Sometimes I feel unmotivated and don't draw or paint for several days - maybe a couple of weeks. Sometimes we artists stop doing our art for long stretches at a time.

When I say "artists" I mean anyone who draws, paints, etc. I don't think an artist has to be a selling, recognized artist to be one. But you do have to do it - not just think about it.

I think often about how, when our life inspires our art, our art inspires our life. I'm not talking about ART - you know like museum art or art fair art, I'm talking about personal expression - from-the-heart-nobody-else-has-to-see-it kind of art. The kind that keeps the pencil or brush moving without regard to a finished piece.

This is where our sketchbooks come in. Sketchbooks are a very important part of our creative selves. Sketchbooks are where we try things out - colors, compositions, techniques, but MORE than that, sketchbooks are where we see out life close-up (life inspires art etc.). No one else has to see it!

If we are thinking about a subject being too boring or too difficult, we must be thinking about the possibility of sketching or painting it. If we are thinking about it, doesn't this mean our creative self wants to be expressive?

In my sketchbooks, I have done many simple sketches and sketchy paintings with no plan of using them for "serious" paintings. These objects were just sketched because they were THERE.

How about dividing up a sketchbook page or two into two- inch squares labeled A through Z? Do a quick sketch each day of an object beginning with that day's letter - or just a fragment of the object. Use pencil, pen, paint, whatever.

Let's see - A is for apple. Too simple? I do love painting apple wedges, so maybe . . .