A Reflective Moment

"A Reflective Moment" coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle hot-pressed paper, 356 gsm.

“A Reflective Moment” coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle hot-pressed paper, 356 gsm.

When I started to draw “A Reflective Moment” on October 15th, I was full of trepidation. My previous drawing on Velin BFK Rives had fallen through so my confidence was at an all-time low.  For this new drawing I was trying a paper for the first time called Arches Aquarelle (a hot-pressed watercolour paper).   I’m never good at trying new things so it is not surprising that I was out of my comfort zone.   Alarm bells were ringing and I had to stop myself from ripping up the drawing in a fit of pique – “It’ll never work out!” Fortunately a calm inner voice held steady and stopped me from wreaking havoc.

Surreptitiously as I worked, a small something started to make its presence felt; enjoyment.  ‘Perhaps this paper was going to be okay after all.  Perhaps I hadn’t forgotten how to draw.’  I started with the face and hair and before long they were looking acceptable.   Once I could see the direction the drawing was taking, I relaxed.  The tide of doubt went out, to be replaced by an incoming tide of optimism.

The drawing in its early stage.

The drawing in its early stage.

I called the drawing “A Reflective Moment” with Katsutomo-san’s introspective demeanour in mind. There are reflections throughout the drawing too; in the hair, obi and kimono as well as in the vertical panes of glass behind her.  In fact the reflection of part of my hat and arm are in the glass panes; you’d never know it was me but I know I’m there. (I had a blue shirt on.)

In the end, this time at least, I have triumphed over my doubts.  I have found a paper which suits me.  It is like acquiring a new friend.  I remember why I draw; for the sheer love of it.  When I misplaced that love recently, drawing seemed pointless, therefore I didn’t want to partake in it.  But I guided myself out of that empty place and here I am, back in a haven where creativity is possible.

Out of reflective moments come clarity of vision.

8 thoughts on “A Reflective Moment

  1. anna warren portfolio

    This really has worked beautifully. To you, this paper has restored confidence, to me the paper is irrelevant, it is the composition, the colour, light and shade, and of course the reflections that make this piece so good. It is the inner peace that it has given you though, that is what gives it a special quality.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Thanks, Anna. Yes, the paper has restored confidence. As to the source photo, that is a direct result of there not being TOO many photographers on the day. I was able to get better photos on this trip than the last one when there had been a sea of photographers – all with their limbs photo-bombing my views.

  2. occasionalartist

    I am so pleased you have found a paper you can work with and found your art mojo again. A beautiful work Julie and while I enjoy the serenity in the piece, my eyes are drawn to the grey kimono, it is subtly stunning. I don’t know how you got so much life into it but it is gorgeous. Karen

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Ahem – that kimono is supposed to be black, not grey. However, in truth, the colours look lighter on the screen than they do on the actual work. There are lots of blues and purples making up the tones as well as greys and blacks. Folds in material are favourites of mine.


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