Getting Unstuck, Part 2: Sketchbook Challenge

As I look for the way to get me jump-started in a different direction (see previous post) I am also looking for community.  People who share enthusiasm for what they are doing.


This is why I chose Community Thrive — the folks there seem excited by what they are doing, and the skill levels are not the issue, just the desire to make art.  Classes appear to be technique-based, not this-is-right-and-you-are-wrong.  When teaching design at UCLA, I once overheard a design teacher (color theory) next door tell students that yellow and purple didn’t go together.  Tell that to the Johnny-jump-ups!

I ask myself, “Remember when you just wanted to play in wet paint?”


As I look at what has me stuck I realize it is because I “know too much” — meaning I am letting my critic run the show.  I want to be around enthusiasm again, because enthusiasm is contagious.  I want to see people showing not their best art, but the art they made that day.  I find that is where the juice is — and in fact, I never part with my initial sketches at the beginning of any of my series because the entire series of paintings lays in the initial sketches.

I am also struggling with (old) new mediums — watercolor, above, and possibly pastels.  I was given a nice set of them a billion years ago and never used them.  I liked control and they were so unruly.  Now I think I need unruly, which is why watercolor is appealing to me.  It just is not as exacting as acrylic, whereby a mistake is corrected easily — just paint over it!  Watercolors are in the moment, and unforgiving.


Sketching (pencil, watercolor, pens, ink) is part of what I am doing daily now — or most days — and so when I heard about the Sketchbook Challenge I thought it also might be a good fit.

While the images on flicker were fun, nowhere did I see a place where the folks posted other than Flickr, and while it was fun to look around, it seemed a bit hard to find any one artist and look around, hear their story, why they chose to sketch this or that.  I am looking for a community connection.  So I am not doing the sketchbook challenge, though I pass it on here because some of you may be interested.


My images/blog posts can be reposted as long there is a link back to zenkatwrites.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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