Three years ago I made a New Year's resolution. Each day I was to draw a picture of my four month old baby boy. I remembered my mother sketching me as I played in the garden as a small child and, although as far as I know she did not keep the drawings, I am sure it inspired and encouraged me to create and draw.
It started well and, as planned, most days I produced at least one small sketch. My resolve was still there when in late January 2010 my son was admitted to hospital when a dramatic fall in his oxygen levels bought forward his heart operation by several months. But after nine long and difficult days in intensive care I was no longer drawing - the tubes and wires and stress had got the better of me. And after he was discharged my focus was on helping him with his recovery... and then life in general got in the way. I still wanted to draw, but I could not find the time nor the motivation to do so.
Then the start of this year saw a new iPad and a new resolution. Most days I have produced a drawing on my iPad. The subject matter is not as prescriptive as before - most of the time I can only use my iPad undisturbed after the children's bed time so our cat has become the main, but not the only, focus of my drawing attentions.
My iPad is always at hand which makes it easier to pick up, put down and sketch for a short period of time. It has been a while since I drew, my drawing skills are rusty and my hands need time to re-learn what to do. But having all my drawings saved in one place makes it easy to look back for inspiration and to see how they are changing over time.
have been using SketchBook Express and a Magic Wand Stylus. The large rubber tip is not ideal for drawing but at least the lack of precision has produced some interesting results and adds a very human element of chance to a digital drawing.
And each time I sketch I find that I am trying, and learning, something new - I would love to learn to capture some of the awe and excitement in my youngest son when he picks up pens and makes marks on paper (and walls... and doors... and skin... and clothes!).