Sketches & Thoughts

Yesterday as my husband and I made our frequent drive up to Santa Barbara I pulled out my sketchbook and began sketching the mountains and palm trees that make up the California coast landscape as we drive out of Ventura. Once we hit Carpinteria I started to sketch the mountains jutting out into the sea and the highway that curves and stretches in between them. The bumpy car ride forced me to be loose with my lines. It forced me to let go of the control I like to have when drawing.
I thought about how symbolic that was for me. Since I tend to create art with very controlled lines, tight borders, color and paint that stays precisely in the lines… I thought about the desire to control everything and wondered how much of that preference reflects the way I treat life.
Perfectionism is a good word for it I suppose. It’s an annoying problem. It means I spend hours on a piece and might hate it. It means I see that one mistake instead of appreciating the whole piece. It means I put pressure on myself to create art that looks even better than what I can make. And that carries over into my personal life. As you can imagine. Haha.
All this sketching came about because I started attending a women’s art journaling Bible study at my church and have been sketching every day since then. I am excited to connect with Godly women who not only share my values but love to create. Six meetings doesn’t seem like long enough for something I know I’m going to love!
So as I was sketching on this drive, I felt so happy creating this little sketch of loosely drawn lines, perfectly imperfect, jagged and fuzzy to capture the complex silhouette of mountains, shrubs, and cliff rock on the 101. And oddly enough, this hurried sketch looked better than drawings I’ve spent hours on!
I thought about how nice it would be to sketch more consistently. To create thumbnails of my life of daily life, what I do, where I go–in sketches rather than Instagram.
Social media remains a constant source of discontentment for me. Longing to share what is meaningful to me but resenting the reality of it’s true disconnectedness.
Everyday I resist the urge to share publicly about the difficult things in my life. I wish I was able to be more transparent with things, but I know that you just can’t do that on the internet. I wish I could tell people things, good and bad. I wish I could tell them about the things I have to deal with. That I too have my share of pain and difficulty. It can be tough dealing with things that people outside your close circle are not aware of. It is even more tough when you are dealing with a situation that not many other people have, and no one can coach you through the hard times based on their shared experience.
No… I can tell this is definitely a season where God is testing my faith. He’s asking me to walk on water and trust Him. Trust Him through all the heartache, pain, frustration…
I am walking across unknown waters, and sinking often. And I can only pray that God will give me the strength to keep going.
In these tough times, I’ve tried writing songs… writing poems… But words are too open, obvious, and lay it out there too bare. I try to think of how I could craft the words so that the meaning is not too readily understood. But the song never gets written. And I am left longing to share those things.
But then there’s art. A medium that allows for more obscurity. Whatever the medium is, it is obvious that I am longing to share.
I have always loved realism and hyper-realism. I love the perfection. I hated abstract art. I didn’t understand it. Then I began to study art and became an art major at Biola University. I learned so much and I fell in love with abstract art.
Many people don’t understand it. “That looks like a 5 year old drew it, I can do better than that.” That’s what most people think of abstract art. But when you learn the foundations and the principles, and yes, even the science of art, you begin to understand the beauty behind all styles, eras, and processes of art. You understand a piece more in depth.
I want to create a large abstract painting with my favorite oceanic blues and sea glass greens–the colors I love to surround myself with. The colors of my soul, to be quite cheesy… To pour the paint down in such a way that the painting creates itself… To hang it above my couch and muse the motion the paint makes and how it swirled itself without too much of my help… To look at something created with as much un-creative effort as possible.
These are just ramblings and thoughts of a spirited artist. A very deep part of me that I don’t often get to discuss with anyone. I mean, who wants to hear me drone on about art, aesthetics, and design unless they too see the world in that frame? So I decided to write a this post solely from recent musings.
Fellow friends, artists… enjoy.
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