A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 4: Sketches of Maya

Sketching something or someone is a fascinating exercise. It is essentially practice but, at least for me, I still want to get it right the first time! Unfortunately, that rarely happens. But, when you think about it, in any form of practice it is virtually impossible to get it right the first time.

And so it went with my sketches of Maya Angelou. I have decided to make her the subject of my next painting. But I wanted to do some sketching of her first, get the ideas flowing, get familiar with the subject. I think I accomplished that.

So here, with a bit of fear and trembling, I present my practice. Each sketch is done with charcoal on paper. And for your inspiration (but mostly mine, truth be told!) I’ve interspersed the sketches with quotes from Maya. Enjoy.


Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. 

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. 


Everything in the universe has a rhythm; everything dances.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.


Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.

Let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good. 


The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination.

You cannot use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. 

I’m a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.