1500

| 19 Comments

day1500.jpg

Today is day 1500.

Should I draw 1500 dots, 1500 boxes, 1500 oranges?

I began daily drawing in late December 2004. When I got to day 28, I was so pleased and surprised that I made a video and began posting the drawings to this blog.

When I got to day 100, I bought myself a bigger box of watercolor crayons.

When I got to day 1000, I had a party online and made another video.

So for day 1500...?

Hmm. Mile markers, anniversaries, and birthdays are good. This year, my marriage turned 21 and I will turn 50. And signposts like those are worth celebrating, I think, even if they aren't really the point. I didn't get married in order to have anniversaries. I don't draw in order to have created a particular round number of drawings. After each celebration, I realize that over the long run, there's no particular magic number.

I breathe. I play. I love. I get to share things. I reflect. I find satisfaction in small moments.

Drawing teaches me to notice. To plunge in, regardless. To mess around. To make mistakes in public and keep going anyway.

"If a thing is worth doing," wrote G.K. Chesterton, "it's worth doing badly."

(And I have dozens of late-night paintings of oranges and smudged drawings of my right hand.)

As time has passed, I've gotten the chance to draw elsewhere. For nine months one year, I drew in the museum. I drew an extra drawing every day of November. Twice. I've contributed weekly drawings of Pittsburgh to a group blog since 2006. I now draw at the Pittsburgh Symphony, and was invited to join a new urban blog this fall. I'm grateful for the way my daily project has opened new opportunities.

So this particular performance continues. It is an open-ended version of my life, going by at one frame per day. An extreme sport, if we talk about extreme slow motion, near geologic pace in an age of short attention spans.

And what have I learned?

Will power doesn't count much. Delight does. Find something that delights you enough, and you will keep doing it anyway. Even on days when the biggest obstacles are your own expectations.

So my wish is to keep finding the delight. To have the chance to be present, slow down, and pay attention for a moment. Every day.

A small treat.

Another breath.

Another drawing.

Thanks for being such good company en route.

19 Comments

a very inspiring post. wow. 1500 days of continuous drawing? congrats!

Thank you for your blog. I enjoy it, the writing every bit as much as your drawing. [How are those socks coming along?]

Congrats - although you said it so well - it is not about the number but the joy drawing adds when you find that quiet moment of the day to look around you and appreciate life.

It's been wonderful to be along for the ride.

Congratulations! Looking forward to the next 1500 inspiring works of art!

Congratulations! And thank you for these daily delights.

Maybe it took you 1500 seconds (25 minutes) to write this post? A fitting way to celebrate today's milestone!

Dude, OUR FREAKING PLEASURE. It's such a joy to visit here every day. Thank YOU!

K.

Congratulations. I love having your drawings show up in my reader everyday. Your thoughts on your anniversary resonated so deeply with my emerging view of my own benchmarks and transitions.

Congratulations Elizabeth!

Congratulations. I am a daily follower of your work. :)

Mazel Tov on the milestone and thank YOU for sharing it with us.

Yay! Congratulations!

Congratulations! "Will power doesn't count much. Delight does." Love it.

Congratulations on reaching day 1500! Whew! Now that I type that number it just sunk in how long that has been... wow! That is SERIOUS dedication!!!! I have enjoyed your drawings and your thoughts and your Blog for a while and I love checking to see what you've come up with each time. I'm subscribed via Bloglines so I never miss any of your posts ;)

Congratulations too, on the other milestones in your life: your marriage anniversary, your birthday and many more events and memories that are still to happen and that will become memories.

Happy Day 1500!

Wow 1500, big fat Congrats!!! I have loved everyone I have seen!! Hope there is many more!

Wow, so much to read about.
Sharing your talents with us brings joy all around, and the word Thanks doesn't seem quite broad enough for all you do.

Congratulations for each of your milestones.

Congratulations. Your blog is so thoughtful and full of the delight of seeing and recording everyday. About those doll hands—hilarious!

I stumbled upon your blog while looking for an image of a monarch caterpillar. That must have been around drawing #800. I have been back almost everyday since.

Thank you!

Elizabeth, you're to blame for an entire day spent on a tangent... I consider myself magnificently blessed by today's stumbling. I was researching the Immaculate Heart of Mary for a ceramic tile piece when I found your drawing of the Pittsburgh dome. I love line drawings so I investigated your blog... for six hours straight. Time well spent; Thanks for the inspiration.

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