Saturday, December 6, 2014


Anxious adjective
afraid or nervous especially about what may happen:  feeling anxiety:  causing or showing fear or nervousness.  ~ Merriam-Webster

Anxious.  This word seems suitable for my lack of progress in sketching.  I've wanted to sketch for years but I find I'm apprehensive about beginning.  My concern that I could fail shows up in a multitude of excuses -- too busy heading the list.   I know how irrational this is but I've been trapped in this unreasonable self evaluation for some time now.

This summer the Whidbey Island Sketchers came to our home to sketch.  I watched; I envied.  Here are some examples of the Fredley home sketches, as done by local Whidbey Island talent.

Judi Nyerges

Fredley Home
by Phyllis Ray

Garden & Greenhouse
by Kathy Lull

Orange Lily in Bud
by Sue Van Etten

These rough drawings are quick, fun and capture the moment.  Sketches become a swift way to tell a story and are often more expressive than a photograph.  Here Sue Van Etten shows a great talent at quickly capturing poultry in action.

by Sue Van Etten

by Sue Van Etten

As Walt Stanchfield says,  “We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.”   I'm posting this early sketch as the first of my 10,000 bad drawings.  9,999 to go before I'll post another sketch.

Oregon Coast Camping Neighbor
by Fran Abel


"Now relax, think positively and begin -- the smile of success awaits you."

 ~ Claudia Nice, First Steps Drawing in Pen & Ink


  1. Something you want as much as you want to grow skillful at this deserves some anxiety but not the bowing down to the anxiety. How much gardening did you do, or landscape design, before you considered you were good at it?

  2. I expected a harder "kick in the butt" from you on this one, knowing full well I need to get over myself. I plan on getting those 10,000 bad drawings behind me.

  3. Uh, there is no such thing as failing at sketching. It is play. Be a child. Have fun making pictures. Skill comes with putting mileage on the pen, but there is much enjoyment to be had by the unskilled. Our group meets every Friday afternoon and it is a very safe place to play and learn.

  4. Oh, I want to learn from you all!!!!

  5. Would you like assignments to get you started?

  6. You re 3/4 of the way there!!!!!! You have a marking instrument, and something on which to make marks -- YAY!!! And you are making those marks - boldly and with joy! The last 25% is to just DO, then repeat. DO, then repeat. That is all there is to it. Bully for you, m'friend!

  7. Thank you Sue and Judi. The encouragement is so wonderful. And, Sue, assignments, yes!

  8. Draw something everyday. Today, draw your shoe. Then draw it again, from another angle.

  9. And we would love to see you at sketching tomorrow afternoon at 1pm. It's at a home on Wilkerson Road. My neighbor Bess is also a beginner and will be there. If you want to come I'll send you the address and directions.

  10. I would love to come tomorrow afternoon. And, I'm about to draw my shoe.