During my winter break last year, I scrambled to finish up as many ink drawings as possible for a show at the Pelter Gallery in Greenville. I remembered how much I enjoyed drawing and on a whim, I set a ridiculous goal for myself. I began January 2007 with the goal of completing one new drawing each week for the whole year. Initially I gave myself some wriggle room by saying I'd complete a minimum of 50 new drawings, taking two weeks off for what I would call vacation, but eventually I saw this excuse for the weakness it was and stepped the goal back up to 52.
The first week of January gave me Drawing #1 titled "Driving Home". It was done in ink on bristol paper and measures 11" x 14".
I'll admit there have been many times this year that this goal has seemed idiotic and poorly thought out. At times the ideas have flowed freely and multiplied faster than I could get them on paper. Other times I've walked into my designated drawing room and picked up a pen praying for inspiration.
And now, as October is falling off the calendar I see that this has been a valuable exercise. I have been forced to work quickly without overthinking my sketches. Working at this pace has required me to deal with fresh imagery and it has allowed me to be more - for lack of a better word - honest in my visual communication.
As I've recorded my interaction with images, ideas, and emotions for the last 10 months I cant always remember what I drew 3 months ago or even 3 weeks ago, and I generally have no idea what I will do next....and that keeps me on my toes. It keeps me alert. It keeps me waiting to observe that next thing.
I dont remember exactly what week gave me Drawing #26, but this is what it looks like...titled "Regardless" also ink on bristol paper and 11"x14".
A couple of nights ago I finished Drawing #44 and I have no doubts about meeting my goal by December 31. Yes, it is a ridiculous goal and yes, it has kept me hunched over a drawing table in available time that is already an endangered species in my world.
But this feels like it is the right thing to do.
Watch for Drawing #52 to pop up in the next couple of months. And since you already know I have a lot of drawings hanging around....you should aslo know they make great Christmas gifts.