Day One

nablopomo_badge_2016I’m not sure whether I want to do this or not… I certainly have no real idea why… But I am drawn here on November first to begin NaBloPoMo for a fourth time.  Because I write; that’s what I do and pretty much always have done.  I read and I write. Mostly I have written for myself and that has been a good thing.  I’ve worked through quite a few ‘troubles’ by writing.  In fact, I am forever telling friends, family and strangers, when they are struggling with something, to Write.

Five minutes, ten minutes, on paper or on the computer.  If the latter, just turn off the light on the screen so you can’t see what you’re writing and begin to overthink and mentally or literally edit yourself.  I’ve gotten feedback from a few peeps, telling me that this method has been helpful.  But I know that there are millions of people like me out there, billions, maybe, who write because that’s just what they do.  Many of them may be involved in NaBloPoMo or it’s sister project, NaNoWriMo this month.

About five years ago, or was it six, my writing led me into playing with color and, gasp, actually drawing things.  If you have ever looked at my EAW site before, the backstory is there, over and over, ad nauseam.  So, as much as I enjoy telling the tale, I will not repeat it here.  I’ll tell you instead about a shift that happened in that drawing activity. At first they really were just ‘drawings of food with words wrapped around them’ and they were fairly crude drawings.

Then one day I drew a half of a grapefruit that really looked like a grapefruit and I was hooked.  So for a couple of years, I did food drawings from life, if that’s the right expression.  I would have the Swiss chard leaf, the radish or the lemon in front of me and I would study it as I drew.  That was/is really fun.  A bit more like work, but quite satisfying.  Sometimes I was frustrated and hated the drawings (do not ask to see my multiple attempts at cauliflower!) and sometimes I was pleased and felt proud of my efforts.

In early September, I got some new Japanese markers and fell in love with their colors and the easy flow of the ink.  They are called ZIG Clean Color Real Brushes.  They are used by manga artists, which makes me feel cool.  I highly recommend them.  They are available on Amazon and at dick blick art supplies.   Then in mid September, something unexpected happened.

We went to see an exhibit at the Harvard Art Museums (which are free on Saturdays from 10 AM – noon, by the way), entitled ‘Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia.’ I was blown away. Can’t really explain it, but these artworks spoke to me the way no other art ever has… They got inside of me.  I went home obsessed and started doing drawings inspired by what I had seen.  I also wandered the web, following a chain that started with Yannima Tommy Watson, whose work was featured in the show.  Here is a youtube video of him painting.  I encourage you to take a look at the links here and I would love to hear any comments you might have.

So, here is one of my drawings, just for the heck of it.




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