Friday, May 30, 2014

Sketching as a Way to De-Stress

This is a Mother's Day sketch, a little behind the time here but it's where I'm at in blogging through my sketchbook.

A few months ago we had to move my mom to a memory care facility. She has Lewy Body Dementia.  It's a difficult, dreadful disease. It's an incredible stressful time for both her and me.

I visit just about every day and it's emotional, difficult and stressful.  On Mother's Day we sat on the front porch of her new home. Powerless to change the way things are and feeling a sense of loss and grief, and even anger, frustration mixed with sadness made me pull out my sketchbook. Sketching is always a way for me to relieve my stress level. Sketching releases my mind to focus on the moment and to find something beautiful to draw.

There were butterfly kites hung along the front porch and some lovely dahlias in a planter, so they became my subject. Sketching on the porch caught the attention of people going in and out and they came over to see and that gave my mom and I a chance to visit and talk with other folks and that was a welcome relief.

It's amazing how making art always seems to bring people together.

Later that day I went with my daughter to the beach to sit and relax and try to find some peace of mind and heart. There were more kites, and dog walkers. At home that evening there was a red shouldered hawk soaring over our pond. Focusing on those things enough to sketch them brought balance to my day a sense of perspective that I would have otherwise missed. Having these in a sketchbook allows me to go back and re-visit and reflect on that day. I'm always so glad that I keep a sketchbook. I gain so much from the process that it's hard to imagine what I would do without one!


  1. Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your sketches. If I were a bit closer I would certainly try and take some of your workshops!
    I feel for you and your Mom. Hope you can all get through this stressful time together.

  2. I accidentally deleted this comment and I wanted to share it with all of you, and say Thanks to Marsha.

    Marsha has left a new comment on your post "Sketching as a Way to De-Stress":

    Difficult your sketches...thanks for sharing with us. Quick question, do you sketch first in pencil, or go directly to ink?

  3. And here's the answer to Marsha's question. I do both. With subjects I'm really comfortable with, like landscape, flowers etc. I go straight for pen. If it's something more challenging like architecture or people I use pencil first and then ink and watercolor.


Please leave a comment! It makes me Happy!