Sunday, December 29, 2019

In Review

prompt: Cheer 
The Good Stuff: 2019 PERIOD

Much of twenty-nineteen has been consumed with continued recovery from twenty-eighteen . The ineptitude of the condo association led to a series of events that forced us out of our home, into foreclosure, and in a rental that is . . . growing on us (well, me--my daughter isn't convinced).  In the midst of my daughter and I striking out together, my son found his own way forward. He has survived most of these 9 months thanks to the kindness and generosity of several friends; that support has led to him landing in his own place--well, a place he shares with two other renters, but, still . . . a permanent address. 

Like at the end of twenty-eighteen the look back at twenty-nineteen reveals some good, some bad, and a bunch of stuff in-between. 

One of the biggest boons of twenty-nineteen has to be the transition into working from home.  While I do occasionally miss the camaraderie of office mates, I do not miss the hassle, hustle-bustle of the daily commute.  I relish in the time, energy gained not spending 3 hours (round trip) door-to-door in-transit.  It has been a, in a word, lifesaver. 
At the beginning of 2019 I began a 'tip' jar practice which as you can see, is barely filled.  Still, as I reflect on the practice I'm convinced it is a good idea despite my not having kept pace throughout the year. I know when I read the notes on those slips of paper I will be reminded of people, events, music and more that lifted me then and will serve to live me beyond. For twenty-twenty I shall move the location of the jar toward making it and the idea behind it even more present in my day-to-day. If there is a resolution to be had, it is to be resolute in daily practices (like the tip jar) toward the greater good.  

Speaking of daily practices, today marks day 90 of me having sketched in my sketchbook.  Thanks to programs like Inktober, Pencilvember, Drawcember, and the up coming, 30 day sketchbook challenge (aren't there 31 days in January??--uh hmm) I have been duly prompted to put pen, pencil, or chalk to paper and eek out an image. I eagerly await the January prompts which will be delivered by email each day. My mind is spinning over re-working some of the sketches, developing others beyond sketch mode, and continued to develop skills and advance the craft.  

I don't have any grand plans for twenty-twenty beyond putting one foot in front of the other toward striving to survive and working for the greater good for myself, my son and daughter, community, and world at large.  

Come to think of it, that plan is pretty grand. 

Cheers!  Happy New Year!   


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Who Is This Person?

So, we're in full swing with December and all the draw antics it is bringing.  To say that not only am I still producing a sketch a day but thinking about how to render something, dreaming of images I somehow want to convey . . .  I tell you, it is blowing my mind. 

On a more practical note, I do need supplies (specific supplies like dark toned paper and white ink pens) and a better system of managing the supplies I have and those I will purchase somewhere down the road.

In the meantime, the household is growing accustomed to my new normal

To some degree. 

In other news, an old blogging friend (we're still connected via THE FB) just started breast cancer treatment.  And another (not a blogging friend but a long time FB pal) is burying her 21 year old son, lost to (in her words) addiction and depression. 

Reading of these events makes me both extremely sad and incredibly grateful.  However, for the moment, the sad is consuming me. I'm having emotional reactions (that is to say, tears rising to the surface) about nearly everything.  I'm sure the root of most of this--it being THE holiday season and all, cycles back to my mother. 

This shall pass I am sure. 

Welcome to Middle Girl's middle of December in the middle of some existential . . . event.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Finished November

I did get through the November pencil challenge.  I also followed prompts for the 2018 Inktober challenge.  Everyday in November I completed two sketches.  Squee!!  

There are many December challenges all named draw-cember or DecemberDoodle or variations thereof.  Most of the challenges/prompts are Christmas themed.  I've opted for lists that are not Christmas-y.  While I have selected three lists to work from for the month of December I will only strive for one sketch a day.  More than that is a tad overwhelming what with the other daily tasks / goals I've booked for myself.  

I don't know why I don't have access to phone photos from later than November 18; so here is a sample from the middle of November.  

Monday, November 11, 2019

Mish Mash

Yes, I'm still growing my hair out.  I don't know how much longer I'll be able to tolerate it as it is thick and in the present state, unmanageable.  I may blow it out after the next wash toward figuring out some other "style" without too much hassle until . . .   

The ultimate goal is to be able to braid it (crown style) without it unraveling after a few hours. 

Yes, I'm still doing a daily sketchbook practice.  These are day 7 for two different disciplines and prompts, Pencilvember 2019 "Prince" and from the 2018 Inktober prompt list, "Exhausted".

I haven't drawn with pencils--with the intent of showing the pencil lines--in quite a while.  It is taking some getting used to.  I either have very poor quality color pencils or I just don't know what I'm doing (or some combination) as I'm not happy with any of the sketches featuring color pencils.  Put, I'll keep plugging away at it. 

I am up to day 11.  Haven't figured out what I'm going to sketch for the two prompts; Galaxy for pencilvember and Cruel for the 2018 Inktober but I'm sure something will come to me.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

And Just Like That

Inktober has come to an end.  So many of those who participated in the challenge were professionals who were taking the journey for a specific kind of challenge; re-invigorating creativity, following specific themes (one artist limited themselves to creating in a triangle) or doing animals, portraits, or plants.  Many, like myself were amateurs who were looking to form a habit, hone some skills, learn something new, or simply to be inspired.  Which, is not so simple. 

As the postings over the last couple of days attest, several of us participating will have a hard time saying goodbye. 

I'm overjoyed to have kept up and completed the challenge.  I'm equally overjoyed to be seeking ways to keep a daily practice going.  In addition to following the prompts from the 2018 Inktober I will also be trying a pencil challenge.  Pencilvember is on the way. 

Happy November.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

One, Two Buckle My Shoe

To the minute, well, to today's prompt "Coat".  The results haven't been exactly as they appeared in my head but I am pleased to have gotten the core idea down on paper. The groups still are what the groups are, mostly good with some other thrown in.  I do have a list of supplies to buy and am cataloging techniques to try. 

I'm remembering when I was a kid and someone other than myself or my mother took a fancy to what I was putting on paper artistically.  Weird to feel like that these many years later.  Weirder still to not have my number one fan cheering me on.   

Cheers to memories. Cheers to inspiration.  Cheers to finishing up Inktober and moving onto the next challenge. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Life, Art, and the Pursuit

Day 12 Dragon 

Day 13 Ash 

Day 14 Overgrown 

Day 15 Legend 

Day 16 Wild 

Day 17 Ornament 

Day 18 Misfit

Even with the hard evidence I am finding it hard to fathom that 16, 17, and now 18 days in I have sketched and shared. Some of the sketches appeal to more more than others but I count the fact of allof them as a victory.

In the sharing of the images on varied social media with the identifying hashtag I've become part of a community. Mostly the community is inspiring and encouraging. However, some of the posts are mean and demoralizing.  I am choosing to focus on the better, more positive and uplifting bits. 

All things considered I am having fun. I feel like the practice is becoming a habit in a good way. 

Yes, we're still several days away from the thirty-first. No, haven't committed in my mind about what comes after. But for the moment I am pleased not to be one of the overwrought, overwhelmed, depleted of inspiration crowd in the #inktober community. 

For the moment, I am pleased with the fine feelings over my efforts, results, and with continuing.