Hi all, Jane Davies here. I wanted to use the Sketchbook Challenge to explore drawing, improve my skills, and introduce subject matter into my otherwise abstract collage paintings. I've had a lot of fun playing with Carla Sonheim's book, Drawing Lab, and with suggestions and tutorials by many others. Thinking about the many things I highly prize, food comes up very high on the list. Not just any food, but the fact that here in rural Vermont I have easy access to local fresh food most of the year. I LOVE the wild foods I can harvest myself - ramps (wild leeks) wild cress, apples, and berries - as well as the vegetables, meat, fresh raw milk, eggs, and chickens produced by local farmers. I highly highly value the way that food connects me to community and to place in a way that grocery store purchases just can't. OK, off my soap box here.
So, I'm trying to draw some vegetables. And then paint with watercolors. Both big challenges, so I start with the easy stuff: radishes, peppers, soy beans, eggplants. Some of the things I used to paint on pottery over and over and over and over again. But then the watercolors are not doing what I want them to do.... I fill in with Diana Trout's doodle game (love that!) and try to fill in shapes... but then I get those self-doubt demons showing up out of nowhere and I feel an Art Tantrum coming on. Ever have one of those? Just give up and cover everything over and go back to something familiar? Acrylic paint and physical contact - rubbing, scraping, wiping - are my go-to tools when I need a comfort zone.
These pages look much more like ME than they did when I was just trying to draw and do watercolor. I know it's important to get out of the comfort zone and challenge myself, but maybe I need to take two steps forward, one back.