Monday, February 11, 2013

Lessons From Keeping An Art Journal

India Art Journal Oct 26-Oct 28 2012
This is the last page of my India Art Journal -- four months and 124 sketches later. I am incredibly happy with the way the journal evolved through my stay in India. Now it surprises me as to how  unsure and hesitant I was to commit to such a project before my trip! 

I had finally gotten the courage a few days before I my trip to India in June 2012  to come to keep a journal of my stay there. It then took a few visits to the art store, going through the catalogs etc before I settled on Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal (5.5"x 8") 34 sheets/68 pages, 90 lbs wt. paper. I calculated that it would give me just enough space to do 124 vignettes at sketch a day, four sketches to a page and three extra pages in case I mess up :) I still have one blank sheet  at the beginning and end of the journal! I shared one sheet with a young nephew. 

My sketch kit consisted of Koi watercolor sketch box, two  waterbrushes(one Aquaflow and one Koi), pilot G-7 pen , one graphite 4B pencil and a knead-able eraser. All this fit neatly into a plastic zippered bag ( that  pillow covers that I had purchased a while ago came in. ) I added a small box of 12 oil pastels in India. 

India Art Journal Oct 26 2012

By the time this last page came along, I was quite relaxed and confident about sketching. Nothing like sketching each and every day for four months straight to feel comfortable with drawing.  I knew by then not to expect every sketch to be a masterpiece, not to judge but just sketch every single day. I was attempting all different subjects knowing that each only had to fill in a space of 2.5"x 4". My plan was very simple.  I think keeping it small, and not worrying about size or orientation also helped me just draw. I worried and wondered only about the subject each day-That was the only decision I had to make and I didn't follow any theme.

India Art Journal Oct 27-Oct 28 2012

Even with my busy schedule of keeping a house, cooking, entertaining, marketing, caring for my m-i-l, etc... keeping aside time to sketch each day was something I did for just myself and I always looked forward to it. This 'sketching time' was very crucial to keeping an art journal every day.  Sharing my sketches made it special, made my activity legitimate and made me accountable to my intention. In the end it meant a lot to my dear Mother-in-Law too that I had made time to sketch every day!  Looking for subjects meant I was seeing the world around with new eyes and developed a deep appreciation for the beauty in everything.  I noticed things in new light.  In retrospect, keeping an art journal was the best decision I had made as a part of my journey.

India Art Journal Oct 28 2012 (India) by Meera Rao

Since returning, I have tried to sketch or draw or paint something almost everyday. I don't have a compelling reason other than I should and that has not worked very well!  I wondered and worried if I would be able to draw and paint in bigger sizes or even have enough patience to work on a large piece.  I am happy to announce that I did complete a full sheet painting that I am very  pleased with ( I will post a photo soon!)  

India Art Journal Oct 28 2012 (USA) by Meera Rao

Next, I am hoping to combine my blog posts on the sketches with the vignettes from the art journal and put a book together.  Meanwhile I can't wait to dream up another project to work on! The finished journal is a big boost to my confidence and a wonderful memento of my four months in India. 


padmaja said...

The book will be a treasure to cherish Meera, you are a swinging sparrow! Your thoughts about this project have inspired me, thank you!

Meera Rao said...

Thank you Padmaja:) I can't wait to see what you will come up with !

dokka srinivasu said...

Respected Meera Rao madam

Namaste. Blogs are useful as a platform to many people across the globe to share their hidden talents etc.

Madam i came across many art blogs regularly and each person has his own and unique artistic passion and skill.

Madam art is a form of divine expression and it is a God's gift. Madam please keep up your artistic passion. My best wishes to you.

Madam i am dokka srinivasu from kakinada of andhra pradesh state. Madam i am collecting coins, stamps, post cards etc. and share them in my several blogs.

Meera Rao madam i have special interest and fascination on Indian Heritage and Culture. Madam i have one blog on Indian Heritage and Culture and in this blog i am exploring Indian heritage and culture in various aspects from my own collections and also from other people collections with their permission.

Madam these are the some message links of my Heritage of India bog.

Meera Madam i request you please explore my above messages and also read the other people comments to me and encourage me by giving inspirational comments to me for more exploration on our great heritage and culture.

Meera Madam i am waiting for your valuable comments.

with regards
dokka srinivasu

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