What's your background?
I went from designing logos and brochures to creative directing a team of designers in strategic brand communications.
During most of my career I did life drawing in my free time. I used large sheets of newsprint, pastels and conte crayons. I retired early to see if I could be the artist I always wanted to be. I started working with clay, being mentored by a local sculptor.
At the same time, I really wanted to keep a visual journal. I stumbled onto Danny Gregory and Sketchbook Skool. I took their Beginnings course and that’s where I met Roz Stendahl. Most of my tips are rooted in what I learned in Roz’s class, Drawing Live in Public Places. It was also through her that I discovered Sktchy almost a year ago.
I have loved the last three years of my creative journey and can hardly believe how much I have grown at this stage in life.
What's your medium of choice when you're creating art?
I can say that after working decades on the computer, it is not digital. I am enjoying the feel of paper, the blobing of ink, the imperfections of a drawing because there is no undo option. So today, I can answer that I am experimenting with all kinds of paper and using pen, pencil and watercolour.
How did you build your creative habit?
I am not a person of routine, and I lack self-discipline. Taking a month long course that required daily postings really helped motivate me. Sktchy's 30-day challenges are also perfect for me.
It helps to carry around a sketchbook and everything needed to do a drawing anytime, anywhere. I put aside my fancy purse and got a sensibly sized over-the-shoulder outdoor bag that fits a 7”x 9” sketchbook, a pocket watercolour tin with half pans, water barrel brushes, pens and pencils.
The most important thing I did was learn to silence the inner critic that could shut me down just like that. I worked away at the words I used so that whenever I talked/thought about my work, it would always be expressed in positive language. I started to acknowledge my successes and became highly motivated to learn more.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this to building a daily habit.
When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?
I do not believe in waiting for inspiration. It’s not about that. It is about making creativity an essential part of your day, and you just do it – like eating and exercise.
I work on keeping my daily habit and accepting whatever appears on the page for that day. I’m not perfect so if I miss a day or two — which happens sometimes — I do not berate myself. Once back to the daily routine, I carry on and don’t look back.
Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?
The last drawing I did of my husband is a culmination of what I am learning in Sktchy and what I learn from drawing from life. Sktchy’s wonderful muses and community of fabulous artists have taught me to slow down and really study what is in front of me. I would like to continue to transition what I learn here to real life.