I used to participate in 2 very active artist communities; one in Manhattan and one on Long Island. We created exhibiting opportunities, group critiques, professional support, studio access, and of course drawing and printmaking instruction. Locations Classes stick out in my mind as being most helpful in my art career, probably because it was tough and taught me discipline and all that. The great thing was after a little while it just became habit, and not something I had to consciously carve time for. It was a given that I would wake up early on Sunday, fill my gas tank, and carpool with other artists to our chosen destination. This routine lasted half a decade.
I resurrected this practice and hitched a ride to the botanical garden this Sunday. A fortunate beginning- the first sketch of the summer was encouraging, and I have lots of reference for a series I’m working on.
I spent my time at the aquatic garden to get a better sense of the lotus plant. I saw lots of tadpoles, frogs, dragonflies, goldfish, and ducks. Some curious garden visitors stopped to see what I was up to. One asked if I was an artist, so I said yes. (I mean yeah, why not?) Otherwise it was just me by myself. I don’t mind working alone, but there’s going to be a Sunday where I don’t FEEL like drawing, and no one is going to give me shit for skipping.
So, I’m going to pick some sites and put them on my calendar. I’m going to coordinate the logistics beforehand so when Saturday night rolls around, I’ll have my bag packed and ready to go. I’ll keep y’all posted, especially if you’ve realized you have the same hole in your life. And oh yeah, beginners are encouraged.