Maybe I’ll do a little blogging (and sketching) again

A few weeks ago I turned off the blog – set it to private – because it felt like the only thing I had to talk about was chronic illness, and that gets pretty exhausting to live, let alone write about. I wonder sometimes if other chronic illness bloggers ever feel that way.

Then, a couple days ago, someone commented on a post! I heard the ding on my iPhone and thought, “Whaaaa? Didn’t I turn the blog off?” But maybe here’s where I talk about ADHD and feeling scatterbrained, because who knows, it’s possible I turned the blog back on without remembering, but there it was, not hidden and getting a comment. And it was nice, too, this note from someone about how my post about dyeing my Macabi skirts helped them out. Yay! I love that I got to be helpful.

Here’s what I’ve been doing lately: painting. Again. I have a watercolor sketchbook. Right now I’m using a Global Art Materials book sized 8.5″ by 5.5″, and it’s just the right size. The cover was an off-white linen, but in honor of my second-ever visit to the Oregon Country Fair recently, I made some adjustments to its cover:

I painted it with Dr. Ph. Martin’s watercolor ink. I love that stuff!

I decided to see if I could make daily sketching and painting a habit, specifically to help with stress, to get into flow on a regular basis, and to just get better at drawing and painting.

I had to get a good basic palette going, so I checked in with the three watercolor painters I like the most, Liz Steel, Kateri Ewing, and Jane Blundell, and I got their lists of basic starter colors. Kateri’s list is just the colors she recommends for her Bluprint class on basic watercolor technique.

I had many of these colors, but I got a few more and created my own palette:

Creating palettes is so much fun, I could do that for hours. If I could, I’d just sit in the Daniel Smith factory all day and create palettes for every purpose. Underwater palettes, forest palettes, desert palettes, sunset palettes, painting dogs palettes, on and on.

My sketchbook is slowly filling up. I have been painting every day, like I planned. I don’t know how long this streak will last and I put zero pressure on myself, because pressure or beating myself up doesn’t help me (does it help anyone?). What helps is gentle reminders, and noticing how happy I feel when I return to the book every day. I usually start in the morning with tea and painting, and end every day with a little more tea and painting. It’s calming, I highly recommend it. I always say that watercolor is like ukulele – you can be a beginner and still make beautiful things happen. No one would mistake my work for a professional’s, but that doesn’t matter. Just putting lovely colors together is a delight, and it lightens the heart and mind. Art is powerful stuff!

8 thoughts on “Maybe I’ll do a little blogging (and sketching) again

  1. Your book cover is magnificent! I agree about art, anyone can participate and still make something beautiful. I have a teacher friend who often shares her year 1’s art work and honestly sometimes I think it’s better than some adult’s work! And it is excellent therapy.

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  2. I inherited my mother’s watercolors (she got back into painting when she retired) and some of them have the merest hints of paint in the little wells, I’m glad to see suggestions for colors to refill them. When I paint and draw it is almost like meditation. I think this is why I’m loving crochet right now, it’s creative, but mostly it takes me to another part of my brain. I love what you did to your sketchbook. I bought a series of them when I lived in the UK with black plastic covers. The first thing I did was tart them up with patterns and flowers done in bright colored nail polish. Life is too short for boring book covers!

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    1. Are you posting crochet photos anywhere? I love crochet! I don’t know how to follow directions for it, but I can do the basic chain stitch. It’s one of those things I like having in my basket of “to do when stressed”.

      If you ever want to talk colors, let me know! 🙂

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  3. Art & craft is wonderful for so many areas of life! It’s what has brought me back to myself after developing chronic illness.
    I’ve started a blog about my life with chronic illness, and how art & craft help me cope, maybe you’d like to check it out? I’d love to see you there! Either way I look forward to reading more about your life.
    T.

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