Journal

A Month of Daily Art – Messy Mind and Splitting Focus

My first month of daily art practice was prolific. After seven months of zero artmaking, the sheer joy of creating again allowed me to finish a handful of pen drawings and line & wash pieces that were worthy of sharing. It wasn’t all plain sailing, I struggled with my inner critic, I had days where I didn’t feel inspired, and it also sunk in just how much I had to learn about technique; but all in all, I’ve come on so much in the last month or so.

What started off as a journey of creative recovery has progressed into trying to manage overwhelm. Now I find my mind wandering off in so many different directions it can be tricky to focus on creating. Starting a daily art practice brought with it a whole host of other considerations in addition to making art — captioning the works, posting work on my website, writing blog posts, and sharing on social media, improving my technique, and marketing. Not only do these things take up their own share of time, but they also take a considerable amount of mental labour and decision-making.

What this last month of daily art practice has also brought is the fact that now I’ve got several finished artworks. I have something to sell again! I’ve explored mounting options for the first time and currently have some frames on order ready to sell the works.

I’m wondering if I need a short break away from it to let my thoughts settle enough to make art without distraction. What I don’t want is for my creativity to go off the boil and go right back to where I was just over a month ago. All these things need to be done, but I do need to make sure I don’t lose the desire to create.

I have enjoyed working in pen again so much, and I hope to keep it up — especially as the response to my pen sketches has been so positive. But when it comes to choice of medium, I also long to explore watercolours, and pastel — as well as maybe going back to working on my oil paintings. Maybe I am spreading myself a bit thin, but all these media fascinate me. I love the subtlety and olde-worlde feeling of pen drawings; the vibrancy and dreaminess of watercolours; the loose textured effect of pastels; and of course the richness of oils all inspire me in their own ways.

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Published by Chris

Landscape artist Chris Richards lives on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in the village of Ystradgynlais. Chris works mainly in oils, but also dabbles with acrylics, ink pens, watercolours, and soft pastels.

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