How long has it been since I have escaped from my life and entered the someone else’s world through a masterfully written novel?  Too long.  I am wanting that escape.

The pencil sharpener from my childhood

Getting “in the zone” for drawing or painting cannot be done by flicking an internal switch to the “on” position.  I was reminded of that after the first two contour drawings of the pencil sharpener I removed from the wall behind the back door of the house I grew up in, the house my family built, brick by brick.  The message to me was that no matter how horrific I find the result of my daily drawings to be, the value lies in the priority to draw daily rather than to draw something well on a daily basis.

I am distracted.  I am distracted by my love for my father and my inability to accept that he cannot remember anything from moment to moment.  It makes me question all of life.  It makes me question why I draw, why I paint, why I even get out of bed in the morning.

But then….. I begin to draw and I realize that I have an addiction that nurtures me in a way that nothing else can except spending time with my children.  Another day means another day to learn one more thing about color, about line, about the world around me, about the face I am looking at across the table.  Another day means that I can explore what a dip pen can do with a gentle touch.

This might be a long winter.  I am already looking forward to spring.  I am looking forward to blooming in a new way this coming spring.

Ah…. the pencil sharpener.  I am rather attached to this pencil sharpener.  I wanted to express that connection in today’s drawings.  I vaguely remember when my father first screwed it into the wall behind the back door in the room we call the workroom.  It still sharpens a pencil beautifully.  I love the sound of it sharpening my pencil.  I love the smell of the shavings of wood and graphite.  I love everything about the process of finding my pencil dull and going using this amazingly simple machine t0 make my pencil sharp.

I will try on another day to express that passion.  I must find a place in my own home to screw it to the wall, to allow it to do the job it was designed to do and still does so well.

Sketch: drawn first with Preppy 0.5M fountain pen converted to eyedropper fill, filled with a mix of Noodler’s Sherwood Green and Noodler’s Heart of Darkness ink.  Followed by washes of water and watercolor using a Sumi Water Brush (I’m not too excited pleased with at the moment).

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