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. This month, I chose to create a daily image inspired by poetry.
If you'd care to see what I've done in Week 5 (January 31 - February 6), the poem titles link to my Instagram stream.
- January 31 - Telephone
- February 1 - I Want Both Of Us, Hafiz
- February 2 - When The Shoe Fits, Chuang Tzu
- February 3 - The Birthplace, Robert Frost
- February 4 - The Well Of Grief, David Whyte
- February 5 - There Is No Blind Desire, Haru Matsuda (my maternal grandmother)
- February 6 - Your Mother and My Mother, Hafiz
The photo above was taken during an inter-island trip a few months ago but it's the same mountain and island that I flew home to on the thirty-first. At that altitude, I'm a tiny speck on the side of the mountain and the collection of images I've made during the past seven days are even smaller. It's a thought that humbles and nurtures me at the same time.
Every morning in January, I woke up to find a short video showing me ways to draw the subject of the day. This month, I start the day looking through poetry books, reading at least five poems and then deciding on an image to match my chosen lines. I feel as though I'm on a scavenger hunt, every morning.
What seems to be working in my favor is my stubborn stance. I chose to fill the pages of a little Moleskine sketchbook and after a few water buckled pages, I was about to switch to a book with thicker paper. That is, until the Woman With Hands On Her Hips (my stubborn side) reminded me that I'd committed to that little book for the month. So now February has also turned into my month of Art Supplies, 101.
I'm going through the supplies I have on hand and the things I've dabbled in over the last few years and all of a sudden, I'm full of ideas and images. I want to make prints, carve my own stamps, play with image transfers, etc. I feel as though I was rewarded for sticking to my commitment and from contraction came expansion.
When I look at that photo of Mauna Kea, rising above the clouds, I want to hold on to that wide and high perspective of my surroundings. I want creativity to keep expanding my life. Then I look around at the space that I have designated as my place to create and... it's a mess. This week, I'm finally going to clean out and organize my office. It's just one room. This one small speck wants to occupy a clean, lager speck of space.