The last time I wrote a blog post, it was Christmas Eve Eve and I was wondering how I would ever get all my Christmas wrapping done. Now it’s New Year’s Eve Eve and I can report that I did manage to wrap everything and still get some sleep on Christmas Eve. I’m pretty sure A Christmas Story was still on its first run-through when I crawled into bed, but I couldn’t swear to it. I was bleary-eyed by then. I hope I don’t cut it quite so close next year, but I’m glad I pulled it off one more time.
I even managed to keep up with the sketch-a-day challenge. My drawings are not fancy but I have done one every day in the month of December and that makes me happy. The first year I joined the challenge, it seemed crazy to add one more thing to my already overloaded schedule, but I took it on and it gave me a nice spot of relaxation in each December day. Now I can’t imagine December without it. When I’m drawing, I’m not thinking about schedules or shopping or wrapping or baking. I’m just thinking about that one little object I’ve chosen to draw and how to capture it on paper.
My left brain gets a rest and my right brain gets to have fun. I sketch the most ordinary things but they become unique and special as I get to know them well enough to draw them.
This isn’t just any banana. It’s the particular banana that was in my house December fifteenth, with it’s bits of green and little brown spots. And this is a specific green pepper that we bought so we could make chili for the family taffy pull on the nineteenth.
This is the taffy. I was exhausted that day, so it’s a simple pencil sketch and I just noticed that I dated it wrong. I drew it on the nineteenth, not the twentieth. On the twentieth, I drew a cookie.
I have been hoping the daily drawings would lead me gently back to painting. I still need to do forty plein air paintings before my next birthday and my next birthday is thirty-nine days away. I still intend to do it, but I know it’s going to be a crazy five weeks if I manage to make it happen. The drawings do help. They remind me that I always have trouble starting things but I’m pretty good at finishing them. They remind me that making art is a gift to myself. It gets me through tough times and it makes happy times happier.
It heals me. It doesn’t need to do anything else.