Thursday, 14 June 2012

Doing The Lean...

Sketching and drawing were the topics this week
which got me flicking back through sketchbooks
and I was struck by how much they had changed recently
which got me thinking about what brought it all on...

There is a line that has become ridiculously important
when it comes to my artwork and it is

Lean Into Discomfort

no clue who said it
no clue where I read it
but I can tell you that I read it around a year ago
and it kind of made me rethink all my crap
which is kind of a big deal
because it isn't too often that I think about things too much
I am a bit of a shallow pool really

we all have moments of doubt
and trying to fit into different moulds and ideas
and finding our style and artistic identity and all that
and moving outside our comfort zone
makes us feel wobbly and freaked out
and for me it is because I don't like the struggle and fight
I am essentially lazy and so
it all just seems a bit like too much effort half the time

but leaning into it
that, I can do
just mosey on up and sort of recline up against it
kind of like subtly invading the personal space of discomfort
not yelling at it to get out of the way
or giving it is big push and shove
just giving it enough pressure that it feels uncomfortable enough to move over a bit
and after all it works on the rest of the family when I want the sofa to myself
so why wouldn't it work with my art as well

sketching and drawing are an example of me doing the lean 
I went through a stage
of being uptight about skills and perfect tone and all that
but now I am looser and freer
I tackle more interesting and complex subjects
and don't always panic at the midway point
I still panic every drawing I do and think it isn't going to get there
but the panic doesn't stop me diving in any more
and it recedes bit by bit with every one

so now my sketchbook 
which used to filled with pages like this

is now filled with more interesting pages 
like this

I am totally addicted to the lean now.
I lean into the fact that I am no domestic goddess, 
Martha Stewart or parenting guru
and that the word I would use to best describe myself is haphazard
and sharing that imperfection here is a bit of a lean.

I lean into sharing unfinished work
writing random blog posts
having drawings that look like a bit rubbish
and lack structure
and have shifting light sources
and have blobs of paint and ink
drawings that I might not always like
through to sharing work I love.

I lean into being me
and it is very liberating...xx

My latest blog posts have been...


Rita said...

Oh, I love this post, Tracey!
Lean into discomfort.
It brought to mind how I have learned to kind of sink into the pain instead of fighting it.
I will have to think on this and art.
Thanks, lady!! I love your looser you!! Loose women are so interesting--LOL! ;)

Unknown said...

Beautiful post. I love what you said about leaning into the discomfort zone. I think it is something that I have to do more often for myself. Love your post and your illustrations as always, Gorgeous!!

Have an extraordinary day!

Anonymous said...

great post!! I love it and i know just what you mean, I was such a fanatic about being so precise with my work 8 years ago that it mad e it not always fun, I learned to loosen up when my eye sight started to go and then one day some one said , "well I don't know why you take such pains to make things look real, you want real, take a photo", those words changed my life, honestly, our art is our vision and no one else s, we should be free and unhindered, your work is beautiful,

Alexandra MacVean said...

Old or new, I love your sketches, Tracey. You continue to inspire us to push ourselves in our own art. And don't you love to look back at old sketches to see how you've transpired over the past year or so? I did that recently. I swear I was possessed by another girl. hahahahaha :D xx

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

Great post! Love leaning into the discomfort zone, although it is scary sometimes. Blessings!

Anna said...

Very very good read for me today. I spent the weekend and first part of the week copying someone else's sketches and tweaking them with my own color preferences and tone. That helped me ease or lean into it. By tuesday i was painting things that i wanted and photographing things that made me happy. I was good. Right now I am leaning hard into the fears of tomorrow morning, what it might look like, knowing that with each tick of the clock it's one tick closer. I know deep down that the fear and dread won't push back the hands of time, tomorrow will be here and come what may I can do it.

Lorinda.C.F said...

I love everything about this post Tracey!! Could you send some of that attitude up to Canada and share just a little?? xx

VonnyK said...

Oh Tracey, how do I get me some of that. I would give anything to be loose and free, so sick of trying to get it right all the time. My heart wants to but my hands and head refuse.
Beautiful post and just as beautiful drawing. I love your bright colourful art that only you can do.

Jez said...

I love the description of leaning into ways of making ourselves change direction gradually. Strangely enough I have been spending some of my recovery time looking back through years of old sketchbooks and it is interesting to see those changes taking place .... But I am still fighting with trying to be looser ..... So I shall think of you and lean! Thank you for a great post.

Sandra Busby said...

I agree! Leaning is good!
Yesterday during a very long and tedious phone call at work, I subconsciously doodled away with my biro pen, a random weed that was growing outside the office doors.
I didn't really even realise what I was doing - and then afterwards as I began to scribble down a reminder on the same page, I looked at it and thought - wow! I like that! It was about as far removed from a careful sketch as I could get. The lines were a mess, there was no varied tones - it just... was what it was. That told me something about sketching. Great post and wonderful sketches! :0)

tutto a posto said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about style. It is a constant struggle--finding a style that I like. I am told my style is apparent, but I am not convinced or quite satisfied yet. Still prodding or "leaning" along!

Roxanne said...

Loved your post Tracey. My favorite sketches are those that I've done quickly with just a fine line marker.

K J D said...

Great post.... loving the lean concept!

Neesie said...

Loved your post Trace,
I think I used to be so uptight and wanted everything I painted to be perfect a few years ago and that effected my artwork which subsequently suffered.
It actually strangled all my creativity and I stopped doing any work for about 12 years! What a waste of 12 years.
I've only just started to lean but I still have such a long way to go ~ meanwhile you continue to inspire me to make those invaluable changes...and I thank you :D

Giggles said...

Thanks for the great art lesson!! As usual all your illustrations are fabulous...but wow you have lightened up..and I love it even more!! I think as life progressed I leaned in more myself...just not with creativity!! I will take this wonderful lesson assert it in other areas of my life!! Thanks for sharing!

Hugs Giggles....

SandeeNC said...

Oh my! I can totally relate to this! I have been stuck doing the same thing for a long time now, and recently started a class AB class, and now, I am slapping gesso on everything, spritzing and splattering and collaging! It's funny how you can just end up into a new style without even realizing you fell off a cliff! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

~*~Patty S said...

well you have sold me on "leaning"!
that's for sure

if I could lean and draw even a tiny bit as well as you do I would be very happy indeed!

I was just telling a friend that I am undisciplined and that is part of what keeps me from sense is you have to do it lots every day over and over ... I want it but I guess not if I have to really work for it

gosh your sharing Tracey got me to confess ;)

I certainly am enjoying your artistic journey...thank you for sharing!

Terrie said...

Well since I only started exploring art a year ago, leaning is all I do! It's all uncomfortable and uncertain. Every bit of it. I usually have no idea what I'm doing - some sort of patchwork of techniques others are using and sharing because I didn't even know enough to know there were techniques! :)

As I've leaned into the major discomfort of discovering making art, I've also discovered how satisfying it is, how freeing and how much I love it. There's no going back now. Moving forward, for sure, but ending up where?

Kathryn Zbrzezny said...

I just LOVE this post!!! I will reread this one for sure. You not only make gteat, fun, interesting, inspiring art, but your words rock. Thank you. I am glad to "meet" you!

Serena Lewis said...

Tracey, what a great post and one that I feel akin to myself!

I am going through this same transformation regarding my art. I used to paint and sketch realism which is grounded in perfectionism. However, I craved to draw and paint loose and that's why I love working directly with my Microns or PITT pens rather than pencil...they afford me the loose quality I desire. However, I want to loosen up a lot Rita said, loose women are so interesting! hehehe

I LOVE your loose style!!!

Alice said...

great post, tracy! i like the idea of the 'lean' very much. and i always love your paintings, drawings, artwork!

Ginny said...

This was such a great post Tracey. Your work and words always inspire me. So from now on I am going to lean a lot more not only in my art but in lots of other areas as well.

Jennifer McLean said...

best post ever, can I "borrow" your saying? I think the way you explain how you see "lean into discomfort" makes a whole lot of sense and I can do that. I've been struggling against my perfectionistic streak and slowly making progress but I think your saying will really help. I'm gonna make myself a sign!

Love those forks etc. but then I always do and your tomato is to die for! You and Minn make great tomato art!

I was perusing your flickr account the other day and I noticed the change in your style that you mentioned in this post. I think you've really found yourself. Now, can you help me look for me? I'm around her somewhere, maybe under the sofa?? lol.

Love & Hugs,

Virginia J Bailey said...

I think all of your artwork is inspiring. Thank you for a great post.

artangel said...

Great post and fabulous art! I love the composition and loose feel of your cutlery drawing - really creative and almost abstract. You really do wonderful work.

Cynthia Patterson said...

The words of wisdom and the wonderful sketches.....I would never think to sketch a bunch of forks, but they are totally awesome....
I may (most likely) come back several types to scan... I mean READ....LOL your words of wisdom, until they are etched in....LOL
TFS (thanks for sharing)


minnemie said...

Ahhh, excellent post. I'm still stuck in the grip of precision. Gasping to get out... but seem so... well... stuck. I'm going to add this quote to by lil' book of quotes: "Lean into Discomfort" and attribute it to you:-) BUT may I just say, that even that which you label rubbish, looks like pretty good art to me!

Aranthe said...

I found this older post through a link to your current one and I'm so glad I did. I've been stuck in the middle of a piece, frozen by that "what if I mess it up?" feeling that plagues me when I tackle something that's new and difficult for me.

So I'm going to lean into the discomfort and tackle a piece that may not be easy for me, but that means something to me.