Flower bed

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.

Ribbon of characters

Happy Monday! This drawing came about one night. Keeping in mind Ivan Brunetti’s advice to build characters out of basic shapes, I found myself tinkering around with different ways to create an easily drawable figure that does not rely on any reference images, a figure that I could be creative with. Sketching, I found a knack for drawing these characters using my 0.3 Copic Multiliner pen, and enjoyed drawing lots of them. They came one after the other until I had an interesting community of 56! — bear gals, mice gals, rabbits, kitties, crickets bats…

I learned that, if you stay open, you can let a doodle grow into a daydream that unspools according to its own logic. I also learned that creating variations of the same figure is one of my favourite ways to work (or, in the words of my partner, “you like to draw lots of small things”). I guess that’s one way to put it; the picture reminds me a bit of the Where’s Waldo books I loved as a child. To draw with that level of density of the page! 🙂

So, until next time — lots of small things.

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