A surprise sloth

…that’s me! The sloth below is the one that seems to pop up out of nowhere, as if to say “I’m still here!”

sloth .jpg

I’ve been incredibly slothful this month and last with updating this blog. September was a challenging, busy, but also very enjoyable month, and when I returned back to the US at the start of October, I jumped right back into work, clean-up, and playing catch-up with all the bills. Oh, and work on the longstanding writing project (the thesis).

I’m sad to say that I haven’t yet mastered the art of keeping the writing and the drawing on the burner at the same time — when writing is on the agenda, I tend to limit the drawing so as to give the writer in me lots of space and rest, and hopefully keep the words coming for the next day. I’ve found that drawing + painting tend to have a powerful momentum of their own — an almost monopolizing and consuming kind that will keep me up late into the night because a bright green parakeet must be made. Now. Sleep and clock-time are unheard of. Of course, this kind of late-night work process upsets the writer in me, who values more predictability in routine and, above all, sleep — the only time when ideas can, of their own accord, coalesce, take new shape in dreams, and ready themselves for the page the next morning. As I continue to hone different skills, I hope that the artist and the writer can learn to live in more peaceful and mutually supportive coexistence!

I drew this sloth a while ago because I’m 100% certain that sloths are my closest animal kin (in spirit, and maybe a little in likeness!). Like my furry and clawed counterparts, slowness is my super-power and secret to survival. If ever you watch a sloth ambulate, you’ll notice their slow deliberation (and maybe the odd bit of algae that’s begun to thrive on their fur). It’s really quite amazing. There are all kinds of costs of doing things slowly, of course, but I like the equanimity of keeping things at a manageable pace when possible; this is something that art, knitting, and writing are helping me to cultivate.

I hope to have more things to report in the coming weeks as I slowwwly catch up with all things WordPress. In the meantime….a baby sloth yawning! (if this doesn’t instantly turn your innards to goo, then I don’t know what to say).

Until next time. I hope October finds you well.

PS: Coming soon, a bright green parakeet!

 

Rainy day reading

Today is one of those rainy, overcast Chicago Saturdays – the kind that makes the pavement wetly audible and keeps you inside with tea, a top bun, and time for quiet reading. It’s the kind of low-lit, indoor day where I’d rather listen to Petula Clark’s “Downtown” and dream about the city than go there myself.

Anyhow, just a doodle and a song to share today. Wishing you many good times with many good books!

reader sketch.jpg

 

Crafter’s time warp

The word ‘pastime’ is no coincidence. I’ve been reflecting, recently, on how creative activities seem to devour the time, sometimes voraciously. I am hoping to rein in the times where I’ve crafted myself into several hours-long states of self-forgetfulness; these zones of suspension are creatively desirable, and are calming in their own way, but (alas) lives aren’t entirely made on trance states. In and around the making, there are bills to pay, dogs to walk, taxes to be done, dishes to clear.

Here is a little doodle of that moment of coming up and out of a knitting session. It’s been a few hours, and someone has just reminded me – oblivious – of the time. SCN_0014.jpg

In the real world, the glasses will have slipped much farther down my nose, granny-style. As crafters out there know all too well, maker-time tends to escape the dictates of clock-time. That well-intentioned injunction to work for only “15 more minutes” goes unheeded as the knitting grows and grows and takes on a momentum all of its own (if only I could harness this energy when it’s time for the laundry).

What is your view? Do you regulate or schedule your inner crafter, set times when making is “off-limits” or, on the other hand, allow it days where it has free rein? How do you find the balance between clock-time and maker-time?

My posts have been more doodles and drawings as of late – something about Spring’s arrival has back-burnered the warm woolies and stirred up some hibernating drawing energies. I hope to have more knitting news in the next little bit…like a few new FOs!

A happy Wednesday to you.

 

 

Knit Together

I have reflected elsewhere on this blog (exactly when already escapes me!) on my sense that knitting is a medium of love. Like other creative activities, knitting renders tangible those important intangibles. Knit objects have, for me, become quite powerful material tokens of care, community, love, comfort, the pure glee of being alive (and the desire to share and communicate a little bit of that glee).

On that note, I recently drew this hypothetical picture of Andrew and I. It’s quite anatomically correct: witness Andrew’s curvy programmer’s back and my forward-leaning neck from the hours spent crafting, reading, and writing (I really must fix that neck). While he is not a knitter (!), I like to think that we’re two creative partners in crime.

knit together w name

 

Cast of Characters

While working on a watercolour and ink project a few months ago, I had the urge to make up a cast of characters by giving characteristics to watercolour paint blobs. I specifically remember wanting to create an exercise in following my whimsy.

I tape my ‘cast of characters’ sheet above my work desk, where I do most of my writing and reading. It makes me smile. I see different sides of myself peering back at me, and this silly crew reminds me of what can happen if I just follow my creative hunch without worrying about the outcome.

I have yet to give the characters names, going as far as numbers and a few traits for my favourites. Suggestions welcome. 🙂

cast-of-characters

character-11
No. 11: Contemplative, studious, dutiful, and book-loving (or is that a bag of popcorn?).
character-2
No. 2: A grandiloquent creature who would like to pour you a glass of sherry and extrapolate on its many legs.

 

character-5
No. 5: A close talker.
character-8
No. 8: Just happy to have been drawn. Waving back from the other side of the shore.

What kinds of personalities would you include in your own cast of characters?