Transformative Drawing


I’m not certain I can articulate this well… But there’s something about drawing one’s life which transforms that life. It’s as if by drawing something about your day, your world, your city or town, your home, your yard…you are viewing it through a different lens or filter. This idea came to me afresh as I’ve drawn and painted on these very gray days we’ve been having.

Gray days make me think of England, and when I think of England, I think of tea. My girls and I had a little tea party, something I love to do when I have the chance.


Gray days also make me think of walks on the moors. Where I get this I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s my reading of Bronte works that shapes this thought. But I look out our windows on these gray winter mornings and it’s enchanting…the dark, misty blue, with inky black trees.

I’m aware that sometimes my thoughts precede my drawings. And other times, the drawings precede the thoughts. But it all works together to transform an otherwise dull gray day to something evocative, romantic, enchanting, or just whimsical. Am I merely living in a fantasy world in my head and in my sketchbooks? I don’t think so. I think this is a necessary element to living fully, to drinking the juice from each and every day we’re given. To take the ordinary, the gray, the not-so-desirable and transform it in some way to extraordinary, vibrant, and delightful has got to be part of our lives.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it here again: My pens are the straws through which I drink the juice of life. Won’t you join me this year in drinking deeply of your life…gray days and all!

**Afterword:  Although this post was written and drawn a few days prior to my previous post, it occurs to me now that drawing has the ability to transform on many levels. It not only transforms your outlook, your view on life; it also can transform you, your thoughts, your questions, your frustrations. This is what my Drawing Your Life Mini Lessons are all about. As I work to get these in paper form, enjoy reading through them again. And I’d love to hear from you as you read them, how are they helpful, what do you glean from them? Thanks!

0 thoughts on “Transformative Drawing

  1. jrwilsondesign says:

    I so agree! Drawing is transformative. I love your line “My pens are the straws through which I drink the juice of life.” I think drawing and journaling helps your mind process and articulate one’s world more eloquently.

  2. danscanvas says:

    I love the way the colors mix in the snowy tree scene! A beautiful picture. I totally agree with you. What resonates with me is the idea of thoughts in the picture, and that sometimes they come first, sometimes after. I often see meaning in something I have done when the piece is nearly completer, and this further informs it.

  3. Simon Tyrrell says:

    Are revelation and illumination welcome additional words? The day may be grey, but it has the beauty inherent in it that just needs excavating – the artistic response doesn’t so much change the day, the artist’s touch (through their lens, as you say) serves to reveal, reflect and capture their insight … “For all to see” … Or something! Really like your work, and enjoy the explorations in your blog.

  4. Alex Tan says:

    Nice one Jennifer. I do agree that art heals…when I feel bad, it’s because I had ignored my sketchbook and stuck on video games, and when I do draw, I feel all better 🙂

    • jenpedwards says:

      I have a feeling video games is much like drawing in this way: you tell yourself you’re only going to do a little bit. Then it sucks you in and you find yourself there for quite a while! My son says this is true when he plays video games! Same for me with sketching. 🙂

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