A Year of Creative Habits: Week 4

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
— Henry Van Dyke

I've committed to 2016 as being my year of creative habits. Inspired by a year-long course led by Crystal Moody, I intend to fill a sketchbook page every day and share an image of my process or completed page on Instagram. Each Monday, I'll collect my pages and list observations of the past week and my intentions for the following, here on my blog.

To help me focus during January, I followed Lisa Congdon's Draw A Day series, using her quick instructional videos to get me started every day.

If you'd care to see what I've done in Week 4 (January 24 - 30), the following links will take you to my Instagram stream:


Next to the skin-chill-factor of temperatures 20-30 degrees less than what I'm used to, I noticed the complete absence of birds around our vacation house in Carmel Valley. Back in Kona, the sound of birds chirping and trilling is as constant as it is diverse.

After a few sunny days, I noticed a few birds darting about, low to the ground. They were silent,  yet I appreciated their energy. As beautiful as the woods were, it felt a bit eerie without the singing, feathered creatures.

And then it hit me.

If I waited until I considered my art work to be suitable for public consumption, no one would ever see it. Ever. But if the goal is just to fill a sketchbook page every day, I can do that. I can silently flutter about, low to the ground. Someone might simply appreciate the energy.


Lisa Congdon's daily video prompts  have ended and while I seriously considered another monthly challenge (Thank You, Beverly), I made a decision this morning for February. I'm going to read through the poetry books we have and illustrate a line or a verse, every day this month. I don't know why or how the idea came to me but it made perfect sense, once I decided.

I'm also switching to a smaller sketchbook, a Moleskine 3.5" X 5.5", 80 page book. I'm back in Hawaii, enjoying the warmth and each and every singing bird.