A Year of Shadowscapes: Up in the Jade Blue Sky

A couple of weeks ago, I found my mind tangled up in a dream. I found myself soaring seemingly weightless above unending canopies of trees as far as the eyes could see. I glided effortlessly and quickly past trees and through tree limbs; no leaves or stray twigs scratched at my face. Then there was an opening — a circle wide open staring at the sky. Without much thought, I floated quickly upward, upward, until I felt suspended, peacefully, surrounded by a jade blue sky with satiny clouds softly spilling over its face. At that moment, I felt something I hadn’t felt for a very long time – the serenity that warmly takes my cold hands and the peace that cups my face in the palms of its hands. I woke up, the memory of the emotions, feelings, colors, and sensations burned into my mind and heart – this was the feeling of my love for art reawakening, rising from its long sleep.

I kept my love for coloring and pastels boxed up for a long time – I lost my skills, they wasted away and collected dust just like my old paint bottles and art supplies boxes stuffed into the shed. However, recently, my new job that I started a couple of months ago has presented me with opportunities to really flex my artistic muscles again. This job has been a saving grace after such a rough year – it has woken me up from artistic depression and has pushed me to get out of my slump and get to crackin’ on the things I love to do.

It’s true what they say, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” I’ve lost so much of my skill and technique. Yet I don’t mind. I’m truly looking forward to rebuilding my skills from the bottom up while hopefully also improving and maturing my technique and style. Eventually I want to branch back into actually drawing things with the focus on proportion/dimension accuracy. However, for now, I will be starting with healthy baby steps so as not to burn myself out too soon.

I will be doing a simple project entitled “A Year in Shadowscapes.” One of my favorite artists, Stephanie Law, has created a wonderfully magic world of creatures, humans, and things that vividly (and eerily) convey a lot of the imagery I have imagined since childhood. She released a coloring book called Shadowscapes with samples of her beautiful artwork. Each week of 2017 I will color and share one artwork with a total of 52 images. There will be 11 remaining images left in the book — I will probably color and upload them as extra ones depending on how busy (really busy) I’ll be with other art projects at work. (At my job I will be art director for our musical, so I will be working on creating all of the stage props and backdrops).

Anyway, this was, OF COURSE, super long-winded and rambling.

In brief, I’m quite excited to be in love with art and wanting to create, color, share and feel everything positive art has to offer to the world again. Depression has a way of taking away those loves and interests and then holding them for ransom as you stare blankly at pieces of paper and canvases, wondering if you’ll ever be able to channel creativity again. Fortunately, depression was kind enough to return mine to me and I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep my motivation for art healthy and filled with purpose. 

As always, thank you for dropping by and reading.

You may see progress on the project here: clickety-click.

-Brianna.

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