My Sketchbook Spotlight, The Early Days


ruth's early drawing copy.jpg

Yesterday I came across @doctorcrypto's "Sketchbook Spotlight: A place for sketches new and old". I've always loved seeing exhibits that also show the artist's sketchbooks so I like the idea of having a place to share some of the drawings that are evidence of those fresh preliminary moments in the creative process.

My first contribution to this series will be the earliest drawings I have from my childhood. I have very little of what I made as a kid but when I was moving I came across a few things.

First the above drawing is the oldest drawing I have seen from my childhood. It was a birthday present for my father and given the writing and sentence structure I imagine I was about 4-5yrs old.

Next are 2 watercolors below that I made in elementary school. I vaguely remember learning watercolor in art class and then when I got home from school hiding myself in my room to try it out on my own. I also remember feeling excited that maybe I could make something "good" if I could find a few moments of privacy without the biting criticisms of my older brother and sister but simultaneously terrified that I would find I had no talent at all. At the time I was of course operating under the incorrect assumption that if one is born with talent then one should sit down and create a masterpiece the first try! Took me a long time to rid myself of that wrong information.

IMG-0588 copy.jpg

IMG-0582 copy.jpg

I smile when I see my initials at the bottom of the painting above....maybe I'm playing with the idea of seeing myself as a "real" artist?

Stay tuned for more of these next week and please share yours as well!

Thanks Steemians for your support, friendship and all the ways you contribute to this platform. Keep up the good work.


In the spirit of this post, here is a photo of me at age 4

ruth playing in the sand.JPG

aka Ruth Frances Greenberg, I am a ceramic artist who makes mosaics, tile and all things clay from my home studio in rural Connecticut. I’m here on Steemit to offer my support and friendship to creatives, individuals and projects that I value and want to see more of in the world. The decentralized economy and blockchain technology are promising and I am very pleased to be a part of this exciting new revolution.
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I don't think I have anything that goes that far back. I'm sure my mom may have hung on to a few pieces of "art".

Those watercolors remind me of a certain mural in the pool cabana.

The first rule to becoming an artist is knowing that it takes practice and doesn't happen immediately. However, Those are pretty good watercolors for some of your first tries. :)


I like how you refer to the early stuff as "art" - I agree, it's a stretch to think of this stuff as art, but it's fun anyway :-)
Hahaha, cracks me up to think of these watercolors being a pre-cursor to the pool house mosaic! I do admit that I have always loved palm trees!

Fun sketchbook series Ben, thanks for the posting inspiration!


Also, I just have to say that FINALLY, FREAKING FINALLY this post put me over the edge into a 70 reputation!! I zoomed up to 68 quickly then getting to 69 took like 4 months and now I've had a 69 for about 18 months and I had begun to think it would never turn to 70, but this post did it. Whoohoooo!!!


Well, I've been at 64 and holding so, I guess it's all perspective ;) In fact until I read this comment I forgot that we are assigned a number :/

I wish I could find my old early sketches. When I was 4 I laboured over a sketch of a horse head (yes animals ALWAYS animals) and got mad as it wouldn't look like the picture. When my much older brother (university age) took it to his art prof she wouldn't believe a 4 year old drew it.

It wasn't until I was 5 and was in 'art class' that I learned that copying reality wasn't art, and I loved that first art class, pre school, sitting in a room with classical music records on and the teacher having us 'draw what we felt'.

Ever since I've tried to mingle what I see to what I feel and who knows if it's a success, but I know realizing that duality of what we perceive to what we feel has always stayed with me.


I love hearing this story about your horse drawing as a 4 year old! Copying can be a great exercise for sure but you're right, at some point we have to move past it in order to actually be creating. I have very sweet memories of my high school life drawing class listening to classical music and feeling the lines rather than trying to realistically draw the model. I think you do an exemplary job of mingling what you see and feel and it's one of the reasons your drawings/paintings/designs are so compelling! (you also have an experienced eye ;-)))


Oh yes, and your reputation DOES matter a lot! It basically shows our value. It's part of why our posts get seen and if someone comes to our blog for the first time, our reputation really makes a difference. 64 is very good for the time you've been here.


Ok and I just looked at my rep and it's only showing 69 on my blog but on, it shows as 70....go figure!

Very cool that you had some of your old work. Interesting thoughts on raw talent vs what can be developed.

Hey Ruth! Good to stop by and see what you are posting about. Your posts always make me smile. Something pure and genuine always shines through and I love it. When I go back to the states to visit my Dad, wometimes I take a peak in the box of stuff I have saved. A few of the things are from art class in elementary school. Feels like a life time ago, kind of makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up at this point. But that's just me.

I've been having a blast in Thailand since steemfest. Now I'm off to Bali tomorrow to finish the winter for the next couple months. Hope you are well. -Dan


Ah Thailand, Bali...sounds lovely :-)))

Yeah most of my old artwork makes me cringe actually which is partially why I'm choosing to share it - good for me to dispel any lingering creative shame from my childhood!


When it comes to artistic have come a long long way since 5 years old! Me, I still draw in stick figures! ;) Have a great day Ruth!

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Those are marvelous. I can see the early brilliance that would later become the you that is you. The watercolors remind me of your tiles of today.

I love seeing the old works of true artists. As you say, there may be some talent right out of the womb, but the idea of time spent and practice given is so very true. I think many potential artists of renown probably give up, as there is so much effort, practice and time to put in, to get from A to B. I often subscribed to what you describe above, "what, it can't be perfect in try 1 or 2...I'm off to play basketball". Not a recipe for high success. Having too many interests to focus doesn't help much either.

Though now I'm inspired to go through the old stuff from my Mom's things, and see if any of my 'artwork' is still present. It might be a bit less than stellar, but would be fun to put them on here. I DO know my clay pots and ashtrays went the way of the ashcan man. Large sigh. They were lumpy little dollops frozen in clay-borne time, but my parents still gave them high praise. Thanks be. Kudos to good parenting and encouraging the arts. No matter HOW lumpy. . Thanks for sharing your early works. Look forward to seeing more.


HAHAHA, yeah we all made those lumpy ashtrays back then didn't we!

I'm sure it would be fun to see your early artwork....I enjoy that stuff not because it's particularly good but just because it's fun to see the way those we know (or ourselves) made sense of the things we saw around us.

And btw, I had those moments of "eh, it's too much work, I'll go see my friend" all the way up until college when I found clay. Drawing and such was sort of fun but I didn't care about it more than anything else really and certainly less than hanging out with my friends!! Clay though, was the first thing that sucked me in and that I could give myself to. Anyway, thanks for reading and your always enjoyable comments :-)


I will try to find some of my early 'works'. Though I do have a whole computer of writings from 5-10 years ago, and they are quite different than what I write now. I should put those out too, under some other 'heading'. At times they were a bit wackier and more creative, but somewhat poorly written. Sort of a lumpy ashtray version of my present day, typing self. (Though still FAR from the throwing wheel of creative writing.) Yowza moment, I think that should be my title when I put these works out... "My Lumpy Ashtrays". Thanks for that.

I'm so glad you found your calling in clay. You do have quite the knack for it, that's for sure. And like your works, I always enjoy chatting with you on here as well, thanks for being a creative Steem-meister. Have a nice Monday.


I love it - My Lumpy Ashtrays!!!

Whoa you kept your child's drawings... and they're pretty cute and so are you as a wee lil kid =).

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Hi Ruth, unfortunately I seen your post too late but still I could not leave it without comment. That is wonderful post and thank you for including your childhood paintings, as every child we were dreaming about lonely island and sea side it is one of the favorite topic of children. I like that picture of your playing in sand, I bet you have lovely memory about that time:)

My hubby, finally could do the pictures of our tiles they are still stuck together and to the stones that would be placed into Iron cast, I hope you are able to see them. They are slightly yellowish I thought it is because they are old, or? Also I have another picture of our floor just when you enter, it is made of tiny tiles but I love the pattern :)




Thanks so much for your comment and for these photos - GORGEOUS tile in both, wowsa, and so different from each other in style!

Wow, better than the things I was drawing at that age. I've uploaded some of it to Steemit but most of it is not colored in like yours. Yeah, I love beaches.

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