Friday, September 5, 2008

Day 41: 23 July 2008

Day 42: 24 July 2008

Day 43: 25 July 2008

Day 44: 26 July 2008

Many years ago as part of a self-esteem increasing period, I discovered that part of how we know and understand ourselves comes from outside of ourselves. So in spite of any little voice inside ourselves which cries out to the contrary, negative messages, particularly in the formative years, can take hold. At the same time, the messages from outside can shed new light on how you are doing or who you are. Thus, my first post and the comments on my trash can, shed new light. I have been burrowed deep down in a channel of production and judging and could not see my own progress.

Day 45: 27 July 2008

Day 46: 28 July 2008

I finally figured out what the heck is wrong with my spelling. I keep making crazy mistakes on my pictures and I suspect it’s not right but I am at a complete loss as to how to fix it in that moment. This flies in the face not only of my education but also my professional life and my work experience…..well basically my capability. So yesterday, once again staring down the face of another error, I finally get it. I am so far into a right brain mode at that moment that my left brain language/writing capability is basically non-existent. Throw in a good dose of fatigue and you have this performance. OK….I’m good with that.

Day 47: 29 July 2008

Day 48: 30 July 2008

Day 49: 31 July 2008

I put the wrong date on the picture. It was done on 31 July. Spelling...dates....correctness eludes me. I believe this was actually the EDM challenge of the week - draw a truck. I wrote a short story right after my dog walk this morning. It knits right into the mood for this intense drawing day. I spent most of the day absorbed in this picture....tons of fun.

31 July 2008 A Murder of Crows and a Hawk

There is a lot of tension in the air this morning.

I awake with a jolt at 5:05. My head pounds as usual. The realization of exhaustion slams my consciousness again. But I need to move. I need to get up. I feel edgy.

I take my coffee out into the front porch and sit in the semi-dark. The wind is too high for an early prairie morning. It adds to the restlessness in the air, my restlessness.

The sun is rising over the horizon and painting a murderous orange red as it comes. Slowly it pulls itself higher. The trees rustle impatiently. The sky turns to a saturated vanilla and grey. I quit this place and get more coffee. It’s still pre-daylight really and too early to take the dog out for a walk but I need to move. I adjust and print a few pictures for my planned drawing this morning. Now I can go.

I need to be out with the wind. I need the tree rustling volume in surround sound around me. I need to move with the leaves.

The dog is strange today. She takes detours and does things she normally doesn’t do.

We hear the rapid and furious squawking of a crow. As we go down our silent route up the back lanes I see the crow. It’s chasing…what is that an owl? No it’s a hawk. A crow chasing a hawk in the semi-light. What is a hawk doing down here in the suburbs?

We get close. Now I see a roost shaking itself into action and becoming a murder of crows. I hope not literally. There are four of them, grouped two-by-two. Two are slowly calling out while sitting on a wire. Another two are at the gutter of a steeply pitched roof. The hawk is gone. Smart. There must be carrion somewhere around, likely in the gutter where the crows put it yesterday.

We make our way onto the road now. The wind. The wind. It soothes me with its action, swirling around my arms, cooling my pounding brow. In the distance I see two cats tensely poised. It is the type of stance which shows conflict between them.

As we approach they spill onto the road screaming and with fur flying literally. Off to the sides in the distance are three rabbits, like a border of silent statues watching. Strange. Very strange. I stamp my foot and lowly growl “Git. Git.” All that does is startle the dog. One cat glances edgily at me. Two steps more and they run in opposite directions.

The rabbits do not move. They rarely do when we pass by. I have trained my walking companion and myself to keep our energy low and whisper softly to them so we can enjoy their beauty.

We turn around and head home. The wind comes in gusts, the leaves tinkle and rustle and flow. As we go along I hear the crows. Now I see the hawk perched on the roof of this house, one foot up. How strange. A crow lands four feet away and its cry goes up in pitch and speed directed at the hawk. The hawk stares at him. The crow flaps its wings and jumps sideways two steps towards the hawk who flaps in return. They are both agitated but wanting to hold their ground. The crow now moves another hop with wings raised up threatening the hawk. The hawk flies off as the crow jumps backwards and watches. The prize must be valuable for all this to happen I think.

I think of the animal totems. Unusual bird activity….a sign of magic.

Now I see that lightly clouded skies have darkened into a smooth greyness. Perhaps a storm is coming in. I feel edgy and intense and enlivened. I feel part of the morning’s secrets.

We arrive home and I open every window I can to let all this seep in and envelope me. It’s going to be a great day. I can feel the magic.

Day 50: 1 August 2008

The End. 50 pages, 50 days is done. What a great experience. I would advise anyone now to take a journey like this, especially if you like surprises and self-discovery.

Now what? Well I was thinking as I neared the final few days that I would have to “get back” to other artwork now. Much to my surprise, yet another surprise, I thought of what else I might have done in this time. I listed four small watercolour paintings and near completion of an 18 x 22 watercolour Frothy Tiger Moth painting. In addition, I finished one roll of colour film, one roll of bl/wh, processed and catalogued the images from four rolls in total, and shot and catalogued about 100 digital shots. I printed in final, four flower 8 x 10 colour prints and three art cards. I also practised architect lettering and researched four other fonts to practice for hand lettering. I learned to make and use my own brushes in Photoshop. I learned to create a blog and post to Flickr. I have also finished my research and decision making on the flower type for a 5 ft. by 6ft. fabric art which is midway. I have reviewed some of my initial design work for a book of poetry a friend wishes me to illustrate and pushed my thinking to the next percolation way station. I finished reading the lion’s share of The Pen and Ink Book by Jos A. Smith and Illustration by J. Morgan . I also finished Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins and began Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I read two PhotoShop magazines, an Art Review and a Bl/Wh Special Edition. Then there’s all the web stuff. I wrote a short story. I have a job which is 40+ hours a week, Mary Ellen’s cancer care, an aging dog with mega allergies, family and friends, and a three story Victorian house which I had painted during this time.

So reading this list, I have decided to take the afternoon off….well maybe… LOL.

I bought two new sketch books three days ago to get ready for the next leg of the journey. What I would really like to do is to practice with various materials and see what I can do with that. I want to fully understand my pens and the lines I can get out of them. I want to better understand paper. Vacation is coming and I want to do a 22 x32 drawing of some type of animal with an intricately decorated skin. I also want to paint an acrylic rendering of a friend’s dog who died this spring. I would love to finish the Frothy Moth and the fabric art. I also want to carve some more on a large lino landscape. I want to post the entire 50 days, 50 pages to my blog. I want to learn to use painterly strokes overlaid on bl/wh photos I have taken and possibly consider that for some silk screen. I am dying to create some highly textured stone columns for the garden and to lay into the grass the cement leave stepping stones I created last year.
So, off I's exciting.....