I was drawing blogosphere Australian poet friend Gabrielle Bryden during her rainy days away from her blog, and this drawing was the culmination of several I made which, if you are my devoted reader, you have already encountered in the previous two posts!
Of the several this one, I think, most resembles the source photo (found here). And I like it because it’s more realistic. But I also like it because … because … well, just because.
Why ask why.
All the drawings were made in a small Moleskin notebook using my beloved blue ball point pens.
I drew blogosphere friend Gabrielle Bryden during her rainy day sabbatical in far away Australia. While her blog was quiet, I made some little portrait drawings based upon a youthful photo she posted.
Though they were all drawn using the same photo, each one is a little bit different from the others. These differences that occur, these variations, are what I call “invention.” Obviously there’s an element of error involved in the variations since if I was just drawing the image directly, every version would look just like the others, and all the versions would be copies of the photo!
Sometimes those kinds of differences trouble artists who are chasing a realistic effect, and they used to bother me too! But I came to realize that if the drawing is good then the differences from the source don’t matter. Moreover, all these changes lead to different ways of seeing and understanding the image.
So though there’s one photo I don’t have only one Gabrielle, I have several! And each is a bit different from the others.
While it has been raining in Australia, I have been drawing blogosphere friend Gabrielle Bryden using a photograph taken of her in her youth — her previous youth … she is still very youthful!
While it was raining somewhere far away, I was here in Washington DC’s famous blazing summer heat, and I decided to make one of those drawings you save for a rainy day — only it was raining somewhere very far away.
Here is the youthful Gabe of the mellow “relax” tee shirt whose face I used for this drawing.
After news reports of the kidnapping of an Australian poem, held for an enormous ransom (the story broke at poet Gabrielle Bryden’s blog), my koi are refusing to come to the surface of the pond. Moreover, they are refusing to be painted. Efforts to paint them, thus far, produce only pale grisaille images of very ephemeral koi. These “ghost” kois have hidden themselves behind the veil of anti-art out of fear that they might also be kidnapped and held for ransom.
Well, that — and the spreading rumor that I was going to begin a series of Blue Heron paintings ….
However do these rumors get started ???
I have been stuck in a rut lately, wondering what to do. And just when I needed some help, wouldn’t you know it comes from a fellow blogger. Poet Gabrielle Bryden has asked for citrus fruits and so I’m going to draw (mostly) lemons. And this will involve some “live blogging” because I’m just now starting. The lemons came out of the refrigerator a little while ago. They’re sitting on a plate. I’m getting the crayons out now.
UPDATE: The first citrus drawing made using watercolor pencils. I am searching for the edges of things. Trying to find the character of these patient fruit that sit here “looking” at me. They’re all so dignified. Wish I could get to the essence of their gravitas. The shadows are deepening. Not a quality to be well captured by watercolor pencils.
With the second drawing, I’m already encountering some problems. I have the wrong crayon box with me. Keep forgetting that this box has run out of certain colors. It’s “limited palette” time. And the yellow has already smeared into the blue outline I used. I’m never getting rid of that smear. A small matter, this smear, but defining. Some artists would go to great lengths to avoid a smear from the very outset while I always figure that mistakes are inevitable. Must work it into the plan somehow.
More stuff in the picture. But do the citruses enjoy the status that one wants. Is this an arrangement of shapes and colors or really a citrus picture? Not enough citrus presence…
Of course she needs no introduction, Blanca the world famous hamster, celebrated subject of story, verse and art as you can see here, here, here and here. (Sorry that’s all the links my browser can handle. You’ll have to find the rest yourself.)
Here she appears in her little exercise ball by means of which she stays so fit and trim. My kid drew Blanca in the ball — actually this is a detail from a larger scene.
On her blog poet Gabrielle Bryden posted some photos of her office which has inspired me to post one of mine. While it’s true that my “office” is really a studio with all the cumbersome stuff that artists need, I still enjoy fantasizing about being able to work from a very simple space. I figure that if I were whittled down to the barest essentials, I could still manage fairly well if I simply had a floor. Being a kid at heart, such an arrangement does not seem a sacrifice — more of an ambition as yet unreached.
A cup of coffee, a few pencils, a notebook, a floor, a planet with gravity and light — occasionally a chocolate yogurt — and I’m set!
Alas, all I really lack is a window view of kangaroos!
However, at my DC studio I do have some very nice clouds.