anniversary

| 21 Comments

day1825.jpg

The palm trees, telephone pole, and ocean at the end of the road.

Five years ago, I bought myself a black-bound Moleskine sketchbook, and drew a picture of my coffee cup in the bookstore cafe. I wanted to learn how to draw, and people told me that the best way to get better at drawing was to draw every day. I hadn't really drawn since junior high school. I loved photography, studied it some, took photographs, but didn't draw. Other people drew, and I wished I could, but I didn't.

So as an early New Year's resolution, or as a late Christmas present, on December 27, 2004, I began to draw. I turned the page and drew the next day, and then the next. I drew in ink, so I couldn't erase. One day, I really didn't like the drawing, and I remember that I almost wrote on the picture, pointing out where it had gone wrong, but just in time, I realized that I could do that on every picture, and there would never be an end to it, so I made another rule for myself, which was that I couldn't criticize the drawings. So in the beginning, there were three rules: 1) draw every day, 2) don't erase, and 3) don't criticize the result. After 28 days of drawing every day, I was so excited to see how my work had changed that I made a slide show of the pictures, and posted it to my blog. And then I liked the next day's drawing, so I posted that, and realized that I could just post each day's sketch as I finished it. After a year I began making my own sketchbooks instead of buying them, so that I could get paper that I liked for a price I could afford. And I kept drawing. At 1000 days I made a short video. Sometimes in the past five years I've had computer trouble, or blog software trouble, or I've been traveling without internet access - but the daily drawings have continued, even if sometimes the posting has to catch up. (There are still some pockets of broken links around the blog - housekeeping I will try to get straightened out in the new year...)

And here I am today. Thank you all for your company along the way, thank you for your comments, advice, silent presence, and encouragement. I'm looking forward to the next five years of drawing, and beyond. As my wish for 2010, if there's anything you've wanted to learn to do, please don't worry about whether you will be any good at it. Just find a way to start doing it anyway, and then keep on doing it. Just keep going, and going, and I promise you will surprise yourself...

21 Comments

And thank you for the countless times your drawings have brought joy and happiness into my life. Your blog is still one of the first that I look at in the morning. It never ceases to show how beautiful is the small and the large of our lives.

Wow! I have been impressed with your entries everyday for the few months since I found your blog, but I am going to have to put aside a week or two so I can check out everything I have missed. Thank you for a glimpse of your world every day.

Thank you!
(huge fan)

Thank you!
(huge fan)

Congratulations on your five year anniversary, and may there be many more anniversaries to come.

I look forward to seeing what new things you take on this year too. I love that you are always expanding horizons -- your own and others'.

It's so encouraging, Elizabeth, to hear your story. I've always wanted to learn to draw, but considered myself to have no talent for it. Your post encourages me to start, and even to believe that one day I'll reach my goal. Thanks. Your drawings are a happy addition to my day.

Such encouraging words, Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing them, and all of your work.

All the best to you for 2010.

K.

What a grand journey it's been for us on the other side of the sketchbook/blog as well! I caught up with you shortly after you began posting in 2005 and have been dipping into the ink of your inspiration (and stealing some of your supplies) ever since. I'm up to drawing day #223 myself. I'll catch up to you one of these days...

Happy anniversary! Thank you so much for your daily inspiration, I always look forward to your posts every day. All the best for 2010.

I love this summary of how you got to where you are today! I want to adopt your goals for my own this year---draw everyday, don't erase, and don't criticize. What great inspiration for ANYTHING I might want to learn! I look forward to another 5 (and more) years of your blog!!

Congratulations, Liz, and thank you for all the beautiful drawings and paintings!

I have you on my Bloglines. For me, at the moment, it is "knit every day". One of these days it will be time to pick up the pencils and the watercolors again. So much to see and do and share in this glorious life; thank you for sharing bits of your vision with us.

Happy Fifth Anniversary!! I still marvel at your absolute faithfulness to the practice (especially the photographing and posting every day--that part slows me WAY down!). And I thank you, too, for the inspiration to start my own daily drawing practice in 2007. I don't draw absolutely every day these days, but I always know that I can, and having a sketch book and pen always with me really helps in odd moments in waiting rooms and cars. I know that my drawing practice has really taken me places and continues to give me great delight, especially if I remember your rule number 3. (Now that you've inspired me to consider a few groundrules, things might be even better!)

I love hearing about the evolution of your three rules. They are powerful ones!

Thanks again, and congratulations!

Sukie

When I have lost contact with myself and desire to re-center, I often feel a pull to visit your "Woolgatherings" and always always always leave your pages feeling happier than when I arrived. Your brilliant descriptions have left me breathless many times - even about the most mundane things. I bow to you and your heart and mind and fingertips as you celebrate an artistic achievement which benefits so many of us admirers. Congratulations!!!!

The word steadfast comes to mind, Elizabeth. You have been that indeed. I enjoy looking at what you see and pay attention to.

I think how the drawings make you (and me). As always, a great way to start my day.

Happy 5th!

Thank you, Elizabeth. Your brand of creativity - the simple yet powerful way you put stuff out in the world - is one of the best things that touched my life in '09. So grateful also to Christine Kane for sharing you with me. Looking forward to the next year. And the next. And the next!

The best thing I could have read!
I'm going to make a copy of it and read it every day to make sure I do the three steps you made for yourself.
Profound thanks.

Thank you for the continued inspiration. I don't get here enough lately and have lots of catching up to do. I believe I'm going to apply your everyday rule to a couple things in my life. Happy Anniversary on your drawing journey! Happy New Year!

wow!! great words and well done! I am one of the many people who love to see your drawings every day even though I don't post (might have a few times!) I love the way that a simple drawing of one object everyday can describe your life in a year- or 5. Your use of white space is so inspirational!! Looking forward to following you on the next 5 years journey!

I am so excited to find your blog! I have been so depressed lately because I haven't drawn in years! Oh, I sketch a little, and have lots of sketch books, but not little drawings, delierate drawings like you. This has really inspired me to do a drawing a day too. To get me back to where I was in college (where I DID draw every day - and WAS very good) I guess that is the depressing part, know that I was really good, and I basically have to teach myself over again. And it is true, if you do draw everyday, you will get better. Thanks so much for being so inspiring! Oh, and I love your calendar!

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