#AtoZChallenge Art Sketching Through the Alphabet Reflections

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A word to the A2Z Team…

Before I get started, let me say one thing. Many people didn’t like that there was no linky and felt lost doing so in comments. I was right there with them but I did not allow that to get in the way. I did what I could and maintained a routine of visiting a few before or after me (if interested) and made sure to revisit all those who visited me. This kept me plenty busy.

Here’s a tip for the A2Z team, instead of one big linky like you’ve done for years until now, you may want to consider having a similar link up for each alphabet prompt with theme code key. I think this will help others to not only see who actually is playing along each day but it offers a clear idea to the players of what each blogger is blogging about in the challenge. This is myΒ suggestion to you and regardless of what you choose to do next year, I plan to join the fun. πŸ˜‰

My A to Z Reflections

It all began in February when I started thinking about the April challenge. At first, I thought I’d continue with last year’s theme on All Things Vintage but my heart just wasn’t into it and I began to second guess joining this round.Β  But, then just like that, an idea sparked my enthusiasm to make the journey through the alphabet with art sketching as my theme.

My plan

With my theme in mind, I began my illustrations immediately. I didn’t want my art sketches to appear like a drawing class. I’m neither qualified or skilled to do that sort of thing. I decided to share my finished inspired illustrations for each daily alpha-prompt offering reference sites or images for others. My artwork included people, animals, and things. Whatever moved me, I sketched it.

Sketching new pictures each day didn’t need any motivation, I became enthralled with my project completely all 26 letters in the alphabet before April 1st with images uploaded and posts created, an accomplishment I’m proudly achieved in my 4th year of the A to Z Challenge for the first time.

 

What I learned

Following the step-by-step instructions, I felt like a diamond in the rough and the potential I had only needed polishing. Why I couldn’t see this in me years ago is beyond me but I honestly believed it had everything to do with low self-esteem.Β  Luckily, DH brings out the best in me and over the years I’ve gone to that girl with no confidence to a girl who can go anything! Isn’t it amazing what you can do when you believe in yourself?

Future goals

Every day of the challenge I saw the possibilities of where my new art passion can lead.Β  One thing I hope to do is to finish a children’s story inspired by my late brother when he was a little boy and to complete the story with my illustrations.Β  I shelved the idea years ago because it needed pictures and I didn’t feel comfortable to draw them. Pushing myself to sketch for the A to Z Challenge gave me the confidence needed and I’m ready to step my game up.

 

Conclusion

I have plans to continue drawing and experimenting various techniques and mediums. The free resources available online to learn how to draw is amazing.Β  I will share the good and not-so-good with you.Β  This will be an experience we can share together because if it weren’t for you folks and DH then I don’t know if I’d be taking this bold step. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll see you in 2018 for the April A to Z Challenge! πŸ˜‰

Did you follow my month-long art sketching journey?Β  Any last suggestions for my next sketch project?

 

Leave your signature (include your theme, too) in comments for easy follow-up and I invite you to check out any or all of my A2Z Art Sketching Through the Alphabet posts:

  1. β€œA” for Angels
  2. β€œB” for Boys, little
  3. β€œC” is for Cows, Chicken & Chicks, and Big Cats
  4. β€œD” for Dog
  5. β€œE” is for Elephant, Eagle, & Elk
  6. β€œF” is for Fence, Fox, & Frog
  7. β€œG” is for Girls
  8. β€œH” is for Horses
  9. β€œI” is for Iris
  10. β€œJ” is for Jack & Jill
  11. β€œK” is for Kanga & Roo
  12. β€œL” is for Lighthouse
  13. “M” is for Mermaids
  14. “N” is for Nightingale
  15. “O” is for Owl
  16. “P” is for Princess & Prince
  17. “Q” is for Queen (Evil)
  18. “R” is for Rabbit & Roadrunner
  19. “S” is for Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
  20. “T” is for Treehouse
  21. “U” is for Unicorn
  22. “V” is for Violin & Victorian Women
  23. “W” is for Walking Dead & Waves
  24. “X” is for X-ray & Xena
  25. “Y” is for Yawn
  26. “Z” is for Zebras

 

 


I won’t leave you, heartbroken Kittens & Dawgs, you’ll find more of my artwork on Curious as a Cathy soon! πŸ˜‰Β  I hope to see you on the dance floor (theme: Singers/Mewsicians celebrating birthdays on this day) for Monday Mewsic Moves Me!

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47 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge Art Sketching Through the Alphabet Reflections

  1. Mary B

    Cathy

    I thoroughly enjoyed your sketches this year. I’m glad that you were able to find some inspiration to continue your hidden talent. I look forward to hearing more about your illustrated book when the time comes. Congrats on completing the challenge, and also congrats on having the posts all scheduled prior to April 1!

    ~Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle
    #AtoZChallenge 1970’s Billboard Hits

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Mary,

      It does my heart good to hear that you enjoyed my sketches. I honestly felt this was my best theme contribution to the A to Z Challenge. It was definitely the most personal experience given to the event. I look forward to growing my artist skills in the coming months and maybe next year I’ll continue with this series. Thank you for sharing the journey with me, dear friend!

      Reply
  2. Thomas Anderson

    Hi, Cathy!

    Happy Saturday, dear friend! I am pleased to join you as you bask in the afterglow of your very successful A To Z Challenge, a journey of discovery that boosted your confidence and gave you a mandate to further challenge yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed your drawing theme and was genuinely captivated by your artistic renderings.

    As you know, I did not participate in the A to Z because it does not fit the format of my blog and my “less is more” blogging philosophy. However I established my own set of rules regarding the Challenge. As I told you back in late March, I set up a triage system whereby I examined the list of bloggers in my circle and determined which participating A to Z bloggers were most worthy of my valuable time and effort based on their performance in the months leading up to the big event. Which blogger or bloggers were “walking their talk” and truly demonstrating what it means to be a devoted friend? I identified one person who belonged at the top of that list and pledged to be here for them and give them my very best every step of the way, from A to Z. That person was you, Cathy, and, as you well know, I kept my commitment to you. Moreover, you kept your commitment to me as well, and this is where most A to Z-ers fall down and why friendships often suffer or even end as a result of this annual blog event. My contention is this: If the A to Z keeps you too busy to reciprocate and visit the blogs of friends who are supporting you through the challenge, then you shouldn’t be doing the challenge. I don’t know how you did it, Cathy. I don’t know how you had time to compose all those great sketches between February when the theme inspiration came to you and the end of April. I don’t know how you had time to reply in a meaningful way to the comments left on your daily posts. Most of all, I don’t know how you found time to visit my blog all those many times during the month of April and leave long, satisfying, conversational comments, especially during the weeks I was saluting Margaret Schneider. You did all this even though you and DH both had health challenges going on and important behind the scenes family matters to deal with. My point is this. We could all come up with a long list of excuses explaining why we neglect our friends. However, instead of using excuses as a crutch, you stepped up your game and adopted the mindset of a champion. You came through with an outstanding A to Z exhibition and you came through for me in a big way. You gave me your best all month long and I will always remember that, Cathy. When the A to Z rolls around next year, you will once again be atop the leader board as the one person I will be sure to support every day throughout the challenge. Thank you very much for serving as a shining example of “the complete blogger.” Friends make time for friends… and you certainly did.

    Have a great weekend, dear friend Cathy!

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Tom,

      I’m sorry for the delayed response. I sorta get out of sequences sometimes where I began with the latest commenter which always trips me up. Anywho, I truly appreciate you putting me at the top of your A to Z bloggers list of sites to visit. I don’t mind telling you, I learned a great deal with how to handle visiting friends’ blogs through your example as well as some others who practice the same friendly follow-up method that creates and strengthens friendships in Blogosphere. Your praising words that you see the kindness or sweetness in the eyes of my subject meant a lot to me. This is what I was aiming for and am glad that you picked up on it. Your steady visits offered not only your support but encouragement to keep at it and that’s precisely what I plan to do. You give inspired me to sketch the Victorian women because you reminded me this is your darling wife’s favorite subject. There’s something special about the female form.

      I’m blessed to have you my circle of friends. Thanks for sharing in my Art Sketching Through the Alphabet experience, my dear friend! πŸ™‚

      Reply
      1. Thomas Anderson

        Hi again, Cathy!

        I just wanted you to know that I checked and found your reply and that I am very grateful to you for being the grade A friend that you are.

        Thank you very much for the kind words, dear Cathy!

        Reply
        1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

          Tom,

          The weekends kinda throw me off and I get a little confused when I have a pile up of comments to respond to but I learning how to pick my way through without missing one or at least I hope I don’t. πŸ™‚ Thanks for checking back with me, though. Have an awesome day, my friend!

          Reply
  3. Barbara In Caneyhead

    First of all, I love how you re-purposed your lighthouse sketch for this reflections post! Yours was a theme I saved to come back to after the challenge. Which I did this morning. I think, first of all, it takes courage to post artwork when you are still refining your craft and I applaud you for it! Secondly, for a more or less self taught artist I think you show talent and great potential. So many of your animal sketches were spot on! I believe from observation & local art shows that people and horses are two of the hardest subjects to master. That said, I see you well on your way to doing so! Kudos, Kitten!
    My Reflections post is up @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Barbara,

      What a glowing comment! *blush* You’re so kind. I really appreciate your kind words. I have learned more about drawing leading up to the challenge than I did in my two years of high school but I’m a firm believer that self-confidence is my greatest helper in my ability. I never believed in myself when I was younger but having a wonderful husband to open my eyes to what I can do is one of the greatest blessings in my life. Thank you for the encouraging words. I’m eager to see where things go from here!

      Reply
  4. Sharon Himsl

    It is amazing what we can do when we believe in ourselves. Congrats on finishing! I hope you complete the children’s book your brother started. You’ve already made an excellent start!

    Reply
  5. 15andmeowing

    I think you did an amazing job on the drawing all month. I agree about the main list, I missed that, but I still had fun. It looked like there was a lot less participation though with the lack of it. I still found new blogs I enjoy .

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Ellen,

      Yeah, I sorta got the same sense there were less participating this time. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing but you know what there’s no way I could visit the 1000+ bloggers in years past anyhow. I love the spirit of the A2Z concept done annually and it should be low-key but loads of fun! Thanks for hanging out with me every day in April, my friend!

      Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Karine,

      I’m happy that you found me. It’s a bit overwhelming to participate the first time in the A2Z challenge. I remember my first attempt didn’t go over too well and it took me a few years to give it a try again but then I did and now I’m hooked. πŸ™‚ Have a good day!

      Reply
  6. Claudia Willison| ImagesByCW

    I know two bloggers, who did the A-Z challenge and you are one of them. Congratulations not only for finishing, but doing so in style! I think it s awesome that you found your love for sketching or re-kindled it. The book project sounds wonderful, I wish I had a story in me to illustrate πŸ™‚
    You asked what crayons I used in my latest piece (actually a new one is up). They are water-soluble Caran d’Ache II. But I also used ‘real’ water color, acrylics, gesso, ink pens, gel pens and different papers πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Claudia,

      Thank you for sharing the info on the art supplies you used. I will check into the things you listed. I used watercolor pencils for the Mother’s Day card I created for my mom, which you can see in tomorrow’s post but I’m eager to try layering with color pencils. I found a nice video tutorial for sketching a realistic apple that I’m eager to give a try and when I do I will share my finished work. I appreciate the words of congrats on the A2Z finish and I really did have a good time testing my ability as an artist. I’m excited about my new writing project and I hope this week to print off my brother inspired children’s story to begin illustrations and rewrites. Thank you for dropping by and for your encouragement, my friend. I’m sure you have a story locked away, you just got to dig a little. Think about your favorite Christmas in Germany or a tale your grandparents’ passed to you. These are a great starting point to unleashing your imagination! πŸ˜€

      Reply
  7. Arlee Bird

    Cathy, you did a great job this year and had a loyal and sizable following. I think your approach to the A to Z this year was an inspiration to many. You boldly set out with your sketches and I think were the better for having done it.

    Congratulations! The Team will have a lot to mull over for next year and will keep your consideration in mind. I don’t think any one way will appease all, but a list that doesn’t need maintenance is probably one of the best ways to go.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Lee,

      I did manage to have a dozen or so faithful repeat visitors, including yourself who made this journey interesting. I’m so happy that I didn’t give room to doubt when I initially committed to my theme. I know my limitations and accept what I can or can’t do and by doing this I don’t have regrets. That’s the one thing I will look back on someday and say, I did the A to Z Challenge in 2017 sharing with the world my art sketches. I hope I was able to inspire others to believe in themselves to take the first step to pursuing something new. Life is too short.

      Moderating a linky is a headache and I know there’s the potential of spammers signing on but I’d say they are less likely than to sneak pass one’s commenting system, though. I believe most link-ups are genuine bloggers but you can put your mind at ease that no matter what y’all decide on doing I’m there to support you 110%. This challenge is about the spirit and fun. It shouldn’t be a worry or hassle for you and your co-hosts. Thank you for everything you do and continue to do throughout the year. You’re an amazing friend!

      Reply
  8. McGuffy's Reader

    Well done! Brava, my dear friend! I am really impressed by your sketches and courage in sharing them. I am always tentative in sharing of my poetry; I feel so vulnerable.

    I like your A-Z idea. I got a bit lost in trying to find certain genres, such as writing (poetry, short stories, prompts) and animal blogs. I did not have wide results, either. I will do it again, though.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Annie,

      Creative writing always makes me feel vulnerable, too. I think the reason for me is I lack confidence as a writer and think others won’t like it but I’m learning there is something about what we share with one another in Blogosphere has a unique way of touching others. If nothing more than the appreciation for having tried from other published/non-published authors. There is no other circle like bloggers who willing offer sincere encouragement to build one’s self-esteem in her pursuits, passions, and dreams. Thank you for sharing the journey with me, my friend!

      Reply
  9. Birgit

    I love doing what you sketched and am looking forward to more. I’m glad you felt inspiration and was just able to draw. I think that is a lovely book you want to write with your brother in Mind when writing it. I sad to hear you lost a brother so early for him and you..not fair at all. I’d love to see your draw about a dream you often have whether it is flying, being chased, an animal or whatever…no toilets though which seems to be a repeated dream of mine:)

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Birgit,

      It is sad that my brother is no longer with us and he died much too soon, just a couple months after his 40th birthday. He would’ve been 51 last month. He would be ecstatic to see that his three daughters have given him 7 grandkids: 5 boys & 2 girls. Sometimes I can still hear his voice. He’ll always be in my heart. πŸ™‚ Sketching a dream might be a good idea and one I haven’t thought about doing, so thanks for the suggestion. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Debbie D.

    I was following you all month and thoroughly enjoyed your sketches, Cathy. You definitely have that talent in you! πŸ™‚ Congratulations on completing the challenge so successfully! Thanks for your support, as well. Looking forward to more of your art work.

    Reply
  11. Sylvia van Bruggen

    I have visited you several times last month (not always commenting though) and I thoroughly enjoyed your sketches! Awesome you’ve made it to Z!

    Love your suggestion on the list by the way!

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Thank you, Sylvia! No worries with the no comments. Sometimes all you have time for is to pop in on a blogger friend to see what’s going on with the hopes of coming back. I just want folks to enjoy themselves and the rest will come. Have a good day!

      Reply
  12. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)

    I read your posts from time to time (I’d like to say 1/3 of the time but maybe it wasn’t 1/3). You more than met your personal challenges here. I hope the fuel from the challenge does enable you to reach your goal re your late brother’s story. I’ll be pulling for you, Cathy!

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Alana,

      I’m happy for your visits no matter how many 1 or 1000. I totally get how hectic the A to Z Challenge is, so please no worries on my part. I hope the fuel from this challenge gives me that extra boost to finish this children’s story, too. I hope to get going on it this week. Thank you for making time to visit and just remember you’re always welcome! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Sue,

      Thank you for popping in! I will certainly try to remember to always include a follow back link. I’m discovering that it’s not always easy for others to find you if you don’t leave a little breadcrumb for them. Have a great day!

      Reply
  13. lorigg

    I thoroughly enjoyed your art sketches during April. Your blog was one I tried to visit every day. It is one I expect to visit in the future. I wish you the best of luck on your book. I think it sounds like a wonderful tribute.

    Reply
  14. Josie Two Shoes

    You had an awesome theme for the A to Z which allowed you to express yourself in a new way, and you actually had all your posts ready and scheduled prior to April 1st… I’m impressed! I keep telling myself to do that and somehow it never happens, next year I really want to be prepared!

    I also thought about the possibility of doing a link-up for each day of the alphabet rather than having links in the comments, it would be a lot easier for most people, and I agree that theme categories would be helpful too!

    I’ll be back to check out all your awesome illustrations, once I get some domestic tasks accomplished this week! :-)) XOXO

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Josie,

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed my theme. I think enthusiasm was the driving force behind my success in getting all my posts done early. I just hope I can do the same thing next year but I’m not gonna hold my breath. LOL

      Reply
  15. lissa

    I think the a-z challenge motivates people, push them to do what they don’t dare to do, at least, it motivates me. I know I wouldn’t have come up with those posts ideas if I wasn’t doing the challenge. I’m glad you’ve taken the challenge and did what you wouldn’t normally do.

    ‘be bold!’ – I think that should be the motto of the a-z challenge – they should have one each year to motivate the participants. ‘be bold!’ seems to be everyone’s motto this year.

    congrats on finishing. & have a lovely day.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Lissa,

      The A to Z Challenge does instill a “be bold” mantra even if you don’t know it but I also try to maintain the “be bold” attitude all year round. We only have one life to live, so why not live it to the fullest? πŸ™‚

      Reply
  16. Nick Wilford

    Great to hear the Challenge gave you the push to pursue this dream. It definitely paid off because you have a great talent – there was so much character in your sketches. Illustrating a book inspired by your brother sounds like a beautiful idea, I hope we will hear more about that.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Nick,

      I started yesterday after many years working on my brother inspired children’s story again. Hopefully, today I can begin thinking about illustrations to go wit the content. Thank you for being a part of my art journey last month. Have a good day, my friend!

      Reply

Put a smile on my face, leave a comment! Have a purrfect day!