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Here on Day 70 of #100days of making art: the drawing in progress (above) and the model (below).

Portobello. And now I know sonething I’ll draw with the scratchboard and knife my daughter gave me this morning.

My wife got into the car on Sunday and passed me a handful of seed pods she had picked up on the sidewalk: different than the kind I drew in Sacramento over Thanksgiving, smaller and darker, though again I don’t know the species. “Here,” she said. “I know you like this kind of thing.” It’s so good to be known.

I put them in the well of the driver’s side door, and there they have been getting drier and rattling around. They’ve also given me an idea for the linocut workshop we’ll be taking from Katie Gilmartin at SOMArts in February. I want to have drawings ready when I go in, or I won’t get far on the print. I’m going to make a series (triptych, maybe) of these pods in various states, from fresh to freshly fallen to dried up. It’ll be a further exploration of something that’s interested me for a long time: the ambiguous nature of decay. “Decay” sounds like a judgment, as does “progress,” though one could use either word for what is happening. “Change” is a more neutral descriptor. That’s what fascinates me. Since they are growing more wrinkled and fragile, we would probably say that they are decaying, yet their beauty is not diminished. It is only different, and to some eyes, increased.

I don’t know how much they have really changed over the last five days. They might only rattle more now because they were damp when Joy picked them up, and now they’re dry. I have the impression that they’re more wizened and bent, but I can’t be certain because I didn’t look very closely at them on Sunday. I’ll know better when I go get some more and draw them at intervals.

For tonight, I just drew them as they are now, twice, quickly, in ink pen, as a first stage of getting to know them.

#100days

It’s been fifty days of making art every day. I missed two. It’s making me very happy, especially when art is one of the first things I do in the morning. That seems to be when I have the most energy for creativity, and whatever I do then stays wiyh me the whole day.

In the meantime, Joy has completed the drawings for our new art room, and will take them to the city permit office tomorrow, so that the builder can get going. It won’t be large, but we’ll be able to have a table for us all to work at, the way we did in Oaxaca three years ago, and enough shelves for all the art supplies.

We’re setting aside a little time, reserving a little space, for something that’s important to all three of us.

#100days

On the way to work this morning, three things in particular made me grateful for this life. (1) In the shopping center where I stopped on an errand, there is a restaurant called Hella Halal. (My daughter would say Hecka Halal, but I like the rich consonance of the original.) (2) Just now, as I turned into the church’s street, a fire engine was coming my way with its siren and lights whirling, so I pulled over next to a preschool, and thus enjoyed the lovely sight of the children running toward the fence, hands over their ears, faces alight, to watch it go by.

And (3) all along the route there have been trees in their autumn glory.

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