I’m taking a course at the moment that involves drawing. I love studying and learning, and the course is a change from the norm for me as it’s creative rather than academic. This is good, but it’s definitely putting me out of my comfort zone.

If I had any resolutions this year, and I’m not sure that I did have any concrete ones, more like vague aspirations, one would be to give myself the opportunity to explore my creativity more. I don’t think I’m a hugely creative person, compared to other people that I know, online and in real life, but I enjoy the process and find it very satisfying most of the time. There are lots of things that I want to do, but I struggle to actually sit down and do them.

So, I’ve been looking at little bit at the things that I do that stop me from spending time on creative pursuits, and trying to deal with them. I’m not claiming or promising to be successful in that, but I’m going to at least make an effort.

I’d stalled on my course. This was because I knew what was coming up.

Sketching, and shading and toning.

I know I’m no good at this. I never have been. I remember at school having to sketch and shade something for homework, and being so upset about it that in the end mum did it for me. I can see the picture in my head now, 17 years on, and feel the frustration I felt then.

Of course, I know that the only way to get better is to practice, and the main reason that I’m so bad is that I don’t practice. The main reason I don’t practice is that I’m so bad. See the problem?

Today’s challenge was to complete a 10 minute sketch of a still life arrangement, and then a 45 minute sketch of the same thing. I had promised myself that I would get this done by the end of the day, like it or not.

Then came the very sad news that Tony Hart has died. Tony Hart was the artist and presenter of Take Hart and Hartbeat, children’s tv shows that fed a generation’s creativity. I don’t know anyone who didn’t secretly desire their art to be featured on The Gallery. (I also don’t know anyone who sent anything in, so that desire was essentially futile.) Anyway, part of Tony’s genius was in making you feel like you could do what he was doing. He made art, and you could too. Clearly there was nothing to do today but suck it up and make me some art.

I can state, quite honestly, that even if The Gallery was still around today, there is absolutely no chance that “Teapot and Mug, by TeaandCakes, age 30” would make it on.

I present the still life I was drawing:

My 10 minute sketch:

And finally, my 45 minute sketch:

It’s recognisable as what I was drawing, so that’s a plus point. In fact, that’s amazing. It’s not good though. I’m ok with that. There’s no reason why it should look like anything other than the work of a complete amateur. That’s what I am. And a big part of exploring my creativity is accepting that, and working on it.

I know I need to practice more. I’ll see how that goes though. I can’t say that I enjoyed today’s exercise all that much.