I've been doing an Art Marks challenge, and am on day 26 (I slacked off a few days so I don't really know if it's supposed to be done or not? The OCD part of me is having trouble not knowing this). Anyway, I chose a pocket moleskine 2015 planner to work in, since it's small, and I didn't want to start a "real" sketchbook and then not follow through.
Something I hadn't realized was that I had still been using this planner when my friend passed away in March of 2015. I didn't really like this size for a calendar, and I had stashed it in a desk drawer at some point, and when I flipped through the pages I hadn't seen much written in it. Anyway, one day I sat down and started the timer and opened to the next spread to paint and there it was, the date circled with a small heart. It took me right back to that weekend, and I sat with it for a minute. I thought about how much she would have laughed at me doing this challenge, and what a kick she would have gotten out of my finally doing art again. It was a bittersweet.
This book was not meant for painting in. The paper is holding up remarkably well, but bleeds through in the spine/gutter. Which means when flipping through older pages I'll find Rorschach tests have sprung up out of nowhere, from newer paint seeping through. It doesn't bother me, which means I have made considerable progress since college.
See that butterfly in the middle? That wasn't there originally. The original challenge prompt for this is "Singular."
One of the nagging voices in my head (I assume we all have them?) is of a painting teacher telling me I was too "precious" with my work. I would create something I liked, and I would stop. I resented her telling me this, and felt like she wasn't very supportive. I finally understand what she was saying, I wish she had found a different way to say it. "Precious" (said specifically in her voice) became the word in my head that meant "you're not any good." What she really meant was, push a little bit, relax a little bit, don't worry that you'll never be able to recreate this, don't hold on so tight, and let accidents happen. Like Rorschach blots in sketch books.
The other thing that has been great with this challenge is that for some reason I'm able to commit to doing it every (almost) day without feeling guilty. Something that I am slowly getting better at... I don't know why I still sometimes feel like I need to justify art time, but I do.
Part of it right now is that I am spending too much time on Facebook. Every time I log on I get sucked into news stories, petitions, protests, op-eds, and so on. It makes me feel slightly inadequate, on top of getting pummeled emotionally. So I'll take a break from FB for a while... I know it'll be there when I return...