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Out of my Funk

art book club sketchbook story time the artist's journey Jul 05, 2023

video: edited recording of the July 3rd Sketchbook Story Time

July 5, 2023 - Out of my Funk

I'm happy to say that art has brought me through a challenging time and back into the beauty and potential of each day.  For a while, I simply connected dots and scribbled on paper, watching the different shapes and patterns that were being created according to different rules such as:

1. Using only straight lines to connect the dots.  

2. Alternate between using a straight line to connect two dots and a curved line to connect two dots.

At the same time that I simply connected dots, day after day, I was committed to hosting the live internet sessions of both the Art Book Club and the Sketchers Story Time on my artists' community, The Artist's Journey. While preparing for this past Monday's sessions, I found myself coming out of my funk.  I looked forward to "talking art" with Jill Richards, and hearing what her experience has been while participating in the current Challenge to Colour Map Moods.

It was Thursday, June 29th.  I had just completed the slide show to accompany the discussion on Molly Bang's book PICTURE THIS: How Pictures Work.  Sitting at the kitchen island, sipping a cup of coffee, I found myself sketching the giant bottle of Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid that sits on the kitchen counter.  Sunlight streamed through the window and illuminated the sensuous curves of the plastic bottle. My fountain pen skated along the paper, guided by it's sculptural form.  I smiled.  I felt alive again.  I felt happy again. The apathy I'd been feeling (extremely unusual for me) floated out of me, replaced by my temporarily dormant curiosity and sense of wonder. I knew I was on my way out of my funk.

It took a few more days for the cloud to vanish completely, but by Monday afternoon when it was time to start the first event, I was looking forward to it whole-heartedly.  Both discussions boosted my spirits even more.  The prepared slides were a great improvement over holding artwork and books in front of the camera, hoping they would be in focus. Also a great improvement over the overhead system I'd tried earlier.  It was easy to present the images based on the direction taken by the discussion rather than flip through piles of sketches or pages of books to find the art that best illustrated the shifts in our conversation.

For a yet unknown reason, the Sketchbook Story Time session didn't record.  Jill and I agreed that it had been a discussion that deserved another attempt at recording so that others might benefit from the insights we gleaned from one another's remarks.  As often is the case, the mishap proved to be beneficial.  Knowing we would redo the session the next day, I supplemented the images I'd prepared to include examples from several other sketchbooks that would help illustrate some of the topics we touched upon during the first session.  For example, I included a short video showing how I create squiggle drawings as well as more examples of sketching techniques.

I've included the edited recording of the second session in this blog post for you.  I would love your feedback.  Participation is welcome!  As the community grows, there will be a wonderful diversity of styles, techniques and philosophies shared during these sessions.  Members of The Artist's Journey are able to attend the live sessions as well as access the edited recorded sessions that are posted within the community. Members are welcome to share books of interest on Art Book Club. Small works and sketchbooks may be shared on Sketchbook Story Time. If you wish, you may snap photos of images you want to present and I will put them into a keynote presentation that will make it easier for you to talk about your work.

I want to thank all of you who reached out to me, concerned about the difficult times I've just gone through. Your messages definitely helped to raise my spirits and encourage me to find a way through it.


Thank you for reading my blog.

Chris Carter




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