It's Inktober, and I've never been good at those daily challenges and have never done a full month of anything every day. I have enough work that is due for various occasions without making sketching homework. But this morning I went walking at Crosstown, and I decided to take an "Inktober break" in my day. The month gave me that mental nudge to take a break and sketch, and I realized that it I frame Inktober (or any challenge) for myself as permission to sketch (and a reminder that I'm happier when I do it) instead of homework, then that challenge framework is a total plus for me. It helps that I have a fun new pen and am also enjoying rediscovering the joy of line plus wash, using a brush pen with a dark grey ink to add tone.
Henry is turning into a great art dog and settled happily while I sketched from the 5th floor or so (I lose track of which level is which if I'm going up and down the stairs for exercise). Afterwards, and here's the down side of going to walk at Crosstown, I decided to treat myself to an iced chai. The pollution in the air is better than it has been, so I also treated myself to sitting outside without a mask for a while to sketch and drink my chai. It was a perfect fall day with a breeze and no humidity, but still warm enough to bask a little.
I used that same invitation mindset to sketch at 2am the other morning when I couldn't sleep and got back up for mint tea and toast (my pavlovian craving when I'm awake through the dark hours of the night). Henry had come downstairs with me and curled up on the couch looking adorable.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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