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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

On Paper

Sunday night, when I was Skyping/Zooming/Line-ing with Mom, (what is the generic term for this The Jetsons' age telephony?) she casually commented, "So, you're not working." She meant I'm not weaving. It's been super hot these last few weeks and the orange warp is galling sitting in the middle of the living room, and I've been avoiding eye contact.
 
I was in the middle of showing Mom blind contours drawings. I've been doing something related to Sketchbookery almost every day, and have been "enjoying" it immensely. Let me explain why it's in quote marks.  
 
I genuinely enjoy Mary Ann's video tutorials. Her colors are uplifting. I like the looseness of her lines/shapes. I like the apparent ease with which she draws, and seemingly so lightheartedly. (Not sure if this is entirely true; after all she is a grade school teacher.) At night, before I go to sleep, I either gaze at images on Pinterest or Instagram, or read her blog. Mary Ann loves nature, cats, birds, flowers and trees, so there are lots of drawings of them, while I like man-made objects and indoor scenes; fear not, she's also traveled extensively so there''s plenty of old stone buildings and rented accommodations. I don't know if I've been stressed, (I don't think so,) or if it's for other reasons, but I can't help feeling her company is what I needed right now. She started blogging in 2007 so there are a fair few posts to go still. :-D 
 
What's not necessarily enjoyable has been the actual drawing; I'm struggling. I decided to go with things I like to see drawn, and would like to draw often just for fun. I chose small coffee cups. They can't be that difficult.
I did a bunch of blind contours and noticed the handles, and how they are attached to cups, are incomprehensible, especially handles not made of round ropes, not flat slabs. I'm not aiming for realistic/detailed 3D depictions in my final sketches, but without understanding how they are/work, I can't seem to get a handle on looser lines, never mind coloring them. So I drew more, looking at the paper more often, looking at the cups, but boy, the more I drew, the more I grew confused.     
I remembered Nephew #2, (now 21,) loved drawing, but he didn't know how, so Sister, who never drew, had to concoct examples for him to copy. (She occasionally rattled off animals she had to conjure most recently.) I manipulated photos and traced the outline, paying particular attention to the handles, of course, but this was less than satisfying; I didn't learn/see/discover anything, so I've taken more closeup shots to give it another go. 
Except today I didn't want to draw seriously, so I thought to draw and color some art supply, another subject I'd like to sketch often. I noticed, though, when I'm not doing blind or slow contours, I draw what I think I see, and not what I see. Case in point, the color samples attached to this set of watercolors; in real life, I can't see all of the squares on the row closer to me; it's cut off by the lip of the case. I was also gobsmacked how many lines were needed to depict all the edges that exist in this wee case. I'll investigate some more in future, but it's something I struggled with rounded cup handles. 
 
I tell you what, though, Mary Ann or no Mary Ann, I do enjoy looking at my drawings later, even the bad ones. I think it makes me better at visual problem solving. And if nothing else, I concentrate and do the best on the moment, and that's well-worth my time and energy. 
 
The online embroidery thingie I signed up for without knowing what it was turned out to be Stitch Club Stitch Camp led by Gwen Hedley on TextileArtist.org. I can't find a webpage that explains it, but this is her. She seems very nice, but I'm watching the vids, taking notes, and saving tutorial PDFs but not doing a project now; I want to concentrate on Sketchbookery, but more than that, the style/material she's using for the vids, and what others are sharing in the FB group, are the more-is-more-and-never-enough school, and not my thing. There is good emphasis on trusting-the-process, though, and one never knows when the knowledge will come in handy. 

Tonight is hot. Ben said we're not having dinner, not even a salad. I'm thinking, ice cream.

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