Monday Motivator: The Nourishment Artists Need is Encouragement

Monday Motivator Inspirational Art Quote

“Prioritize friendships with people who encourage your art, because they know how important it is to you. Let them know, gently but firmly, that encouragement is the nourishment you need, rather than expectation or pressure. Because you already excel at expectation and pressure. It’s the gentle stuff you need help with.”

Belinda Del Pesco, Beginner Artist Mindset Tips

A friend of mine joined an urban sketching group meetup this month for the first time ever, and has found herself thinking about sketching outside during her lunch break. I’d been hoping she might, but hadn’t said anything because going along to your first sketch meeting is stressful enough. I was impressed it only took one meetup; I’d thought it might take a few.

Sketching on location is a combination of so many of the things we both enjoy: being outside, drawing, looking, people/nature watching, tactile interaction with materials, creating something from nothing. But if I’d told her I was thinking of the next step before she’d even done the first, what she might/could/should do, then she’d have felt so pressurised she might have backed out of joining the group’s meetup and how guilty wouldn’t I have felt then.

Now we’re talking about “going for a walk around and looking at the trees with sketching eyes instead of gardening eyes” . About ways to reduce the pressure on herself, such as picking one tree and doing a series of sketches of this. Setting the aim to be not “every lunch”, but “once a week”. Not “sketch the whole scene” but “pick a detail”.

I’m really excited to see where this will take her, but also that it’s already taken her this far knowing what the starting point was. It also reminds me to look anew at trees, and to be gentle on myself when I am trying a new subject (i’ve been putting off sketching fishing boats) or revisiting something I haven’t painted for a while (thinking of figures for the online drawing workshop I’m doing).

No Message in the Bottle on Skye
Sometimes the message in the bottle is that there isn’t one, it’s about the bottle.

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