Where Are They Now?

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.

Wardrobe Architect

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.

Prolific Creativity

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!

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A Drawing Dilemma

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?

Please add a comment or ‘get in touch’ (via Menu).

WordPress prompt: Meaningless

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Consider it…

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.

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All You Need Is Love

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.

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Something’s Gotta Give

I’m sorry I took a break from writing / wasn’t inspired to write (delete as appropriate) last week, and I wonder if I’ve failed either you or me.  But if I also admit to staying away from / ignoring / avoiding (again, delete as appropriate) my creative projects for well over a week now, do you still forgive me?

Okay, I admit I’m kinda afraid of drawing, although I’m not quite sure what aspect of drawing I’m afraid of.  But I haven’t been to my life drawing class for a few weeks (due to current work commitments) so I’m overflowing with guilt and well out of practice.

We’ve also started house-hunting (online and in the car), so my focus has been elsewhere.  The irony is we’re looking for somewhere with a space I can use as a studio.  But that won’t be much use if I’m not creating anything.  Something’s got to give.

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