Lately, I’ve been dabbling a bit with water colors. I started off painting flowers and other small details from photos I’d taken or that I’d found around the house. Then, the other day, after buying ingredients for ratatouille (prepared the peasant way since I don’t have the patience for the fancy version), I thought I’d sketch out some of the more visually interesting ingredients before they got chopped and stewed into a tasty but none too beautiful mix.
Here’s a peak into my sketchbook.
It’s nice being able to talk about my sketchbook as a present part of my life.
As a child, I either had a book in hand, or I was working on a creative endeavor of some sort. I went through phases in which I assembled dioramas, painted with acrylics or watercolors, sketched, wrote in calligraphy or folded origami. Then I moved into high school, which included post-secondary classes, and from there on through college and my work as a teacher, my time and creative energies were channeled into the focused, logical work of academics–mostly writing. It was a time in which the logical side of my nature was both nourished and challenged, even as the experimental, artistic side went dormant. Due to the scraps I was able to throw it in the way of imaginative books that I read as a means of escape (thanks, Lewis and Tolkien!), it didn’t entirely die, but its grip on life was tenuous.
After a couple years of teaching, signs of life appeared as I discovered an interest in photography–and found there an artistic hobby that fit with the amount of time I was able to give it. And then an opportunity came for me to step away from full time teaching.
Since embarking on my hiatus from teaching (what I’ve started calling my personal sabbatical), I’ve been blessed to have the time and space to reconnect with aspects of my personality that went underground. Slowly, the desire to create–not only in a digital format via photography, but also with my hands–has returned. There’s a joy that comes in working with my hands–be it to assemble a meal or to study and reproduce colors, patterns and textures in a painting.