Sitting at my son’s basketball practice with my art materials recently, I set out to create a drawing based on the Illustration Friday word for the week, “reverse.” I intended to draw a woman facing the exact opposite of herself. But when I did an initial drawing I hated it. I couldn’t get the perspective I wanted. I grew frustrated and decided I had nothing to say as an artist this particular evening, or, maybe not ever again. You’ve had those days, right?
I then took another sheet of paper and just started drawing a woman’s head. I had no idea where I would go with this. Slowly I shaped one woman in pencil, then began to draw another, and my mind began to drift and float around the idea that we don’t really, truly know people. Sometimes they are not who they seem—beautiful, yes; as complex as an intricate pattern, yes; but ultimately unknown.
This is how I arrived at this mixed media (pencil and Sharpie marker) piece on paper titled “Unknown.” Tell me what you see.
Today, on my birthday, I spent as much time as possible being “alive.” By that, I mean I focused on living “in the moment.” That’s hard for me because I’m such an organized person (some call it controlling, but tomatoes, tomAtoes) that I’m always looking ahead to see what my next move needs to be, rather than focusing on my current activity. It’s a good way to get a lot done, not so great for enjoying what you are doing each moment. So, in honor of my birth, I lived all the simple moments of today:
I took great care in preparing a lovely breakfast and drank from the hand-painted coffee cup that I save for company; held onto the birthday hug my 11-year-old son gave me as he talked about the NBA slam dunk contest he watched last night on TV; I danced around the kitchen to “Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige (perfect birthday song for me) as I waited for coffee; I skipped the weight lifting session at the YMCA and created the artwork above (11 x 11, mixed media, “Wishing”), while I waited for my son to finish his swimming lesson; watched a deliciously horrible movie on the Lifetime channel. Now, I’m waiting for my husband to take us to my favorite restaurant, Bravo, in Providence. YAY! Should I get the very responsible steamed mussels, or should I “live” it up and have the lobster mac and cheese? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.
This weekend I took great pleasure in hiding one of my “hope” rocks at a hotel. I like the idea of a stranger finding it in his or her room, hopefully just when he or she needs the message most. (I added some bling to this one.)
I’m working on this piece on a large sheet of scratch paper. I keep a piece of paper on my craft table beneath my work as I paint and draw. The idea is to let the stray marks and brush strokes randomly create the beginning of some new artwork; one creation sort of gives birth to another.
I’m almost finished with this mixed media piece. I just have a few details left. I think I’ve captured the feeling of passion–that quiet warm glow that sneaks up on you from behind. 🙂
As I was painting this afternoon I could feel that passion–floating, pulse quickening, loss of time and surroundings. Art does that to me.
This pencil drawing on 9 x 12 watercolor paper fits both my Illustration Friday word for this week, “surrender,” and the Creative Every Day theme for the month, “passion.” A twofer. Excellent! (I played with my scanner to get it this dark.)
I hid this “hope” rock in plain sight in my colleague’s office two days ago. Let’s see how long it takes for her to notice it. That’s the thing. We can become so complacent with our everyday surroundings that we stop truly “seeing” what is right in front of us. Discovering this little surprise can be a reminder that being “present” every day has it’s rewards.
Read more about Lille Diane’s Hope Rocks project here.