I am a great fan of mother and daughter textile artists Linda & Laura Kemshall and for the last two weeks Laura has been updating her blog with daily drawings which I have been following avidly. Laura has set herself a challenge to draw every day in order to fill her stash of empty sketchbooks, record and observe things she sees and to simply enjoy the pleasure of drawing. For me as a textile artist I have certainly gotten out of the habit of just drawing in my sketchbook and I do think that if you don't draw often enough you get out of practice. When I was on my art & design Foundation course and doing my art degree I filled a total of 21 sketchbooks and journals. Admittedly not completely full of sketches and drawings but also taken up with writing notes and photographs. Looking back through them again some of the pages are awful and way too much like scrapbooks, but there were always sketches dotted about among the notes and clippings.
Of course I do use my sewing machine to 'sketch' with when I am embroidering pictures of people but I do love the process of sharpening my pencil to lethal proportions and then just getting on with looking, seeing and getting it all down on paper. I love the immediacy of drawing in a sketchbook as I haven't got to worry about mixing paints, priming a canvas or even threading up my sewing machine to draw.
So this is what I drew last night at around midnight with a mug of tea and catching up listening to The Archers Omnibus. It was blissfully relaxing but I realised how out of practice I am. My first attempt at a still life of my fruit bowl ended up petulantly in the bin so thinking back to a drawing exercise from my Foundation year I drew with my left hand instead of my right which allows for mistakes and gives a more fluid and quirky style of drawing. So I am going to take a leaf out of Laura's sketchbook and also attempt to make a daily drawing which I will post on the Daily Drawing Group that Laura has started on Flickr. Anyone can join so if you feel like having a go too and adding to it just remember anything goes and you don't have to be able to draw to be an artist (and I was taught that at art college!).