New Brushes for me!

Having good brushes is important… an yet only now do I own some Rosemary & Co! I have some other decent brands, but I had such a hard time deciding I was worthy of purchasing Rosemarys. Rosemary brushes are the ones those good artists use… ya know, not people like me. People like me are meant to chug along with low quality things… OH MAN. *BRAIN LYING ALERT!*

Luckily this workshop coming up challenged me with a grown-up-artist supply list. Stuff I should have ordered months ago, but have now finally said, “Yeah, I’m committed to this path. It’s time to invest a little in it.”

And it feels good.

Rosemary

Beginner’s Mind

Wow. I am facing some serious “not good enough” stuff this week! It seemed to crop up after getting a spot in the (much coveted) Morgan Weistling painting workshop in Pasadena. At first I was just on the waiting list… which felt safe. But suddenly I get the email: “We’ve got a spot for you!”. And then… panic set in. And this is what it sounds like in my brain:

“Oh no. The website said this workshop isn’t appropriate for beginners… am I a beginner? My drawing skills still need serious work. But… I’ve been working on art for the last 5 years– I must not be a ‘beginner’ anymore!… Puh-leeze, you’re so lazy, you basically did nothing to improve your art in that time.”

And the voice goes on……. and on….. and on………….

The thing is, I want to be an artist because I love to make art. And (call me crazy) my self imposed emotional beatings makes the whole process a hole heck of a lot less fun.

I recently watched this video about that uncomfortable place just outside of comfortable where all the learning happens. But the scared part of my brain says “beginner” like it’s a bad thing. Because I want to be there, in that uncertain place where I am eagerly trying and failing with such gusto that I’m always moving forward.

So essentially, I am still a “beginner.” But always want to be a beginner, even if I become the cat’s pajamas, I want to think like a beginner. Always risking, stepping into the unknown, moving forward. I always want to be the worst artist in a classroom so that I have huge leaps to grow before moving to the next level.

Here’s some Morgan Weistling work to blow your socks off:

from: morganweistling.com

from: morganweisling.com

Quicksketch

These (below) are some quicksketches I did as practice from the Watts Atelier online program. (If you haven’t heard me say it before: it is an awesome program). And I have FINALLY discovered a way to get my butt in the chair to do some drawing work. My typical modus operandi is to avoid practicing my drawing until I encounter something so difficult in a painting project that I am forced to practice my drawing again. Really, I should be practicing drawing every darn day.

Sooo when I saw an interview with artisit Teresa Oaxaca, I was totally blown away when she said that she listens to audiobooks while working. I just assumed it was too difficult to listen to an audiobook and work at the same time- perhaps my head would explode with the effort of trying to do both at the same time. But, low and behold, it has done quite the opposite. Listening to an audiobook while I draw seems to distract me from the voice that says things like: “This is haaaard. I can’t do this! I’m never going to be a real artist! I hate this. It’s boring. Don’t make me do it!” Instead, that part of my brain is like: “Oh no! Poor Robinson Crusoe! What’s gonna happen next?” (you might guess the current audiobook of choice) while the rest of my brain gets down to work. And here’s the hillarious and amazing part of this discovery: I now can’t wait to draw. The part of my brain that loves stories is now tied to the part that practices drawings and it can’t wait to see what happens next.

I won’t claim that it’s not still challenging to draw- it is. But I will say that it’s a heck of a lot more fun to sit down and begin the task.

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