How My Blog Has Enriched My Creative Path • by Jenni Horne
Keeping a Sketchbook
I’ve always been an avid sketchbook keeper. It’s not necessarily a collection of finished paintings to remove, frame, and sell, but rather a collection of my thoughts and ideas lightly drawn out. Most of the ideas are sketched in tiny horizontal or vertical boxes I call thumbnails. I also enjoy adding clippings, color chips, quotes, or other inspirations. It’s a gathering place for all the dreamy ideas I collect in my head. I do tend to work on several projects at once in different styles, mediums, and subjects. So my sketchbook is a way to keep those ideas organized and ready to go. If I happen to have a creative block, I can visit the book to inspire a new beginning. Since starting a blog however, I’ve noticed that I am sketching less. My blog over the past three years has become my sketchbook. It’s a place where not only do I post new creations, art teaching adventures, and family stories, but I also am slowly collecting new ideas and thoughts for future reference. It’s a melting pot of ideas with carefully chosen images. And best of all it’s there waiting for me to see it ... a photo taken of a flower may spark a new painting idea or color combination. Photos of my family may spark a new painting idea simply because of the joy that day brought. This joy is a constant and exudes through my work.
Sharing Ideas & Techniques
Blogging is a place where I feel safe to share this creative journey and enjoy the dialogue of others while on it. While it is only natural to isolate ourselves while we create, if we take a chance and blog about our ideas, dreams, and aspirations, we open our sketchbook up and allow others to join in and sketch with us. As an art teacher at heart I truly enjoy sharing ideas and techniques through this avenue. One of my favorite quotes is the proverb, “The joy you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.” My open sketchbook allows readers to see more than just a finished product. It allows readers an opportunity to know me as a person, then as an artist. As you turn the pages of the sketchbook, you find that my paintings of birds aren’t just birds anymore. They are an extension of me and who I am as an artist. The sweet innocence in my work serves as a reminder that life is supposed to be this inviting, this lovely. I’ve certainly made mistakes, and taking risks in art is necessary. Blogging about these failures as much as the successes is not only part of the process for me, but also hopefully a lesson to aid you in your own creative journey.
Blogging should be an enjoyable, fun part of the creative process. It should be viewed as a lightly drawn idea ready to emerge and take full form much like the drawings in a sketchbook. I think you can tell in my paintings that this comes quite naturally for me. The simple words in my paintings relate to audiences across the board.
Filling the Blank Pages
As I sit here in my studio and look around at the works in progress, my hope is that one day they will find themselves in a home that knows why it was made and knows the joy that was placed in every stitch and stroke. I wonder if van Gogh had kept a blog, would we as readers have been able to dialogue with him? Would he have been able to get past his loneliness, allowed us into his sketchbook, to see that many were right there with him … that he was not alone on his creative journey? I say he would have had an entire world of readers eager to celebrate a new brush stroke or new theme. There would have been so many generous readers offering words of kindness when needed. We are all on this journey together. You see as soon as you begin to share, open yourself up, and share the best part of yourself, you will guide readers onto a creative path, from which they never want to return. I look forward to continuing my blog journey, paving a new creative path with it, and hoping that you will join me in the sketchbook pages. There is a blank page just waiting to be filled by you.
To learn more about Jenni Horne, visit jennihorne.blogspot.com.