Timeout for Art: Compass

“The compass rose is nothing but a star with an infinite number of rays pointing in all directions.
It is the one true and perfect symbol of the universe.
And it is the one most accurate symbol of you.
Spread your arms in an embrace, throw your head back, and prepare to receive and send coordinates of being. For, at last you know—you are the navigator, the captain, and the ship.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

This quote is for Lisa of Zeebra Designs and Destinations because she helped to change my compass to the right brain instead of the left..temporarily. I am practical, analytical, strategic, and always in control. I am a realist.

Yet, when it comes to designs and art, I have to switch gears, to change my detailed and analytical mode of thinking to the right side of my brain where creativity flows, a free spirit reigns, and all my senses are tingling and alive.

It’s not easy for me and this week’s sketch proves it. I am fascinated with 3D sketches, where the world pops out beyond the paper and one asks, “How did they do that?” I began by sketching a simple glass of water. Not too bad, until I decided to add a Hibiscus.

Hmmm…maybe a little color? Now how do I draw the stem in the water so that it looks real? Was that refraction or reflection? Why can’t I shade a simple little leaf? What’s wrong with me? I ruined my glass of water. I should have left it alone. Erase..erase…erase. Pout..pout..pout.

No! Wait! There’s Photo Shop. No! No! No! That’s cheating. I have to do this again. Hmmm…maybe if I only show half of my sketch it will look better? So went the day…frustrated..angry at myself because I couldn’t draw a glass of water and make it look real.

I don’t like when I get in this mood. It’s like having writer’s block on the tip of my pencil. Today, I couldn’t get my compass to change directions…my left brain took over and immobilized my creativity…blocked me from accessing my right brain. So went the day.

I’m showing you one half of my picture first. Hmm…not too bad. BUT…
IMG_3337Bravely,( or foolishly) I press the “add media” button…
IMG_3336Oh, my poor little glass of water. What have I done to you? And those wicked leaves! Time to do some research on reflection…or is it refraction? Today, I don’t feel like the captain of my ship. My coördinates of being are spinning wildly, refusing to hone in on a location. All I hear is “relocating…relocating”.

Maybe it’s because I am researching dementia and watching the FRONTLINE series on assisted living programs….a fear of things to come? Maybe it’s because I was constantly interrupted today with Spanish lessons (which, by the way, the only word I could remember today was a word I would NEVER use in public) and other visitors, or maybe it’s because I couldn’t stop scratching the hundreds of bites I got yesterday from pulling weeds and cleaning the beach. Quien sabe? All I know is that tomorrow will be a better day and I’ll start all over again… forever grateful…forever learning from my mistakes…and most importantly…forever patient and gentle with myself when my compass gets out of whack.




11 thoughts on “Timeout for Art: Compass

  1. I love that hibiscus Debbie, the delicate veining and colour are just perfect, I admire that you persevered with the glass and it does look glassy and the stalk looks realistic. I enjoyed reading your dialogue with yourself I know just how you felt I am definitely a left brain person. Now I must get my sketch book out and find some thing to draw, lots of practice makes it better (I hope!)

  2. oh so beautiful and the color is just perfect…that is it perfection
    well it does not look photoshopped ;). At least you posted something, I have a huge back problems and did not do anything for this time out for art, and now I see this lovely picture and I regreat it. Solo un día a la vez las cosas camiban (take it a day at a time things will change!)

  3. Wow! I’m not an artist, but just got a lesson in art from your post and the comments. Beautiful, delicate hibiscus, Debbie. Your community of artists alone (Lisa and others) is inspiration. Carpe dium. 🙂

  4. I’m there with you Debbie 100%. I’ll find myself just staring at the painting, waiting for a miraculous inspiration , wishing it was a paint by number. 🙂 It’s like having the angel on one shoulder, whispering “just do it, go with the flow” and the little devil on the other side, “nope that won’t work, malo, malo”. Bottom line, I’m thinking too much, the left brain is in charge. When we were in Canoa Lisa showed us how to warm up, loosen up, de-stress by drawing circles and shading tornados. Sometimes it works for me, but most of the time it just makes my wrist sore. That happened to me yesterday, I found myself staring at the eyes of our shared painting, “what to, what to do”. Turned and worked on another, stealing looks at those black orbs every minute or so. Okay, enough is enough, want to finish this on Friday ! So I emailed Lisa for inspiration and suggestions , Help please !
    I do like your sketch and love how the flower pops out and the glass of water looks like a glass of water. Well done, you not only won the battle, you won the war! . 🙂

    • Oh, you are so inspiring. Paint by numbers..hahaha. My grandfather painted by numbers for years, until one day, in his early 80’s he took an oil painting class and it changed his life. He became relaxed, contemplative, and easy going. My mother, who is in the middle stages of dementia, is taking painting classes, too. There is something about art…I can’t quite put my finger on it…that changes a person. It helps to redirect the compass of being, turn on the switch from the left brain to the right. I’m going to write a post about my mother and her art, soon.
      The problem with me is that I am very self-critical. It is reassuring to hear that other budding artists have the same feelings. Oh well…it’s a new day. I’m very grateful that I can start all over again. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and support. 🙂

  5. amiga amiga!
    every so often i say that the most talented artists are the ones who were most self critical! your left brain would NOT take a nap today! there’s a song by johnny lang that says, ‘second guessin’ first impressions.. there you go again.. pushing off in all directions, since i don’t know when…’

    first image: your hibiscus is lovely…delicate… well drawn! the hint of the glass looked fine to me…

    second image… you are too critical!!!! you did a great job in making that stem believable and it suggests ‘water in the glass’ –

    i right-clicked your image (gasp!) and saved it to my computer and made a few notations, uploaded it to my files (gasp again!) and will include the link to the image which should work…

    many times if i cannot tell which direction a line is going, i imagine one end being at the center of a clock and i ask myself, ‘which direction is the line pointing? to 7 or to 8, 9 or 10, etc..’… the bottom left part of your glass seemed to be pointing to about 10, and it didn’t suggest a curve like the top of the glass. i inserted two lines on the image to illustrate that point, then drew an ellipse to show the basic curve of the glass. i think the ellipse will help you spot a problem area… i also drew ellipses at the top, which needs very little tweaking!

    i cannot believe that you let this dampen your spirit!!! when i have a difficult time, i look at that as an exercise. mary (pastels by mary) and i were talking about that as well – we’ll work and work on something and feel as if we should abandon it, but because we’ve invested so much time, we stick with it.. and usually it’s worth that extra time! sometimes it’s (word i shouldn’t say!), and we chalk it up as an exercise.

    i almost forgot – your post/your writing continues to be really really special and unique. you’re a very gifted writer, and you are also a very gifted visual artist! i admire you for confessing that you had a difficult day. lo siento.. may tomorrow bring sunshine and smiles!

    let’s hope this works: http://playamart.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=9498


    • Z…you are like an Olympian to me. You make art look so easy, so user friendly that anyone can simply pick up a pencil and draw to perfection. I remind myself that even you…the most gifted artist I know…has those days. Yet, my left brain tells me, “Nah. It’s only you, Debbie. Maybe it’s time to try something else, like balancing your checkbook or organizing your house. Those are the things you are really good at doing.” lol Yesterday it seemed as if my left brain and my right were battling for first place. Alas, my left brain won.
      I understand what you are saying about the ellipse and the clock analogy is perfect. Unfortunately, your attachment didn’t work, but I can picture it from your detailed description. I sure wish I could develop a third eye. I’m going to draw a third eye and paste it on my forehead. HA! Maybe that will help my compass of being make the switch. Thank you so much for your tremendous help. I hate being a whiner. Today is another day…AND it started off sunny. Time to do a load of wash and hang my clothes out to HOPEFULLY dry in one day. 🙂 You are my heroine..so kind..so helpful..so creative…so gifted.

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