Saturday I completed my 31 Days of Sketching challenge—and I’m proud to say I didn’t miss a day! On most days I spent at least 15 minutes sketching and/or painting, and there were only a couple of days that I scraped together a few minutes and a few pencil strokes just so I could say I’d sketched. Winter Interrupted came at a good time and helped me add watercolor sketches to my sketchbook. I posted all my sketches on Flickr. (Belle of Belle, Book, and Candle took up the challenge as well, and you can see her sketches here.)
I wanted to become more comfortable sketching, and to make it more a part of my life instead of just done every now and then. I’m still not as comfortable as I’d like, and I did find that I didn’t experiment as much as I would have if I weren’t posting my sketches publicly. Of course, I could have chosen not to post, but that felt like cheating. This tells me that I still care too much what others think. I don’t like to share my mistakes or what I think will be perceived as not very good. I will continue sketching, though probably not every day. I have several ideas for more sketchbook pages from Winter Interrupted, as well as (ahem) pages I want to complete from our New England trip a year and a half ago.
|My favorite page from Winter Interrupted|
The month-long challenge seems to work well for me. It’s both finite and concrete; long enough to see progress, but short enough not to be overwhelming or boring. These challenges keep me focused when my natural tendency is to be easily distracted by new and shiny ideas or projects. So what’s next? I’m leaning towards a horsemanship challenge for the month of February. I’m off to a poor start because I did nothing horse-related yesterday—but I could still pick it up today. Do I need that concrete, I-will-do-this-every-day structure? I suspect yes. I could easily do a horsey thing every day, whether it’s play with Tank, finally watch the horsemanship DVDs gathering dust in my bedroom, or delve into the books, articles and internet research on horse topics that I seldom seem to have time to get into. There is tack to clean, or ground work exercises to try, and, of course, February is a lovely month for riding. I’d love to see my riding and horsemanship skills take a big leap forward.