For the past six weeks I have been a student of Sketchbook Skool, an online art school community. It was founded by and for people who sketch, have sketchbooks or journals as well as those newbie's who claim that they can't sketch but are sketch-curious. I fall somewhere in the middle of those who are very experienced artists and those who only sketch in the privacy of their homes.
That changed after my mother died in 2009. When she was in the hospital I think I sketched everything in her room except the bedpan. Part of my New Normal Life has been about getting out of the house and going somewhere to draw. Some weeks later as I surfed the internet art communities I heard about a group of people - urban sketchers - who met up and went out regularly to sketch. For some reason this socially anxious woman was intrigued and decided to give it a try. I had been attending Sketchcrawls where I started talking to a local artist/teacher and found out about her urban sketch group. I was scared but decided if I am ever going to bring some art in my life before I die I''d better do it now.
I've been roaming throughout the East Bay in urban sketcher mode now for three or four years. I took an even bigger step - a leap if you will - when I traveled all the way to Washington state last year to attend an urban sketcher workshop. I met and talked to new people, -- well they usually talked and I listened. But I was getting a lot better at small talk. So I soaked in all the information at the workshop and built a small library of books on urban sketching. I didn't think about myself as an artist - I didn't go to art school but attended classes offered at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. I just wanted to see where this drawing thing I have will take me.
For the past month it took me to an online art course called Sketchbook Skool. Six very experienced artists shared their tips and techniques in another area of art that seems interesting to me - illustrated journaling. So I will be including some of my homework from SBS - like the Tommy Kane inspired sketches above - on this blog in addition to my urban sketching.
Maybe I'll find my own style. Maybe I've found something to fill the big void in my life following my mom's death. All I know is the more I draw, the better I feel.