Drawing With a Pen #1

Over the past few years, for a variety of reasons, my art focus has been shifting from making artwork to sell. I have seen it moving toward making artwork just for enjoyment. This is a new idea for me.

I’ve collaged, painted, sewn, sculpted, drawn thousands of works, and I mean that literally, over two decades. And I’ve done all kinds of art events, from street fairs and arts-in-the-park to participating in invitational gallery shows.

And I intend to keep doing these events, just not as many or as often. I have the theory that in life, each one of us has a certain amount of capacity for any activity, and when that’s done, it’s done. The trick is to recognize when a phase is ending, changing, or evolving.

So I’ve been thinking about what kind of artwork activities I want to be doing, if I am not so focused on sales. After some time, I finally got the picture – I don’t have to decide anything. I can just try things and see what develops. At this stage of my life, I have fewer responsibilities to others and so – I can just enjoy myself. Art Camp Claudia McGill was an expression of this idea and it certainly was enjoyable, not to mention head-clearing. I got a lot of new ideas just from looking through my art supplies and remembering the impulse that made me buy this or that tool or item back in the past.

So, one thing I’ve been doing, along these lines, is drawing in pen and ink (the regular kind of pen, not the dip pen and India ink combination). I have a collection of sketch notebooks, strange for a person who up to now has not done much sketching, but I am plain foolish over notebooks and I just like buying them!

So I paid attention to the prompt – notebooks continuing to appear in my life – and got a collection of pens. I plan to spend time sketching from everyday life, and I’ve been also doing some sketches from photos I’ve taken. One thing I do want to do more of is to get outside more with art activities, whether it’s sketching or taking photos.

No goals, no timeframes, just building a new habit, I hope.

So for a little while I will post some drawings made in the last few months, mostly from photos, so far. I’ll start with one from last summer, though, drawn on location – and guess what it is – a view of a booth near me at an art fair.

I think there is a thread running through things here, isn’t there?

Booth at art fair, Collingswood, NJ, 2015. 6" x 6"

Booth at art fair, Collingswood, NJ, 2015. 6″ x 6″

15 thoughts on “Drawing With a Pen #1

  1. Gilles Labruyère

    I love your line drawings as well, Claudia ! The good point with the pen and the sketchbook is that they follow you everywhere. Now there are, at least, two things you can do with the sketchbook : to draw what you see outside and to draw what you see inside.

  2. Sharon Mann

    My 5 year granddaughter tells me, “just keep peddling”, when I’m undecided, such wisdom for a 5 year old. Love your thoughts and art Claudia.

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Yes, I wanted to start being out in the world more with my art, not always just staying home inside, and maybe art will lead me to explore the world and vice versa.

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I don’t know if any changes will be apparent in my work, but I hope they will be inside my head. More relaxation, less concern about the viewers’ opinions. Maybe I’ll uncover some new thoughts that have been afraid to emerge.

  5. Laura (PA Pict)

    I love how portable simple pen and paper are. They can go anywhere with you and you don’t need to worry about access to water or making any sort of mess or about drying time. And they are so cheap and readily available too that you don’t have to worry about the investment. It’s very liberating.

    I love that you have decided just to make art for the sheer joy and pleasure of it and to make what you like.

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    I am hoping to free myself from what has been a decades – long framework for my art and “retire” in one sense. I hope at this stage of my life to be better and better at saying what I want or need to say, nothing cosmic, just that it is straightforward and not held back by what I think others might think. I like the drawing idea because I don’t know much about it and will have to experiment, and it’s not got a lot of baggage from “selling”. I never made drawings to sell. And – I really want to get out in the world a little more. In a small way, I’m not adventurous, but I think everyday life will do me fine. Thanks for what you said.

  7. Krista D Lai

    Wow I feel like I’ve been on a similar journey myself. It can really take you in surprising directions but feels sooo good. I commend you for looking inward and listening to your intuition.

  8. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. The older I get the more I realize how many layers there are to uncover inside of me. And I have time and energy to make it an art priority now.

  9. Jess Withers

    I love your sketch! Pen and ink is my favourite and I try and do as much sketching as I can when I am out. Have you tried doing continual line drawings when you are out? I’ve written a blog post on it if you would like to have a read? Its so effective when on the go, so many ways to use the drawing technique and its very forgiving 🙂 …Can’t wait to see more of your work!

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