The new school year starts up in a couple of weeks. My hours and responsibilities are increasing slightly and among other things, I've been tasked with teaching a semester's worth of nature journaling to accompany the students' unit on sustainability and survival skills. After several years of teaching middle & high school art, I'm starting to zero in on certain techniques/mediums that I'd like to make my focus. There's so much that I love to do (and I am given total freedom to teach what I want) but a wide variety of classes also means that I am always swamped with prep work and lesson planning. Given my questionable energy level and up-in-the-air recovery from this latest surgery, I think it is prudent to concentrate on just a few areas this year. In my personal work, I've really been focusing on drawing and illustration so it feels right to also make that the focus of my teaching. I have an art show looming as well so I'll need to get back to the paint somehow but for now, I'm just enjoying drawing.
Given that I'm going to be teaching nature journaling very, very soon, it would be logical and certainly advisable that I be out gathering and documenting some organic objects in my sketchbook but I remain on "house arrest" because the incision has yet to close completely. (Yep...seven weeks post-op and still looking at an open wound in the arch of my foot...boo...hiss) I'm allowed to go out for appointments and hobble around the apartment but that's about it. The pain itself is pretty limiting anyway so wide-ranging outdoor excursions are too miserable to even contemplate. (I do have some completed nature journals from years ago that I can use as samples so I'm not terribly overwhelmed with the need to have something for students to reference. Whew!)
Happily, however, I am literally surrounded at home with my very favorite things to draw: art supplies! Art supplies are right within reach and most are easy enough to pile next to the couch, my de facto studio space for much of the last few weeks. For the sketchbook page shown in this post, I simply drew and painted the "couch art" supply kit I had assembled prior to surgery. The challenge with drawing familiar objects is making sure I draw what I actually see and not what I think I know!