more than one voice

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Putting practice into practice


My word for 2013 was practice.  I chose this word because I felt that I needed to incorporate more practice into my life. By this, I think I meant more focused intentional activities. I am by nature I’ve realised in the last few years, a dreamer.  I prefer thinking about things rather than actually doing things.  I suppose if I was totally honest I would have to admit that I’m a bit lazy.
For me practice also means doing something, without the expectation of getting it perfect, rather it is about introducing things into your life that make it richer, that give it more structure without being prescriptive.

One of the things I wanted to practice was drawing. I believe that if one is dedicated to this practice that a certain amount of skill can be built up. I’ve often heard people say that they can’t draw – I’m one of those people, but like any skill I think it takes practice to develop.
Armed with several good books on drawing, loaned on a non-return basis from my husband’s bookshop I’ve finally begun the practice of drawing. I’ve decided that I need to set aside at least three evenings during the week, where I draw for about an hour. It’s not too hard to do, as this time normally would have been spent either in front of the ‘idiot box’ or pinning yet another picture that I properly will never look at again.

I like to play with the characoal pencils to experiment with shading - you can smudge it with your fingers and rub out to create highlights

perhaps a new painting somewhere in these drawings?
learning about shading

This book is an excellent book - a must have for any
 beginner I think 



  1. Are you kidding me Clare? You do not know how to draw? I am shocked hearing you to say that - you draw and paint so wonderfully all the time!

    No really, YOU do know. I am the person who does not know to draw - at all! And I wish nothing more, I am so yearning to know how to draw. My whole adult life I always was longing for it. But believe me it is hopeless. I even took a drawing class - long ago - it gave me almost a heart attack (yes, I am a bit exaggerating) - but really, nothing came out of it. Now I am too scared to try again. I too have a book on right brain exercises ("The power of your other hand"), so far that did not help either. I am just blocked. The interesting thing is that I do not remember myself drawing as a child and I do not remember being encouraged.
    Now you tell me please Clare: do you think there is still some hope? :-)

  2. Isn't that strange, we're our own hardest judges. You have certainly come to a good beginning of your practice. A couple of years ago I desided to draw and paint a face a day for a month just to get it into my hands so to speak. I was never one of the clever drawers in school as a child, but I always loved to draw. I've always said I can't draw, but it's not the truth. It took me that month to convince myself that I actually can draw. Now, I know I can draw whatever I want to, it's just to spend enough time to do it.
    My latest thing is to gather alot of different faces from magazines and then glue them into a book for inspiration. Young and old and with all sorts of angles.

    I love your painting and the new colours, so warm and cheerful. Your drawings are great too, can't wait to see how this will develop. Good luck!

  3. Yes, practice, practice, practice. I have a difficult time with perfection and my practice usually takes forever because I get frustrated but I will continue to practice to let go of perfection. I love your work.

  4. I absolutely adore your little practice girly.
    The new colors you used are so bold and daring but at the same time warm and comforting.
    They drew me in immediately, and left me wanting more!!!!
    Your drawings are so beautiful as well. It's so cool to watch the evolution of your talents!!!
    Keep up the good work!!
    (my brown eyed girl)

  5. Your practice is amazing! I love how you defined practice as "doing something, without the expectation of getting it perfect, rather it is about introducing things into your life that make it richer, that give it more structure without being prescriptive". That sounds so freeing and treat-like. I want to practice drawing too but haven't made that a priority. Your beautiful sketchbook inspires me!
    Catherine Denton

  6. my senses are absolutely DELIGHTED with your work of late, clare! xoxo

  7. You most certainly can't say that any more can you??! These drawings are wonderful, I love the faces, so full of character, I can see them developed into paintings one day soon!xx

  8. I think you CAN draw and your lovely girl charcoal pieces here are clearly like your girl paintings. What a wonderful activity to do in the evenings and a great way to relax and learn all at once. Keep up with your word: Practice! That's a great word.

  9. I remember that book--I used to have it!

    Thanks to Yael, I've discovered your delightful blog!

  10. This is such a delightful post!
    Thankyou :)

  11. What a great look at your work!


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