It Takes 21 Days to Build a Habit

Oh the places I’ve been on this journey.

This journey has been 21 days of building a studio practice. I am on day 18, but feel the need to share where I started and where I have wound up.

I have mentioned my friend Hannah several times in this blog. She is one of six art therapists from around the world teaching a workshop on line. Her class has been about establishing a habit in the studio. It takes 21 days to set a habit in place.

I needed a theme to begin.

I chose organic.

What did I have that was organic?

An onion from the garden.

This is where I began.

My intention was a lovely pen and ink of something from my garden. The onions grew legs and hands and faces and feet.

I was quite upset about this turn of events. Hannah reassured me that this was my unique voice and she could never in a million years put feet on an onion. Sigh.

Not to be swayed I soldiered on.

Reflect upon the work of another artist. I had checked out a book on Whistler.  I enjoyed his Symphony in White No. 1. This is a beautiful portrait.

I tried the Symphony in White No. 1 with a concerto in pastels on a brown paper bag. A feline arrangement.

From there I was to work in a sequence. I could only think of cartoons in their nice neat little boxes. I was stressing once again on how to do this. I jumped in with a square piece of cardboard and my trusty masa paper.

I am not sure where this will lead except through the studio door for more experimentation. I am not prone to experimentation. This workshop has gotten me over some hurdles into new territory. A daily practice is picking up where my daily diaries left off many years ago. As a child they all began, Dear Sarah, to my imaginary friend.

Carrying a Kindle Instead

As of this morning my computer is up and transmitting for the first time since we moved. What a relief to have my trusty keyboard and monitor and all that goes with it.

While unpacking boxes and hanging artwork in our new house I planned my next pieces. My friend, Hannah Hunter has invited me to participate in a show in Davis, California. The event will take place at the end of this month. I will send “Good-Bye” the lady in the yellow and pink dress, but wanted two new pieces for the California debut.

With this show in mind I have created “Lady of the Written Word”. Maybe it is the many boxes of books I moved, or the 20 bags of books I donated to charity before we moved, or the love I now have for my Kindle that prompted this piece.

I was one of those folks who said I need to have the sensory experience of touching the cover and turning the pages. I was after all a librarian and have always wanted to illustrate children’s books.

Last night after switching off my trusty Kindle I realized it is the words in the book that hold me spellbound. The turning of the pages is okay, but the fact that I am building my own library in a slim volume of my own is pretty fantastic. I marvel at all of the words I can hold in my hand and access in an almost weightless volume.

Maybe the next painting of the “Lady of the Written Word” should be a figure with a Kindle flying happily as she holds her complete library in one hand. She won’t be groaning as she carries boxes of her treasured tomes up several flights of stairs.