Just as I promised the blog wasn't going anywhere in the near future, I promptly posted just once last week. Life is just so intense right now. I'm caught up in the twin storms of a new work load I probably should have never agreed to and slowly advancing Parkinson's which has brought on swallowing and talking issues (as in I can't) and the most incredible leg pain that keeps me from sleeping most nights. Oh well...my choices are limited because I did say yes to this new schedule at work and since I authored the class, there's no one else to teach it. The PD is going to advance. These are immovable realities and so I just do the best I can to maneuver within my capabilities.
It is absolutely key for me to stay connected with my art-making in whatever form I can manage with the time and energy I have left at the end of the day. Right now, that means no hard focus/specific goal-oriented projects, just a bit here and there of soft focus (aka low impact) art work. I'm not especially fond of this way of working in the studio but as they say: "It is what it is."
After getting though most of Pam Garrison's "Creative Sketchbooking" class over on Creativebug, I started digging around the site in search of other classes that might interest me and discovered three classes taught by Lisa Congdon. Her casual (but organized) way of drawing appealed to me right away and I've been filling a sketchbook with lots of doodles inspired by her teachings.
Usually I really strive to take an instructor's techniques and fold them into my own but I'm in a place where I just need to drift along for a while in a artsy canoe of someone else's making. I watched Lisa's video lessons and then created my own versions using her instructions as my framework. As I worked, I naturally started to diverge more and more from the original ideas but I'm not actively trying to create something new. I've taken to calling this journal "Drifting" because I'm trying to allow myself to get carried away from the day-to-day pressures by focusing on the repetitive scratch of pen on paper and the repetitive layering of geometric shapes.
I have to say that the paper in this sketchbook ("Pen & Ink" brand?) is simply loathsome. It is watercolor paper but more rag than cold press and thus it has a very soft plate. That means the surface feels (and acts) cottony rather than hard. My pen drags rather than glides across the surface and I think I curse as much as I draw. Unfortunately, it was the only blank landscape journal I could find in my "blank journal collection." (Surely a few of you out there have one of those...) One page had been torn out of the front but otherwise the journal was unused; I now remember why. To top it off, the pages are perforated which means any fluid medium used seeps silently like an evil plague onto every other page, created unwanted blooms of color on already completed work. [*insert deep breath as the paper snob that I am tries to recover from this injustice*] However, I needed a surface that wasn't precious. As much as I despise the paper, this is just a low pressure project to pick up on and off throughout the day, a place to escape to when teaching and tremors get overwhelming.