True self

My yet unpublished novel, Persistent Spirit, centres around the futility of denying one’s true nature. I am learning that I should have carried this notion into my art.

The two works — prior to my current work in progress — that found themselves pinned to my drawing board, are now housed in storage, unfinished, waiting for a hint of inspiration.

Each started with clear purpose, clear intent, and little doubt how to make the journey from blank sheet to finished piece. But ever pencil stroke felt like wading through thick, gloopy mud.

Drawing came hard. My usual drawing motivation peppered with distraction. I felt no connection with them at any point, but I chose to ignore it and push ahead.

Eventually as with all pieces that take tens of hours to complete, one reaches a point of no destruction. That is, the point where so much effort has been put into a piece, that literally tearing it up becomes a more painful prospect than walking away and leaving it for another time. To the possible gratitude of my future self, I managed to hit that landmark on both drawings.

The work that has replaced them on my board is an entirely different matter.

Since completing Limb, Shattered earlier this year, I have been searching for a follow-up subject. One might think living in a rural, hedgerow-lined location, and walking the dog at least once per day, I might have spotted the next bit of a tree that lost an argument with a farmer’s trimming equipment.

There are many such sticks and branches, but none that captured my attention until recently.

Now that I am back drawing the style and subject that currently fits my artistic drive, there is no fight for motivation, no lethargic pencil strokes, no constant fight to not rip it apart and bin it. I draw as much as my eyes, brain, and fingers currently allow.

The previous two pieces were created with commercial intent, and denied what drives me to draw. This one is what inspires me to draw, and, eventual sale or no sale, I am vastly more content as a result of its creation.

Please feel free to remind me of this the next time I attempt to sidestep genuine inspiration.