by Victoria Shewbrooks
For eight years I managed people, reports and deadlines. I work in a home care office by day, and in my sketchbook by night. Left brain by day/Right brain by night; or is it that black and white? There is so much analytical thinking, numbers and reasoning that goes on in my brain by day and then I try to switch to imagination, expression and creativity at night. Do you find yourself in the same situation? But can that barrier be broken down so the brain switch is easier? Creativity is involved for both. I work with a lead pencil at work and I work with a colored pencil at home. I guess they’re not so unrelated after all!
I used to be envious when I saw other artists spending most of their days on their art. But that characteristic doesn’t sit well with who I want to be. So I started taking inventory…of me.
I guess it was when I turned 60 and sat down and reviewed what my life has been so far, I began to see more blessings and accomplishments than what I thought. I began drawing at about the age of 4 or 5; accomplished detailed drawings of roses by the age of 8; was able to do decent portraits by age 13 and sold portraits by age 17. Graduated from a private art school of 3 years, which left me with a lifelong friendship/sistership with five wonderful women artists, who, guess what, are all also working full time jobs and maintaining their artistic endeavors around that as well. We continue to inspire each other to this day.
“It’s not always easy to switch gears from life’s daily chores, tasks and responsibilities. But if you’re a creative person, you’ll find that the thing you say you don’t have time for, is the very thing you need to relax and recharge you from the day’s toils.”
I continued on to do illustration and portraiture on a freelance basis for many and varied people and projects. And worked 12 years doing freelance illustration and photography for a publishing company. All this while holding down full-time work through the years. To my surprise, not a bad art career!
Roses and Autumn Harvest
I continue to be inspired by the beautiful art rich area that I live in, Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA. Home of the Impressionists and early illustrators of the 19th & 20th centuries. Ancient museums, modern art galleries and opportunities for plein-air outings. The home of the likes of artist Daniel Garber to the north of me, James A. Michener Art Museum to the east and the Wyeth family to the south. Finding time for the art experience comes in many forms, there is so much inspiration.
“There IS time for art! You were given that gift for a purpose. So immerse yourself in it and enjoy!”
It’s not always easy to switch gears from life’s daily chores, tasks and responsibilities. But if you’re a creative person, you’ll find that the thing you say you don’t have time for, is the very thing you need to relax and recharge you from the day’s toils. The color, if you will, flows out of your veins onto paper and the fulfillment of being an artist is accomplished. I usually keep a small basket in my living room & in my bedroom so that I can jot down artistic ideas or do a nice small colored pencil sketch in detail. In a small zip bag, I keep a few choice colored pencils; for me they are in the woodland nature spectrum. My kneaded eraser is in there, as well as my small pencil sharpener. Whether the TV is on or I have music playing in the background, this affords me the relaxation time I need at the end of the day and keeps me fresh in my artistic journey.
So what now? I have a book written with sketches laid out, just waiting to be colored in. I have portraits I want to do, and luscious flowers beckoning my name to make it to my drawing board. They will all come to fruition in time. Til then, my heart sings with the simple studies that fill my sketchbooks. It prepares me for the days I put pencil to a larger drawing paper and create my next masterpiece!
Whether it’s pencil to paper, reading the latest issue of Ann Kullberg’s COLOR Magazine or drawing books, or just drinking in the art influences in your town or other artists, there IS time for art! You were given that gift for a purpose. So immerse yourself in it and enjoy!
About Victoria Shewbrooks:
Victoria Shewbrooks is a self-taught artist, illustrator and nature photographer. Her focus in art is to share the beauty of creation, whether in nature, creature or human. She works in pencil and colored pencil and loves the results of a simple line on paper.