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2D and Me

Originally Published: 2022/04/04

I'm not easily intimidated, but put a sketchbook in front of me, and I freeze.

I don't know when for sure it started or why. As far back as I can remember, I have always felt this way about drawing or painting. Was it a parent-figure? Teacher? Who was it that told me that when I draw or paint it has to be realistic? How on earth did I get that internal dialog programmed? And of course, it didn't automatically flow out of my hand that way, so clearly, I can't draw. Or paint.

I learned about perspective in a middle school art class, and I remember that class being super influential over all, it was my first introduction to clay and wheel throwing. Perhaps this is where I developed my intense fear of 2D.

With this kind of programming, I was unable to not criticize every mark, feel a huge sense of inferiority. Nothing I made was ok, ever. Everything was bad, pathetic, ugly. Wow, that is really hard to write.

Whew. Now at the age of 49 on a medical leave from all things, I've been working on getting brave. Give myself permission to put whatever marks on the paper that I make, and let them be ok. Peonies are kicking my ass. Dandelions are pretty good. (!!) And now I'm starting to think about style. It's taken me years to figure that out in clay, but here I am hoping I can at least start treading down the path of learning what kind of style of drawing/painting that will be mine.

Media isn't even in the picture yet, but I see how its influence could really make a difference. I determined initially to work with water color brushes because the idea of a pencil is still too intimidating. A pencil instills a sense of definition, accuracy, in my brain (maybe too much math).

Watercolor and acrylics are fun, and my preferred media for 2D. I hope to take a workshop from the lovely Doug Turman again someday, maybe even this summer if we truly are post-pandemic. When I had that opportunity a few years ago, and it was a fabulous weekend. The paintings I made are at the top of this page along with a couple recent dandies.

Most importantly, I'm giving myself permission to paint whatever the hell I want, with no judgement from me. I've been posting the results on my Instagram page, I hope you'll take a look!

What is your experience with 2D? Were you encouraged, supported, or, like me, have some kind of warped internal dialog? Comment below!

Now. Go Paint!


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