The Vulnerability & Healing Of Sharing Art


It was my second year of art school and we had to complete a large self portrait drawing.

I was going through a difficult time personally.

And well, I remember spending the whole night before it was due frantically throwing it together with a bottle of wine.

Charcoal.  Kneaded Eraser.  White paper. Cabernet.  Rinse and repeat.

The next day in class I tacked my drawing up on the board along with everyone else and sat back and waited for my turn in critique.

To my great surprise nobody mentioned how rushed or unfinished it looked.  Instead they picked it apart–highlighting things not even I was aware of.

Like how troubled I was feeling.  How isolated and depressed the drawing felt.  How it looked like I was simply holding on by a thread.

They saw this.  They mentioned this.

And I sat there crying–feeling so extremely exposed with nowhere to hide.

But I think, to be honest with you, that experience was the conception of FEARLESS painting… it  showed me how powerful art truly is as an expression of my inner landscape–as a reflection of my Soul.  I had no intention of pouring my pain into that assignment, but effortlessly, it still oozed out with each mark I made.

Though through the years, as vulnerable and raw as sharing my art can leave me feeling–I still find it a necessary and powerful part of my own creative process.  There’s something very healing about releasing my art into the world and letting others experience it for themselves.  I’m not saying that it’s always easy–but it is always beneficial to my heart, and I hope in some way to other hearts as well.With that said, I wanted to share with you how excited I am that I just finished my first Moleskine sketchbook.  Over the past few months I’ve been sketching almost daily and exploring different materials as well.

Working in my sketchbook is  different than when I art journal. The work in my sketchbook has been focused on strengthening my drawing skills and most especially in sharpening how I look at the world around me.  (If you’re curious, I’ve been writing about my experience in the blog posts HERE.)  When I art journal it’s about being FEARLESS and simply allowing things to reveal themselves organically.   For certain art journaling is all about the process–while sketching has really been about the product.  And just like my self portrait in art school, it doesn’t matter if the intention is on process or product–it’s all expression of my true self in one way or another.

When I started this Moleskine sketchbook on my birthday, December 28, 2012, Hansel was in the hospital.  As I finished this Moleskine sketchbook, he is in the hospital once again.  This sketchbook has accompanied me during one of the most challenging and even painful times of my life so far. It’s been hard for me to write about it–maybe because I’m in the smack dabb middle of it all, but sharing this sketchbook feels like I’m giving you a glimpse.  Here it is.  Here is my first flip video.

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