Time Management for Artists, Rule 4

The Jerusalem artichoke rule (see I told you I’d repeat it).  Please note that in America, Jerusalem artichokes are native plants.  Be forewarned, they’ll take over, reasserting their prior rights.

Lay a grid over your drawing (in thought or quite literally).  Divide it into portions and make each portion into the new picture, turning parts to wholes.

Beware this makes reality very dense.  You may end up with mountains of drawings.  Take care if you lack storage space or if you have no sales representation because you could find yourself up to your ears in drawings, up to your eye-balls in images.

On the plus side, it’s a delight in fecundity, copia, copiousness, divisionism, multiplication, expansiveness, being fruitful and multiplying, being mathematical and multiplying, an indulgence in DNA copy-catted-ness, in recombinant new thing making-ness.

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]


Time Management for Artists, numero deux


Oddly enough time divided up makes more time, time that can be seized and used.

Time sections are Jerusalem artichoke-like:  you cut the bulbs in pieces and get more plants.  Each piece will grow, and you’ll live in a forest of the plants if you’re not careful, a vast sea of waving heliotropic flowers continually turning their faces toward the light on the earth’s great sweeping clock face.

Count how many versions you’ll do.  (Set a goal.)  Count the amount of time that you’ll spend on each drawing. (Set a length goal.)  Set a timer, run your drawing like a race (get ready, get set, go!).

Redo the same thing thinking to turn yourself dumbly into a machine, a Xerox copier (all the versions will be different, humans are subtle).  This should be a separate rule.  I’ll repeat it later (which is also wise time use, repetition, we are a forgetful species).

[This post is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Squires of Gingatao, a great poet of the early 21st century.]

The garden’s bright quietude

garden drawing

After staring meditatively at fish all day, as delightful as the koi pond is, still one wants a little action of the feet.  Thus there’s nothing like a stroll in a garden.  Over my morning tea I have found myself thinking ahead to life beyond the koi and feeling sure that another “series” of some sort is brewing.  So I have revisited some garden drawings I’ve done in the past and have been trying my hand at some new ones.  Also, having acquired of late a great enthusiasm for colored pencils, I’ve started making some little sketches of the Jerusalem artichokes blooming in the backyard.  Well, I try to focus my attention on the flowers, but something about the little fir tree always steals the show.

You have to watch where your thoughts lead you — perhaps to a fir tree rather than to flowers.  Sometimes you don’t know what the subject is.  You just have to be willing to let the subject reveal itself.

I’m in that stage.  I watch and let the garden talk.  Sometimes one also lets the drawing talk.  I might have cropped the drawing on the right and got rid of the empty white space.  But for some reason I cannot specify, the empty space there is also part of the picture.  I drew a few lines into it, and frankly those few sketchy scribbles seem as significant as any of the rest.

It’s a bit of a conundrum.  But it’s also why we have sketchbooks.