fresh flower time

lilacs and other flowers in kitchen

I’m still busy reorganizing things in the studio — making good progress, too — I’m getting ready to shift into full flower mode.  With the weather warming, we’ve been taking many long walks and already I’ve begun making drawings of flowers during those walks.  I go equipped with a small notebook and a nubby pencil à la Bonnard.  And there’s so many flowers to see.  Gotta love spring.

These flowers above may become subjects for drawing, but for now they just sit on the table for our enjoyment.

the things you tell yourself

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Here’s some of the seashell drawings propped in the studio.  Those readers who followed my Big Tidy Campaign of 2017 as it was inspired by Marie Kondo’s delightful book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, are perhaps shaking your heads now wondering where I fell off the rails.

Well, the Big Tidy continues.  But sometimes the studio gets a bit cluttered.  Tis all part of the creative process.  (Or that’s what I tell myself. )

spider web drawing

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Crayon lines form a landscape of assembled scribbles, like a drawing made of brightly colored spider web threads.

When I was engaged in the thick of my Big Tidy Campaign of 2017, having read Maria Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I found things that had disappeared into life’s alluvia.  I found, for instance, the photographic inspiration for this fanciful landscape at around the same time as I found the drawing itself, which I had started as only a vague sketch. Having the two things converge in time once more seemed like a token from the universe that maybe I should continue drawing — and so I did. 

It was a great confluential good fortune, actually, because I had really loved the idea but I don’t recall now what event interrupted my work, causing the drawing to languish.  With photo and drawing reunited, I could take up the theme once more.  Indeed, I found the photo first and remembering the drawing thought to myself to have a new whack at it.  But then soon after I also found the drawing.  It measures 24 x 36 on beautifully woven, straw colored Nideggen paper.

I love the devil-may-care approach afforded by crayon drawing.  It’s scattershot, a roll of the dice.

I love the dynamism of scribbled lines applied to a peaceful foggy clouds covering rolling serene blue mountains.

Here’s some wispy, spider-webby details ….

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and another

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making progress

koi watercolor on table.png

I have been away from my blog while deeply entrenched in a project to reorganize my whole house and studio.  It’s been quite an adventure, has provided a massive physical workout, and I’m still not done.

However, I am so much closer to my goal and that fact makes me feel marvelous.  I was inspired in part by Maria Kondo’s insightful book “the life-changing magic of tidying up.”  Her advice comes in handy as I plow through decades of possessions.

For now though, for today, I’m taking a bit of a breather.  I decided to fiddle faddle around with an old watercolor of koi.  It’s been over a month since I’ve done any painting so I’ve earned a little art time.  Once I get the first phase of my project completed, though, I’ll be able to use my still life table in ways I never before dreamed!

 

the Big Tidy Continues

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The household reorganization continues, and it brings many joys.  Marie Kondo in her book “the life-changing magic of tidying up” recommends that you begin the big toss by starting with the easy things — starting first with clothes.  I did that earlier this week, and it was marvelous to get rid of old items.  I’ve trimmed down to essentials.  Many things are going to the dumpster and many to the thrift store.

But I have also rediscovered many wonderful old things.  Kondo, who is a great appreciator of art, has directed her book toward the non-artist public so she doesn’t address the whole still life question.  Clearly artists face a more than ordinary temptation to hoard stuff.  So I take her basic principles and merely apply them to this other category of things.  But going through the clothes, a few things have now transferred from “clothes” to “still life cloth.”  Some of those transfers are quite just because these are things that truly do “spark joy.”  Now the future joy will no longer be in the wearing but in the spectacle of seeing the colors and patterns behind various still life objects.

Nonetheless, the clutter gradually and steadily recedes.  New spaces and opportunities appear.  These are joyful days.  I reencounter many memories.  I discover new possibilities.

I seem to discard things and get ideas in their stead.  I become rich in ideas.  And I love ideas!  So I am indeed quite rich now.  Isn’t it marvelous?

[At the top of the post, one of the early paintings I encountered again.  I also retrieved the mustard colored cloth (actually a satchel) that appears in it.  The cloth will be making new appearances in the days ahead.]

kismet

foliage study #3

I was at the U S Arboretum a few years ago when they were giving away old books.  Most of them treated obscure topics.  I found one book that I thought I could use for making sketches.  It sat in the back of my car for a long time.  When I cleaned my car, it migrated indoors.  It sat in one spot, then another.  After I started reading Marie Kondo’s book “the life-changing magic of tidying up” I figured it was destined for the trash pile. Something stayed my hand.  This morning it “struck joy,” to use Kondo’s phrase.  And I’m drawing one of the third or forth foliage studies I’ve made so far for a project that crept into my head last night.

This book feels kind of perfect for what I’m doing.  I have felt so excited that I wanted to write about it and I haven’t even finished the first drawing yet.  But it is so perfect.  We are definitely striking joy this morning.

The book is so perfect that even the panels in it, the lines drawn on every page are as though designed to help me figure my foliage studies out.  The text is minimal and offers simply some random extra texture on a related theme: flowering plants.

The Big Tidy Campaign of 2017 is on-going.  It will be a while before I complete my household transformations.  I continue with my regular work during interludes — and while my muscles rest from the exertions of much moving stuff about ….

three roses

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I found three studies of roses in storage. We enter the time of roses.  Soon we’ll see them blooming everywhere along our walks.

And I have flower paintings awaiting me.  Finding these little studies whets my appetite for more flowers, for drawing flowers, for composing them in still lifes, for putting them into paintings.

I will have a window

studio view 3 big tidy window

Actually I will have two windows!  This one has stuff (not pictured) in front of it now.  But I will have a window that I can sit in front of — that I can look through — windows for dreaming — windows for drawing — windows for arranging the light in still life.

Ah!  I will have a room with a view.

the other side of the room

studio view 2 big tidy

This side of the room will stay the same — but it will be much less cluttered — except for the still life table — I love that clutter!!  There’s a book cabinet not pictured that has to be relocated.  It is ginormous.  Ai yi yi.  Will deal with that in time … all in good time.

Eventually I will have nails in the wall above to hold the still life drapery.  Goodness, this wall needs painting.  (Will think about that later too.)

You can see the little owl peeking out from under the table.  He’ll have a starring role in an upcoming picture.  So that’s some glad news.

I become the little choo choo that could, I’m “thinking I can” all along the way ….