04 October 2010

working forward . . .

I've camped here long enough; it's time to move forward.

Now, if only I knew in what direction . . .

As a member of a small group of artists seeking to move forward with our art, I have been challenged recently to actually look at where I am and where I wish to go. For me, that means acknowledging that I AM an artist regardless of the opinions of certain close family members.

I guess I've had the attitude that "real" artists have paintings that are entered into shows or hang in galleries. My favorite art form is sketching in sketchbooks with pen & ink. I have no desire to enter shows --- that would tend to make me paint to please someone else (the jury or judges) rather than myself. Some of my adult children accept that I am artistic, but I long to have the respect of a certain other child who seems to think this is only a hobby.

I would love to touch people's lives with a book in the fashion of one I read last year: "A Blossom in the Desert", a 2007 collection compiled by Miriam Huffman Rockness of the sketches and writings of Lilias Trotter, a Victorian missionary / artist. A combination of watercolor sketches and words --- insights, quotes, and Bible verses scattered among the illustrations. I don't care to go the traditional publisher route; self-publishing or publishing on-line works for me.

Meanwhile, I know I have a lot to learn in technique. Attending workshops would be a wonderful way to hone in on my strengths and gain confidence. Not usually available in the middle of Kansas. (Actually, I found that there is a watercolor workshop with a well-known artist this week in Wichita --- but it costs over $400 and I simply don't have the money.) I'm exploring my options in other ways of learning. It's also past time that I learn how to design this blog in a better way and learn how to use it's options.

I'm also re-reading Danny Gregory's book, "The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to be the Artist You Truly Are". And I'm thankful for this and other encouragements I've found through the on-line artist community.


  1. Journals are always fascinating to read Vicky! I love seeing artists sketchbooks more than their paintings - it's more a window to the soul, an unguarded moment. I imagine that the "hobbyist" will come to treasure your sketchbooks!

  2. I re-read that book every so often too. Good for you on moving forward! Great page spread too!

  3. Thanks, Rose and Ann! It is so nice to get comments here.

    I was SOOO tired when sketching these (and still am) --- Bill has "restless leg syndrome", meaning I get very little sleep lately. Keep getting "shaken" awake. The 3 things in this spread are all a different size ratio from each other. Made me laugh!

  4. You do realize that by heading to your Flickr account to catch up on your wonderful sketches I lost hours of grading time. Now what are you going to tell my biology students? Ha! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and images, they brighten my day!

  5. LOL -- Happy to be of service! Though my physics-teaching son would frown.

    I notice you are in Mesa --- I'd love to see that area again some day! I was married in Apache Junction and spent lots of time at my mom-in-law's in Mesa. She worked in a school there.

  6. Yes, I love being out here. Although we just finally finished our season of three digit weather. Pleh. I love the landscape, so it is worth it. Apache Junction has great views!

  7. It was even better in the 1970s, before so much development and before humidity from everyone planting lawns! My mom-in-law had a big empty view from her home on N. 84th Place clear to Superstition Mtn. where we used to hike, backpacking our baby girl . . . who is now 36!

  8. Good for you in moving forward, Vicky! You'll find all sorts of information and how-to's without having to pay for expensive workshops. Have you tried Art Academy Live? It's $10 a month and you get access to all of their videos as long as you have your membership. I learned a lot that way. Haven't tried Artists Network, but I have purchased a few videos here and there through Northlight. And I borrowed every single thing I could from the library, book and video. Have fun playing!

  9. I hadn't heard about Art Academy Live before; I get emails from Artist Network but have never joined. I'll check out what both have to offer; thanks, Krista!

    I've been through the very little our local library offers and a few more ordered through their ILL program. Didn't learn much, except from their copy of one of Kate's older books --- that's how I "met" her and I'm still gaining blessings through that book!

  10. I have loved watching your progression in your art. I am especially fond of the way you add the Biblical/spiritual element to your journals. And now to realized that you have read Lilias Trotter! Please, please continue with your artistic work and spiritual growth so as to share with others in like manner as she did.

  11. Thanks for such an encouraging comment, Colleen; I've had doubts recently as to whether this is just a waste of time.

    I just found your blog --- how wonderful it would be to sketch in Israel! I missed out on a chance to go there in the 1980s and have regretted it ever since.

    And how cool to find someone else familiar with Lilias Trotter's work! She was amazing, wasn't she? As to the Bible verses & insights in my sketchbook: I just can't seem to help myself. That's a big part of who I am and it just spills out in my journals.


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