April isn’t typically the time of year most people think about setting New Year Resolutions. But with a spring birthday, it’s a perfect time for me to reflect and set my goals for the next year of my life.
For the past year I set out to: i) overhaul my wardrobe, and ii) become prolifically creative. However, as I write this on the eve of my blog’s first birthday, it’s difficult to pinpoint any significant changes I’ve made to achieve either.
My wardrobe is (slowly) improving. Having changed a few shirt buttons, I’ve made some progress. I still have about half-a-rail of mending/adjusting awaiting my attention. However, reminding myself of my passion for sewing seems to have flicked the right internal switch; I’ve since finished a couple of ‘difficult’ projects. But my real passion is for dressmaking, and I’m a sucker for a nice sewing pattern. So hopefully I’ll get to make some new clothes for myself rather than just making do and mending the pieces I can’t bear to part with.
When I set this goal last year I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to achieve. Roll forward a few months and I decided that, for me, prolific creativity meant more than drawing for ten minutes every day. Having attempted several drawing challenges since last April, I’ve learned that there’s more to this than turning up to the page and making a few choice marks. I want my own journey to have a purpose, and when I choose my next ‘first’ step, the next ‘second’ one will naturally follow.
So, all that’s left to say is ‘Happy Birthday, Filbert & Smudge’, and ‘Cheers!’ to year number 2!
The post Where Are They Now? first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.
If you had a year to teach yourself to draw and paint, how would you go about it?
Here’s the thing…
I love drawing. I understand the theory, and can draw pretty well with either my right or left hand (and which hand I choose usually depends on my mood). I’ve even taught drawing in an informal way. But if I was suddenly asked to draw or paint something in front of me, without any mental or emotional preparation, I’m not sure I could do it. As I spend the majority of my drawing time in life-drawing class, in my own head I feel I would struggle to draw anything else. And with a new blog year pending, I’d like to approach this art thing in a whole new way.
As a recently returned dressmaker, I’m pacing my re-learning by choosing projects according to the fabric I wish to sew and the techniques I want to practice. My map will be drawn out by my Wardrobe Architect, and the souvenirs of my journey will be the new outfits I have to wear.
However, with drawing I’m completely stuck. My key objective is to pick any of my art materials at random and draw (or paint) whatever is in front of me, without having to do a mental warm-up first. But as this is driven by technique the subjects aren’t as obvious. And without a plan, this challenge would be meaningless. I’ve started listing things to try, such as line, tonal values and shading over a three-dimensional surface, but at the moment my short list isn’t firing up my enthusiasm. So, I need your help…
If you had a year (or less) to teach yourself to draw and paint, how would you go about it?
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WordPress prompt: Meaningless
The post A Drawing Dilemma first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.
With my project list not showing any signs of slimming down, I felt inspired to sew last weekend. Leaving the fabric laid over the arm of a chair for a couple of months had done nothing to fire up my enthusiasm. However, last week’s post reminded me of my passion for sewing and was enough to motivate me to get out my sewing machine and start to make something.
It also felt good to focus on the process of making rather than anticipating the outcome. The movement of my new scissors as I cut my fabric. The purr of my 25 year-old sewing machine as I stitch the seams. The flow of my needle and thread as I hand-stitch my hems. I’ve not quite finished my sewing project, but I’m still reflecting on the thrill of bringing together individual ingredients to make something new, rather than altering or mending clothes out of necessity. And when I do return to my sewing machine, when my schedule allows it, consider it done.
The post Consider it… first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.
Perhaps I’ve been looking at things the wrong way. Perhaps I shouldn’t be focusing on my fear of drawing or my learned procrastination habit, my poor time management or my growing pile of ironing.
When I heard someone say “I’m passionate about…” something clicked. As soon as I thought about my own passions, a smile started to appear on my face. I’m passionate about drawing, especially life-drawing, but I also love sewing and baking, knitting and soup-making. Perhaps I should remind myself of that every morning, then the day’s events might make way for the many loves of my life.
The post All You Need Is Love first appeared on Filbert and Smudge.
Having only managed one attendance so far this year, last night I braved the weather and went for my weekly life-drawing fix. It’s refreshing to draw a model who understands how to pose well to make the drawing more of a challenge, and yesterday I had the joy of drawing a gentleman who often models for our two-hour nude classes. For yesterday’s one-hour class he was wearing shorts.
These first three drawings were one-minute warm-ups, and you can tell my technique relaxes with each one. My third sketch was definitely the most successful of the three (fewer lines, more punch).
Then we switched to two twenty-minute seated/laid down poses. With my enthusiasm I managed to elongate the model’s body in this first drawing. My second attempt (bottom) was much more accurately captured (and carefully planned).
Sometimes you just need to hold back with your mark-making until you understand what’s going on in front of you. Look with your eyes rather than your pencil, and it helps to do a little measuring, too!
WordPress prompt: Hesitate
The post Hesitantly Happy first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.