Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Finding my Sunflower Voice

I have been continuing to sketch my sunflowers.
One artist suggests to draw something100 times in order 
to really get to know it. 

I've been re-finding my ease with sketching
after not doing it for awhile.
I probably won't make 100 versions of my sunflowers,
but I did make 3 more renderings this morning.
And I did notice new things each time.

I didn't enjoy the above rendering 
(2 posts ago) which was made
after a long period of not drawing.

Not because I thought of it as good or bad, 
but because the process & end result
didn't reflect my spirit. 
It was a labored study 
rather than a more dancing,
free-flowing, good-feeling process.
It was important to do, to start somewhere,
but I am happiest when I am sketching lightly. 

Why do I draw? 

It's the feeling I get. 
It's in my whole body,
rather than just in my eyes.
And it's the feeling of my calm mind.

I respond to gesture & movement
in a subject.
When drawing the sunflowers 
on the back patio this morning 
I loved the flickering, changing morning light, 
the delicate fluttering 
of the petals, the cool air.
The vivid yellows & greens 
against our still gray landscape.
And the flow of water on my brush,
 the luscious paint.
The freedom of not thinking about what my 
picture would look like. 

Sometimes I draw to bring pleasure to others,
with more focus on product,
as in a card or sketch for sale. 
But even then, I need to find pleasure 
in the act of drawing itself. 

Why do I draw?, I ask 
as I watch snippets of drawing lessons 
on YouTube.
(I've been writing answers in my journal.)

I'm happy to be drawing again,
& to come back around to my true
Sketchbook Wandering self. 

If you are a draw-er, 
what is it that you enjoy about drawing?


  1. Up until fairly recently I painted both for pleasure and for commissions but I suddenly felt exhausted by it all and stopped, as part as my return to enjoying art again, I have taken up pen and ink sketches - trying to do most days and I enjoy the process of the drawing itself and the escapism into the work - most of my work are landscapes from walks I have done - so it also celebrating and remembering those walks (especially now)

  2. I draw because it's fun and I love the shock when I've gotten it right.

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE your sunflowers!! ALL Of them!! I used to enjoy sketching but somewhere along the way lost my desire...maybe I will get it back someday??

  4. I love your sunflowers and yes you add so much movement..not I.
    I know I am happy w/ something when I had feeling painting it..sometimes it develops.I look at the end and think this will do..and I will even offer it..But often..overworked and hate..yes hate;)
    Take care!

  5. LOVE these!!! Each is such a cherry piece! BRAVA! You asked about my sketching supplies -- here you go:


    MEEDEN Empty Watercolor Tins Box Palette Paint Case, Small Blue Tin with 12 Pcs Half Pans (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071HP6B4G/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B071HP6B4G&pd_rd_w=JQgfO&pf_rd_p=10ebaf99-73de-4f5d-a994-e7f5fc52f86f&pd_rd_wg=rkAPB&pf_rd_r=T0JZ8THE3TBDAR1Q2F4G&pd_rd_r=9dbe20fb-2a64-11e9-8a86-1d7479451c7c) (Amazon.com)
    I take out the 12 full pans that come with the empty palette and replace with 24 ½ pans below.)


    Kilimanjaro Black Travel Water Color Journal
    Size: 8.5” x 5.5” Spiral Bound, 140# Cold Press Paper (I use both sides of the paper.)

    ½ Pans

    MEEDEN Empty Watercolor Paint Pans - 24 Pcs Half Pans (https://www.a)mazon.com/MEEDEN-Empty-Watercolor-Paint-Pans/dp/B01MU1YJ9J/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1549109615&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=empty%2Bhalf%2Bpans%2Bfor%2Bwatercolor&th=1) (Amazon.com)

    Pentel Japan Aquash Waterbrush Water Brush Pen, Medium
    (https://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Japan-Aquash-Waterbrush-Medium/dp/B0017OSBQI/ref=sr_1_9?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1549494906&sr=1-9&keywords=water+brush) (Amazon.com)

    Turners Professional Watercolors. (I find them comparable to Winsor Newton but far more economical and come in larger tubes for less cost.) (https://www.jerrysartarama.com/turner-concentrated-artists-watercolors) (Jerrysartarama.com)

    Permanent Yellow Gamboge
    Yellow Ochre Quinacridone Gold
    Rose Red Permanent Scarlet
    Alizarian Crimson Manganese Blue
    Burnt Umber Sap Green
    Prussian Blue Cobalt Blue
    Ultramarine Blue Indigo
    Sepia Dioxazine Violet
    *Quinacridone Burnt Orange (DAVINCI Paint – not Turner – but also from Jerry’s)

  6. The freedom of not thinking what my picture would look like. I should print these out and paste them onto my palette, my pad, my pencil cup, my brush cup and everything else in my art space. These are words that are powerful. And now you are inspiring me to pick up pen and brush again. I've been so blocked lately -- or maybe not blocked, just unable to start. I'm not sure it's the same thing. I love the sunflowers, each and every one. They're beautiful and happy, too.

  7. Rita I can see how you captured the wonderful essence of the sunflowers in your first posted painting. I am like you - much rather capture a more free feeling than something labored over. I admire those who can do so without making them look stiff but that is not my forte. Undeniably I am a fly-by the pants type of gal. Besides sunflowers in particular are more carefree and it seems much better when they are allowed to dance on the paper :)! As much as I enjoy painting - drawing is my favorite way of relaxing...doodling in particular puts me in a "happy place". Speaking of Happy places I certainly came to one when I visited you today. Take care dear friend. Hugs! P.S. so glad we are blogging buddies - especially in times like these friendships are even more precious than ever.

  8. Witam serdecznie. Przepraszam, że dopiero dzisiaj do Ciebie zaglądam i podziwiam Twoje cudowne szkice słoneczników. Nie potrafię się odnaleźć jeszcze w świecie blogowym, ale wpływ na to ma obecna sytuacja w Polsce, no i wirus. Bardzo mi miło, że pamiętasz o mnie. Pozdrawiam i ściskam.

  9. Thank you for sharing your sketches and your reasons for drawing--I love that it's mostly about how you feel while doing it.

    I do sketch, and I've noticed that I find it more fun when I don't have to show anyone else...as when I'm playing on my own and not having to show my work in a class. I'm trying to let myself practice and play and not worry about showing anyone else my art journal, because I know the best way to get "better" is to do it a lot--as is suggested in the 100 times comment.

  10. Hello sketchbook Wandering!
    I wanted to find out where I could also buy these lovely sparkle circles you stuck onto the blue sketchbook? Can you please help e? I do not even know what to search for.

  11. When you work 'lightly,' as you say, your light, beautiful spirit comes through so completely. This is why I sometimes like your quick, light sketches the best. xxxx


Thank you for your comments! They mean a lot to me!