The beautiful water of the Adriatic Sea. Can't wait to get in!

Discipline helps. These days I am more inclined to slack on discipline--the kind for making art, writing, and learning new things. When it comes to spiritual discipline, though, I'm very strict to take in the right kind of thoughts, speak good words, study good scripture and teaching, and take in good spiritual food—the healing stream.

But today I will talk about more art-making. Yes, I'm working with skill development in art, which means that I am separating myself from the emotion of whether it's good or bad art—in my case, paintings and sketches—and just doing it.

Today I completed four sketches in 45 minutes. Maybe it's fast; maybe it's slow. And because I'm not studying under the strict tutelage of a regular art teacher, I have no idea. The person who came to me while sketching was a memory of a friend from school named Sally Carpenter. (Yes, I wrote her complete name, because maybe one day she will contact me.) As for drawing realistic images, I've seen few artists who could draw as well as she. I remember watching her draw in the bone structure of a hand, the metatarsals, the folds of the skin, and the realistic fingernails. I particularly liked the square shape of the finger nails. I was impressed then, and still am.

Many wonderful artists have touched my life, as if to encourage me to pursue and persevere in this craft. I remember this, so that if at times my confidence wanes, I think “Yes, I can do this.” Anyone can do this. Half of the lesson is to show up with a sketchpad and a pencil. The other half is to allow your mind (the critical, competitive part) to take a vacation to your favorite spot. In my case, that would be Portoroz, Slovenia... Whenever I ask for peace, I remember a special day with a special friend, walking along the shores of the Adriatic Sea at dusk. And then everything is alright again. My drawings start to flow on to the page, and I don't care if they don't look like the subjects. I'm less “hard” on myself, and this feels good. And with this happier feeling, discipline for art-making will come easier and will help. Dearest wishes to you and yours!