I reached my goal of 40 drawings during the Lent season. To my wife I'd like to take a moment and say, "Na, na, na-na, na. I told you I could pull it off."
I will admit it was very tough. There were days I wanted to do anything but draw, and there were days when the drawing time was a saving grace for me. During the last few days of drawing for Lent I found myself looking forward to finishing the challenge so I could start a new large scale drawing. I had sort of expected that I wouldn't want to draw again for a while.
There were some bad things about the Lent drawings. My sketchbook withered away. I think I picked it up once or twice during this time and only really sketched in it once. There were a few nights when I was forced to stay awake a good bit longer than I wanted. On those long, back to back studio class days I'm pretty beat by the time the kids get in the bed. One night I was particularly exhausted and decided to get to sleep early. I was turning off the lights when I realized I had not drawn anything that day and I spoke unkind words as I stomped over to the drawing table and sat down. Some of the drawings are just not very good. Rushed as each day was, there was little time to problem solve my mistakes. When a drawing went bad, it just went bad. The experimentation with media was also too rushed. My awesome ideas with the Plasti-Dip spray failed miserably and I ended up with a couple of completely black drawings.
There were good things too. The forced experimentation gave me some good ideas to store away for future use. There was a nice little jump in imagery development too. I met "Scrimshaw" the whale during Lent and he became a great character/symbol. We'll likely see him again. The time crunch in each day meant that I watched almost no TV during Lent. The late nights when I would normally pour what was left of me on to the couch and look for something funny on TV were spent hunched over the 1950's peach formica table breathing Sharpie exhaust. TV is the devil, so that was a great thing. I also learned to be even more observant during each day. I would take mental notes of images and stories and look for ways to use those in that day's drawing.
One question kept swirling in my mind as I worked through this challenge. Lent seems to be closely tied to sacrifice. People "give up" things for Lent and when my friends asked me about Lent this year they'd ask me what I was giving up. This made me question what I was sacrificing by drawing each day. There was certainly the sacrifice of time, but if I'm honest, I love to draw, so that's not going to fall into the "huge sacrifice" category. I tried the line, "I'm giving up being a slacker this year" but that one fell flat too. And maybe Lent made me a better artist this year, but did it make me a better human being? With all that in mind, I wanted to find a way to make this more than just a drawing exercise.
That's why I've decided to offer to give these drawings away to anyone who wants them. A few of them have been designated for assignment already, but if there's a Lent drawing you want, let me know and then come get it. As you know, they are not framed, not archival and some of them are not very good. But if one strikes your fancy, it's yours. Happy Lent!