The last time I sketched/drew more than illustrative digital scribbles was late 2017. The reason isn’t important. What matters is that I’ve been worrying that I won’t be able to sketch/draw again. I wasn’t all that great at it to begin with. How could I magically improve during a protracted absence from the activity? One of the reasons I restarted this blog is because I’m going to paint again. The other reason is that I want to – need to – sketch/draw again, if only because I like making the marks.
But seeing others’ work has begun to freak me out.
CAN I DO THAT AGAIN?
WHAT IF I CAN’T?
So: this afternoon I did a small sketch. I like the fact that her face doesn’t look much like the reference. Instead, her face looks like most of the faces I used to do. That’s a good thing, I think. I also like the way her hair seems to tumble. I haven’t done well with hair so this was a nice surprise. Over all, I like the sketch.
But! Even though I adore making them, I don’t like my typical all-over-the-place marks. I aim wrong and then keep adding marks until I finally end up where I want to be but the result is messy, like a mouse with muddy feet skittered thru it. Example: what appears to be her ear is supposed to be her ear lobe with a dangly earring. Oops. On the other hand, lots of weirdly haphazard marks can turn into easy shading, not an awful thing. But in a couple of spots that tumbling hair does resemble sections of a human being’s large intestine. Not great.
Still, this lady with the lopsided hair looks like the people I used to do. She’s not worse and not better. Nearly four years’ absence doesn’t appear to have stopped me from sketching/drawing. It didn’t make me magically better at it, either.
(5B pencil on paper that has something on its other side)
Last post for the day: Several years ago I digitally combined cardboard, cut paper, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, and two photographs to create “The Secretary of Sleazy Corruption.” Even now the piece give me chills, especially the eyes. There’s a special kind of hell behind them.
Today I’m scheduled to get my 1st COVID shot. It was a last-minute opening, probably someone’s cancellation. Whatever caused it I’m grateful for the opportunity.
But I don’t do “last-minute” very well. Suddenly my day is upended and I’m spinning in a maelstrom of worry. What if this? What if that? What if the tech who pokes a hole in my arm sneezes at that particular moment and shreds an artery? What if there’s an earthquake and the sharp jabs my eye instead? What if…
::sigh:: It’ll be fine. I’ll be back here later, happy to be manufacturing new antibodies. See you then!
Re-starting this ancient blog was a dream. Now it’s reality. Here we are, a week in, and it’s paddling along nicely. But two weeks ago I was afraid to start the journey again. Dreams often fall to pieces when fear shows up. But we keep going, don’t we? Step by step we make progress and fear eventually falls behind.
Today I need to go to the supermarket and the post office. My dream is to return safely. Fear’s already plaguing me, though, sniping at that little dream. Assuming all goes well I’ll be back here in a few hours.
Thank you for being there, for doing what you do, and for helping me make this blog-dream come true.
“Who Were You When You Weren’t You?” is a small [unfinished] image that I made from two photographs, one acrylic abstract, one digital painting, tissue paper, and a scan of paper pulp made from old advertising circulars. For those who are wondering, my favorite way of “creating art” is to assemble a mishmash of disparate images and materials (such as paper, thread, yarn, cardboard) then put them into digital layers and PLAY. Using the software tools I paint, edit, mask, enlarge, shift, and blend the pixels until the combined image makes my eyes happy.
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”
This week is half over and I have to get back to work. I plan to paint and to work on a collage that will eventually be part of a tradigital piece. You can see details from both of them above. They don’t seem to have much in common, do they? Well, OK. Eyes! Both have eyes. Otherwise, the two activities aren’t very similar.
But that may be the point.
When I’m painting I “really” want to be working with mixed media (mostly paper) to make collages. When I’m snipping bits of paper I “really” want to be making gooey paint marks on canvas. Is that a failing? Or it is a natural extension of a curious mind? Or maybe it’s what happens when there’s surfeit of options but a dearth of self-control. Dunno.
What I do know is that I love all the grass, green or greener, or even crispy brown. It’s all good in its time.