Express Yourself!

ink pen

Facing It

brush pen on sketch paper

brush pen on sketch paper

So this is another experimental piece.  I’m testing out my new set of brush pens.  I have several traditional Japanese colors, but I chose to stick with black for this.  Actually, I was planning to use my new calligraphy pens, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the ink flowing.  I guess that is what happens when you buy something with directions written in a language you can’t yet read 😉

While watching a TV show (and yes, avoiding studio time), I was struck by both the features and the feelings being expressed by this woman in this moment.  The great thing about Netflix is that you can pause your subject, freezing it for all eternity…or at least until you finish your on-the-spot drawing 😉

What I’m quickly learning is that these brush pens are pretty unforgiving.  You can’t hide weak lines or erase like with pencil.  Shading is also a challenge.  Just like the brain painting I did of the hands holding the apple, there was a point in this piece where I really thought about giving up.  It didn’t seem to look like anything but a bunch of dark, squiggly lines.

I don’t know why I actually persisted.  Maybe I was up for a challenge.  Maybe I was just too proud to give up.  I don’t know what it was…but I couldn’t let it go.  I finished it.  And sometimes that is all we can do.  Face our fears on the page, work through them, and get to the finish line.  What waits for us there is always a surprise.  What we see isn’t half bad.  It might even be somewhat recognizable, if we look carefully enough.  We might catch a glimpse of ourselves.  We’re a work in progress.  That’s living.  And that’s art.