Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Hysteric - Oops! I mean, Historic - Week

This past week we said goodby to the Obamas, who have graced our White House for the past eight years.  I just couldn't be happy about that, and so Friday I went with my sadness to my daily sketchbook.

Saturday, I planned to take part in the Women's March, a massive event which took place all over the world to encourage compassion and equality in all people. Here in my small city, over ten times as many showed up as were expected, and that seems to have been true everywhere! Before I left the house to march, I did the above sketch in my Sktchy sketchbook.

One of the things that was so great about the march were the pink 'cat-ear' knit and crochet hats! They were everywhere! Each one was created by a knitter or crocheter, and they (we) literally made millions of them! I loved that!! So when I got home, I posted a photo of myself in my hat on Sktchy, and before long, five artists had sketched me!

Sktchy has a tradition that, if someone sketches you, you can sketch them back (if they have made their photos available.) Three of the artists who sketched me also took part in the March, and posted photos, either of themselves or of their family marchers.

I loved doing these 'drawback' sketches of these women and girls; all of them with the handmade hats that made the March especially special to those of us who create such things. I feel like it gives me even closer ties to the women of an extended world: We are 'makers,' we are artists, we are women with compassionate concerns. We are more alike than we are different. If only the whole world could come to that conclusion!

I have been having some back issues - aging issues, I guess is more accurate. But I made my way into the studio today and spent more time than I probably should have at the loom. I have been having trouble being excited about this tapestry that is on the loom. But working on it again is restoring at least my appreciation, if not yet passion, for it. I am beginning to look forward to seeing it progress.

To paraphrase what Garrison Keillor has said, the next four years can be a time for me to create, to tend my garden, and to be kind and compassionate in my own sphere. But I will not be doing that with my eyes shut.

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Take Your Broken Heart; Make it Into Art..."

It seems like sometimes we lose more than we gain. Recently, we lost 'Princess Leia' and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Several generations of young girls grew up wanting to be Princess Leia, and I think she was a better role model 'princess' than the Disney ones. The sketch I did above is from a Sktchy photo of one such girl.

Last night Meryl Streep quoted Carrie Fisher in her wonderful Golden Globes speech, as telling her to, "take your broken heart, make it into art." That is what I have been trying to do. I am still working on a design for a tapestry that is to be my reaction to the election results; a broken heart in fiber form. Not an easy thing to design. It is much easier to design 'pretty' or 'happy.'

In the meantime, I am doing little quick sketches, mostly from photos people have shared on the Sktchy app. The one above is of a migraine, and, with the winter storms hanging over our valley this week, I am quite familiar with the feeling.

This one, which I call 'Banjo Love,' was this morning's sketch. It was done with ink and watercolor pencils. The others are done with a combination of water soluble markers, crayons, and pencils.

This little sketch of my sitting room was done in ink, then with several diluted ink washes, then a bit of watercolor for a final color wash. I'm not very fond of either that method, or the result. But I will give it another chance. It takes much longer than my normal quick 'inked line work, then color' method.

So.... I need to get back to work. The time has come.....  Now has arrived. (Ready or not.)

(psssst... If you follow me on Instagram, you will see my daily sketches on the day they are created. Link in the sidebar. Also, some sketches are for sale on Sktchy, there's a link to that, too.)