Tears are everywhere,
soundless questions revealing
My little sketchbook “in the news” was one of the spurs to create this blog. I started drawing and I wanted to show Nina. She wanted to show me what she was doing. We both wanted motivation to do more. Emailing was a clumsy way to do all this. So I thought: we could share a blog to exchange art, comments, ideas.
But why did I finally pick up a pencil and start drawing regularly again? We had certainly been talking about it for some time.
My friend Dee gave me a beautiful box of pencils for my birthday.
I looked at them for a few months. They WERE beautiful.
Then I noticed a photo of hands in the newspaper. I’ve always liked to use newspaper photos as art sources. I love to draw hands. I found an unused sketchbook, wrote “in the news 2014” on the first page, opened the lovely pencil box, and began. Inspired by the article that went with the photo and the haikus I had been reading, I wrote a haiku too.
hold enhanced vision
I reach for mechanical eyes
I see you seeing
This is my 37th drawing.
Thanks to the journalists and photographers of The New York Times, and to the Times itself for still printing those grainy newsprint photos that inspire me. Thanks to Dee for the gift of pencils that came with the implied assumption I would put them to good use. I wouldn’t be posting at all if it weren’t for Nina. And to those reading this, another motivation to keep working. Thanks everyone!
So last week I bought some flowers and got out the paper, paint, brushes, water. I have to admit I felt pretty lost. One try, two, three. Above is the third, most abstract, result. After finishing I was still so unhappy with it that I added touches of collage. The combination is interesting anyway.
My first two attempts were completed with colored pencils. Also suggestive, but ultimately disappointing.
I feel very comfortable with collage and will try anything without worrying about the results.
But not so (yet? ever?) with drawing and especially painting. When confronted with paper and brush I generally feel anxious and timid.
Fear is a big problem if you want to create. You have to lose yourself for the best work, and fear keeps that ego front and center.
So, back to the drawing board as they say: I will keep trying.
I think it’s finished. I need to let it rest overnight and take a look in the morning.
How can squirrels be an endangered species?
Because of competition from, and the introduction of disease by, the grey squirrel, imported from North America in the late 1800’s, 95% of the red squirrels in England have disappeared since 1952. Squirrel pox kills nearly all red squirrels who contract it.
The remaining red squirrel population is mostly in Scotland, where efforts are focused on stopping the spread of squirrel pox (scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk).
The picture on left is the little alphabet painting I made for my dog whisperer’s new baby. On the right is how it looks after the gouache resist technique is applied. I know the original looks better right now. I now have to tweak the painting. I will post it when it’s done. It’s going to look cool.
Nina’s post fit right into my weekend…I was down near the American Folk Art Museum space, a small one near Lincoln Center (they lost their beautiful museum due to financial problems, but still have their collections, luckily), and decided to take a look around at the current exhibit, “Self-Taught Genius”. A couple of my favorite items reminded me of Nina’s found object sculptures. The one above, Thornton Dial Sr.’s “Birds Got to have Somewhere to Roost”, is made from painted wood, carpet scraps, corrugated tin, burlap, and nails. Nina’s “Some Folks Watch TV” and “Birchbark Sculpture” are certainly cousins.
I was especially taken with Ronald Lockett’s “Fever Within”, which is so reminiscent of Nina’s “Nail Sculpture”. Nina you are a true folk artist!
Another favorite was the wooden phrenological head by Asa Ames. I have a lot of thoughts about places to go with that! In the meantime, you can see the whole exhibit online if you don’t happen to be in NYC: http://selftaughtgenius.org/
I paint rocks and twigs to amuse myself. These three have some added stuff like thread and beads. What can I say, I find it relaxing even though it’s something you would do at Arts and Crafts in summer camp.
I spent the day doodling on the window of a local boutique. I love painting on glass although one is limited in the acrylic paints–you can’t really mix colors plus it’s kind of streaky. Still, it was fun. The close up is of ants. They kind of look like black bears, though.