Burning through Ideas With My New Daily Sketch Practice

Don’t worry, dear readers. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, even though I often feel that way lately. My job keeps me busy and when I’m not working or catching up on daily minutiae, I want to be in the studio making art, rather than promoting it online. As a consequence, I feel a lot of my online presence slipping these days.

I’m getting ready for a show in the spring, a show with a stated purpose for site-specific work. It’s the first time this non-MFA/BFA-holding artist has tackled anything like this. Predictably, it left me feeling creatively blocked for some time. I have only just begun to roll forward with some work and I will share some of that very soon but, in the meantime, I wanted to share a new practice which is providing a much-needed outlet right now.

The problem is that, even with the spring exhibit, I have too many ideas and they are coming way too fast. A terrible problem indeed and one that is new to me! In the past, when I’ve wanted to start a daily sketchbook practice, I’ve always struggled with coming up with ideas and the whole thing felt so forced.

But recently I came across a post by Two If By Sea Studios about a 365-day sketching goal. I thought, “maybe for the New Year…?” Then I thought, “Why not now?”

It feels good to burn through these ideas and impulses and I already have a plan for one new painting out of these sketches. Can you guess which sketch will be the basis for a larger work? When I did my other small abstraction series, it was a good way of developing a visual language, a project I don’t think I’ve completed. If I keep this up for a year, where will it take me? I can’t wait to find out!

Here are my sketches from the first few days of my practice. I’ve been using mostly gouache and a little watercolor pencil for these.

Sketch Day 1 Sketch Day 2 Sketch Day 4 Sketch Day 5 Sketch Day 6

If you like these and want to follow my practice day-to-day, please follow me on Instagram! Currently, it’s the best way to follow my artistic pursuits in real time. 🙂


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