After months away from all my colorful supplies, I discovered it was very, very difficult to get started on the mixed media portion of the "Year of the Fairy Tale" assignments. The sketchbook felt comfortable, safe, manageable. I actually dreaded the thought of dragging out a bunch of materials, the inevitable clutter invading my workspace. I'm craving quiet and simplicity right now. However, in the interest of not falling too far behind, I moved forward last night and played just a bit with watercolors. My wee frog princess is starting to develop, shown here holding the arrow shot into the swamp by Ivan, the young tsar-to-be in search of a bride.
It is so delightful to fill the spare moments of my days with fairy tales and illustration. I haven't worked in my journal since maybe last November. I wonder if perhaps I'm moving away from that pursuit. Indeed, it feels like I'm coming full circle: I began my serious art studies with scientific illustration, moved into printmaking, bookmaking, then journaling. All along, my imagination whispered to me, characters gently advocating for their release from my head. I shushed them all, not feeling confidant enough to draw from my heart instead of my eyes. After years of casual doodling and teaching cartooning, I'm starting to believe I can give my imagination life. Sometimes there is a perceived gap between what I see in my mind's eye and what I am actually capable of rendering. I think that I've been assuming that gap is a chasm when in fact, it may be more of a hop, skip, and a jump. Of course, I didn't discover the truth of the matter until I actually set self-criticism aside and made the leap.