Reflection, Quick Graphite Sketch… I gave a speech today. I dont like public speaking…not one bit. In seminary, I took all the classes but the preaching classes. I love teaching; I can lead a pastel demonstration for hours and actually get energy from “speaking while doing.” But at a podium with a microphone? No thank you. I’ll do it, I’ll try my best, but I don’t like it. Who does like public speaking anyway? Oh right, my HUSBAND, who happens to be really great at it. Continue Reading…
Archives For graphite
Hay Bale, Graphite Sketch…My husband and I have a ritual; it helps us decompress after our busy days, and is a routine time to relax and enjoy being together. Each night once the kids are tucked in bed, we sit on the couch, each with a glass of milk and two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, to watch one of our recorded shows. Last night we watched the Next Food Network Star. Each Star hopeful must have a “POV,” a “Point of View” that would make their own Food Network show unique. Two weeks of my daily drawings are now complete, and over morning coffee, I reflected upon my “POV”…my own point of view around which my art revolves. I know art doesn’t have to have a “point” or a “meaning,” that it can be art for art’s sake, but my organized self loves to have everything in its place, categorized and grouped. I want my art to fit together and have a meaning, a purpose, a POV. When I reflect upon my daily drawings, I see the common thread of my own human experience: family, relationships, love, warmth, what surrounds me in my place, what is important to me in my life. Linking the theme of my sketches with my current pastels and paintings, my POV emerges as, in my husband’s words, “Southern eclectic”: a mixture of rural and city, objects and figures, past and present…the story of my place. I find warmth, family, richness and beauty in the South, in its porches and fields, its trees and marshes, its people and history, its rust and wood. A representation of the story of humanity, the South is a tightly woven tapestry of good and bad, hospitality and hatred, comfort and pain, smiles and sorrow. Despite its dark threads, my South triumphs with beauty, with color, with life, with strength; in my place and through my art, I hope to reveal and foster greater peace, honest love, and a warm, genuine reality of Southern hospitality, a welcoming with open arms.
Daddy’s Home, graphite sketch…Today’s big event is that “Daddy is home!” My kids have been counting down to this day all week. Just as my dad did for my sister and I when he travelled, my husband always brings our kids a “prize.” This week he was in rural Alabama, not a place very conducive to buying souvenirs, but he nonetheless came home with some very interesting treasures! Cue the knitted Spiderman finger puppet made in Ecuador. It makes me laugh (it’s so odd!), and it made our son very excited. So here’s a fuzzy little Spidey: a celebration of homecoming, family and the funny things in life!
Nora, 3 months, Graphite Sketch…Today is the birthday of Edgar Degas, the French Impressionist famous for his figures of ballerinas, bathers, and other turn-of-the-century subjects. He also happens to be my favorite artist and major influence on my own art. I especially love Degas’ pastels…the vibrant contrasts, the intense markings, the vivid colors. His preparatory sketches are often a combination of strong, dark shadows mixed with precise, yet loose, lines. I like to study his work and absorb what I can into my own way of seeing color and interpreting subjects. In homage to Degas, I chose a figure drawing for my daily sketch, drawing my sleeping baby girl (who was a bit squirmier than I expected, once drawing commenced!) I used my darkest pencil, marking in the shadows, contemplating the art of Degas as I recorded this day in my baby’s young life.
The Tub, Edgar Degas, Pastel
Two Dancers Resting, Edgar Degas
Prosperity, Graphite Sketch…The glass Maori fish hook hangs on the wall adjacent our front door. A gift from dear friends, brought from New Zealand, the stylized hook symbolizes Prosperity: a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition; good fortune. Images of my life swirl in my mind’s eye…the colors are warm, the faces friendly, the love palpable. I sit in prosperity, a flourishing, thriving condition. I haven’t always been here; I’ve visited some hopeless places on my journey to this warm, vibrant reality. I know hard times will come again. But the prosperity I am living cannot be taken from me, because it is not a thing, nor a person, but experience. This prosperity is a thriving condition that cannot be held. My good fortune is that life brings second chances, that intentional choices towards the good are often rewarded, that I am surrounded by love in my family and friends, that I am a part of this world with all its joy and its faults.
Waste Not, graphite sketch… “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in an eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.” -Sir Francis Bacon. Somehow I came across this quote last night and it was on my mind in the morning as I contemplated the subject of my drawing. I thought of my children’s hands, small and smooth and dimpled; about their lives which are just beginning, that are flying by in what seems an instant. I thought of holding my husband’s hand, and how we have taken successful risks in our ten years together, doing what we love and building our family with intention. With those small hands incapable of holding still long enough, and my husband’s out of reach, I looked at my own hand. I thought of my own life, my own sparkling star, my own melting snowflake, and I am grateful for today. I will try not to waste it.
Watching the Clock, Graphite Sketch…Today is one of those days. Tightly scheduled, I have to get up and go: a certain amount of time here, get home by then, meet my mom for the childcare trade off, out the door with a hamburger, make it there on time, zip by the store, back in time for baby, dinner is approaching, bedtime right behind. My creativity is sapped, my energy depleting, all I can draw today is a clock. It looks like something I would’ve drawn in high school art class, but the image of my bedside clock usurped all others. Like Alice’s White Rabbit, I’ve been watching the clock and running all day. Time can rule our life, can slip through our fingers, can wear us down with its rhythmic ticking. Time to take a deep pause and breathe in the moment, exhale the stress that schedule imposed; remember that life is for living, and seeing and being, not just leaping from one place to the next in a busy blur.
No Place Like Home, Graphite Sketch…As I lay in bed last night, snuggled in and ready to sleep, I thought about what I would draw in the morning: What do I feel like? What comes first to mind? The answers were simple: I feel content, happy and grateful; safe and warm. I am thinking of my family, my home, everyone asleep and together as we should be. We’ve lived another day, done the things we had to do, and here we are, at rest, at peace, back home together. We work, we do laundry, we cook, eat and clean; but what matters most to me is when all that is done and we are at rest together. There’s no place like home.
Favorite Things, Graphite Sketch…Saturday morning, time for moving slowly, staying in pjs, watching cartoons, and drinking an un-rushed cup of coffee. I had more time for a morning sketch today, so I sat for awhile thinking about the essence of our Saturday mornings. As I watched my pajama-clad children playing, a conversation from yesterday about childhood comforts drifted into my mind. My children all have a “favorite thing,” even my infant. The three well-loved objects speak of cozy comfort, of security and warmth. They snuggle them in sleeping, they hold them in sadness, they carry them in play. So here are “Uni,” “Babo” and my baby girl’s lovey. Just looking at them fills me with comfort and love…