Monday, August 12, 2013

Keeping Motivated for a Daily Art Practice

What keeps you motivated for a daily art practice?  Do you keep a daily Artist's Journal?  I love to keep one where I sketch in pen and watercolor, and it's a great place to paint what inspires you for that day, try out new subjects or techniques, record what you see during an outing...the possibilities are endless!  It's your journal!

For instance, on the day I sketched this dragonfly, I had revisited the old deck of Medicine Cards I hadn't seen in years and blindly selected the Dragonfly card.  Oh, I've always been intending on drawing a dragonfly and that day was as good a day as any!

Many times I am inspired because I have seen a particular subject or technique from an artist online that I want to try.  On my favorite Facebook artist groups I saw a couple folks posting a technique of painting a watercolor wash first, then drawing over the wash in pen.  How fun!  I thought I'd give it a try.  It's a very nice technique for when the subject is rather colorless.  Even ordinary household items suddenly look artistic!

One recent morning I noticed beautiful morning light streaming into the kitchen counter so I grabbed some berries from the refrigerator and took some photos of them in that light (because I knew the light would be gone before I could paint it).  The berries cast wonderfully long shadows.  I wanted to play with painting shadows in watercolor, and this gave me the opportunity.

If it's lovely outside I will step out with my sketch kit and find something that draws my eye to sketch, whether it be a grand landscape or urban scene or the detail of a plant. Of course, if the day involves any kind of errand or outing, it's a prime opportunity to sketch something!  A recent meeting of the Southern Arizona Climber's Coalition at our local Barrio Brewery provided one such opportunity to capture the lovely stained glass faux balcony doors in the room, and get some practice quick-sketching people too!

And if I'm at a loss, I search out my own collection of photos, or I look online at places like morgueFile,  Paint My Photo, or Wikimedia Commons (to avoid copyright infringement) for photos that tweak my interest and sketch those.

It helps to have on-going projects. I am working on some "retrospective" trip journals, sketching photos from past trips I did before I got into sketching. It's a great way to reminisce about wonderful trips you've taken.

I also am in an Artist Trading Card exchange project with fellow artists, and I use my Artist's Journal to explore certain ideas first.


There are so many ways you can keep motivated for a daily art practice, whether in you Artist's Journal or in other journals and art projects too!  I hope you have some ideas and inspiration for your own daily art practice!

1 comment:

Inge Leonora-den Ouden said...

Thank you, Stacy, for the inspiration!