my october sketchbook

i'm having trouble deciding where to start telling this story.  should i start with the tiny spare bedroom i use to paint - the one that easily turns into a dumping ground when i'm not painting regularly?  or should i start with the crazy fall schedule that found the jewish new year just two days after the start of school and me not painting for the entire month of september?  or should i start with my desire to update the painting portion of my website, which kept me shooting and uploading instead of painting?

no matter.  at the end of september, after a month of not painting - and when the thought of picking up a brush felt daunting - i decided to take the pressure off.  i made the commitment to put paint on paper every day in the month of october.  it wasn't going to be fancy - i used my sketchbook (a large moleskine) - and i gave myself permission to do as much or as little as i wanted to do each day.  the only rule was that i had to make a mark on paper with paint each day.

and i loved it.  i will admit that there were several 10 o'clocks when i passed the studio on my way to put on my pjs and remembered that i hadn't yet painted - some of those were my favorites.  and there were the days that we were in santa fe when i didn't paint at all.  but most other days found me looking forward to that time with the brushes in hand.

i painted in acrylics, which made things quick and easy.  some days i only squeezed out two or three colors and some days i used the whole rainbow.  some days i used sharpie marker, some days i collaged other elements onto the paper.  when i ran out of tin foil while making dinner one night, i started stamping the paint with the end of the roll you find inside of your tin foil.  i let my pages stick together.  i cut my stuck-together pages apart with a palette knife or an x-acto.  i used too much water.  i used too much matte medium.  i stuck wax paper between the pages.  i decided not to be precious about it.  i let my brushes sit in the water too long, ahem.  my sketchbook no longer closes really.  

and i loved it.  

i have been so inspired by my friends who have had daily drawing practices.  (there are many, but blair comes first to my mind - i haven't forgotten blair's post about painting in an old book that she had gessoed over - it was an aha moment for me, who likes things to be neat and tidy.)  there really is something to be said for just doing it, which is exactly what i'm off to do right now!