I figured out the trick last week.
If I want to play with my art supplies, than I have to trick myself into doing it! As much as the desire has been there, I've had trouble actually getting myself to show up in my sketchbook. For months and months, I've dutifully packed up an art bag to either carry around the house or take with me when I have some free time away from the family. The problem is that I NEVER open the bag. Last week, I made a snap decision to play with my art supplies and pulled out the bag before I even had time to think about it. (Personally, I think the Green Woman was waiting until she saw even the tiniest break in my scheduled to-do list that day...and then she jumped in as quickly as she could.) The picture you see above is the result of that play time.
The good thing about my artist self - and the Green Woman agrees whole-heartedly with this assessment - is that I am able to smile and enjoy my work for all of the positive things I see in it. It's almost as if I've found one place in my life where my hypercritical inner voice simply doesn't exist. Well, that's not entirely true...I do retain reason and a critical eye, but for some reason my heart and soul is very gentle with myself when it comes to art.
That's not to say that I look at the picture above and see a perfect work of art. Far from it. I know that it's a beginner piece, likely to please very few except for me and my girls. Saying that it's a bit flawed is like saying there's a little bit of water in the Missouri River.
BUT, when I look at this picture the things that I notice are by and large the things that I'm pleased with. For example: There is a general sense of motion in both the water and the tree on the left. Actually, I love that tree on the left for its color, softness and drape. The bank was a serendipitous accident that pleases me no end. When I first drew in the line for the hill on the right, I didn't see a bank at all. It suggested itself later as I was filling things in - and it was perfect. This was the first time I tried my watercolor pencils, and while I didn't use them to their full capability or purpose I did enjoy the feel of them against the paper and the colors they left behind. All in all, I'm happy with this little picture, and feel like I can share it with you simply because it was a happy experience.
The Green Woman and I are very pleased. In fact, she's pushing the sketch pad towards me right now....