Are artists lonely?

Mixed media journal page created in Jane Davenport's online class 'Frolicaholic'

I have a Drawing Buddy. We meet once a week and draw and drink lots of tea. (Often more tea than drawing). I am so glad that we do this because I realise how easily I can disappear from the world into art. It has made me wonder whether artists are destined to be rather lonely.

Artists are usually the quiet thinkers. Writing, painting and drawing are solitary pursuits. Most of the time this is good. A chance to escape the noisy rush of life, even if only for a little while.

But does this mean artists are lonely? I think there is a difference between loneliness and solitude. Solitude is a choice.

According to Leo Babauta, solitude is the number 1 habit of highly creative people. He cites both contemporary and historic examples of the artist's need for solitude.

Sarah Lewis also talks about the need for temporarily withdrawing from the world in order to create. Creation comes from our inner private domains. So often we are being told to get our work out where people can see it, being visible and vulnerable. It is easy to forget that there is a need to spend time alone with our thoughts and our art before this can happen. Sarah speaks beautifully about this here, if you have a few minutes to spare.

I have only fairly recently realised how much I need a bit of solitude. But I appreciate in equal measure the chance to meet up with those that share my new found passion for art. I love a Facebook online class group. And I always enjoy my weekly tea and art catch up with Drawing Buddy.

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Drawing Buddy and I have each purchased a copy of Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists.  Each week we pick a Lab to do together. I am finding this book to be a really handy resource. It contains 52 exercises (or labs) which are fairly quick to complete. 

 
One of the things Carla is really good at is making art fun and approachable. This book is no exception. That doesn't mean there aren't good solid skill building exercises included. I have enjoyed blind contour drawings, wrong-handed portraits and even learned a bit about some of the old masters like Miro and Modigliani.
 
I would recommend this book if you:
  • want a warm up activity to get going
  • feel stuck and in need of a bit of inspiration
  • have a few minutes to spare but are not sure what to draw