Day 7 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 7: Messy hair days.

Woohoo, I’ve made it 7 days already! Hope you are enjoying my daily illustrations.

This is basically what my hair looks like most days, and along with a good ‘comfy’ jumper, as illustrated. I do often think I’d like to one of those people who have perfect hair every day, where they actually have a style of some sort. But then I remember maybe I don’t quite care enough to do that every day, and anyway I have been told I suit my hair ‘messy’… which I’m still not sure is a compliment! What I am looking for is an easy way to have nice hair, that suits me. Often when I wear it down and straightened I just don’t think does much for me. Queue: My new heated rollers! Hello curly, bouncy, natural looking hair. Thanks Babyliss.

Messy hair -Holly Sharpe 72dpi

Holly
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See more of my work on Instagram here and Facebook. 
www.hollysharpe.com

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Day 6 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 6: Dancers in pencil and ink

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
– Osho

Dancing 2 -Holly Sharpe 72dpi

Following on from yesterday’s illustration (which you can see here), here is my second version of dancers.. let me know which one you prefer?

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”
– Susan Polis Schutz

Holly
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See more of my work on Instagram here and Facebook. 
www.hollysharpe.com

Day 5 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 5: Dancers in ink

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Last weekend I went out dancing for the first time in a while. Dancing to loud music with a whole crowd around you is so immersive it makes it easy to get a little lost for a while, in a good way.Dancing 1 Holly Sharpe 72dpi

I did loads of sketches for this illustration, which made the final stage of composing it in Photoshop quite hard work as there were way too many options, I probably could have created 10 more versions. But I stripped it right back and decided that simple was best. However, I did do one other version, which will be tomorrow’s illustration. I thought they were both quite fitting to post at the weekend when I’m sure lots of people will be out dancing. Or I hope so anyway.

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”
– Martha Graham

Holly
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Read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge here. 

Follow my work on Facebook, and Instagram 
www.hollysharpe.com

Day 4 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 4: My studio Orchid.

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them”
– Henri Matisse

 

Studio Orchid final -Holly Sharpe 72dpi with web

Illustration created with Parker ink, watercolour, pencil, and composed in Photoshop.

You can read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge HERE. 

Thanks for following my work!
Would love to hear if you are setting yourself any daily challenges?
Holly

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See more of my work on my Instagram HERE.
www.hollysharpe.com

 

Day 3 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

“These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.”

―Anton Chekhov, “A Day in the Country”

 

Day 3: Grown your own.

Today’s daily drawing is… tomatoes! Haha, random. Being a big plant lover, that currently lacks an actual garden, I have slowly built up a substantial collection of house plants and thrive on keeping them alive… some better than others I should add. And I have talked about wanting to grow my own vegetables for a while now, but my current situation doesn’t exactly lend itself well to that…. I don’t have a garden and I live in a top floor flat…and in Scotland, which doesn’t bode well for any fruit or vegetable that needs a lot of sunshine.

Grown your own -Holly Sharpe - 72dpi

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

So earlier this year I went ahead and decided to start with a couple of things anyway. Queue – my tomato plant! The one in question grows big tomatoes. It has taken months to grow. It is in my living room, in a sunny spot right by the window. In Scotland. And guess what, it worked! It grew tomatoes and, eventually, they turned red from green! I was seriously excited when I got to eat my first one. AND, it was WAY tastier than anything hanging about the supermarket. Growing plants and watching them grow is, for me anyway, satisfying in a very humble way that helps instil some sort of gratification and makes it slightly easier sometimes to put things in perspective and be proud of even the smallest of achievements especially when it feels like others things in your life aren’t quite going how you want them to. Even if you start with something small, I think it is a way to help yourself to slow down sometimes and take time to nurture something.

Dream goals = to be self sufficient and grow loads of fruit and vegetables!

WHY am I drawing tomatoes?? Read more HERE.

Holly,

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www.hollysharpe.com

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

– Lao Tzu

Day 1 of 30 days, 30 illustrations.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

As introduced in my previous post which you can read here, today is the first day of my 30 day challenge.

My first illustration, below, is inspired by something I have started doing recently. I can’t do this exactly, and nothing even close! But I have now been to a few classes doing trapeze and aerial silks and ropes. A friend first asked me if I wanted to go and I had been thinking recently that I wanted to try more new things, and especially physical exercise that was also fun…. The first class was really fun, but really quite scary being up high and doing something I have never done before. The hour flew by and I realised afterwards that I had been so transfixed by it all that I hadn’t been thinking about anything else. Which is how we should all be more often, in. the. moment. And when you are doing something new, or scary, it is actually much easier to stay in the present.

Day 1 final 72 dpi Holly Sharpe

Anyway, I have been going for a few weeks now, and it is gradually getting less scary and in some ways quite addictive as you want to keep getting better and trying the moves again. And the moves are so beautiful and elegant, even if you are just a beginner the tools and teaching allow you to move into shapes that look so enchanting.

I think it is really important to try and do things that scare you, try things you never thought you would. You never know what might happen, and we definitely underestimate what we are capable of. So I really hope this might inspire you to try something new and help build your confidence.

“He who has conquered his own coward spirit has conquered the whole outward world;” – Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown’s Schooldays

Illustration created using pencil and ink and edited digitally to add colour and create the final image above. You can see the original sketches on my Instagram and facebook.

Thanks for following my blog! Please leave a comment below if you have been doing something recently that has scared you!

Thanks again for reading,

Holly

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www.hollysharpe.com

Vintage Rose drawing

I thought I would share one of my recent time-lapse/ sped up videos of my drawing and painting process. ‘Vintage Rose II’ is one from a series I started recently which are all on newsprint paper. I wanted to use this paper as it creates a completely different feel from cartridge or watercolour paper, which is what I would usually work on, and the ink also reacts differently on this paper. Being from a printed textiles background the paper is the closest thing to fabric in a way, which is why I was drawn to using it! It is very fragile and light. I plan to do more of these videos, so please click the ‘subscribe’ button on my youtube channel to be notified when I upload new work and so that I know you want to see more! 😉


Thanks again for following and reading my blog!

Holly

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http://www.hollysharpe.com

 

Trust in YOU.

As per usual, it has been over a month since I last posted something on here. I have actually drafted a few posts, but some I am still working on, and others the timing doesn’t feel quite right, yet… I have had some intense creating time recently – which involved painting for long hours to create some new work for Breeze gallery here in Scotland. It had probably been a few months since I had painted that intensely, and it really felt like it was needed. It is such an amazing feeling to let something out that has been inside of you, and sometimes weighing you down, the whole process is quite cathartic. However, like with most creative things, and with most things that are worth doing, it also comes with some element of struggle. Struggle to not over think what you are doing, and why, trying to not question your work too much, and trying to come up against and cross this weird threshold that seems to hold you back from finishing anything at times. Thankfully I was under a nice amount of pressure – ie not too much, but it was still there – which meant I knew I had to finish them, rather than leaving them in this strange limbo where it’s as if by leaving them there you have some excuse as to why they ‘don’t work’. Maybe to some of you that made no sense at all, but I am hoping some of you creatives out there, from all creative disciplines, can relate to what I am talking about, even if I didn’t word it in the best way.

Since then, it now leaves me with a mass catch up operation. Yawn. This involves emails, making my new website (which has been ‘in progress’ for so long now it is starting to hurt >< ) , and the tedium that is photoshopping what feels like endless amounts of scans/ files so that they are ready for web/ printing. I have been wondering if I need to do a class in photoshop as it is quite possible there is a quicker way to do what I am doing… and I know I have a bad track record for inadvertently making things harder for myself. Anyway, my, longwinded, point is that because I haven’t been doing anything that creative for the last week or so, I am once again flooded, with a running commentary of words all jumbled up from everything I have thought/ learnt/ listened to / conversed about of late. It’s like I have too many to make any sense of. And they often hit me at times when I can’t actually put them down on paper, like when I am driving and listening to music, or if I am out for a walk by myself, or exercising, basically at times when my mind is allowed to wander. Which is a bit weird because I am by no means a writer, but I think perhaps because I don’t currently have a creative outlet whilst I am doing all the tedious stuff, that therefore I have to explode my creative stuff in some other way, and it has started to come out in words. Maybe because in some ways it is more instant, that’s what it feels like for me anyway, like I can off load a tonne of stuff quite quickly and it is like a weight has been lifted, or like a sense of having achieved something.

So I did start to write this to explain why I finally managed to unearth some sense and some direction to be able to hone in on a topic amongst all the other noise/ commentary in my head. And here it begins, the thing I actually sat down to write about(!) :

I came across this article the other day, an interview with none other than THE real life Erin Brockovich. Which many of you may know because of the film in 2000 where Julia Roberts played her. And if I am honest, is still one of my favourite films. It inspires me, and I love the whole idea of someone fighting against something that many would deem impossible/ insurmountable. (And even more so because the someone in this case is a woman!! *and I think women are amazing*) I also feel this is an apt moment to quote from another brilliant (!) film, also based on a true story, that I re-watched recently, ‘The Imitation Game’

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine”.

The quote below however, was the main catapult to put my thoughts into words. Mainly because, upon reflection, this concept was the main thing I learnt for myself last year, 2015. There were a few instances with my work, and decisions I had to make/ risks I chose to take in relation to my work, but also in my personal life (needless to say there is a very grey line where one starts and the other ends) where it was pointed out to me, mainly by a few of my nearest and dearest friends that I need to believe in my own decisions more, and trust in them more. I was actually taken aback when it was first said to me, even the language I was using was almost like justifying a decision in some way. I hadn’t even realised this was something I did. It was like my default, to think that someone else always knows better than me. It was also one of my great yoga teachers that made a similar point, that with some of the biggest decisions in our lives, we often turn to someone else for help, he used the example of buying a house, we entrust the help of a solicitor etc – and pay them a lot of money to do so! Now, I am not sure it is even possible to sell or buy a property without that in the UK, but if you think about it, it is a bit crazy, especially when I know many people who are so frustrated by the incapabilities of their solicitors in these instances, missing details at the start and quite basic things which then hold up the whole process, and yet we still pay them thousands to do this for us.

Erin B quote

Of course I accept and acknowledge that sometimes someone else does know best, sometimes I need someone that has the experience, or expertise or knowledge that I simply don’t have, and I hope I will be humble enough to take their advice. However I also know I still need to practice, as I’m sure many others do, to listen to myself and look back on how well I have managed so far, in a lot of aspects in my life, and usually through my own decisions, and hard work etc. So why would I stop trusting that sometimes I do know best? I can’t help but think that we live in a society where it is commonplace to assume that you do not know best and to often pay someone else or look to someone else for the answer. Perhaps we wouldn’t have many of the problems we do if more people took charge of their lives and situations, and spoke up about certain things. Rather than think just because you are young, or old, or because you don’t have this or that, or you don’t have a certain qualification, does that mean your opinion, thoughts or ideas don’t matter?

One last quote, on that note, that I saw on Instagram, so not sure who even said it, but it made me laugh, and is also very true! :

“Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too young to accomplish something.
A baby shark is still a fucking shark”

-Holly

x

http://www.hollysharpe.com
@hollysharpe

 

A little corner of my world

studio corner

Above is a recent photo of one little corner of my studio, and of course my world (!) when I stayed late to keep painting. – see more pics on my Instagram.

I just wanted to post a quick update on what I have been doing recently as I feel like, once again, time is somewhat escaping me and I haven’t been able to keep up to date with everything that I wanted to (what’s new). But I think it is important to keep swimming, and flow with it, rather than resist what is trying to happen to you and instead embrace what is coming your way. Not always so easy to do, especially when we get caught up and fixated on something that we are so desperate to make happen.

Storm - H.Sharpe Close up of ‘Storm’

The main focus I have been working on for most of this year, is creating new watercolour paintings for Breeze gallery here in Scotland (see above image). I feel really lucky to have a very supportive outlet to create new originals for. They really believe in me and my work, and of course that is always encouraging. So in some ways it feels like my illustration work is taking a slight side step, but then I like to think that it isn’t always necessary to define this work or that work and decide what you do and what you don’t do, as a creative person this scope is so broad and as much as it is good to have a focus, I do not want to be bound by any title or genre. And I know I am not alone in feeling like this, for anyone else that is very creative and has many ideas and directions all at the same time, it is sometimes a struggle to ‘manage’ it all and find the ‘right’ direction. So as I said before, I try to go with it and embrace what is working, and what I most enjoy doing at that moment in time, and this usually helps to produce the best work, if it feels right, and isn’t forced. So for me, right now, I am painting, a lot. And drawing. I draw before I paint which is part of my process. As well as trying to create lots of new colourful, sunshine-filled watercolours, I have also been busy with a few private commissions for individuals, all very special and unique in themselves. And then there is all the background stuff, seeing to my online shop, trying to create a new website (my on-going saga) , and constantly trying to make my studio a bit more organised and less messy…. but then I start drawing/ painting and it all gets a bit crazy again! There is probably lots more that I can’t think of right now… but that is my brief work update for now!  – oh and stay tuned on the new website… I *hope*

-Holly
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http://www.hollysharpe.com

BE. inspired.

Sky - Holly Sharpe
‘Sky’ (sold)

Spring is here, and along with that so much light, everywhere, and a strong sense of hope. That is how I feel anyway. I love this time of year, when it feels like anything is possible and each day is getting longer – in Scotland anyway… Hopefully these words are uplifting in some way…. I wrote them on my phone on the bus after meeting a friend who was full of energy and enthusiasm and it made me light up and want to share it.

Let yourself be inspired.
Seek inspiration.
It is everywhere.
Don’t see it? Think your life is boring and the same every day?
That is your mind and the way it has been conditioned to think that life is dull, boring, and unexciting.
Open your eyes. Open your heart, and let in the thing that is always there, it longs to break free and escape the mundane.
All you have to do is change your perspective and see things differently. It all comes from your mind.
Everything you look at will change, if you change your mind.
Walk on the other side of the road.
Drive a different way to work.
Smile at someone.
Start a conversation with someone you wouldn’t usually.
Smile.
Speak like you mean it.
Act like you mean it.
Do everything with more awareness.
If you are more aware you will start to notice even small glimpses of hope, and little opportunities that you don’t even realise you usually walk straight by because you decided that you are stuck and that you don’t deserve better.
If you do even small things and start to change your mind, your heart, and see things differently, I promise you your world will start to open up. Things and people will come your way, if you believe it is possible for things to change, they will.

This is all a practice. It is about breaking long term bad mental habits, like being negative and not seeing opportunities but rather always feeling stuck and like there is no option. And instead to practice building up good mental habits, like choosing to be happy, trying to think with clarity and remember that there is always a solution. Whatever situation you feel trapped in, there will be a solution. It might not be an easy one, but, if you don’t scale the mountain, you won’t see the view….

-Holly
x

http://www.hollysharpe.com
Image from my Instagram