So often people think of talent as something they don't have, something mysterious and unobtainable, a thing you're either born with or not. So I'm introducing my new sketching blog, Vickie's Sketchbook, with a closer look at this thing we call talent.
The bird you see above is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, sketched a few months ago in 2009. I first encountered this bird ten years ago, in the year 2000. I remember it well, not because I was bird watcher who kept a list of sightings, but because I sketched it.
Not only was the bird new to me, but sketching birds was new to me, too. For whatever reason my desire to sketch, paint, draw and write was resurfacing, getting stronger. And this was one of those fun moments that brought my two loves together--nature and art. I had yet to take my first watercolor class and bird sketching was not something I practiced. And so you see my first crude attempt to capture this bird, sketching it from a field guide in a plain paper journal with a child's watercolor set.
Connecting with your desire to paint or sketch is only the beginning. Practice is what makes talent. And practice is a two-fold process--training your eyes to see and getting to know your medium. Practice over time allows you to relax and use your intuition. The piece you create then becomes both part of the world you see and part of you.