Thursday, March 5, 2015

50 Shades of Gray

I did not draw that! It's the cover of my sketchbook. :)
No, this is not a post about my hair. :)

It's a post about this current creative block from hell I've been experiencing, and how I'm just plain tired of it.

I'm sure you're tired of it, too.

All my whining and wailing and gnashing of teeth during this time has lost me some followers. And I can't blame them for jumping ship, as I wouldn't want to read my negative postings either....

So although writing seems to help me sort out some things, I've been trying to focus on this issue without sharing too much.

I've also been actively in search of the Muse instead of waiting around for it to show up (or worse: scaring it away with all my desperate begging).

Recently I wondered if some uninterrupted time spent in the aisles of an art supply store might be inspirational. No hurries! Just the smells of paints and papers and pencils. Like shopping for school supplies only better. And my visit there just so happened to coincide with Valentine's Day and the release of the new movie '50 Shades of Grey.' (Don't ask: haven't seen it, don't want to, haven't read the book either, don't have to explain why.)

On purpose, I planted myself specifically in the Paper-and-Pencils Department and almost immediately took an interest in a sketchbook with pages of gray. I found some other colored paper items, too, as well as white pencils and gel pens. And upon seeing that I appeared to be even marginally excited again about some art supplies, James bought them for me for Valentine's Day. (Can't love this guy enough.)

Then I noticed that my new Strathmore gray-toned sketchbook came in a pad of 50 pages. Hmmmm.

And this gave me a lightbulb moment.

Since that time I've been pretty much up to my elbows and eyelids in a little series I'm calling '50 Shades of Fae.' Tiny netsuke-sized drawings of fantasy faces. On gray paper.

And -- I'm adding COLOR. I know! I can't believe it either.

I'm almost two dozen faces into the collection already and I hate to step away from it! I've been so focused that I've occasionally forgotten to eat or exercise, which probably isn't a good thing, really, although it IS when I think about all the times my childhood self got lost for long hours in a sketchbook and had to be pried away from it for the important things. Like school. Or supper....

And seriously -- it's been so dang long since I felt like this about drawing. The giddy, childlike feeling of hurry-up-and-get-your-chores-done-so-you-can-sit-with-a-sketchbook-and-a-pencil-and-a-Charlie-Chan-movie! I want to bathe in this feeling and roll around in it. I want to wear it.

The whole thing's not without its drawbacks, of course. Most of the time I leave out the get-your-chores-done part (I've always been an instant-gratification kind of girl....). Plus, sitting for long hours isn't as comfy as it was back in my youth. And let's not forget that substituting a bag of mini-marshmallows and a beer for my supper takes its toll immediately.



On a whim (and to hold myself accountable) I've been sharing my daily progress on social media. The feedback I'm getting has all been positive so far. Mostly because I'm sure my friends are just flippin' happy to have me creating instead of whining.

Some have asked me what my plans are for this series. Honestly? I haven't a clue.... It's too soon. Plus, the idea of making this dipped-in-gold happy circumstance be about money somehow just rubs me the wrong way.

So for now I'm going to keep thoughts of money out of the Big Picture. Because I don't like thoughts about money. And also because I'm having too much fun focusing on the Little Picture(s).

For now, this right here is a '50 Shades' I can get excited about. :)