Kirsten Slade

Making.

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8

Sketchbook Magic: The Secret is Showing Up

"Don't forget to have a back-up plan."

It's the worst advice, because when it comes down to effort - you get out what you put in. Any energy you devote to the back-up plan is energy diverted from your passion.

I worked my way through art school, many years ago, but working 40-odd hours a week took time away from honing my craft and being able to dicover my artistic voice, my own marks.  And then I became a parent, and there never seemed to be enough time...but that was really just an excuse. Creatively, I felt like a failure. I scratched the itch by learning how to quilt, how to knit, how to grow a garden, but I was afraid to pick up a pencil and draw because I wasn't an artist anymore. I wasn't sure that I'd ever really identified as an artist.

I need to see what will happen, if I prioritize this. If I face down my fears. If I just start making marks on paper again.

Day 7: Quick watercolor sketch while out on a field trip with the kids' school this afternoon. My new pen is apparently water soluable, so it ran. Bummer. 

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Day 6: From a photo I snapped in traffic the other day - I had to! It was a man in a trucker cap in the driver's seat and his hound sitting bolt upright on the passenger side! Fine line markers. It's not really finished yet. I want to come back to this same image and try different media.

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Day 5 (playing around with the little image of the hen I drew a couple of days ago): I made a stencil and used that to put down the red ground on the left. On the right, I just cut a rough hen-ish shape out of paper I saved from a security envelope. I transferred the image with drawing ink. I like the effect. 

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Day 5: I walked to the coffee shop in my neighborhood and sketched while I waited for lunch.  The top part ended up being too big - I wasn't going to get to what I felt was the interesting bit I wanted to draw, so I just restarted the drawing below. Getting comfortable with the idea of not being so precious with my materials.

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Day 4: Watercolor. One day I'll know what I'm doing.

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Day 3: Drawing in public. That was a beast to conquer. Had about 45 minutes to kill at the park before my son's music lesson. I drew what was in front of me - that little building nestled in the trees is the toilets. Inexplicably, they weren't open. Sense of urgency might be reflected in on the page.

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Day 2: Inspired by Shantell Martin's Draw on Everything class, I moved to bigger paper (usually the purview of my seven year old) and a sharpie marker. The black frame captures what I felt was the most interesting bit. I might come back and play with those shapes later.

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Day 1: Carelessly doodling with the kids. Playing with old pen nibs.

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