Hiya. How the time flies. Nearly two weeks have passed in a blink without a post; time to redress that.
I am doing well. How are you? We’re in the full flush of Spring, here. It’s a joy to see all the colours coming back again — everywhere I look, now, there are buds on the bushes, flowering trees in full bloom, fields of dandelions, and flocks of crumb-eating park pigeons and their iridescent head-feathers. After the long and arduous winter, the sight of pigeons and dandelions has been an uplift.
So today’s sketch is just a few Spring thoughts, in picture form, of a small garden enjoying the day. I don’t know what compels me to draw gardens the way I do. The drawings are intuitive and child-like in some ways, and I enjoy their simplicity. Something about picturing the process of coming into bloom feels good and hopeful. Creating these blooms on the page means the garden within is always alive. For the past year, I’ve found myself in the process of being “grounded,” not only by the quarantining we have all entered, but by life events and uncertainties which have compelled me to see things from a new view — not a rarefied bird’s-eye view that looks down at my life from a level of abstraction, but very much an earth- and worm-level view that dwells among the roots and soil and mushrooms. The view of mud and murkiness from which living, in part, draws its force (as I have come to understand it). Psychologist James Hillman writes about the process of “growing down” into the world — taking on roots, commitments, responsibilities, a life — as an alternative to our usual metaphor of “growing up.” I like to think these drawings signal a sense of rootedness and generativity, even in a simple way.
What do the things and images you make teach you / show you? And do we grow down, or do we grow up?
Until next time, may you have a beautiful weekend and bask in the sun.
While rifling through heaps of paper, looking for a long-lost set of notes (which I never did find in the end), I rediscovered my Artagain pad of Strathmore drawing paper in coal black. I had been looking for it for months and was excited to find it.
I had to try my new pencils on the pad right away, and had in mind to create another little garden — the kind I never seem to tire of drawing these days — but something glowing, alive, and luminous. I gathered the pencils that ‘glowed’ the most, assembled some of my favourite greens, and took to the drawing board. My favourite way to work entails no pre-penciling, but letting the stalks and blooms grow onto the page as they come, one after another, with a sense of commingling colour in fun ways. This sometimes results in forms that look more like fried eggs than flowers (bottom right), but that is ok. Just looking at this garden fills me with a sense of tenderness.
I hope you enjoy this night-time scene and its small, moon-lit world.
I hope you’ve had a restful weekend. This week, I thought I’d post a line-drawing from February, using my 0.3 Copic Multiliner. I kind of wore the 0.3 down on this one.
I was missing the grass and flowers and a feeling of flourishing. I think at the time, I was also feeling in the midst of a tangle and transition (without a clear path forward in sight) and moving at about a snail pace (at least, that’s how it felt). Sometimes, I am the snail on top, dangling on a thing and looking for solid ground in all the jumble; at other times, I’m the snail on the bottom, on stable earth and looking for a sense of voyage. Both must reckon with the unknown.
Through the drawing, I realized that life-thickets have their own splendor if we can stop and look around. Maybe what feels like an impasse is a sign that things are taking time, growing in complexity and diversity. Maybe a new way forward is forming. Perhaps something (something) is coming into fruition in a way we can’t yet perceive. In any case, let’s hope these snail pals can make it through the thicket and reunite!
I hope you are enjoying some real grass and green thickets of your own, now that Spring is in swing.
This week sees a new knitting friend to add to last week’s: a toucan who is enjoying some knitting and sunlight in a purple lopapeysa sweater.
I have always loved toucans and their stunning colours — they are the opposite of camouflage, brazenly themselves. At least that’s how I think of it.
And Spring is a good time for artists (I am speaking for myself). The return of the sun makes colours extra vivid, bringing out their worlds of feeling. The surfaces and textures of stitches, fabric, and fiber become more brilliant, too. Working outdoors or with windows ajar, I feel connected to the slow sprouting of life around me. A quiet sweetness of being becomes possible.
Hello, there. Friday seems to have crept up on me. What a busy week it has been. I didn’t want it to slip by without a post, though — so today, a recent picture of a feline fiber friend.
Drawn in my favourite Faber-Castell pencils, this kitty is a keeper and collector. In time for Spring, she comes with a provisioning energy, reminding me that all of the little bits and bobs that I once squirreled away for Winter (the metaphorical and the literal one) are still useful. Those collected and once-dormant winter-stored bits are ready to be brought out and given new life. “Here they are!” the kitty says, as the yarn hovers up and into a blue sky of possibility. Maybe it is high time that I return to my stash.
Have you tapped into keeping or collecting energies lately? Or maybe rediscovered a long-hidden stash of semi-forgotten goodies? The life of the maker is full of hidden treasure.
Whether you’re spinning up a storm, gathering skeins from that big basket of yarn, or are simply allowing some colours and remnants to commingle and dream themselves into something new, this kitty is for you.