Saturday, December 28, 2013

Surprising Obsession and Yearning

My five-pear meditation on Thursday morning was satisfying at the time. That is, it did its work as meditation. Somehow, though, I didn’t feel I’d caught the essence of the pears, and the next morning I drew a single pear over and over and over.

I like the sketchy, not overworked effect of the last drawing, but I still felt something was missing, and I realized I had begun to yearn for --

color! Satisfied for years with only pencil or black ink pen, I am surprised to find a hunger for color growing in me. Fortunately, the little beginner's art kit David gave me for Christmas – what? ten years ago? – includes, along with pencils, colored pencils and pastel sticks. So "back to the drawing board" on Friday evening was a move made with new tools.

This is a big (though still quiet) leap for me to take, and I’m not sure what 2014 will manifest, in terms of my drawing experiments. Perhaps there will be more expeditions into color; on the other hand, there may well be a retreat to monochrome. It doesn’t matter. It’s all just part of looking, seeing, and trying things out. And however obsessive I become over the day's subject, the meditative practice of drawing continues to provide a calm oasis in my world.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Meditation: Five Yams

The longer and more closely I looked at them, the more animate the yams seemed to me -- almost like beached whales or a group of seals or porpoises sunning themselves.... Dear little yams!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Meditation: Simple Gift

Simple to draw, though? Not really.

Pure contour -- huh? On its side, I think

Top-heavy drawing
I cannot go on....

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Meditation on Winter Mitten

Note: I didn't photograph the mitten until I'd finished the whole meditation drawing and went back to photograph that, so the mitten is not in its original pose.

One other note: Proportion is clearly my weak suit. Thumb should be longer, tip of mitt more elongated, not so wide. I'll work on those aspects in days and weeks to come.

Pure contour drawing

Mitten drawing
Detail of drawing

Two left hands

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Meditation: Two Ears of Field Corn on a Tea Towel

Today's subject matter
Chewed field corn ear

If you've visited this blog before, you pretty much know the routine: subject, pure contour (drawing without looking at drawing), detailed drawing, details, finished. Same stuff today, different subject matter. I did not chew these ears, and I don't know who did.

Pure contour
Finished drawing
Until next time....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Strange Subject for Meditation

The morning's "still life"

A carelessly folded tee-shirt and a nearly empty potato chip bag? Our drawing instructor this past fall emphasized to the class that anything could serve as the subject for a drawing and that we shouldn't be picky. Okay!

Pure contour drawing

The contour drawing done without looking at my paper went pretty well. That was encouraging. I kind of like this goony subject matter.

You'd never know what this is, would you?
Detail: shirt peeks out from under bag corner

I may have bitten off more than I could chew this morning, but the meditation part of it went very well. What I see I need to pay more attention to is proportions -- and I really got lost up in the crinkled top of the bag. But oh, well. Another morning, another drawing. It's a peaceful way to begin the winter days.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Meditation: Butternut Squash

Today's subject

The shape of the squash is uncomplicated, but not so its dessicated leaf and tightly spiralled tendrils. Doing a pure contour drawing (not looking at the drawing but only at the subject while doing the drawing), I had lines going all over the place.

Pure contour

Detail of pure contour

Subject detail

Drawing detail

Doing an accurate botanical rendition of this leaf would take sharper eyes than mine. I must be content with somewhat impressionistic drawing.

Drawing detail #2

Drawing detail #3
Before blending
The left-hand contour has less awkwardness than the right, which I tried to correct after making the first heavy line, but overall the squash looks like the squash. I'll just add that butternut squash makes a delicious curried soup.

After blending

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meditation: Rubber Rat

Nothing isn't a good enough subject for a drawing, not even a dusty rubber rat. First the pure contour --

Then the slow study --

Here is everything together. Clockwise from noon -- subject, contour, finished drawing:

I have made the rat's tail too long, his body too stout, and the angle of his rear leg isn't right at all, but I'm pleased with the head. 

It never hurts to do a few more contour drawings. Looking back and trying again for the proper lines is always worth taking time to do.