According to my mom, drawing was my favorite thing to do when I was a child. I preferred my collection of art supplies and paper over any toy. At school, my essays, book reports and papers often were accompanied by my hand drawn illustrations.
My path, however, diverged after graduation. I found myself immersed in a non-art career for many years, followed by raising a family of busy kids. Although I had some opportunity during those years to exercise my creativity with projects at work and with my boys, I really had little time for my own art. But a day did not go by when I didn’t think about it.
In 2011, I learned about “The Sketchbook Project” and reluctantly signed up to participate in it by ordering one of their sketchbooks, filling it with drawings, and shipping it off to be included in a huge collection of artists’ sketchbooks, from around the world, all permanently housed at the Brooklyn Art Library. My skills were rusty and I had that little, nagging voice in my head saying, “What do you think you’re doing? You’re not a real artist.” But…I pushed myself and did it anyway. It felt wonderful to draw again!
My motivation to keep on drawing somehow tapered off after that, and slowed to a trickle. I didn’t know why that happened, exactly, until I read Danny Gregory’s “Everyday Matters” about the value of drawing every day. I realized that I didn’t have to live up to someone else’s definition of artist…I can create my own! Danny’s moving story and resolve to keep drawing inspired me in early 2014, to enroll in classes and become part of the online community of artists that he cofounded with Koosje Koene, called Sketchbook Skool. I have been drawing every day since!
Being part of communities of other artists online keeps me inspired and encouraged to continue honing my skills and learn new ones. Most of my recent work is done in sketchbooks in a style that consists of line drawings and watercolor washes, which are aptly described on this site as “Doodlewashes”.
I enjoy using Lamy Safari fountain pens filled with assorted DeAtramentis or Noodlers inks, Sakura Pigma Micron pens, an assortment of Daniel Smith, Schmincke and Winsor & Newton watercolor paints, Winsor & Newton gouache, Prismacolor pencils and good ol’ number 2 pencils.
I keep many sketchbooks of different sizes and papers going at the same time. My favorites to work in are Moleskine, watercolor and sketch; Stillman and Birn, zeta; and Strathmore, mixed media journals. I also work in a few of my own hand bound sketchbooks.
My art journey may have started a long time ago, and has had some false starts and abrupt stops, but I know in my heart that I will keep it going from now on. I would like to further explore portraiture, life drawing, pastels and traditional watercolor painting, and maybe even return to oil painting. Thank you to Charlie O’Shields for inviting me to be a part of the Doodlewash community of artists. It’s an honor!