well distracted

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I’m drawing the moth today — preparations for a painting that’s in the works.  But my thoughts keep returning to this landscape painting above that I began perhaps two years ago and which I return to from time to time — and which I need to finish fairly soon.

It will have a lattice across the middle to represent the chain link fence. At long last it will have many other minor additions of dot or color.

moth drawing 1

Something about drawing the veins of the leaves reminds me of the small passages of the garden painting and of the ways that I seem to re-enter the garden whenever I work on it — as though the flowers were still there, as though the blueberries were still being prepared for planting, as though time were standing still back one morning years ago and the shaded leaves still bent under the weight of the dew.

One seems to have a sense of the future, but you can’t really know what the future will be.  The future one imagines is not the future that arrives.  And the past that you relive is not the same as the past that occurred.  The present — even the present shifts — even as you live inside it.

Dreaming in the daytime

In the veiled and imminent dawn you can dream a different kind of dream.  In this soft light, inside these paled thoughts, everything is so much more possible.  The quiet haze of heavy thoughts amorphous holds inside its fuzzy boundaries ideas whose exact shapes are unknown, and in their uncertainty offer possibilities too many to count.

How I try to use these dreams of semi-wakefulness.  The half actual shapes, the lines whose endings cannot be imagined.  When asking questions is like holding the pen, and the words that your mind speaks back to you in halting phrases are lines whose character the time has yet to determine.

Eyes Open

To open your eyes each morning and find light pouring into your head, tapping the optic nerve and stimulating sight, isn’t it amazing?  As soon as I get up, I routinely go to the window, peer through the blinds,  and look outside.  There’s always something interesting on the other side.

Something about the impulse to draw is as basic as this.  You open your eyes and find a world outside.  And all that remains is to grab something that writes and begin making lines.  Maybe the first artists did something like this.  How magical it must have seemed to them.  How magical it truly is.

May we always have that sense of the magic of reality, how miraculous it is to gaze upon a world.

Shell Topography with Coffee

shell linear shell

I have  a shell I like to draw.  It’s my old friend, the subject I return to when I want to rediscover something.  When I want to find a new way of thinking about visual things, I go back to my shell.  It’s familiar shapes hold many mysteries — all new. 

Meanwhile turning from my “serious” drawing, I pause and have some coffee.   I doodle during my break.  I let my pen go willy-nilly along whatever paths whimsy chooses.  So I drew this while I sipped coffee.  It was my break from a longer, more studied drawing.  I tried to let my pen follow across the contours of the shell’s surface — along it matters not what directions — zig-zagging this way, that way.  The technical name is “cross-contour” drawing.  I was thinking along the lines too of something that computers are more adept at making, topological drawings.

In any case, these lines were lazy coffee, idle thoughts talking, stream of consciousness with a pen line,  taking a break, kind of drawing.

Thinking about flowers

flowers drawing colored pencils

flowers drawing pen

flowers drawing pencil

I started off my day with flowers.  Cup of hot tea, quiet studio, an hour or so to draw.  After having been busy with many non-art things lately, I thought it was time to just draw.  A still life that I set up months ago was hiding behind a pile of things.  I uncovered it and decided to draw it again.  Previous drawings were large.  These are small.  All on sheets 9 1/2 by 11 inches.

Sometimes it’s good to just draw.  Without goals, without preconceptions.  Just let the lines go where they will.  Fool around with different tools.  Let yourself watch lines forming and time passing.