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I’ve been playing with charcoal, having tossed a drawing pad and a box of various charcoals into my bag for a short trip out of town. Yesterday I drew a still life (Joy: “A bowl of fruit? Isn’t that kind of a cliché?” Me: “But look at all the different textures in one place. That’s why so many artists like to paint them!”) (Or possibly: Because they’re frequently available, and, as Joy reasoned, they don’t move). Today I was so moved and inspired by Rex LeBeau’s drawing, Shadow, in the UU World, that I just wanted to try out different effects with the charcoal, so that’s what I did.

Doing some art every day is definitely a good thing in my life. And a good example of the games some of us have to play just to get ourselves doing what we want to do. For me, it helps to have made a page of 100 numbered, dated squares in my journal. Every day I make art, I fill in the day’s square. The compulsive in me really doesn’t want to leave any of them blank, so on the days when I’ve been tired and tempted to go to sleep and skip art time, compulsiveness works in my favor.

Even deciding on 100 days in a row is a game. Whatever works.

#100days

“Problems in Translation”
Assemblage, 6″ x 10″ x 2″
Cardboard, paper, key, lock, thread

I have a lot of trouble finishing pieces. This piece will probably be followed by others on similar themes, which helps me declare this one done.

#100days

This image, like all others on this site not otherwise identified, is (c) Amy Zucker Morgenstern

Earlier today I had plans to continue with the collaging of the keys and lock piece, but I was busy and by the time the World Series and dinner were over, I didn’t have the energy. I curled up with our cat and my smartphone drawing app for more exploration of this new medium. Here’s Luna.

Day 9 of #100days

Ahhhh! I want this piece to have many layers, and they’re starting to come in with this collaging.

Why red? I have no idea. I just saw it as having a red, slightly translucent later, and when I went looking for red tissue paper in our holidays-and-gift-supplies shelves, I found red streamers. I like the wrinkled texture too.

Give me scissors, paper, and rubber cement and I’m happy.

#100days of making art, day eight.

I’m in Petaluma, CA, and Pacific Gas & Electric has shut the power off. So I pulled a chair up the the mirror and tried to draw a self-portrait using the SketchbookX app on my phone while illuminating my face in the mirror with the phone’s flashlight.

It would have been a lot easier if I’d discovered the Undo button before I started. I only just found it. It may revolutionize my use of this medium, though I still have a lot to learn before I have any facility with it.

In the interest of sharing pieces that are very much experimental and don’t “look right,” here’s what I got after about 30 minutes of noodling.trying to draw a self

My art time today was spent skimming a book subtitled “Reflections on the Problems of Translation” in search of appropriate text for part of the collage, since that is the theme of the piece. I came up with very little, though I might use the one paragraph that seemed right. But having spent so much time on that research, and only a few minutes on putting pencil to canvas, I feel itchy, like I didn’t really make art today. It was a very long work day and so more art will have to wait til tomorrow, but I’ll make sure it is all making.

. . . was devoted to planning and plotting. Literally plotting points, because after I’ve collaged the inside of the box, I’ll be stringing threads between various points around the outside, and doing that by trial and error would be a huge pain. So I’m doing the trial and error on paper first.

How was your day, #100days practitioners?

I won’t post a photo every day, but here’s what I’ve been doing. It’ll be an assemblage incorporating hardware and thread, eventually.

And as is so often the case, when I’m not making art, thinking about it is like standing at the edge of an icy pond. When I finally take the plunge, it turns out to be a river, miraculously warm and carrying me along on a delicious current.

This is why I need to do this every day: because when I stop, I forget how much I love it and then it’s hard to get back in.

Do you have #100days plans?

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