Sketching Again

Recently I shared that I had lost my inspiration and that somehow I had lost the joy in my sketching.  Truth be told, I actually hated my own recent art work.  Every attempt seemed so childish, colored-in and flat.  It wasn’t the lack of inspiration, but the lack of style.

I love pinning ideas and finding artists who inspire me on  Pinterest and Instagram posts.  There is an endless stream of amazing sketches and art, but the result of all this influence is not helpful to developing one’s own art.

You need to create your own art to find your own creative style. 

My 17-year-old daughter’s advice to me was to try a new art medium or technique.  This is very helpful, especially if you just play around without an end product in mind. I suppose recovering from lost art inspiration is a bit like horse riding after a fall; you need to get straight back up and ride again.   But in the end, finding art inspiration and personal style is like the Nike slogan ~ “Just do it“.

During a quiet spell this past weekend and this week, I pulled out my sketchbook, downloaded the Doodlewashed September “Simple Pleasures” prompts and began again.

My first attempts were not too bad, but I found that, as I sketched daily, I rediscovered something in my style that I liked, and the joy returned.  I loved the simple pleasure of sketching and painting.  I loved the quiet, right-brain activity.  And I enjoyed my art again.

While still finding my new artistic joy, I want to encourage you, moms, to also make the time to sit and sketch weekly.  You need times of creativity.  Join your children in the weekly Sketch Tuesday topic, or sit and create a nature journal page (prompts at the bottom of the post) each week.  It is so restorative.

Charlotte Mason called it “Mother Culture“; spending time learning and growing.  Spend regular time reading your own book list, creating art and journaling in nature; all part of your personal growth portfolio.

May I encourage you if you haven’t done any sketching for a while ~  Start again,  Just Do It!

Blessings, Nadene

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Lost Inspiration

I love sketching and creating a weekly entry in my nature journal, but I haven’t touched my art supplies for over 2 months.  I wondered if I had lost my creative inspiration. How had that happened?

As I pondered the reason for my lack of art, these changes came to mind ….

Feeding our bull and weaned calves

We live on a remote mountain farm in a semi-arid area called the Klein Karoo, and have been in the grip of the worst drought in living memory. We have had to supplement feed our cattle completely since March this year and it is a labour-intensive affair. Our whole family have all pulled on our boots and climbed in the Landy to help my hubby every day and especially on the weekends when our worker takes his weekend off. It would seem natural that I would not sit happily sketching and painting in my free time, especially when there is hard, physical work to be done.

My herb and vegetable garden earlier this winter …

The drought affected my gardening and I could barely manage keep my veggie garden going through the winter. My pretty rose garden withered and died back. Full-grown trees died, and about 4 other trees blew over in a terrible wind storm. I was definitely not inspired on my nature walks when I went outside.

I recently decided to re-landscape the rose bed and I transplanted several rose bushes in a smaller cluster while they were in their winter dormancy.  I also transplanted several plants dying in other neglected garden areas to this focused garden bed. I hope to carefully water this smaller area and keep them alive.  I suppose I could have journalled these changes in my nature journal, but I was simply too tired.

Off to prune pomegranate trees

With our livestock farming under stress, we decided to make full use of a neighbouring farmer’s offer to prune his pomegranate orchards and use the cuttings to create our own pomegranate plants. We spent the last week pruning, cutting slips and planting over 5000 plants. Back-breaking and hand-cramping days.

At the end of April, my 17-year-old daughter graduated homeschool and she is transitioning through her options for the rest of this year.  This is a difficult phase to navigate.  On one hand, we recognize that she has been very isolated and protected, while on the other, she has worked very independently as a homeschooler.  Even so, we as parents have struggled to let her go even though we know that this is exactly what she needs and wants to do.  I suppose this phase has been tough for me emotionally.

We all go through seasons. This has been a physically hard and barren season, which has literally dried up my time and energy, which in turn, dried up my art and creativity.

Snow on our mountains!

Thankfully, just in this past week, miraculous rain and snow has fallen, and the drought seems to have almost broken. While it will take months for the fields and grass to recover, and we will still have to supplement feed our livestock, there is hope in the air and in our hearts.

It seems that my art and creativity are linked to regular watering of my spirit and soul. Perhaps my sketching and painting will bud and fruit sometime soon again ….

The Lord is faithful to keep us, even in dry and weary times.

What inspires your art and creativity?

Wishing you every blessing in whatever season you are in, Nadene

Sketch Tuesday ~ Feathers

Here’s my sketch  for this week’s Sketch Tuesday

Once again my granddaughter Emma is the subject of my watercolor sketch.  She loves to go with me to feed my chickens.  She enjoys throwing their mealies (corn) in their yard, collecting their eggs and picking up their dropped feathers.  She especially loves the little chicks and tried to pick them up, but was afraid of the mama hen who was very protective.

If you would like to join Sketch Tuesday, pop over to Harmony Fine Arts and click the subscription box.  Confirm the subscription email when it comes.  Sketch and then email your children’s art.  Each week Barb will host a slideshow and share the new topic.

See you at the next slideshow!

Blessings, Nadene

Sketch Tuesday ~ Building

Here’s my pen sketch  for this week’s Sketch Tuesday

 

 

 

We are busy building a new braai (barbecue, for non-South Africans,) and I sat outside sketching and observing our concrete mixer carefully while my potatoes baked in the oven.  No pencil lines first, just drawing in the shapes and lines.  It was only when I had completed the sketch and started filling in the details, shadows and contours, that I noticed the base stand and wheels were not quite aligned. Although it bothered me at first, I felt that the machine still looked “right” and I happily added the finishing touches before going inside to take my meal out for lunch.

One doesn’t need great wads of time to sketch.  The minutes waiting for food to cook was all I needed and I felt fully restored after my 15 minutes or so of sketching.  My kids take their sketch books everywhere and sketch at restaurants while waiting for their meal to arrive, or while waiting for their dad to pick them up.  It is my youngest daughter’s best activity to fill in the blank moments of her day.  Keep your sketch book and drawing supplies at hand and just go ahead and do it when you next have a moment to spare!

If you would like to join Sketch Tuesday, pop over to Harmony Fine Arts and click the subscription box.  Confirm the subscription email when it comes.  Sketch and then email your children’s art.  Each week Barb will host a slideshow and share the new topic.

See you at the next slideshow!

Blessings, Nadene

Sketch Tuesday ~ Mason Jar

Here’s my sketch  for this week’s Sketch Tuesday

If you would like to join Sketch Tuesday, pop over to Harmony Fine Arts and click the subscription box.  Confirm the subscription email when it comes.  Sketch and then email your children’s art.  Each week Barb will host a slideshow and share the new topic.

See you at the next slideshow!

Blessings, Nadene

Sketch Tuesday ~ Paws

Here’s my sketch  for this week’s Sketch Tuesday

20170227_162831Once again, my granddaughter Emma is the subject of my sketch and she is quite scared of our one fat cat who bites her when she tries to cuddle her.  She keeps saying, “Meow-meow byt!” (Afrikaans for bites)

I used my watercolour pencils for this sketch.  They are quick and easy to use.

If you would like to join Sketch Tuesday, pop over to Harmony Fine Arts and click the subscription box.  Confirm the subscription email when it comes.  Sketch and then email your children’s art.  Each week Barb will host a slideshow and share the new topic.

See you at the next slideshow!

Blessings, Nadene

Sketch Tuesday ~ Bubbles

This week’s theme in Sketch Tuesday  is ~Bubbles

We were away for a long weekend and I returned home too late to submit my sketch for the slideshow.  Here it is anyway ~

20170224_1623120

I seem to have a theme in my recent sketches … my darling little granddaughter Emma.  I may actually focus on bringing her into each sketch for the month! 

Once again, I used gouache paints and loved the details I could produce with clear, bright layers over previous washes and colors!

If you would like to join Sketch Tuesday, pop over to Harmony Fine Arts and click the subscription box.  Confirm the subscription email when it comes.  Sketch and then email your children’s art.  Each week Barb will host a slideshow and share the new topic.

See you at the next slideshow!

Blessings, Nadene

 

Sketch Tuesday ~ Something Tall

“Sketch something tall” … and my son immediately came to mind.  He is really tall, but no way nearly as tall as I drew him in my sketch.  I call it artistic licence!

Here’s my sketch ~

20170211_161816This week I used some of my daughter’s gouache paints.  Can you believe that I have never painted with gouache paints before?  I looked at one or two YouTube videos and gave it a try … and loved it!

To quote Craftsy ~

Gouache (pronounced “gwosh,” in your Frenchiest accent please) is a type of paint which is centuries old, and yet relatively few people even know of its existence today. It’s a medium with characteristics of both acrylic and watercolor that can be used to create vibrant, luminous works of art.

Note from the author: when I was in art school, a teacher referred to gouache as being “watercolor plus chalk.” That does oversimplify it a bit, but it gets the basic point across.

Sometimes referred to as opaque watercolor, gouache starts out similarly to watercolor. They are both composed of color pigment with a binding agent such as gum arabic. But that’s where things start to differ. First, the pigment ratio in gouache is usually much greater than in watercolor. Second, a solid white pigment such as chalk (or sometimes even acrylic) is often incorporated. These two factors give gouache a much heavier texture and higher opacity than watercolor alone.

In terms of working with gouache, this makes it a unique medium. It shows characteristics of both watercolor and acrylic, but is neither.

Isn’t it wonderful that one can keep on learning, exploring, experimenting and developing in art?

What new medium have you tried?

Sketch Tuesday is a wonderful idea prompt which can open untold possibilities!  If you would like to join Sketch Tuesday, pop over to Harmony Fine Arts and click the subscription box. and confirm the subscription email when it comes.  Each week Barb will email the slideshow and the next topic of theme.

See you at the next slideshow!

Blessings, Nadene

 

Sketch Tuesday ~ Something On A Tree

This week’s theme in Sketch Tuesday is ~  Sketch Something on a Tree

Here’s my sketch ~

20170131_143215 Last week I wrote about our family’s sketching and creative changes.  Although my daughters have become very involved in their own sketching and art work, I have decided to make a weekly Sketch Tuesday contribution one of my personal creative goals for this year.

Read Barb’s own creative goals at Harmony Art Mom – Creative Month January.

Here’s last week’s sketch ~ Art Studio

20170125_141012And the week before ~ Laundry

20170125_141037What about you?

If you would like to join Sketch Tuesday, pop over to Harmony Fine Arts and click the subscription box. and confirm the subscription email when it comes.  Each week Barb will email the slideshow and the next topic of theme.

See you at the next slideshow!

Blessings, Nadene

 

Sketching Changes

img_20160803_130753383Any of you who have followed my blog for some time will know that for years and years my children and I have participated in Barb‘s Sketch Tuesday.  Almost every week I shared our sketches and created a wonderful portfolio of our work.  But over the past year, as my children grew up and became more independent teenagers, they no longer wanted to take part.

This was because they had become increasingly productive, independent artists.  Almost every single day they sketch, doodle, paint or create!  They have filled tons of books, pages and journals with amazing art and creativity.  In fact, their requests for any gift is usually sketchbooks, watercolor paper and art supplies.

They. are. artists. 

Last year I finally opened an Instagram account to share my art, doodles, homesteading and knitting and other creative activities that I enjoy.  I discovered Charlie O’Shield’s Doodlewashed.com and joined his monthly doodle challenges.  In fact, much to my surprise, a month or so later, I was Doodlewashed!

And so, for sometime, we haven’t taken part in Sketch Tuesday.  However, after reading Barb’s post Harmony Art Mom – Creative Month January, I decided to once again make Sketch Tuesday a regular part of my Mother Culture’s creative goals.

20150831_144954I share this post because Sketch Tuesday seems like a very innocent activity, but it yield enormous rewards!  I wrote about the advantages of regularly sketching, but I never imagined that it would produce such an incredible, lasting gift of creativity in all of our lives.

Do not despise any small beginnings.

Make space and time in your and your children’s lives for art, not for any end result, but for the simple joy of creativity. Join your children and sketch together with them.  It is intimate, relaxing and soothing.  It will recharge you as a mom.

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you join Sketch Tuesday.

Creatively yours, Nadene