I’ve discovered that getting up at 4:30am is actually quite lovely.
Jesse’s started a new job at work, working 6:30am morning shifts. Since he has to walk (buses don’t run that early!) he gets up at around 4:30 to be ready in time. I hate waking up alone, so I decided to get up with him.
It’s actually really wonderful to wake up slowly, do some Shiva Nata, drink a cup of tea with Jess and then head to the easel at around 5:30am. The sun is just coming up over the harbour and the light is lovely – cool and shimmering. The birds are just beginning to wake up and the day stretches before me, full of possibility (and possibly impromptu naps!). I feel so creative in that time and space.
I’ve started work on the paintings for my application to France. One of the paintings is actually going to be of Hannah, and another will be of Jesse. I’m also going to do a self portrait and some plein air landscapes.
But one of the pieces is going to be a drawing. I’ve recently rediscovered my love of the pencil, and particularly drawings done on grey toned paper and highlighted with white pastel. Yummm. There’s a light filled, shimmering quality that happens. (See the image above to understand what I’m talking about.)
So the final piece will be a nude drawing done on grey toned paper. A friend of mine has couragously volunteered to be my nude model. (Can we just give her a round of applause? That’s gutsy.)
I’m really excited to work on it, as it’s a total change of pace and I love the way the finished product looks. It’s just delicious. I have a feeling there are going to be several more pieces like that coming your way in the near future.
In other news, I ordered myself a sketchbox the other day to start my own plein air painting adventure. I’m starting to get used to painting from life and I’m excited to start doing that for landscapes.
For those of you who aren’t artists, a sketchbox is like a little suitcase that you can put your paints and brushes in, and has a little built in easel to put your board on, and then you can take it with you anywhere and set up and paint. Handy, right?
More exciting news! My parents are in the process of mailing me my paintings and drawings from the Nude Show last year. The paintings should be arriving this week, fingers crossed and my drawings arrived the other day. It’s so strange to see work again that I haven’t seen in almost 12 months.
Speaking of which, I was going through my sketchbooks, looking for inspiration for the nude drawing, and I suddenly realized just how much my skills have improved. Sometimes I feel like I’m running in place, but over the past 2 years, since I started drawing from a live model, my work has improved so much! Like vast amounts. It was a really nice feeling, looking at my first drawing and then my latest one. I can see much clearer and my drawing is tighter, neater, crisper.
I had a bit of a shock when I looked back at the early drawings. My work looks almost exactly like my mentor’s at the time. I actually had a moment where my brain was like, “Weird. Why are there drawings done by Chris in here?” And then I realized that I had done them. It just goes to show how much you learn by copying and then branch off to develop your own style.
Look at that! Top image is from 2 years ago, bottom image is from last week:
Apparently this is going to be a week of noticing what is awesome in my life. It’s like I’m stepping back a bit and seeing just how much progress I’ve made. It’s incredibly satisfying, but more than that, it’s motivational. It’s inspirational. I’ve already come so far, I’m starting to see exactly what I’m capable of.
That might just be a tiny seed of self confidence that’s growing there. I’ll have to make sure I keep watering it. 😉