a creative practice, I found the elusive "Flow State most often when making the treasure maps. I've been thinking of different ways to continue the series - both through more drawings and paintings - but also through ceramics and maybe even dance.
I think this project was successful to me, and I hope to continue it. I particularly want to explore the emergence of the treasure map theme. As I alluded to above, this process has allowed me to add a layer of mindfulness to my day as I am always curiously looking for something interesting to depict. This attention to detail requires a kind of "slowing down" by nature, which I think helps me to maintain a sense of composure and perspective while facing day to day challenges. I learned that I really like going about my day with my sketchbook in my bag. In a kind of physical-meets-mental way, it helps me define myself more fully as an artist. I believe wholeheartedly in the practices of arts in medicine, and the transformational properties of creativity. So why do I so often avoid my own practice? This project forced me to engage daily, and through my engagement I created some pieces that I really love, which gave me a real boost of confidence in my inherent artistic abilities and therefore identity. In a small way it kind of legitimized my self-identifying as an artist. If I make art everyday, than I must be an artist!
In the initial Multidimensional Wellness Wheel presentation, creativity was described as the core of the wheel, able to influence the many dimensions of wellness. In my experience, I think that my Drawing-a-Day practice most influenced my Emotional Wellness. The project didn't change the environment in which I live, but it changed the way I look at the environment. It made me more curious, more attentive, and more interested in my environment. Seeing my world with new eyes, I am never bored. It's an adage (or a song lyric?) "If you're bored then you're boring." Well, I hope to never be either. Our day-to0day lives and our homes and workplaces can become mundane day after day. But by looking around, curious for a new subject to draw each day, I was able to be surprised each day - finding a new and interesting perspective.