Back in the swing…

Black Skimmer - Rynchops niger - Drawing by Terry Sohl

Colored pencil drawing of a Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger.

June of 2 years ago.  That’s the last time I’ve touched a pencil.  June 8th, to be exact.  I started a drawing of a Black Skimmer, a species I’d only seen a few times, and had never gotten a good photo of.  I thought I’d do a quick and dirty drawing for my website, so I started that evening. I got about halfway done before deciding to finish in the morning.

It was that next morning that I woke up feeling very achy, joints hurting, with my eyes stuck shut from being so dry.  Just like that, overnight, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Sjogren’s Syndrome.  All of my drawing equipment and my half-finished Black Skimmer drawing were put away in a drawer.  And there they lay forgotten for the next 2 years, 3 months, and 18 days.

No, “forgotten” isn’t the right word.  I occasionally remembered the drawing.  I occasionally thought about picking up a pencil and starting to draw again. But I couldn’t bring myself to do so.  Drawing, and this Black Skimmer image, were associated in my mind with the onset of Sjogren’s.  Every time I thought about starting to draw again, it brought me back to June 8th, 2013, and all the “fun” physical symptoms I’ve had since.  And thus the pencils sat for over 2 years.

This past weekend I picked them up again, and finished the drawing.  My biggest issue right now are my eyes.  Very dry, gets worse as the day goes on, which makes it hard sometimes for me to even want to keep them open, and also makes things blurrier and blurrier as the day progresses.  Not ideal for drawing, with either blurry eyes or closed eyes.  I think my drawing strategy will usually have to be doing it in the morning, or up to mid-afternoon at the latest, before my eyes start to get really bad for the day.

In any event, the pencils have been taken out of storage, the Black Skimmer has been completed (as has another drawing, which I’ll post later).

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