When I started my daily gratitude sketch-blog back in 2012, I never thought that I would be discussing it at a top UK art fair six years later. But here I am about to demonstrate the joys and benefits of keeping a positive gratitude sketch journal. The fact that I’m able to do this shows a shift in the focus of amateur art practice, moving away from art as a product and towards art as a process.
In my work as a teacher and helper for those who struggle as I do with anxiety and depression, I have been helping people to use this process as a form of mindfulness therapy. At Patchings, I will be using Derwent’s new Inktense Travel Pan set to show how mark making with sketch and colour can develop one of our greatest human resources – the imagination.
‘Measuring up’ as an artist is a very daunting experience. Artists are both a vulnerable and incredibly resilient breed. Vulnerable because when an artist sketches or paints a picture, they are inviting the judgment of others. Often the art doesn’t even make it to the page because the ‘inner judge’ and relentless critic of anxiety takes hold.
The artists strength, however, is in their ability to create something from nothing. They have learnt to use their innate resource of the imagination in a positive way. When we don’t have a creative outlet for the imagination, and this is coupled with an overload of stress or traumatic experiences, the imagination can cause us to worry. We imagine and recreate past hurts and experiences or future problems. What we don’t do is engage the imaginative part of our brains in the ‘here and now’. This is where mindfulness practice has found its place.
That was why I started my blog. I wanted to practice what I was preaching in my well-being groups. I wanted to stay positively focused on my present moment by using sketching as a way to be mindful, drawing three things I was grateful for at the end of each day. The practice which I have continued over the years has now become my own form of therapy and with it I have also grown both as an artist and as an individual.
I now travel with my sketchbook everywhere and since I love bright and bold colour but also want to keep my sketches light and free, I use the Inktense Travel Paint Pan as my go -to product for sketching quickly on the go. I draw with it and then mix any colour I need there and then with the handy waterbrush. Come and visit me at the Derwent stand at Patchings to see me in action!
Find out more about Beverley Haines:
Derwent is at Patchings from Thursday 12th July to Sunday 15th July. You can find us on stand M25. Our workshops from every hour from 11am – 4pm each day.
For more information on Patchings