I started considering myself a ‘serious amateur artist’ when I was about half way through my self imposed challenge of painting/drawing one a day for an entire year.
Many asked how did I keep motivated, how did I find the time – considering that I also have a full time job. I was motivated by ‘publicly shaming’ myself – started posting on Facebook daily, no matter how horrible the sketch was – and also making a public promise that I would not allow to break. I was gobsmacked by the enormous support I received and the trail of followers increased amazingly. How did I find the time? Hope you don’t imagine I have some secret pockets filled with additional time because you would be disappointed. No, I just prioritized – very, very little came before my daily sketch. No matter what time I would get home, or how tired I was, I would do my sketch before anything else. In time, this meant a little over half an hour which, when you think about it, is nothing.
It was an amazing time for me and opened not only my eyes to new opportunities, but defined my style and my confidence was through the roof. So when the opportunity came to take another challenge, I didn’t think twice.
On the 1st of August I started a month of #doodlewash, with a list of ‘items’ to be painted for the entire month.
I actually thought a ‘script’ will do me good – no more time spend on what in the world I will do today, no more dilemmas – just do the sketch and brush your skills.
Half of the days were circling around food – now, I am certainly not the one to refuse food, especially favourite dishes, but I just realised that not only I have simple taste when eating, but I am not truly appreciative of any dish unless it reaches my mouth. Painting and drawing food had proved to be one of the most mind numbingly boring things I have ever did.
In my year spent sketching, I found out I can’t paint bats and reptiles because of the physical bad feel I would have during the time. I would literally get the creeps so badly I would feel sick (for the same reason, when I paint dogs I grin like an idiot). Food was a very unexpected ‘enemy’. Even hungry, painting food will excite me as much as a rusty nail. No, wrong again – a rusty nail has a lovely colour and a very interesting texture, made for watercolours. Well, you get the idea.
Bottom line is – why do we feel so strongly about some subjects? Why we are so indifferent about other? What makes a subject interesting? Is there a way to paint bats and reptiles with the same gusto as when I paint dogs?
As you probably guessed, I really don’t have the answers. Somebody smarter than me (Betty Edwards) , wrote a book about “Drawing with the right side of the brain” in which we are taught to not judge our subjects based on what we know, but based on only what we see. I guess I am just not there yet.
But if you know the answer even to a single question, please do share!