It was a busy week, but I managed to get a few things done here and there that seem worthwhile, so I count my blessings, as they say. (Or used to say – maybe that’s somehow too loaded a phrase to use now? Not sure.)
To attempt to wind down yesterday after a tightly wound day and found myself walking with large sketchbook in hand in the warm evening sunlight to a studio to do a “drop in and draw” for a bit. One must keep practicing, or the rust sets in fast. However, if I’m too wound up the results will be a mess, which gets me more wound up, resulting in more of a mess, and so on. On the other hand, drawing a subject for some steady stretches of time is a good way to relax. You sort of have to get out of yourself and intertwine with the subject being drawn to really make a good job of getting it down on the page. So you must find a way of pushing past the curled and twisted bits inside, smoothing them out, and finding some stillness while doing that process of connection and interpretation. Overall, it is a good exercise in both self-discipline and self-observation, with immediate results – the drawing. If things are working well inside, you can see it as well as feel it.
Now I think about it, this is a strikingly similar analysis to that which I use about trumpet playing, something I used to do a lot in the middle 90s. Hmmmm. Evidently I’m attracted to these sort of epic internal journeys. Who’d've guessed?
By the way, some of you have kindly asked about how The Project is going. Thanks. Well, work continues. I’ve been a bit busy with the more traditional aspects of the Professor gig, but I’ve not been entirely inactive. I wrote some more of the stories I hope will go into it, and I was actually starting on thumbnailing one of them in some detail recently when I realized that the main setting I wanted to use for it was not at all clear in my head. Happily, I was able to do some scouting on Thursday afternoon to gather data to help with that. This included making some notes and taking some reference photographs. I hope to make a start on the thumbnailing soon, and maybe pencilling will begin in a few weeks on either that one or another one I’ve already thumbnailed.
Anyway, so there I was walking along to the studio, a bit later than I’d intended, when I noticed that the ice-cream truck I often hear (playing that same tune over and over again to the point of driving me insane) was right nearby. I was about to pass it, across the street, in fact. I decided to do something completely different for a change. I’d stop and get an ice-cream – it just seemed like the thing to do. (I’ve always wondered if those trucks really are selling ice-cream anyway, and who it was who is selling, and so this was a chance to look a bit more closely.) So I zigged instead of zagging, for a change, crossing the street and ordering a small cone for a dollar.
There’s no punchline here. No, really. I just enjoyed an unusual (for me) moment of walking in the sun with a nice cold ice-cream cone, and continued on my way to spend some of the evening working on the simple, satisfying task of trying to make marks (that one hopes sort of look like something) on bits of paper. I got a few reasonable drawings done (one, very unfinished, is pictured above – click for a larger view – she is sitting on a chair that I did not draw much of, in case you are wondering!), said a few words to some of the others who came along to draw, and then left.
It helped with finding balance in a busy time.
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):