15 Minute Art: The First Week

Boy, time just seems to be flying by lately! I thought I should probably post a brief update about my fledgling experiment to create a bit of artwork everyday.


:15 Minute Art, week 1


So, here’s a recap. Day #1 was the squirrel sketch I already posted.

On Day #2, I found an old drawing tool — a plastic template for drawing common geometric shapes (emblazoned with the catchy name “The Geometer”!). I thought it might be interesting to create a wildlife image entirely from this preset selection of ovals, triangles, squares and whatnot. Not sure if it translates or not, but the finished drawing is supposed to be a juvenile Great Horned Owl among some Eucalyptus’ leaves and flowers… in a very abstract way, of course.

Then, on Day #3, I totally forgot to do anything. Yup! That’s how crazy my head has been lately… three days in and I just completely spaced out. (In my defense, my husband returned home from Australia early that morning, then we went to a late breakfast, then I went out with my sisters-in-law to pick out bridesmaid dresses, then I came home, changed, and went back out again to have dinner with some relatives at my parent’s house. So… by the time I got home and finished putting up this blog post, I think my brain had just about had it for the day.)

Day #4 was a simple feather. I probably like this one the best.

Days #5 and #6 had a botanical theme. First a grape leaf and a few vines. Then, some lupine leaves, stems and flowers.

Finally, today, I decided to just let my mind wander for #7. Perhaps not the best idea! This started out as a stink bug (Family:Pentatomidae), but mutated into some sort of insect ghost rising up from a small collection vial. Hah! Don’t ask me!! It certainly wasn’t what I set out to draw… it just sort of happened along the way.

The same friend who inspired this project in the first place asked me the other day how it was “going”. I wasn’t really sure what to say. Truthfully, it hasn’t felt like as much fun as I had hoped it might be. It’s felt a bit more like homework than play. After sitting for awhile and thinking about why that might be, I’ve got a few thoughts. First, I’m still really hung up on making something GOOD. (I put the word in all caps so that it feels as weighty here on the page as it does in my head.) The adult in me simply hasn’t stepped aside yet and let the kid come out to really let loose and explore. Embarrassingly, I even found myself cheating a little bit… A couple times, if I started a drawing and didn’t like where it was headed, I’d quickly turn to a fresh page and say — “OK, the fifteen minutes actually starts… NOW!”  I know there was no rule against doing that per se, but it goes against the notion of just accepting whatever comes in the moment and going with it. Also, I think it would have been better to start with a medium that is less constricting than a ballpoint pen. Charcoal? Watercolors? Oils? Clay? Finger paints? I’m not sure yet… but something with color and something that lets me get a little messy and go a bit more crazy if I want.

I have to keep reminding myself that the purpose of all of this was to reconnect with my childhood self. Fewer hang-ups. Fewer preconceived expectations. More joy. Much much more joy. I figure if I can just get to that place, the GOOD stuff will follow. I’ll share another update in a week or so….

Harsi / June 22, 2011 / artwork


  1. Chris - June 23, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

    Hey Harsi! I like these. Guess which one is my favorite? I’m sorry to hear that you havn’t been having as much fun with it as you would have liked though. Reconnecting with your inner child is definitely a tough task. When I try to think about what the main difference is, I think what it comes down to is that as a child, it doesn’t matter what other people think. It’s more carefree. I think as adults, there is a certain conscientiousness that gets in the way of us reaching this state. I think the trick is to remember that its not about achieving perfection. Maybe the final result isn’t as important as the process, about finding a way to express yourself through the medium. You know? I hope I’m making sense. I just hope that you find more fun with this project in the days to come 🙂

  2. Harsi - June 23, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

    Chris! Hope you’re surviving this unpleasant heat wave… ugh! I actually have no clue which one is your favorite… The bug? The plants? I’d be curious to know though! My meandering thoughts have been wandering the same way yours do… I think (at this stage anyway) this project really is so much more about PROCESS than OUTCOME. That actually makes me feel better because I am learning things about myself. Like when things feel like they’re flowing and when they feel unnatural. I’m looking forward to trying out some other materials to see if that loosens me up a bit. Thanks again for all your moral support, Chris. You’re the best!

  3. Chris - June 23, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    Oh, its definitely been summer weather, that’s for sure. No sign of it coolin’ down anytime soon either, unfortunately. Looks like we’ll have to put up with it atleast a little longer! Anyway, my favorite of these six… is, well, I think its a tie! Between the abstract owl and the plants. I like the realism of the plants and the surrealism of the owl. I couldn’t possibly pick between the two styles (well, I tried, but I failed).

  4. Harsi - June 23, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    Thanks for the input, Chris! (The little owl makes me smile too.) I know that if I want to keep enjoying the wildlife, it’s that time of year when you’ve just got to get your butt out of bed early before the sun is high in the sky. I’ll be working on doing that, though rising early often eludes me… 🙁

  5. Ben - June 24, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    Hey Harsi, These are very cool! Really loving the Great Horned Owl. Really reminds me of Charley Harper’s work (I assume you are familiar with it). If not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charley_Harper Yeah, I’d forget about GOOD. Nothin’ but trouble, right?! From the visual literacy and design courses I took these past few semesters, I CAN tell you that there is nothing more thrilling AND horrifying (at the same time) as a blank piece of paper (or a blank Illustrator file). You know? Curious to hear what comes of all those different materials and mediums you mentioned above. Maybe add mud to it? B

  6. Harsi - June 24, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    Mud! Ha! YES!!!! That would be wonderful. I don’t have the set-up for it and would need to befriend someone or take a class, but I get the sense that I would really love a ceramics course. But… in the meantime, I do know a resident 3-year-old who probably wouldn’t mind making a few classic, old-school mud pies with me. 🙂 Who better to help me get in touch with my inner-child, eh???? Though I am familiar with Charley Harper, I assure you I wasn’t consciously thinking of him while drawing. Must say I’m flattered though if you saw even a remote similarity between my work and his. Thank you. Yes, the blank screen or piece of paper can be quite intimidating now. And THAT is the heart of the problem!!! I don’t remember any of that trepidation when given a sheet of paper and a box of crayons as a kid. It was only when art began to be an “assignment” in school that it seemed to get hard. Yesterday, I decided to abandon any material I was even remotely familiar working with and found myself creating a mosaic with a bunch of expired calcium gel-caps that I was about to toss. No great art was produced, but it did feel more like spontaneous fun and creativity. 🙂


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