Saturday, April 2, 2011

Branching Out - Out on a Limb

Copied from the Sketchbook Challenge Blog.
Here's April's theme in case you missed it or don't read the (awesome) Sketchbook Challenge blog.

Jane Davies here with the April theme announcement...

Since the Sketchbook Challenge began I have been using it as way to stretch my abilities, challenge my perceived boundaries, and expand my vocabulary of artistic expression. It is evident from the hundreds of entries on the flickr site that many of you are doing the same. You can usually tell from looking at a drawing/painting/sketch whether the artist is playing it safe or taking risks. I love seeing the entries on flickr that teeter on the edge of the artist's comfort zone!

This month's theme is Branching Out, which means expanding your skills, sprouting new ideas, discovering unknown territory. The flip side of that is Out on a Limb, which means taking risks, facing fear of failure, getting into your discomfort zone, facing your Inner Critic, and taking the plunge with courage.

Getting out of your comfort zone, pushing your boundaries, sounds all well and good, but being uncomfortable does not. Sometimes being uncomfortable leads (me, anyway) to art tantrums, or worse, running back to the safe zone. However, if you practice allowing that discomfort and continuing on with courage (and without judgment), you will find that, more often than not, you will branch out. You will learn to recognize that queasy feeling as an indication that you are about to discover something new. It is like the City Limits sign on the edge of your comfort zone.

I am suggesting to you that this month try at least one page in your sketchbook (and I know you'll do more once you experience the freedom that Branching Out inspires) devoted to trying something new, something that really challenges you, even something that inspires fear of failure. Do something that your Inner Critic knows you can't do! There is no failure or "can't do" in branching out; when you are honestly challenging yourself you will always be treated by a surprise. Remember, only you can know if you are truly branching out. One person's safe zone is another's unknown territory. Oh, and don't forget to have fun!!!

Here are two sketchbook entries in which I am branching out and out on a limb. I'm searching for some way to use these circles that I've been doodling in my sketchbook:

Also some layering, maybe masks and stencils.... I don't know what I want the pieces to look like, but I am deliberately throwing myself off balance. I LOVE that about the sketchbook: I don't feel any need to "resolve" a piece or find an answer. Just sending out the question is enough.

April's theme is: Branching Out - Out on a Limb

How to be eligible for prize drawings:

In order to be eligible for one of April's prize packages you must post at least one photo of a sketchbook page related to April's theme (announced on 4/1) to the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group and you MUST tag one of your photos with the code "apr378".
It is not necessary to tag more than one and it will not increase your chances of winning.

Information on how to upload photos to flickr can be found

Winners will be chosen based on random draw on 4/30/11 and announced on the Sketchbook Challenge blog either on that day or on 5/1/11.

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