Think Small

Sometimes an artist just wants to have fun.

Intriguingly enough, since camera storage is so big now even a tiny drawing can be easily enlarged and turned into a monster of an image. This detail of one of the thumbnail drawings is many times larger than the original, probably even when viewed on a smart phone. And of course the drawing reproduced above is much larger than the original.

All part of the fun.

detail of one of the little sketches
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the Roundness of a Circle

The forms of shrubbery or trees and the roundness of fruits are very similar. While working in very different subjects, I find that I am creating and recreating the same scenes.

I have been busy contemplating circles and circle-like things.

Maybe it’s just me, or is it Mother Nature who loves circular things? She makes the stuff. People like me draw it.

Big ideas & Small ideas

Been looking for profound simplifications. One way to simplify a scene is to draw it from memory. Another way is to draw very small: the smaller the space is, the less room there is for detail. Hence a small drawing or a remembered scene provides a grand strategy for getting to the core of things.

Naturally enough, the little drawing is a form of invention also. For how many ways can you remember a thing? How many ways can you break it down into its simple elements? It turns out that there are many ways.

Far Away Zen Garden

Kerfe wrote about the Met’s Zen Garden in a recent post, and her photo became the inspiration for a large drawing, one that suitably lacks a gaining idea. Rather than having a plan, I am seeing what the materials suggest and experimenting with erasures, smearings, scrapings away of pigment using Daddy’s rugged old pocket-knife, and whatever various other methods of accident and surprise offer themselves for exploration. Having listened to lots of Pam Caughey videos on Youtube, I am experimenting with abstract approaches and imagery. Pam says you should play, and so I play.

Some of the graphic chaos is apparent in the detail above. It’s a meditative process. And my faithful canine, Lucy the Hound Dog, has planted her largish self next to the easel to be my Muse.

I noticed there were pebbles in Kerfe’s Zen pond (I know it’s really the Met’s garden but it’s inextricably associated in my mind now with Kerfe). These little pond stones became blue circles and the rocks adjacent to the water have become amorphous forms arbitrarily colored.

Found a Thich Nhat Hanh quote that captures my working mood:

Suppose someone is holding a pebble and throws it in the air, and the pebble begins to fall down into a river. After the pebble touches the surface of the water, it allows itself to sink slowly into the river. It will reach the bed of the river without any effort. Once the pebble is at the bottom of the river it continues to rest. It allows the water to pass by. I think the pebble reaches the bed of the river by the shortest path because it allows itself to fall without making any effort.

During our sitting meditation we can allow ourselves to rest like a pebble.

The drawing measures about 36 x 48 and is still evolving…

Lotsa Dots

The average dot size is 1.5 inches.

I share a detail from a large, ungainly drawing just because I’m having so much fun — and why not. I am doing the 36 x 48 inch drawing as though it were a drawing in a sketchbook.

Lots of freedom is wonderful. The gestural scribbling is good exercise for the arms and shoulders. So, what’s not to love about this process on an amazingly lovely day where Mother Nature on the other side of the window seems to be cheering me on. She’s such a swell gal.

Another mountain showed up at the studio. This one arrived on a paper towel. You just never know. These mountain visitors adore my studio.

Transformations

I’m all over the map lately with my art. Making collages for various motifs has been a strategy for seeking simplification. Cutting the colors out of paper encourages one to look for big shapes.

That was the idea. But then collage, like any medium, has a way of imposing its own order. It doesn’t necessary take me where I want to go, though it has taken me to nice places so far.

This collage simplified the motif into disappearance and left other imagery in its wake. Be careful what you wish for.

Dreamscape

Here’s what I drew today. This scene drawn using neocolors measures about 34 by 30 inches. So these dream shrubs are, pictorially speaking, somewhat hand sized. They seem like you could reach for and grasp them.

Perhaps you can help me get my bearings. In this dream, where do you suppose I am? Because I’m not sure. It seems like a nice place though. It’s airy. The atmosphere is filled with light. Does it seem nice to you?

My Every Thought

I’ll just publish every single thing I draw.

My every visual thought. You’re wound up with suspense wondering what I draw first thing in the morning while I have my coffee, isn’t that right?

No? Not even a little tiny bit curious about the colored pencil doodles I make in blank pages of an old calendar? Goodness, I’m flabbergasted!

And yet you agree that we should fill up the internet with pictures. Turn drawings into electrons! Be always seeing, often thinking, and draw it all!

California Mountains

I have never been to California.

By various means, the landscapes come to me. With enough faith we can move mountains. And sometimes too the mountains just arrive. I cannot begin to tell you how many mountains have wandered into the studio for a sitting.

I’m always glad to see them. I love portraying mountains.