So, How are you? What's gone well for you this week?
For me, it's been spending a couple of hours digital sketching every day. I'm using Concepts app on my android tablet and am enjoying it more and more as I get to know all the features. A few days ago I realised I could upload photos of papers I'd already drawn or painted on into the app to use as the basis of digital collages, and for backgrounds to draw over. This was an exciting revelation because it makes the digital drawings feel much more ‘mine'.
On Wednesday I was very grateful to visit a lovely old friend who was looking after a delightful Jack Russell puppy for the day. It's fair to say I became instantly smitten with this little doggy and she became the inspiration for drawing that day.
For the background I uploaded a charcoal drawing I did in the garden last year. The pup was drawn from an amalgamation of several different photos, and I added some transparent colour with watercolour ‘brushes’ in another layer. To let the plant stems in the underdrawing show through in places I used the eraser tool on some of the blue in the upper layer.
So, why gratitude…? According to Jay Shetty on Dr Rangan Chattergee's Feel Better Live More podcast, every day we have between 60,000 to 80,000 thousand thoughts, and a whopping 80% of those are negative! It’s an unfortunate throwback to the times when humans had to look out for scary threats like wild animals on the prowl. In day to day life, nowadays, this skill is largely unecessary but our brains haven't caught up with that. The legacy is our minds still naturally focus on the scary stuff and it can end up making us feel bloody awful. This becomes a problem for me sometimes. Maths isn't my strong point but I’m not sure I'm even capable of having 12000 positive thoughts in a single day - does anyone…really?! It's a goal to work towards….right!
Thankfully, all is not lost - you can train your brain to notice more beauty in the world. It takes deliberate effort but the time you put in will be massively rewarded.
One piece of advice from Jay Shetty was to place a post it note with the words “what are you grateful for" on the bedside table. He does this to take some control over the first and last thoughts of the day. I've taken that idea and run with it to create a little motivational postcard to hang beside the bed. I printed it out on glossy photo paper and put it in a frame and now when I wake it'll prompt me to think more positively.
Would you like a postcard sized copy of this gratitude reminder?
I've printed another copy to give away to one of my subscribers.
Leave a comment about what you're grateful for today.
If there's more than one comment I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner next Sunday.
Since most of this was written on my phone, while lying in a lukewarm bath at about midnight, I'm grateful I got it finished and had a good sleep in a warm bed last night. I'm also very grateful to you for reading.
What a lovely post. Glad you have had a good week! You have inspired me to explore the concepts app too - love what you are doing with it. I would love a postcard sized version of your print. What a good reminder! Today I am grateful for having a tidy house and having my windows up for a bit of fresh air.