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

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

These are all over the yard at my relatives’ house. I knew as soon as I saw them that they would be today’s subject.

It’s a quick drawing because I am tired from every cell in my body’s being concentrated on digestion. I don’t set out to overeat at Thanksgiving, but I have to try a little of everything.

I’d like to draw these again, more slowly, and larger, in sepia conté crayon. Their beauty is something for which I am very thankful. I’ll bring them home.

#100days of art

“Or,” ink and colored pencil on a page of The Penguin Atlas of the Ancient World, 21 x 17 cm

More about this piece here.

#100days

Eh, I said in my last entry that I’d post a photo of my next piece about ancient and current empires when it was finished, but why wait? Here it is in progress. Source text: The Penguin Atlas of the Ancient World.

#100days

Yesterday’s art project was brought to us by our wonderful branch library: a workshop in turning plain notebooks into beautiful journals via decoupage. The children’s librarian who led it provided lots of great papers, magazine clippings categorized by my daughter who volunteers there weekly, and withdrawn books such as X-Men comics and a volume of M. C. Escher’s art. As you can see, I used his Tower of Babel.

Drying:

Front cover:

Back cover:

#100days

It’s been almost a month now of making art for a little while every day. I missed it on Tuesday, just tumbling into bed and not even remembering until morning that I’d meant to do some art. I also forgot it was trash night.

This morning, I was so jazzed to continue the piece I’d begun the night before that I worked on it before even showering. And then it blessed my whole day. It’s more altered text, of the text from an Atlas of the Ancient World (sic; it’s the ancient Mediterranean and environs, a very small world) and inspired by the maps themselves, and the day’s impeachment hearing. I am feeling a deep kinship with ancient Nineveh, and admiration for the people if that city. They put on sackcloth and ashes and repented? Amazing.

Here are that piece and another, both still in progress.

#100days

The cat spends the entire day in one spot, but she actually seldom stays still for long. It’s hard for me to draw fast enough to capture one pose before she stretches and turns and settles into another one.

So here is Luna twice in quick succession.

I haven’t posted the past few days, but I did art every day except for Friday, when (what was I just saying about not waiting until the end of the day?) I lay down at around 9 p.m. and slept right through until the morning. So today I did two.

The first was this drawing done with the SketchbookX app.

I’m really enjoying having this app as a “sketchbook” available wherever I go. I usually carry a small paper sketchbook with me also, but carrying a full range of colors for it is not as easy.

Then I got back to the assemblage I’ve been working on. I think the collaged part is done, and tomorrow I can start stringing the threads that will hold an old-fashioned lock suspended in the middle.

I had no idea until tonight that I was going to incorporate music. I love those discoveries.

#100days

I need to start doing my art earlier in the day. If I don’t do it before work, then I can’t get to it until after the end of the work day, the drive home, and dinner. Then I’m tired.

Tonight it was not until after all of that, plus Halloween (a neighborhood affair: everyone goes up and down the commercial street, enjoying everyone else’s costumes), then a family viewing of The Nightmare Before Christmas, that I got down to art time. Tiredness drove the content (a self-portrait at the kitchen table) and the medium (charcoal, because the drawer of drawing materials stuck and I couldn’t get at the conté crayons I was planning on), and they went together just right. Conté would’ve been too fussy.

Day 10 of #100days.

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