Warm up chair

During the winter of three and a half years ago, I did a series of twenty four drawings of the same chair in our living room over a period of a couple of months. It is an oddly proportioned and, it turned out, a difficult form to draw accurately. This morning, I returned to it because it beckoned to me from the shadows. I thought it would be easier and that I'd use it as a warm up for the day's work, but like before, it tells me that I have far to go before it will acquiesce to being merely calisthenics.

this morning

three and a half years ago after the thirteenth attempt

the strongest of the 2007-08 group



All through the night until just a couple of hours before dawn, it rained. A steady, soaking in kind of rain. Then it cleared off, and the world is different. Because of water. Not that we're in a drought, but the trees and shrubs and flowers, the houses and sidewalks and streets feel freshened and radiant. Not a day to be under incandescent light. It's a morning to drink in life and to be grateful for it, a day to smile with wonder at the brightness of creation.Hydrangea after the rain.

detail, Derwent watercolor pencil and 2B graphite


Dread and dark delight

When I sat down at my computer at 7:30 this morning to begin drawing a kitchen in AutoCAD, I knew that I would finish two projects, start another, then end my designer day with another drawing of the crow. His pinion feathers overlap the frame of my monitor, so he's been lurking in my peripheral vision while I've been at the computer for the past three days. The compulsion to draw him with controlled violence is there all day, along with the dread that all I'll do is just lose control and scribble incoherent black furrows into the paper until I break the pencil or hurl it across the room in rage and frustration. But then I get down to it, and I walk that jumpy line between skilled delineation and wildly thrashing energy, and the experience is at once full of stress and a dark delight. When I'm done, the release is only a momentary sensation. I'm going to do it again tomorrow. And I'm already dreading it.



Draw not write

Two excursions in my little sketch journal today but I'm in TOO BAD A MOOD to write now. Never mind why. You can write for a change. Leave a comment.

studio crow #3

a Rad Davis sandblasted prince on my antique arts & crafts smoker's stand.


Studio crow

My father taught himself to do taxidermy when he was a teenager, and my parents' house has a room with dozens of his mounted wildlife crowding the walls. Most of them are specimens that he found dead but intact along the road, or that friends gave him, knowing of his hobby. All kinds of birds, large and small, squirrels, weasels, a beaver, schools of fish, and even a bobcat from his high school days. He hasn't done much in the last few years, but when he was into it, he won professional ribbons at competitions even though he was an amateur. Like many things my dad does, (drawing and painting, for instance), he's easily good enough to earn a living at it. He just never wanted to. He just liked doing it and wanted to do it really well.

This crow has been downstairs, just inside the front doors, for the nine years we've lived here, startling guests and collecting dust and cobwebs. He came up here just 45 minutes ago because I knew he'd be hard to draw. Maybe he'll stay here so I can do it again. Until I can do it really well.

A crow preserved in a lifelike pose years ago by my dad, hanging from a PH 3/2 sconce in my studio.

Evening break, another stab.