I got it into my head recently that I would like to learn how to loosen up my style, be more free-flowing and painterly. Mostly it’s because I’ve been very intrigued following the exploits of Veronica Lawlor who, admittedly, has far more experience and talent. But it’s good to have goals, right?

I drew this tree outside my place of business one day at lunch. And it didn’t go so well, certainly not anywhere near where I’d like it to be. As much as I like the idea of being connected to nature, actually sitting outside for any amount of time makes me uncomfortable. Ants, bugs, a four-foot long bull snake (yep, that happened), not really my idea of good times. Furthermore, I lacked the patience to do the painting right. In my mind I equate freshness with speed, and perhaps that’s not so much the case. Things get muddy. And a marker I decided to use (the purple at the base of the tree) ended up bleeding through the paper. I finished this page feeling pretty discouraged.

And I guess the point I want to take away from this failure is that I need to keep trying. It would help me to learn from my mistakes and take another attempt at it. Try standing so the ants don’t get me. Maybe use a different set of tools. Be more patient and controlled when it comes time to color things in. I honestly don’t know what will work in response to this or not. I have a goal, and I’ll know when I get there, but until then I’m just fumbling around to see what gets me closer. Sort of an artistic game of hot-and-cold.


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