It finally stopped raining. We’ve had more rain in the last month here in the Washington area than I remember from EVER. The first rain is surpassingly lovely. The 17th day of rain, on the other hand, can be a tad disappointing.
But the rain has stopped. Hurray! Nonetheless I do not find myself bounding with energy. I decided to adopt a more laid back approach in the life class. I am not abandoning larger than life sized, fauvist colored portrait heads forever but I might be finished with them for now. I’m not sure. In yesterday’s class, I made a smaller drawing. It still involved having to draw the head larger than I see it, but the enlargement was much less dramatic and thus easier on the brain. I also used local colors. I decided to phone it in.
It’s a life class so the poses are not really set up for portrait anyway, which made all my previous drawings that much more of a challenge. There’s challenge too, though, in the simple, straight-forward drawing, so my new approach to the model for probably the duration of the class will be more laid back. Draw whatever is there. No straining for a certain viewpoint (I sat on the floor in one class session). Just open my eyes, be grateful, draw. That’s the plan.
Small drawings offer a special kind of freedom because you have no unmanageable expectations regarding their importance. And so from the outset it’s easy to let yourself go.
Thus doing small insignificant drawings can become one’s laboratory of invention and helps an artist form the habit of spontaneity. One needs tasks that lead to occasional carefree moods.
Add to the small scale drawing an uncooperative subject such as a wild bunny and you have even more compelling reasons to let go of all caution.
Fake flowers will sit still, but lively wild bunnies will not. And you have to catch whatever you can and be glad. There ought to be some space in every day for drawing that is like breathing — that just is — that has no barriers.
And so sometimes line is set free …
The koi live in a pond and never go anywhere. For “Saturday night out” the koi just swim around and visit all their usual friends. Yet the permutations of koi patterning seem endless. They are always arranging themselves into new and lively forms.
They are like a dance company that has a gazillion imaginative ideas. Indeed, show me the choreographer who can match the impressive spectacles of the wonderful koi.
The koi impact the world in such beautiful ways. Their whiskers arrive first and water slides past to meet with the often open koi mouth (they seem to be constantly hungry). The sleek koi sides glide through the shifting planes of blue. Oh, and the way that the water’s surface slaps the air, continually presenting new planar surfaces to the atmosphere (as the koi unsettle it, shifting position always with swift swimming). It’s all so wonderful.
And my pencil tries to follow all these complicated agitations of water and watery beasts.
I have been away from my blog. I have been building a pond. Am going at it, fish by fish. I decided to do a group of small drawings so that I could make a modular pond, could move the fish around. And I’ve been busy with these furnishings. Have laid them out on a table for preliminary decisions.
I am like many another lazy drifter through the summertime. I have gone fishing. Again.
Someday remind me to tell you the story about the one that got away!