#TBT high school art

The cat is made of layers and layers of pencil, smudged, lifted with a kneaded eraser, then drawn dozens more times to create the depth you see in its fur.

Today I picked up a set of pencils and a sketch pad when I went to the grocery store. I hope I can find my way back to creating things like this in the future. . .

Just realizing I want to is a start.

pencil-drawing-long-hair-persian-cat

The other day my very dear friend Kerri inspired me to take out some of my old artwork from high school.

Slowly the realization has taken hold thatย when you’re an artist you’re one even when you’re not creating art. You’re an artist even if art isn’t your career. The epiphany: It’s not what you do, it’s who you are.ย Seeing my old work has made me want to create new work again.

watercolor-resting-fox
A watercolor fox

I want to paint with watercolors, oils, and acrylics again. I want to take a handful of pencils and draw animals like I did when I was a kid. I’m feeling the urge to create intricate drawings that push me to my creative limit.

horses-water-pen-and-ink
It took months but in this pen and ink of horses running through water I drew every droplet and spray.

I should have gotten out my good camera instead of using my iPhone to take these images, especially the one above and below,ย as they are mind-numbingly detailed pen and ink drawings made using one of those old fountain pens where you literally dipped your pen tip into a bottle of ink over and over again.

moss-pen-ink-acrylic-mixed-media
An acrylic paint wash with a pen and black ink sunset through Spanish moss.

The risk that one stray ink drop could have ruined either picture was ever present. It wasn’t until the following year when I went to college that I learned about Rapidograph technical drawing pens. They would have made both of these projects so much easier! But creativity isn’t about what’s easy, it’s about expressing something. Something about the subject matter? Something about yourself? Perhaps a bit of both.

pencil-drawing-tiger-portrait

As an artist I don’t know that I’ll ever again be as prolific as I was in High School.

pencil-drawing-wolf-pups

What I do know is that I want to be.

pencil-zebra

If nothing else it’ll make my mom happy.

pencil-drawing-black-tail-deer

She’s always wanted me to do more art. When I was a kid she always encouraged my creativity in many different ways. I’m fortunate she did. Thanks mom!