It felt so good to be caught up yesterday. That, by no means translates to being 'done' with everything – but it more or less means that I am on a workable schedule. For a while there, I thought I was slipping, with getting things completed just under the wire. While I like to have deadlines to pace myself, there are times that the sneak up faster than I anticipate and I find myself wondering if I will be able to meet them. It can be a slippery slope when I don't leave enough wiggle room to allow for some things to come into play. I need to be watchful.
But yesterday afternoon I got as caught up as I will ever be. All of my orders for wood kits and pieces were completed and either out the door or will go out today. My pattern for my banner is posted, and I will be spending some time this weekend making a short technique video to go along with it for the class. My other commitments are on time and while I still have two more patterns due for some collaboration books that I am participating in creating, I think all is under control. I feel a big sigh of relief.
I have been fighting a cold these past few days and yesterday it seemed to be getting the best of me. I don't know if it was the letdown after pushing so hard, but it seemed that as soon as the last thing was done I felt extremely tired. I tried to take a little catnap yesterday afternoon, but I was thinking of so many things that I really couldn't sleep anyway. So I did what I like to do in between projects – I reorganized and straightened things out.
It didn't take too long because I generally keep things in pretty good order. But there is a nice feeling of closure when I put all the paints, wood and accessories away from a project that I recently finished and run the vacuum and remove just about everything from the counters. The house was clean and pleasant and even though it was dreary and rainy outside, I sat down and listened to some quiet music for a bit while sipping a nice cup of tea. Life was good.
By then it was past 5pm and time to start thinking about dinner. My peaceful moment was short-lived, but pleasant nonetheless and very much appreciated. Besides – I only last so long in my quiet place before I am overcome once again with the urge to create. It must really be what I was meant to do.
I spent a bit of time last evening working on my colored pencil drawing of my "Bee". As you may remember, I started it over the weekend:
It is being created using my Prismacolor pencils on Fabriano 140lb hot press watercolor paper. The background honeycomb has been created using my Inktense pencils and blocks that I showed earlier this week. It is a work in progress and obviously not finished yet.
This is how far I got last night:
I probably spent close to two additional hours on it. I am learning that drawing with pencils in this manner is not something for those who want things done quickly. When I paint, I simply apply the paint and move on to the next element or layer and the change is very evident and profound with each layer. With using pencils in this manner, it is a matter of applying layer upon layer and then deciding when to blend them together only to apply additional layers until the colors, tones and details are achieved.
When I first began watching the videos and tutorials on this process, the artists stated anywhere from 6-10 or more layers of pencils for certain steps. I certainly thought it was an exaggeration on their part, for how could you possibly apply that many layers of anything without making it look muddy and messy. But as I am learning, I am beginning to realize that they were not exaggerating at all. What I initially thought would go in the garbage is beginning to turn into a somewhat respectable drawing. I have to keep reminding myself to be patient and keep forging on, even though at one point I wanted to ball it up and throw it in the garbage. If I had not shown it here the other day, I probably would have done so.
But once I posted it here, it became somewhat of a commitment to not only myself, but to you all as well. I will see it through to the end.
I often am told how much "natural talent" I have with my creating. While I believe that the desire to create comes to me naturally, I also know of the work that is involved to hone the skills I have and to continually try to improve them and broaden the scope of my creativity. For me, there was no easy path to making pleasant drawings and paintings. It was done by following my desires and studying and working on it and training my brain to see things in a certain way. I think all 'artist' will agree with me. It is as much work as any other desire we may have. We only need to dedicate ourselves to what we are doing and follow through.
I hope I never stop learning. I don't think I will. For there is always more ways to create and more processes to learn. It is what makes life so good and gives me a purpose. The more I can share this knowledge with others, the better.
Today I am working on my next deadline. I feel more relaxed though now that I am pretty much caught up. I hope to have a great weekend which will allow me not only time to continue to work, but also to continue to learn new things. As I always say – there is so much more that I want to do. I appreciate your following me through these processes and your continued support.
With the arrival of October, we are all starting to think of Halloween. I wanted to showcase some of our ornament patterns that you all may have missed and may enjoy creating for your own crafting pleasure.
First there is Keith's SLDK339 Gothic Bat Ornament pattern which consists of 10 lovely scrolled bats:
And from me, my SLD416 - Six Masquerade Ball Ornaments pattern which are also wonderfully challenging pieces to cut:
They are both frightfully fun and a bit of a challenge. Why not test yourself and see how you do with them?
Have a great weekend!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"