The Art of SLOW

portrait (copy)

Art by Kath Unsworth


That’s me……

The Illustration Friday topic for the week is the word SLOW.

This image I created today was a slow-moving cow with a heavy load. The picture itself took me three and half hours to complete. It felt very slow. Capturing the highlights took some time.

I guess I am an expert at going slow. If there was an award for the longest time creating a picture book. I would win hands down. November is a time I look back to see how far I have come. Oh dear, I have not come as far as I would have liked. LIFE DOES GET IN THE WAY of OUR VISIONS. This year, when I started selling my art at a local craft gallery, everything else got put to the side. My word for the year was Productivity. I know I have been productive making lots of art. BUT the picture book characters frown at me and say…. “Hey don’t forget about us, please colour us in!”

I suppose I could look at it this way.

Good art takes time.

I have the skill of going slow, down to a fine art.

Every picture I draw helps me sharpen my skills. I have gone over the illustrations at least three times each.  I’m confident after a year of experimenting with movement, viewpoint, different textures and bright colours that my characters will eventually shine.

Slow is not a bad word. Living in the countryside, is very slow. I’m liking it. My younger city-dwelling self would have run a mile from the words slow-country-living. The fifty year old me enjoys the fact I have no neighbours, just cows to talk to. Cows are slow most of the time, unless they see the truck loaded up with grain. Then you get to see some funky cow moves for sure.

No, I will not rush it, I will be slow and it will take as long as it takes.

I am thankful for all the fun art I have created this year and connecting with so many wonderful people out there. The journey continues.

Are you a machine at finishing your projects or are you a slow poke like me?

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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86 Responses to The Art of SLOW

  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful creation, Kath, It aligns well with a recent post of mine that speaks to slowing down/pausing/taking time for ourselves. Very much a slow poke here. 🙂

  2. Well, I am a Taurean, so that captures me down to a ‘T’, ha! Mama cow is beautiful, and three hours to create that, to me, doesn’t sound long at all.

  3. leamuse says:

    Kath, perhaps it felt slow as you were in spirit for the work? I am so impressed. The cow looks so serene. Perfect!

    • Lea, thanks its the layers, when you start layering it can look second rate if you don’t get the shadow and light right, but I am discovering if I keep building in the shadows it evolves. It is a little bit like writing, where you start with the rough draft and shape it until it shines.

  4. I love slow moving Mama. We could all learn a thing or two from their pace in life. Glad you feel at ease with taking in the rhythm of the countryside. It always sounds so beautiful! Thanks Kath.

    • Karen if I did not move here Im not sure if my art would have returned to me. Every day there is something new to photograph and I am lucky my husband has a great eye for detail as the reference photo is beautiful on it’s own. Thanks for the kind comment.

  5. Audrey Chin says:

    I guess 15 years writing a book puts me in your camp Kath;)

  6. Slow sounds good to me 🙂

  7. A slow country life sounds pretty good to me. I think it bodes well for you, just look at your magnificent creations! You’re so talented!

    • Jill I am lucky to have a husband who takes amazing photo’s that inspire me to draw. Thank you for stopping by, I need to catch up on my blog reading and am sure to see you soon over at your place. I could imagine your inbox would be overloaded like mine is?

  8. annepeterson says:

    Kath, She’s beautiful. And three hours is not long at all for what you produced. Art comes when it does. I was asked what I prefer writing prose or poetry. The poetry comes easily, just flows, but the prose writing takes longer as I work on it again and again. So glad the value of the piece is not determined by the amount of time it takes. Just that we complete it. I think your book is going to be so good with all these pictures you’re creating.

  9. Letizia says:

    That cow is so lovely. Slow is good – think slow food, slow reading – so slow art works too, right? Gives the creative powers time.

    • Letizia I seem to be very slow at reading lately and all the books have small font size or I think its just me. Glasses on and Im ready to read. Love the portrait of you and your dog. Thanks for your consistent support I do appreciate those who drop by and make a comment.

      • Letizia says:

        My own reading has been quite slow lately despite enjoying my books. It’s getting colder here in the US so that has been my excuse (a sort of mental hibernation?). I always enjoy your posts and reading your reflections on life.

  10. jkgphotos says:

    Slow and easy get the job done! Again, well done Kath! I love your art work 😊!

  11. I can be a machine or a slowpoke, depends on the project. Creative things just take as long they take though, sometimes they come in a whirlwind, other times in their sweet own time!
    Diana xo

  12. Hi Kath, I think I would use another “s” word – serene – to describe you and your artwork. If I were you, I wouldn’t change a thing. Joanne 🙂

    • Joanne I appreciate that and all the shares you do from my FB page. Im looking forward to reading your book, its next on my kindle pile. So when I am finished another friends book. You will be my next stop, can’t wait.

  13. Love the cow…of course! I’m learning to slow down, because I really do prefer to move at a slower pace to enjoy myself. So much of my rushing mentality has been brought on by the workforce over the years. I’m sure most people feel the same way. Moving slow isn’t usually allowed at work. 🙂

    But I do have control over my creative hours and I’m taking my time with starting a new novel. I have the idea blossoming, but I’m not rushing anything with a deadline.

    • Britt, you are amazing and the yoga would also give you a strong foundation for a peaceful existence. So many talents and I admire you and your writing. My kindle pile of books is pretty high at the moment but you are on my wish list of Authors to read.

  14. timelesslady says:

    Great cow…also enjoyed checking out the link you so thoughtfully provided to Illustration Friday. Thanks!

  15. annepeterson says:

    How big is your image Kath? Jess was wondering.

    • This one of the cow is only small it is about 20cm x15cm image size, a standard size I sell in the gallery, most people are travelling through from far away places, even from overseas. So I keep them small and easy to pack in your suitcase Anne. My pics for story are larger around 30x24cm landscape. I think painting is quicker because you can add the white later. With pencils I need to leave all the white areas and build around them.

  16. I fear we could all learn something from the cow. Slow, steady, got her priorities right.

  17. As you say Kath, good art takes time and yours is always worth waiting for! Xx 😊

  18. I have closure needs, but I’m learning and working on patience. I agree, good art takes time. 🙂
    Lovely cow pic!

  19. zambianlady says:

    If you say 3.5 hours is long to produce such a beautiful and detailed picture, then you must be a very good artist.
    I do suppose that most people prefer a quieter slower life as they get older.

    • Thats me at fifty the quiet life is grand. I spent my youth in the inner cities of London and Sydney and would never change that. The picture is only small so it should have been quicker to finish. Thanks for stopping by.

  20. Slow is not a bad word, Kath, especially when it comes to creating art. I look forward to the end of Nanowrimo this weekend so I can return to a slower, more relaxed pace, which I do love.

    Your cow is gorgeous!!!

    Jennifer x

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