Wednesday 30 January 2013

Uninspired by Drawing from Life

I'm very superstitious, in some ways. For instance, though I know pigeons die all the time, if I actually see a dead pigeon, I'm convinced I'll have a bad day and the only reasonable course of action is to avoid doing anything rather than risk things going wrong. As I left the office for my lunch break/shopping trip, I saw a dead pigeon right in front of the building, just at the end of the little lay-by. "Ick!" I thought, and as I was picking up the shopping, I kept trying to think of how to rearrange my day to avoid the worst of the pigeon curse. I've been worn out the past two days, and was really looking forward to getting back on track today; but if my work was doomed to go wrong, should I not do anything at all? Or, is that the curse at work, directing me to make the wrong decision, so I should try to do something after all? Or, would that be hubris, a classic cause for all sorts of curses? As I struggled to figure out the best course of action, I finished shopping, headed back to the office, and noticed that the dead pigeon had strings coming off it. It was actually a lost scarf that had rolled up as it was blown against the curb. So, I really should do something now that I'm not cursed after all.

I've written before about how craft blogs tend to focus on the positive, so I'm stretching myself by putting out a rather negative statement: I found Drawing from Life: the Journal as Art Form by Jennifer New uninspiring. It looked appealing on the library shelf, so I checked it out. It is a very pretty book, but it all seems very professional rather than fun, and it made me feel like journalling is something important people do; and I'm not important, so why am I journalling? I know this isn't what the author intended, which makes me feel even worse.

On the plus side, it hasn't made me want to stop working in my art journal. Here's what I'm up to at the moment:
working on page 8 from start (1)

On the bus, I've been trying to draw in a sketchpad I've had for a few years. I've decided not to scan and post the sketches, because they aren't good, and I don't want to feel pressured about that. Plus, I've lowered my sights from aiming to sketch well, to just being able to sketch for more than 10 minutes at a time! If I can get to a point where I can sketch for the entire commute, that will count as a great success, no matter what the sketch actually looks like.

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