Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two Years and A Pencil

December 2005


May 2007


December 5, 2005

January 2007



Two years and a Pencil

I’ll be away this weekend, and so before I leave to spend some time with my daughter, I wanted to get this written and posted.

This Sunday, June 17, will make two years since I made the very deliberate decision to learn to draw. I seem to have been writing since I could speak, but visual art was something completely out of my experience, and something folks discouraged me (like my singing!!) to do. And so for over half a century, I remained a verbal artist…until two years ago.

I love the natural world .. it’s where I find my peace, inspiration, joy. And for as many years as I’ve had the privilege to live, I’ve loved those visual or illustrated journals that COMBINED words with illustration and watercolor. I can’t tell you how many ‘how to’ books sit on my shelves and HAVE sat on my shelves for years – me thinking that by reading or proximity their contents would magically transmit to my eye and hand the ability to render anything similar to what I was drooling over! HA!

I wish I could remember how I ran across the Everyday Matters site .. perhaps it was admiring someone’s work and following links back to the site … I don’t quite know (I do know that Danny’s books came AFTER I joined EDM) … but whatever led me on that path has my sincere gratitude. I began lurking on the site, turning green with envy for the talent and work I saw there. Folks talked about their own visual art journeys and I returned again to my own bookshelves for instruction… and decided, once and for all before I die, that I would really give drawing a go.

I started with my 1970s copy of “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” And I didn’t read it – I WORKED it – practicing and practicing –and truly laughing at my pitiful efforts … until I did that ‘upside down drawing.’ That one exercise absolutely liberated me, and gave me the hope I so desperately needed that perhaps, I too, could learn to draw. What I drew LOOKED that the figure in the chair – not perfect – heck, after two years, I’m still struggling with figures!! LOL – but it was recognizable!!! And thus, the spark of ‘maybe’ was lit. …and once lit, my determination took over.. and I’ve been sketching every day since then.

I took Kate’s fabulous classes in sketching and watercolor (http://www.cathyjohnson.info/) and I read everything I could afford to buy or borrow. I joined the EDM site and Karen Winters so graciously helped me set up a blog.

And you, dearest of friends, encouraged me every step of the way.

Through your comments, encouragement, suggestions, my artwork has gradually improved. Your support and generosity keeps me sketching ..and the more I “Practice” .. the more my work will grow and improve. And I cannot thank you sufficiently or deeply enough!

Today I have been graced beyond measure by a dear friend who regularly encourages me through suggestions, ideas, recommendations, guidance and discussions of art that I never had in school – perspective, negative painting, color theory, books, videos to try – as well as inspires me through their own work. When I think of the invaluable learning of such a gift and such a friend, I get weepy with gratitude …and overwhelmed with the inability to express the depth of my appreciation.

And so, I apologize for the length of this … but more than anything, I wanted to write a letter today, my almost anniversary of penciling, a letter of thanksgiving, a letter of gratitude, a letter of love to YOU …. The instructors, the friends, the encouragers, the suggesters, the helpers, the supporters – you, my dearest of friends .. for the immeasurable support you’ve give me to keep picking up the pencil, the brush .. and keep at it. Words fail me (yes, I know after this length of letter!! LOL) – to convey the depth of gratitude and thanksgiving I wish to give each of you – and to, in turn, ‘pass it forward’ and return it to YOU, as you’ve given your ‘Atta girls’ to me …..

Thank you dear ones … MILLE MILLE GRAZIE! Keep practicing!
Here are some comparisons ….

22 comments:

Felicity said...

Lin, words are failing me now! :) I feel really honoured to be among your many (many!) friends and to be at the receiving end of your wonderful encouragement and generousity. Don't ever stop drawing because I will have to too! Tons of love to you, and here is to many more years of sharing your amazing progress - and infectious enthusiasm!

Dawn said...

Lin, You are an inspiration to us, your friends. Thank you for sharing your art, words & progress. You kindly pay back the encouragement you have received & pass it along to others. Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary! I look forward to continuing the journey.

Brenda Y said...

Ah, dear friend, you had a hidden talent, as is evident in your "old" work, that just needed prodding. Encouraging each other is probably the most amazing thing about this online art movement and you're at the top of the list of "encouragers." Thank YOU! for all you've done to encourage others and a huge CONGRATULATIONS on your 2 year anniversary.

Laureline said...

Oh, Lin, you give the rest of us so much pleasure with your indomitable spirit, caring ways, and with your charming sketches! Congratulations on two year of oakviews!!! You've come a long way, cara baby!

Diahn said...

To steal a phrase...Brava, dear lady! You've been on a wonderful journey, and it's a joy to come and see what you are doing! Happy 2nd Anniversary - may you continue on and on many many years!

Tami said...

Lin,I see so much of my own path in your words; makes me weepy to read it. You, My Friend, are one of my greatest cheer leaders, I can't say "Thank you" enough for all of your supportive comments on my stumbling attempts at drawing and painting. I, like you, developed the courage to pick up a pencil and paint brush from reading Drawing from the Right side of the Brain and the EDM group. Thank you for being there for me, too. Congrats on your 2 years. KEEP IT COMING!

Carole said...

Lin, thank YOU for being such an inspiration, for sharing your beautiful pictures, your story and your unfailing encouragement to the rest of us on this journey. Happy 2-year-sketchiversary, and enjoy your weekend with your daughter.

Cin said...

dear Lin, congratulations on two years of drawing! it is real joy to follow along with you, I may not comment very much but I never miss a post, your enthusiasm and perseverance are a great inspiration, no matter how frustrating drawing can sometimes be you never seem to lose the joy in it, here's to another year!

Sandy said...

Oh Lin, I am right there with you girl - you are such a tribute to EDM and practice and Loving what you do - CONGRATULATIONS on 2 years of contributing art and inspiration And Support to everyone else!! Here Here

Anna said...

Wow, what an inspiration! I feel inspired to make a similar commitment! Thank YOU so much for your kind comments! I for one think that your artwork looks terrific - but of course it was quite nice to begin with as well! Wishing you another great year with brush in hand!

Donn said...

What an outstanding achievement in 2 years. And your dedication to drawing every day. It shows. YOU are the inspiration to us and especially to me.
Your encouragement means a lot.

Teri C said...

Lin, you are an artist with words as well as pencils and paints. It has been such a pleasure to know you and see your spirit and progress and the support you give everyone else!! Thank you for learning how to be artist and sharing it with the rest of us.

CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING YOU!!

Ann said...

What a lovely, inspiring post, for someone like me who also writes, but wants to draw (especially travel journaling). I am going to pull out my copy, too, and take all your excellent advice!

phthaloblu said...

Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary. Your work is fabulous and worth all the comments, suggestions and praise that you get. I'm very glad that you took the step to learn to draw amid all the negativity.

martha said...

Wow - only 2 years? Your drawings are so wonderful! I really admire your dedication and perseverance; they have clearly paid off for you. Bravo!

Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Lin - Congratulations. Your journey and optimism are inspirations to everyone who comes across your site. I hope you find enormous gratification in doing what you set out to do. And thank you for being so generous with the rest of us, too. Hugs.

SCquiltaddict said...

Happy Birthday dear Lin...your progress has been awesome and inspiring......all i can think to say are boring trite statements....like YOU GO GIRL:>

mARTa said...

I want to thank you! For your musings always delight me when I visit and the sketches a visual pleasure. You enrich us all; please continue to leave your mark.

Susan Cogan said...

I started drawing in March. Like you, I've done it (almost) every day since. And, like you, I started rather late in life. Your work is lovely and it gives me hope and inspiration! I bookmarked your blog because I like your work. I'm now extremely glad I did.

Africantapestry said...

Dear lin, how wonderful to follow this journey of yours. A big congratualtions to you on this anniversary..you have just gone from strenth to strength in your work and you have been a wonderful companion in so many other artists' journeys as well, like mine. Thanks to you for being who you are and sharing that through your work and your encouragement.
Ronell

Jana Bouc said...

Congratulations Lin! I never realized you'd not done any art before you started your art journal/blog. Although your work has really grown and matured over the two years, I've loved it from the first time I saw it, about one year in. You're always an inspiration to me and I so appreciate your faithful commenting on mine and everybody else's blogs too!

shirley said...

Lin,
I was in TX without email access when you wrote this - and I'm madly trying to catch up as I pack another suitcase for London. I feel as if we have been on this journey together - both joining EDM, lurking, and then starting a blog and daily sketch practice. Knowing you are looking around for something to sketch each night, like me, is part of what keeps me going. Now we just need to get you to commit to another family visit in NYC!
Shirley