I keep a deck of index cards in my car. When an idea starts to germinate, I grab a card and start furiously writing (only at stop signs, I promise!) I also have a small sketchbook in my purse so that I can jot down notes or quick sketches. Many of these ideas never get past the sketchbook or note card, but they are still good practice. If I don't write or sketch them, they get lost in some other life problem.
I wanted to be a writer as early as sixth grade. I was brave enough to send my attempts to magazines. I still have the stack of rejection letters I received, but I also have copies of one piece that was published in a children's magazine as well as a fashion idea that appeared in a Katy Keene comic book. I stopped doing artwork in my 30s for various reasons. High on that list: too many self-expectations and a desire not to encourage my perfectionism. At that time, I turned back to writing. I joined a women's writing group called Wednesday Writers led by Elizabeth Fishel. Elizabeth's prompts, such as "I remember..." and "describe your childhood bedroom," seemed simple, but they also opened up memories that grew deeper on paper. In that group, we encouraged and supported each other, and published two anthologies of our work.
While my family and I lived in Japan, I took a botanical illustration class, which reawakened my artistic desire. I loved the careful exploration of a flower and the detailed drawing/painting that resulted. I hadn't forgotten the art school foundation that I learned at an earlier time.
Another friend of mine commented recently that I have 'exploded.' I am testing all kinds of waters, including writing a blog, while trying to catch up with all that I missed when I set aside art. I still am awed by artwork by other people, who are much more talented than I am. Now, though I can let competitive feelings go. I am having fun mixing writing and art in many ways.
|The paper on the left was made on a Gelli Plate with acrylic paint and stencils.|
Today at the library I sat in a class full of people. In front of us was a professional illustrator who showed us his technique for drawing fish. * Some of the people in the audience were experienced artists, but the brave ones came without an art background. They simply wanted to know how to draw.
Thanks for asking that question, my good friend. I hope you too are having fun exploring and trying new things.
Check out John Muir Laws' website if you are interested in Nature Journaling: http://www.johnmuirlaws.com
Do you have photos of your favorite shades of green? Please upload them to Instagram #postcardsintheair, email them to me, or upload them to GREENS on my Google page. Thanks!!