One should, perhaps, be a bit introspective on the first day of a new year and a new decade. And also on the event of finishing the last page of the sketchbook.
Last year, I decided to focus more on drawing. I made the painful admission that a good drawing is the basis of a good painting, and that in order to be a better painter, I needed to be better at drawing. So my goal was to draw, and to pay attention to the object and really "see" it, to practice drawing until I could see some improvement. I think I succeeded in becoming better. I certainly feel more confident in my drawing skill.s
But my first love has always been watercolors. I want to be able to dash off quick, expressive sketches that reflect the way I see my life and the things around me. I want to chronicle the weird and wonderful beauty in this world.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be on a cruise in the Caribbean and wanted to take photos that I could paint from when I got home. This odd lonely palm tree was growing in a field of wild sugar cane on the island of St Kitts. I took the photo from the Scenic railroad car that traveled around the island. The narrator was talking about a hurricane that had hit the island ten years before, and I wondered if maybe this palm tree sustained a bit of an injury in that hurricane that caused its quirkky bent trunk.
This is my goal for this next year, as I open the new sketchbook. I want to do more sketches like this one - quick vignettes of life, and not get bogged down in the details. Celebrate the everyday wonder and beauty - live it, draw it, paint it, love it.