Just Draw and Don’t Worry if It’s not Perfect

I’ve been off the grid (and out of action) for a while from an artistic standpoint. I finished a series of drawings and now I’m not sure what to draw, and I have no idea what medium I want to use.

I do know that I love ink.

I do know that I love charcoal.

I do know that I love water color pencils.

I do know that I love to combine odd mediums together and I think collages are wonderful.

What I don’t know are the basics – I’ve never taken a basic drawing class. When it come to art classes, I jumped from being in third grade  to being a 50 year old taking an intermediate class that involved learning how to draw a sunflower and capture the intricacies of shading.

sunflower_first drawing in over 20 years

The next class introduced great anxiety and the concept of two perspective drawing. The angles and shading were almost enough to do me in, and then my instructor challenged me to do the background trees in ink. (so glad she did)

progress on perspective_07_finaljpg

I had no idea that there was such an ability inside of me.

I spent last summer learning how to make paper

adding pressed petals

And then I got brave enough to draw on it – in ink {gasp!}

ink tree on handmade flax paper

And then I drew some more – my drawings became very abstract and I think my feelings poured out onto my handmade paper, through black ink at first and then through water color pencils.

tunnel into fall

I swear I’m addicted to the permanency and the vibrancy – it’s very counter intuitive for a perfectionist to love a medium like ink. Once you put it down on paper, there’s no turning back.

"abstract ink drawing ribbons of joy_final"

I finished a series of ribbony dresses on hand made paper.


So now what?

It’s a big question for me.

Since completing my last project, I’ve felt completely uninspired.

A childhood friend and very talented artist gave me some food for thought recently. His observation was  that my drawings had become formulaic – hmmmm.

I felt like every ribbony dress was unique, but maybe my mind knew what the outcome was going to be all along

Truth is, that when it comes to drawing, I feel like I’m a stranger in a foreign country. It’s like I can speak the language, but couldn’t read a street sign, newspaper or book if I had to. As a result I feel completely lost unless I’m drawing something very abstract or someone is guiding me along the way.

During our Facebook chat, my friend advised me to, “Get some manila paper, charcoal, a chamois, and a kneaded eraser and draw with a one song limit on the piece. One loud rock song!”

“You mean, just draw? Draw something that’s unfinished and imperfect? But I hate creating imperfect things,” I replied.

“You paint once you quit trying. How do you paint the perfect painting? Become perfect and then paint. Becoming perfect is NOT an option so eventually you have to just paint. Draw something alive, old shoes, work gloves, a tree in the wind, a self portrait, something…”

It was sound advice and I think the sneakers count.

I’ve registered for a class that fits the photographer and writer in me, but doesn’t advance my drawing. I can’t wait for the class to start, but I think I’m also going to  seek out a beginning drawing class to take this fall. It seems like some basic training might be in order and would help me feel more at ease with the concept of drawing.

In the meantime I’m going to take my friend’s advice and “just draw.” I think it’s time I turned my porch back into a summertime studio.

summertime art studio

2 thoughts on “Just Draw and Don’t Worry if It’s not Perfect

  1. I feel ya here. Being an artist myself I find myself frozen in creativity at times. I think too much. Although I love when I do realism, I have so much more delight in abstract. The process and the mess it makes and heals is like breathing to me. Thank you for sharing…..

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