Mantra

Self-Portrait No. 23 (Detail)

I was thinking today that I have certain expressions and phrases that I repeat to myself over and over again as I’m drawing to try and retain my focus.   Every day the mantra is a little different, but today’s was “squint”, “large shapes”, “subdivide the form”, and “just keep going”.  “Just keep going” was particularly important today: I really wasn’t feeling great about the experience of drawing early in the work session.  I knew that I was letting myself get distracted. I can always tell when I’m doing this because I find myself obsessing over the results of the drawing instead of focusing on and enjoying the drawing process. I know it’s bad when I start trying to come up with justifications to myself that things are going well, when really I know they’re not.

I finished up Self-Portrait No. 23 today.  The portrait itself was already well established in the etching ink stage, so I was feeling like there wasn’t as much to do with the exacto knife and the lithographic crayon, allowing for the details to simply fall into place.

Self-Portrait No. 23

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