Pen and Ink Drawing for Inktober – Secret Sanctuary (Flowing)

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Finding Time for Inktober

The challenge of sketching an ink drawing in a sketchbook every day for 30 days can be overwhelming when you already have a busy month. This year’s Inktober was no exception, but I’m glad I squeezed a few of the sketches in between other obligations. When drawing is at the front of your mind – when you’ve decided to prioritize it – reaching for your moleskine sketchbook is easier. Your sketchpad calls your name and reminds you to grab it in snippets of time when you’re sitting still; in between patrons at an art festival, on the couch with tea just before bedtime, on the phone with a friend.  Those 10-30 minute sessions work well for laying in the “bones” of a drawing so you can add ink to your sketch later. And then there are longer periods of time that are *perfect* for drawing – like Jury Duty. ??‍?

Intober word prompt: Flowing

Managing Time for Making Art

The phrase “I don’t have time” is bothersome.  It suggests that a schedule is dictated by a mystery taskmaster, and we have no say in the matter. I catch myself saying ‘I don’t have time’, and it stops me long enough to own it: ‘I haven’t made time’. Obligations can squeeze art,  but I *do* have time to sketch.   Do you?  If I can snag 30 minutes on the couch before bedtime, I can make a small drawing. I can sketch while I’m eating lunch. You’ve heard the phrase: When you really want something, you’ll find a way. When you don’t really want something, you’ll find an excuse. A simple time audit will reveal all sorts of opportunities to make art in your day. Put a system in place if you are floundering. Every year, a new darling in Time Management Systems sprouts up; Asana, the Pomodoro Technique, Trello, etc. The old standby planners still persist too: Franklin Covey, Daytimer and AtaGlance. Here’s an article in Forbes with a list of twenty quick Time Management tips. All that to say – managing the ebbing hours of each day has been a stressor for decades. How we find efficiencies to do the work that makes us happiest every day is solely and completely up to us, individually.

Inktober word prompt: Tranquil
Inktober word prompt: Poisonous (hooded pitohui)
Inktober word prompt: Roasted
Intober word prompt: Star
Inktober word prompt: Whale
Inktober word prompt: Chicken (on an envelope – outbound. Do you make mail art?)
Inktober word prompt: Angular
Inktober word prompt: Expensive
a pen and ink drawing of a woman holding a bowl of fruit
Inktober word prompt: Gift

Eye Candy for You

  • Textile artist Emily Jo Gibbs uses transparent layers of fabric and different colors of thread to paint images with textiles. Take a look at her gorgeous work in this article on Textile Artist.
Textile portrait made with sheer layers of fabric and hand stitched floss by Emily Jo Gibbs
  • If the structure of word prompt assignments to make art gets your art supplies moving, don’t despair that Inktober is finished till next year. Visit a few 30 day challenge ideas for art-making on Pinterest, like this one aimed at projects in a classroom. Your sketchbook is a classroom in your hands. 🙂

I hope you feel inspired to make art this season, and your sketchbooks and pens ans brushes and pencils are calling you to get started soon. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post!


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Art Quote

What bothers me about collecting art is that once a painting moves into my home, it is seen by relatively few people. Paintings are extroverts, even if their creators are not. They need to mingle with people and try to seduce them. My paintings are more akin to restive nuns in a convent, struggling against their narrow confinement.

a bathtub in a narrow room with a window on the back wall and plants by the sill
Secret Sanctuary 6×4 ink on paper

Art Collector, Billy Hunt

Click the kitty to visit this free online mini course – Six Tips to Paint More

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10 thoughts on “Pen and Ink Drawing for Inktober – Secret Sanctuary (Flowing)”

  1. I continue pushing to draw myself and now have more time to work on these than less time. It certainly does take a bit of determination. My latest effort; I garnered shipping paper from our move to Italy, took the best of the flat paper which is quite slick/hard surface, laid it out in my office studio to be ready for my impulsive creativity. I have begun sketches of a brass sailboat at different points of sail. Am pushing to do this, I want to get to the point where I naturally wander up to that 3rd floor studio and draw for an hour or two. My goal!

    1. Hi Skip, I’m sending good wishes, and a sturdy dose of lure to get you into that room, with art supplies in your hand. Sometimes, inspiration doesn’t come to find us – “naturally” – until we pursue it with structured, regular, dedicated brackets of making-time over a long period. Set a timer, and doodle if that’s all you’re inspired to do. Chase your natural inspiration, as regularly as you can. 🙂

  2. Amazing drawings! I have been working on a good size painting, and suddenly so much is going on with my family. Two openings in October, one in NYC, one here in Toronto. But I have been drawing. Not every day, but if I don’t paint for a day I feel “art guilty” and have to do something. Drawing is right there. Your gorgeous drawings and wise words always both delight and inspire me.


    1. Barbara, You are always so busy, and you still make art. Such a good role model! I’m excited to hear about your shows, and I look forward to the photos of your openings! Great buckets of luck finishing your large painting, and bravo on your intersticial drawing strategies! No art guilt! Go gettum, darlin’! XOXOX

  3. Thanks for this very inspiring post! Great advice about “making” time, and I needed the reminder, big-time. I always enjoy seeing your work and always learn something from your posts.

    1. Hi Gail, I’m glad the post resonated with you too. Each time I catch myself saying I don’t “have” time, I have to stop and wonder – Who is in charge here, anyway? 🙂 Thanks for your compliments, and happy art-making to you! Make time to make something!

  4. Nancy Quinlan

    Well you ended Inktober with a bang, Belinda. The drawing of the bathroom was my favourite. Any chance you could do the same image as a watercolour? Or even better a watercolour tutorial?? I know you would do a cracker job of it!
    I dropped the pencil and started ink drawing last year when I met a couple in a café, each facing different directions, sketching their views on 4×4 squares. Yes… I was eavesdropping and peeking! They were such inspiration.

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