These fifty pages have become a realization about a lifetime living in fear of failure around making art. Suddenly, through persistence in the face of that, I know what it is like to be free. Over the years I have realized many moments of this freedom but a consistent flow, and indeed, consistent daily production has eluded me. Until now.
The utter fact that it is now is confounding to me. Never has there been a time when other things and people are more a priority and consistent demand. Never has there been a time when fatigue and exhaustion are always just right there…lurking, threatening. Yet here I am happily producing on a daily basis. It is a dream come true.
It is also a journey a self-discovery in a big way. Again, another surprise. After 26 years of plodding away consistently, daily and doggedly on a path of wellness, it always surprises me when there is a big pocket of self-discovery that I stumble across. Well, at least, I am not boring myself! It’s also great because that was not the point at all of this particular journey. It was a gently surfacing by-product. I love that.
I got this fifty-page sketchbook for my 54th birthday. I decided to try to do one sketch a day as inspired by Danny Gregory’s Creative Licence and the Everyday Matters Group. I made it!
I made this commitment with some trepidation. One thousand things have always interfered before. The challenge seemed almost insurmountable this time. Mary Ellen’s battle with cancer presents daily requirements for care, creativity, perseverance and energy. Yet it is Mary Ellen herself who has provided the support and encouragement for me to be able to do this and realize a lifetime wish. The irony in this is profound and I am grateful for every moment. It has all brought me to this moment in time. I want to dedicate 50 Pages, 50 Days to Mary Ellen.
So you are looking at the first day. I have posted them this way to show the journey or perhaps the gravitations. Many of the twists and turns in the road have surprised me as I mentioned before.
Materials: Robert Bateman 110 lb. 6 x 9” Sketch Book. An assortment of pencils. Schaeffer Fountain Pen. Lamy Fountain Pen and Noodler’s ink. Sharpie black felts. Staedtler Pigment Liners .03, 0.05, 0.7 Copic Multiliner SP 0.1, Pigma Brush Pen, WN watercolours, Prismacolour watercolour pencils, mechanical pencils 0.7 HB lead, mapping pen nib and India Ink.
Monday, September 1, 2008
This was a Sketch Crawl day. So here I am out in the hot hot day with Mary Ellen in a wheelchair, an aged dog, thousands of people in the park, gnats, flies and mosquitoes everywhere and a very threatening thunderstorm approaching rapidly out of nowhere with no notice. I found I did not have the right paper at all and it became about just being able to get here and try...we did it....