Monday, July 15, 2013

The Short List (EDiM)

EDiM - 2013
Back in May of this year, I joined a Facebook group called Every Day in May (EDiM), which challenges artists from around the world to follow a prescribed list of sketching prompts to complete one drawing per day for the 31 days of the month. The group is a subset of the larger Everyday Matters (EDM). The EDM group grew out of the work of Danny Gregory, whose books and blog about art journaling are hugely popular. The books take readers into the studios of sketch artists around the world. Many of them are urban sketchers who draw in public, gather in groups regularly to draw, and even plan getaways to exotic places to sketch the landscape (even if it's a skyline of Hong Kong) together. I get lost in Danny Gregory's books. The inspiration I receive is overwhelming. I want to try every other technique I see and go to every location pictured and BE an urban sketcher. But, then I wake up and realize that probably will never be. I don't particularly enjoy painting outdoors or painting architecture or hillsides, even though I greatly admire the work of those who do!

So, why be part of a group like this? Well, the EDiM challenge absolutely drew me in and captured me from Day One. The realization that you're in solidarity with hundreds of talented artists from all over the globe, all interpreting the day's challenge, was exhilarating for me. And, most of the prompts were challenges to draw ordinary things from your life and home. I can't really describe it other than to say, I was hooked. All through the day (and night), group members post their daily drawings. Most of them are watercolor, but there is a nice mix of other techniques as well. I loved everything about it: the immediacy of seeing works that were barely dry, the international commonent, the varied styles and interpretations, and most of all the comaraderie of artists young and old, novice and professional, encouraging and "liking" each other's efforts. It's an all-positive vibe, where newbies are encouraged and find their place alongside obvious working artists. I realize that, in the "real" art world, the world of bricks-and-mortar galleries and critique by "experts," the feel is hardly ever so rosey and bright as it was in this group. But, I can't help but think that many new artists are being spawned through groups like this. The encouraging feedback (dare I call it "the love"?) drives away the fear that plagues so many artists. I can only speak for myself. It is working for me!

Originally, I posted my 31 EDiM entries on my other blog: Initial Images. I'm not sure why I put them there and not here, except that I used the same small sketchbook format as all my other entries at Initial Images. Of course, the entries just as easily belong here at Worth Drawing. My goal for this blog was to chronicle my sketchy past (pun intended). My art life has been spotty and erratic. I went many years without producing anything but digital art for work. I don't mind that most of that virtual art is lost. It was throw-away by design, and I don't miss it. I feel in many ways, since quitting my job in March, that I am "back" as an artist. I'm creating almost everyday. And, this blog was meant to show the progression of wannabe artist to today's "real artist," who picks up pencils and pens and brushes and makes marks on paper almost daily. This is a fine distinction for me, because I am always making art in my head. I have been far less prolific in getting it down on paper. Until now. When I look at the image above, I realize that EDiM told a little more of my story, which is what this blog is for.

Above is the index sheet of all my EDiM entries. I might eventually move the whole lot over here, but for now, they can be viewed here: Initial Images/Everyday in May. Yes, I know, it's a shameless attempt to drive traffic to my other blog. That's the beauty of blogging, I'm afraid. It makes lazy bums of us all! :)

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