#dailyartchallenge

Visual art

Since I began convalescing, I’ve had the opportunity to revive a childhood passion for drawing. I did this via a challenge that I set myself this time last year, which is – simply, to draw something every day. This is much harder to do than you think.

Check out these works so far.

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Day 21. Picking up where I left off.

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Day 22. A mixed media drawing done for a friend.

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Day 25. A 15-minute coloured pencil study, following the outline drawn with an ink-stamp roller by my six-year-old.

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Day 28. Study of a local terrace in soft pencil.

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Day 30. Drawing an Underground station in biro without lifting the pen off the paper.

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Day 31. Portrait of my late father in soft pencil.

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Day 32. Drawing my left hand in pen with my non-drawing hand (right).

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Day 33. Mixed media drawing. Who needs yellow?

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Day 41. Doodling wet diaphanous folds in soft pencil, a la Man Ray.

Day 43. Mixed media drawing – my rather Japanese take on Erwin Blumenfeld’s 1937 photo, Lisette, Paris.

Day 44. My first quick sketch of a swimming pool.

Day 45. Coloured pencil study of rabbit ears.

Day 46. Fine pen drawing of a local building next to Sainsbury’s.

Why do it? However well-practised I am at writing, there are days when emotions, dimensions, perceptions materialise that cannot be encapsulated by the written word, for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps they are repressed feelings, or I just haven’t found the word to describe them. Perhaps they’re simply beyond language. I need to reconnect with my surroundings, make another form of expression integral to my life, and increase my appreciation of others.

There are scientific reasons, too, for making art.

For me, it’s also a way of enriching my writing, and it may even contribute towards an illustrated book in the future. My drawing and my writing always went together when I was a child. (I have fond memories of my religious knowledge teachers giving me lined textbooks with blank inserts to draw on for the Bible stories that I was tasked to write every week.) I see no reason why the two shouldn’t meet again.

Let’s not treat this as a sneak preview of my next book though. I’m not making a commitment to one just yet; it’s early days. It’s been decades since I last practised drawing, and I need to evolve first.

For now, keep an open mind, and enjoy the drawings as they are.

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