Memories into Colored Criss-cross Lines

princesse dress

Sometimes I just want to draw, and I don’t want to have to think.  I want to look and copy.  I get lazy sometimes.  Working from photos can provide that kind of idea off the shelf, and I use photos sometimes to satisfy my craving to record and describe.  So today I browsed through some old photos of my daughter when she was young enough to dress up in gauzy princess dresses.  In the photo, she’s gazing at a caterpiller on her arm (less evident in my drawing). 

When she came home from school today and saw this sketch, she quizzed me about why the arms look “funny.”  It’s tough being an artist.  Everybody’s a critic — even your kid!  So I happened to have an out-of-focus photo taken on the same occasion, and I used it to show her how funny and “abstract-looking” things appear when they are less acutely seen.   Certainly my drawing introduces distortions too.  But distortion in art often has meaning, more so than artists typically realize, I think.  The drawing is, after all, a record of one’s visual thoughts.

I wasn’t able to “finish” this drawing.  We had to hop and be on our way, errands to run.  But the moment of suspension — ah, that too — often adds a telling something-or-other.  I liked how the edges of the picture angle in a raucous this way and that.  It has a bit of caterpiller zig-zag that befits my theme.

It’s also fun, as a mom, to use a photo to reconnect with memories of my daughter’s girlhood.  Childhood sweeps past us so quickly, too quickly.  And it’s important to catch whatever you can, when you can, and hold it, and amaze yourself with it. 

Like a caterpiller crawling on your arm.