Saturday, May 12, 2007

Every day in May no. 12


I went into town (Stockholm) today, and made a few sketches. It got me thinking of how strange it is that I, who enjoy drawing so much, always have a few minutes of extreme drawing anguish before I actually start sketching. I don´t mind the people around me when sketching outdoors, noone ever says anything and I doubt that anyone actually sees what I am doing. And if they do, that´s ok too. No, for me the problem is a strange hesitation and dreading before getting into the "drawing zone". I can walk around on location for ten to twenty minutes just trying to find "the right spot" or waiting for "the right feeling" to appear, when actually the subject is right in front of me and I don´t need a certain "feeling" to draw, I just need to DO IT! Once I get started I am ok, I can keep on drawing for hours.

The funny thing is that I really look forward to drawing outdoors before I leave home. I feel lucky to be able to spend a few hours on drawing when I´m in the mood for it. And I am full of bliss while I´m at it. It is the few minutes before I actually start drawing that are difficult. Isn´t that stupid? Does anyone else have this dilemma? And if so, what do you do about it?

All drawings are 8 x 12 cm, Lamy Safari, Noodler´s Black and Lexington Grey and watercolors on a small Moleskine Watercolor page.

25 comments:

Dave said...

Really excellent sketches, thanks for sharing them!

Kunya said...

Nina, I know this dilemma...the difference is you actualy start drawing. A lot of times when I'm outboors, I don't. I have this dilemma also inside, there I take a deep breath and just do it.

Anyway I enjoy yoyr blog and I like your work. So...keep on just doing it!

glassgirl said...

I have this dilemma as well. I usually get intimidated if I'm about to draw a building, archictecture in general, or something with lots of detail. I feel as if somehow I won't be able to accomplish, and I feel like "chickening out". But if I do get the chance and time, I somehow muster some courage, and manage to start drawing, because I know how valuable the chance to draw uniterrupted by my kids is.

Cathy (Kate) Johnson said...

Oh YES, Nina! Of course! I often think "I don't want to be here, I don't see anything I want to draw, this is wasting time, I 'ought' to be doing"...whatever!

The only remedy I know is just to start, as Kunya said. Moments later, I'm into it!

Oddly, the cats just seem to inspire me with their wonderful poses and personalities, so it's no problem when I'm home with them--I see something cool and can't WAIT to grab a pen. When I Go Out To Draw, then it's a little fraught at first.

Said she who is going on a sketchcrawl in 42 minutes.

I dowanna... ;-)

Bill said...

Nina, I really enjoy your sketches and it's nice to know that others suffer pre-drawing anxiety.

Natalie Ford said...

I seem to have a fear of marking the empty page whether it be writing, drawing or painting! Maybe that is why I am nore naturally enclined towards photography?

José Louro said...

Well, the best way its to start something really simple and then gets to the complicated ones.
Very good drawings.

Africantapestry said...

Great drawings you did Nina. Like everybody else, I too choke(to use a tennisterm) when I have to draw outdoors. I have problems focusing and deciding where to start and how to go about this. By the time I figured it all out, I have even come up with something else that would be easier and quicker to sketch. If I could only sketch as good as I can scheme, then I would've been famous by now!
Somehow I think, it is just "doing it" and starting somewhere, and try not to think too much when I'm there on the spot and rather just let it rip - what will be, will be.
Good luck on sketching...you're so good at it!
ronell

Anna said...

I feel exactly the same way, as I alluded to in yesterday's blog post! Much fear and anxiety prior to beginning, especially if I "have to" have a result to show at the end. To me, certain motifs bring fear with them and others don't - drawing outside is always a bit risky to me because one never quite knows what will happen... The key, as mentioned before, is to just keep going.

Susan Hosken said...

You've got yourself into the habit of procrastinating. You need to practise a new habit. Decide how you would like to begin your drawing without the dithering and do it that way once. See how it feels. If it's better do it again and again until you have a new habit. I'm going to do the same thing with my swimming. Every Summer I keep putting it off and not doing it. I need a new habit of doing it.
Enjoy the journey
Lots of love from Susan in Australia

Jenny said...

Ideas and execution of ideas are two different things. Putting pen to paper starts the execution with drawings. Just do it. You don't have to finish what you first start. The drawing police are never around. You can always use an eraser or go to the next page for a fresh start. You know that once you really get started, you are fine and enjoying the experience.

Rather than drawing, I would rather enjoy the results of your beautiful efforts! *lol*

Linda said...

I'm going to jump right in and say you are not alone in this dilema!
:-D There's a pause before starting, for me, when I think of other things I should be doing and that this is all just going to be a useless chore... And then you phrased it beautifully when you called the actual drawing time "bliss".
And you've got some beautiful drawings to show for your effors, too!

good with color said...

Hi, I'm a new member lurker on EDM.I don't think the way you are feeling is necessarily negative. It may just be a sort of gathering of creative juices and resources that makes you feel tense.

I have a very talented friend that I used to worry a lot about,because he wasn't "happy" in the sense that I recognized. Finally our mutual friend, Tommy pointed out that happy contentment just might not be the same or even good him to be creative, that some of the discontent was part of his creativity.

Since your painting time turns out blissfully with these results, I hope things will be good for you.

martín said...

Hi Nina! Your work, beautiful as always. I join the club :)though the problem with me is that I have lots of ideas of what i will do, where I'll go but something always changes my plans then can't go and do it, as today. What i can't do is draw people who can realize, as in a train or bus, though i remeber one day I manged to draw their reflection on my window, so they could only think I was looking out, hehe. if you have the chance to sit for a while and draw, start scribling, you'll surely find the subject as son as you won't realize. In fact you do find it, and then ENJOY the pleasure that drawing is. Best wishes.

soulcomfort said...

From the responses, obviously you are not alone. I have pre-creativity hesitation and procrastination--doesn't matter what type--drawing, painting, writing, crafts....

I have never given any deep thought as to why. Now that you brought it up, I will have to think about it. :)

Julie Oakley said...

yes I feel the same and it is just starting that resolves it. Funnily, some of the drawings I made myself do when I wasn't particularly in the mood or inspired by the scene in front of me have turned out to be the best.I recently did one of a canal tow-path which I really really did not want to start

Laureline said...

So interesting---I'd had an acute case of just this anxiety when I first went to Charleston, South Carolina in March to sketch. I hadn't felt that kind of anxiety in Paris or New York. There are two factors involved for me. Maybe you can relate in some way? Charleston is a place I haven't been to since my 20's, when it was an extremely important part of my life. Being there brought back very old feelings of insecurity and painful memories as well. I was panicking about sketching until I figured out what was going on had nothing to do with my current self. I also find it a bit more daunting to start sketching in a place where I am not anonymous---and this may be part of what happens to you in Stockholm?
Once I get going, I'm OK, as you are. Good question! And, of course, wonderful sketches.

mrana said...

Wonderful sketches! I can't comment on outdoor drawing as I haven't tried it yet eeek ...

SCquiltaddict said...

Hese are just wonderful sketches...I am with Dave..thanks for sharing:>

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Ah these are great Nina. Love the b&w one especially. Really lovely work.

Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Great sketch, and yes, I also have the anxiety/dread issue. For me it shows up as a sense of not finding the right elements to draw. Sometimes the environment seems too banal; sometimes too complicated. It's like I'm looking for a combination of elements that excite me visually and I can't find it. What's funny is that after I force myself to start anyway, I'm often much happier with what I've selected than I expected to be. (For me, it's not so much a fear of the blank page, however; it's just that I want to have made the right choice about what to draw.)

Sarah said...

Lovely drawings. I feel like this pretty much everytime I do anything creative, for me it's the secret fear that this time I will find out that, really even though I have learned a lot over the last couple of years, this time I will not be able to do it because really I am not an artist. According to my Tutor, a little self doubt and questioning is a good thing, it makes a better artists (complacency is the enemy of creativity) I think she's right and the fear always goes away a few minutes after I start. So it's a case of just doing it...

Linda T said...

Wow, Nina, you verbalized what I experience so often. Maybe knowing others struggle and deal with this will help us all. Your sketches are wonderful, as usual.

ksklein said...

the top sketch is phantastic.

Serena said...

Great sketches, Nina!!!

I suffer the same as Kunya. I have taken my sketchbook and pencils with me a few times now with the intention of sketching something I see in public, however, I come back with nothing. My sketchbook and pencils never even make it out of my satchel. My main drawback is my shyness which brings about those insecure feelings of being outside of my comfort zone in public places. However, I will continue to take my sketchbook and pencils on my outings in the hope that one day I will find the courage to take that first step.