All in with markers, May 2023

For most of the month of May, I was dogsitting.

While dogsitting, I knew that I wanted to continue to create something, anything, but didn’t want to deal with the mess of painting or charcoal or pastel in someone else’s house, so I limited myself to using markers, both alcohol and acrylic, and focused on playing with colour and trying to translate ideas into image.

Here are the drawings that I completed throughout May. All of these are 11 x 14 inches on Canson bristol board.

Juxtaposed

Puppets in the Dark

Girl on Cube 1 and Girl on Cube 2

If you can see this pony you are not colour blind

Sky Pilots

Maybe Unnamed (after Anil Seth)

When you live in a world of metaphor, you need nothing and can do anything

Dancers

Dancing (not really the title)

Another Dancer

When the Corpus Collosum Breaks Down

Atlantic Ocean

Gulf of St Lawrence 1, 2, 3 4

Boys on Beach 1 (iphone photo)

Boys on Beach 2 (iphone photo)

Boys on Beach 3 (iphone photo)

As June approaches, I’m gearing up to make the transition from drawing with markers to making figures using wire, aluminum foil, and air-drying clay. I’m “on the road” throughout June, so these things will be portable and clean.

Here are the tools and the beginnings of the first figure:

seasonal break…

…is over tomorrow…and I return to the classroom, this time to take three classes. I had registered in five classes, in part in an attempt to bring my “schooling” to a close, and to focus on drawing/sculpting, whatever, outside of an academic setting. At some point I really need to stop going to a school, although I’ve come to wonder if there is some sort of astrological arrangement that condemns me to formal classrooms into infinity.

This winter I’ll be taking the second half of a second year drawing class, a first year art history class that I’ve been avoiding, and a philosophy of art class, which I’ve been looking forward to. Kind of. After this year, I think I’ll have one or two more credits to complete before I can get my diploma, and the two year diploma will have taken me four years. Next year I’ll take a couple of printmaking classes and the second half of the required first year painting class.

WRITTEN IN EARLY DECEMBER:

…as soon as school ends, I experience a burst of new creativity; I feel as if I must draw something that is undefined by an assignment but which comes from inside of me. I’d like to get at least ten drawings completed, six of them on 8ft x 3ft paper.

This drawing, which started out being an anti-red piece, eventually morphed into an “ode to the release of colour”. Elements of red-dislike remain in the drawing, so clearly there is something to figure out in there. The following drawings begin with the finished piece and then show a few close-ups.

This first one feels like a warm-up, a precursor to the much larger ones that follow.

the following drawing is entitled: “the girls loved their mother but they did not understand her” (8 ft x 3 ft; pastel and charcoal on heavy duty flooring paper)

some day I may say more about this drawing, or I may draw more on this theme. I am attracted to representing women at the many stages of their lives.

Solstice drawing (completed December 21, 2022)

“the returning light brings its own new darkness”

8 ft x 3 ft; pastel and charcoal on heavy duty flooring paper.

this drawing expresses the human condition as I see it: that our light embraces the darkness within. I suppose another drawing might express the opposite. I am a fan of the dark side of being human.

“Nashville Cats”, 8ft x 3ft, pastel on brown paper.

This drawing is based on a photograph of her two cats posted on IG by a friend. With permission. The cats remind me of the cats I painted for “Lola’s Blue Cats”. I like their playfulness.

I had hoped to draw six very large (8 feet by 3 feet) drawings over the break, but I found the sheer amount of pastel I was consuming to make the drawings to be financially prohibitive. And raised the question for me…why draw these very large drawings using very expensive materials for no particular purpose other than to draw them?

These three are rolled up on a shelf, and will likely remain that way until some person in the future decides they must be recycled. This thought raises questions of meaning…and purpose.

Anyway, I decided to draw the next few drawings on a much smaller scale, which is less fun but more economical. I do like those very large drawings; I like the feeling of drawing big, and as I draw big, I feel like I’m emphasizing the importance of whatever it is I think I’m saying in the drawing that goes beyond just the drawing itself…kind of the energy that informs the drawing. I think that having titles for my drawings that are a snippet of the stories I’m telling myself while I’m drawing are part of that impulse to express something that I think is important.

The following drawing, completed on December 26, entitled “Peter with red umbrella”. I consider this one to be a “study” for a more complex drawing that I will need to do a few different studies for. I won’t get them all done during this break, but this starter piece has given me some ideas that I’ll work with for subsequent pieces; I think it might take me a while to “get it right”.

35″ x 23″, pastel.

“Thinking by a window”. 35″ x 23″, pastel.

I spend time with my granddaughter, Lola. While she is active, I try to make quick sketches of her. Here are two drawings that came about as a result of some sketches, and then the sketches follow.

The next drawing is called “Girls in Dresses, Part I”. I’m not sure if there will ever be any other parts, but my intention had been to make several parts over the break. But I got to the point where I needed a break from drawing, and instead of continuing with the series, I rested quite a bit.

“Girls in Dresses, Part I” is based on my granddaughter’s love of dresses and of movement. I am also inspired by Rumer Godden’s 1955 book called “Impunity Jane, the story of a pocket doll”, my favorite book for most of my life.

This drawing is really a study, and my intention had been to make the subsequent drawings more detailed. I have no idea if I will return to this series, or if it will end at part 1, or merely pause for months or years.

sketches of my muse:

the muse: