First time trying to draw myself since I was 13 and had to do it as an assignment for school.
It’s hard to be self critical, trying to draw what you actually see rather than what you perceive.
My husband laughed and said that my drawing was a time machine, that I’d taken a good 20 years off my face.
So I sat back down and tried to see the flaws, the wrinkles, the laugh lines, the blemishes. I realized that I hadn’t deliberately un-aged myself. That’s just how I see me when I look in the mirror. No grey hair, no wrinkles, no strange hairs growing out of places they shouldn’t be.
I see me as a fresh faced, girl that’s ready to take on the world. Not a middle aged woman that the world kicked the crap out of.
Making something for someone’s Yule gift. What could it be? Who could it be for? Will it be ready in time?
I have, for most of my life, suffered from some pretty bad anxiety and panic attacks. The doctors believe that it’s the result of some childhood trauma, some crap that happened when I was a kid that I just can’t get over. It’s like I’m still there, reliving that trauma, all my fear and flight mechanisms are firing at all times. There are times, many actually, that I have been able to push those feelings to the back burner. They haven’t every really been gone, just sitting there, simmering and waiting for the moment that they can spring forward again and send me into a tailspin.
For the past few years those issues have gotten to the point that at times they’ve been crippling. I’ve laid in bed, curled up. Unable to sleep, unable to get up. Just lying there, thinking, full of fear and full of hatred.
But then I started to draw again. I noticed that when my anxiety was flaring up, that if I drew something, concentrated on the lines being created on my page that the anxiety lessened.
These past few months, since I started drawing and painting, that not only has my anxiety lessened but I cannot really think of the last time I woke up in the middle of the night, gasping for air, feeling like I’m dying.
Now, I’m not saying that working on my art has cured my anxiety, panic attacks. What I am saying is that it sure is helping me to feel more like a ‘normal person’ and less like a broken or defective person. Not good for much, and I certainly haven’t been whining about poor little me.
My Assignment for the past few weeks has been to master drawing eyes. For the first week or so I tried different techniques for drawing eyes, to see which one I liked the best or that worked well with my drawing style.
I’ve been drawing eyes, practicing all different techniques and styles.
But the weather has turned from the hot, sunny days of summer to the blustery, chill of autumn and my spirit suddenly wants to create something that reflects the season that we are in. Gold and Reds of autumn leaves in the trees, cascading down to the ground inspire more than just that feeling of appreciation for the beauty that I see before me.
The season is leading in to Halloween, a time of witches, Sabbats, Samhain and the dead interacting with the living. This is pushing me towards creating something that reflects the season that we are moving ever closer to.
The problem? Skill. I’ve painted a total of 1 painting, and there is so much that I hate about it. I lack the skill to bring into creation the images that dance about in my head, and it frustrates me. So, in order to do some justice to the scenes I wish to create, I find I must put my eyes away and to practicing scars, decaying flesh, fires and beautiful fall foliage.
I’m realistic about my skills and what I can create. I know that by this time next year I’ll have a better chance of bringing to life the visions in my head, but I can’t just sit back and ignore these creative urges, this call of inspiration to create.
Will my work be good, most likely not. Those out there, those with more skill, will pick apart my work and find the flaws, bring them to the light of day. I’ll be challenged by those that see my vision as limited and accused of not having an ‘artistic voice’ because my images are not stylized or conforming to a look that is specific to me. I know that my beginning work is erratic, that I don’t follow a specific theme. My art is inspired by what I see, what I feel. I can’t do better than that. I may paint or draw for a hundred years and not find a conformity to link my work, and that’s fine with me. Actually I hope that is the truth. For I don’t wish to be pigeon-holed into a specific style or technique, I want to grow. I want to learn. Those that have criticisms are welcome if they are constructive. I’m the kind that shoves my work into the faces of others, not demanding to be complimented or told how talented I am (not that I think I’m talented), but I am demanding that they advise me on my mistakes, how to make my work better. ‘Tell me what’s wrong with this!” is what I say, not ‘How does this look”. Show me the flaws, help me to grow, help me to learn. Help me to become better.