Studio Check-In #4 — Taking My Own Advice (Sort of)

It may be prematurely optimistic, especially when things still feel pretty uncertain overall, but I’ve started trying to mentally prepare for a time when I have to return to my regularly-scheduled life. Our shelter-in-place order is currently set to expire on April 30, which is less than two weeks from now, and while I recognize (and am trying to also prepare for) the possibility that it could be extended again, I also recognize that there’s a chance that it won’t. In light of that, I decided that now might be a good time to start adding some structure back into my days, in the form of a daily to-do list.

Work in progress: Raspberries (approx 6″ x 9″)

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m very much a list maker — it helps me focus all my anxious ambition and gives me a sense of accomplishment when I can cross things off. (This blog post is, in fact, on my to-do list for today.) I’ve slowly been adding movement/exercise stuff to my list, as well as some cleaning & housekeeping stuff and some “fun” stuff, and I try to keep it around 5-10 things max (I have another list in my planner of things I’d like to accomplish soon, but not necessarily today). One thing I’ve started putting on the list every day is to paint or draw for one hour. Doesn’t matter what, doesn’t matter how good, just do something with a pencil or paint brush for one hour. I’m trying to keep taking my own advice from last week’s post and let myself practice, be “bad” at it, work for the process rather than the product. That said, I’m also in a lot better head space than I was a week or two ago, and I’ve started preliminary work (aka drawing) for a couple of “big” pieces I want to do eventually. I also started finally painting a piece I drew ages ago, during my first Art Weekend (hint: it’s the raspberries).

Here are the other things I’ve been working on this month:

A drawing ready for transfer to watercolor for painting — perhaps later this week.
The drawing I’m currently working on, for an eventual painting. Can you tell what it is?
I decided to play around with layering watercolor for a bigger misty forest (this paper is 12″ in diameter) — it needs some darker layers in the foreground still, and I’ll probably try and blur some of the boundaries between the tree lines and the mist. Otherwise, I’m generally pretty happy with it.
One of my early attempts at drawing faces, completed just yesterday, because I would like to get better at it (and eventually get better at painting them, too). Not pictured: The first two sketches I did, which did not turn out nearly as well (I only committed to TRYING new things that I’m bad at, not sharing them on the internet).

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