In July 2013 I did a week long art retreat just in my own home.
I call it S.A.R.A.H.: Summer Art Residence At Home. I experienced that it’s possible to do a retreat on your own. It just needs a plan and some discipline.
Why do I want to do an art residence?
What is it that I need?
It’s a way to reset myself to start looking with fresh eyes.
A holiday from my usual creative work.
If you go away to an outdoor retreat, you pick something that attracts you to grow further. Some of the program you will like, some of it not. They will provide you with a structure to focus totally on playing & creating.
When doing it yourself, you can tailor to your own needs and pick exactly what you want to focus on to grow. I wanted to focus on making a connection with nature. Not only what you see outside, but also within. What gives me creative pleasure? The downside is: having the discipline to keep on going.
Last year I managed to block out a whole week, which wasn’t possible this time. I am raising a new dog. As you know puppies demand a lot of attention and Kaibab is no different.
Instead of a focused week of Summer Art Residence At Home I spread it out over July and August. Whenever the dog slept or occupied itself, I emerged myself in creative action. I chose activities that could be interrupted without ruining the result.
Like last year, I made a list of projects I wanted to do. Just following my own intuition what could make me grow. One of them was sketching.
Since the beginning of this year I try to sketch as much as possible. I even started a group with likewise enthousiast on facebook to encourage each other. You can read about it in this post. It’s an inspiring group which I love to have as my friends & sketch buddies.
Doing a sketch a day seemed like a very logical thing to do in this summer’s retreat. It only takes 20 minutes to a half hour and if necessary you can stop because of distractions. Paper is patient.
To motivate me even a bit more I take part in #DrawingAugust. A challenge from @JeanStevens4 on twitter to draw every day in August. It’s a group of advanced artists, I feel like I just scribble. Click here for my twitter account.
Develop Observing skills
My drawing subjects are plants & flowers. I take close looks at them, noticing their everlasting beauty. It fuels my image library and makes me love the plant life on my farm even more.
The purpose is to develop observing skills, learn to look better. I enjoy counting the leaves and looking at positions of leaves. Like Basil, which has opposite leaves. It’s like my series “Abundance of Nature” (which is observation with a photocamera).
I have now 102 sketches. Some you can find on my pinterest board.
A sketch a day, doesn’t take much time, but adding it up, it becomes a huge body of work. I am glad I incorporated it into S.A.R.A.H.