oil pastel landscape in prog

Lots of stuff has been going on with me, forcing me to neglect my little blog.  I’ve had some big responsibilities to handle, and as all bloggers know:  sometimes the blogging has to give precedence to other more urgent tasks.  Here’s when a blogger needs staff.

But throughout the period of dealing with often stressful responsibilities, I have continued drawing whenever possible.  I have learned to use the available time even when it’s just 15 minutes.  And during a period when I have been chauffeuring family members to doctor’s appointments and whatnot, I even began using my car as a studio setting up a still life on the dashboard so that I could draw a little while waiting for someone.  However, I still refrain from drawing while driving!

The beauty of this — besides the fact that it keeps my visual skills sharp — is that the art I do inside the found packets of time helps me cope with emotional uncertainties.  The doing of art can be a very steadying kind of work.  It focuses your mind upon the present.  It reminds you that visual splendor is often around you, even in the most modest circumstances.  Life itself in its minute features is beautiful and mysterious.  I have found that drawing whenever I can helps keep my thoughts focused upon that fact:  that the structure of life is crystalline, spacious, dazzling and wonderous.

12 thoughts on “As much as possible, draw anyway

  1. Je suis d’accord avec chaque mot, dessiner est un moyen si puissant de dompter notre esprit qui vagabonde dans des idées noires, j’epère que ces mauvais moments sont du passé maintenant.

  2. Hi, Aletha. I really enjoyed reading this blog. �Yes, I agree, but for me, it is “As much as possible, write anyway.” �I have even discovered that I operate on high stress level when I am not writing. �For a long time, I did not realize the extent to which writing is therapeutic to me. �Once I begin writing, it helps me in discerning and organizing my life.



  3. Unfortunately I have the same dilemma, lack of time for painting. I think this problem is common to female artists.

  4. egophen,

    I haven’t quite managed a way to do paintings in the car or the doctor’s waiting room! Still working on that one … but I can recommend using either colored pencils, or oil pastels, or just drawing media such as the old fashioned pencil. I did a colored pencil drawing in one waiting room, using a photograph as a source to look at — box of the colored pencils, small notebook, pencil sharpener, photo in a plastic sleeve to protect it. Very portable and the occasion provoked some pleasant conversation with others waiting who were curious about my artwork. So that was fun.

    And the “car still life” was made using oil pastels — which can be very much like painting in oil as they are very mixable and have nice textures — even a kind of impasto is possible. And I found the light was absolutely magical. That was “natural light” with a vengence. Have been thinking of working inside my car while it’s parked in the driveway, but am a little worried what my neighbors would think!

    Hope you find some time to do the things you love. Thanks for leaving a comment. — AK

  5. Maureen,

    Thank you for your kind words. With the still life on the car dashboard — I’ll have to post my “dashboard still lifes” someday — I’m almost venturing into “urban sketchers territory” — do you think that Julia Kay would want to start a “car party”? — AK

  6. Merci, Ben. Mes difficultés persistent, mais le dessin me rend forte. Quand je fais mes dessins mon esprit “vagabonde” dans les jargins! Ce sont tons commentaires dans le email qui m’a incité à écrire ce post. Tu as toujours encourager les autres. AK

  7. Aletha– It is difficult, but it is important. I have also been trying to write and paint in what my husband calls the “interstices,” the little pieces of unaccounted-for time, through coffee breaks, in waiting rooms, and gradually I am opening up bigger chunks of time to work. It helps me breathe… or remember to breathe!… and helps me be useful…. take care!

  8. I’m glad you are not drawing and driving; but you can think and drive 🙂 It is good you have a meditative hobby to calm your mind – hope things are on the up.

  9. Yes, Gabe, no drawing and driving! For drawing from inside the vehicle, one needs a designated driver … however, drinking and drawing is okay! My beverage of choice, however, is usually tea or coffee!! ak

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