I’ve been meaning to write a more in-depth post for some time. My head space has been a bit scrambled, and I’ve been wading through a lot of current life sideline emotion and the more nebulous backlog of emotion from the history of abuse. Abuse sucks, plain and simple. It is a powerful force that for huge segments of my life has been a drain of resources, time, energy, focus, drive, even willingness to live. Never mind having to do more things in a day besides just existing. Existing was the hardest thing for me do—when the abuse was happening, when it was becoming known to me in my consciousness; as the veils and distances of time and space fell away in my healing, it made everything get closer. More personal. Harder to deny, impossible to run away from. I tried to hide physically, emotionally, mentally, and when I was all done exerting myself from that, the truth would sit there, unamused by my antics, and ever-patient, telling me this happened to you.
So, here is my new goal. This isn’t a healing-focused blog, as I’ve had them before and they have been very beneficial, but also enabled a lot of wallowing. I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in being, and in making space and saying Yes to what is left of me, and what is growing from this point forward.
This is my grounding tactic—my tether and my answer to loss, to shame, to new memories, to all manner of uncontrollable. This, I can control. I can come here. I can be here.
So, here’s my new motto, and life goal—
I love you all, I hope you will continue on this creating journey with me—of fortifying self, and creative skills. ♥
There was a lovely portrait on the front of a recent National Geographic. So, I drew her (my hand work is terrible–need to work on that!) and added a potted plant, because I have been looking at a lot of Hope Gangloff lately, and it made me think of props in her wonderful portraits.
The start of the image, working in the major color groups.
My awesome family bought me a Cintiq! It is the most loveliest, most beautiful, most responsive, happiness-generating piece of equipment I have ever had in my life. Cintiq is a drawing tool. It has a stylus and a pad, and easily enables drawing in digital format. So, instead of drawing with my Fujitsu, which I had a lot of fun with, but it was getting quite old… I now have this super device that uses the power of my existing laptop. That makes it possible for me to run Photoshop, the drawing program, and all kinds of demanding tasks at once, with no fuss. I’m really looking forward to getting more comfortable with this tool, and taking advantage of the power and freedom of movement.
This is the drawing I made today, “Reclining Iris.” To see at a higher resolution, click here.
I took a recent trip to a Daiso store and got some lovely little mechanical pencils. I felt like making a figure portrait with a butterfly in it. The pencils worked out extremely well–one is an HB and the other is a 2B. The shading on the face was particularly rewarding and simple with the softer of the two pencils. I also used some graphite pencils from Ashleigh-Nicole that are very smooth and feel great. This turned out so well that I have a lot of confidence about making more portraits with insects and other animals featured in the future.
Starting out with a graphite drawing and progressing to digital coloring.
I couldn’t choose between a black or blue background, so I’m keeping them both.
I really like how that black makes her hip and leg pop out. Bam.
This was a simple exercise using the line symmetry tool in Sketchbook Pro. I was trying to represent female hair in as many non-hair shapes I could imagine. I like the simplicity of this–and the view as if from behind.
After a long time of not working on portraits, I started longing to make them again. This is the beginning of my reintroduction. I am also firming up a mode of working. I want to remove boundaries and obstacles to starting a drawing–draw when I feel that impulse (low barrier of entry)–but have the power, scaling, and multi-media application that is possible with digital art.
1) sketch the image on paper with graphite
2) semi-finalize lines
3) minimal shading with graphite
4) take a picture of the drawn image
5) upload image of the drawn image (scaling / resolution)
6) overlay uploaded image with digital lines / trace
7) working and finalizing lines as I go along
8) creating multiple layers digitally
9) manipulating layers/mood/look
10) finalizing lines
11) apply digital color
12) rework, edit, add, remove as needed
Here is a picture I titled, “Her Winding Self,” using this workflow method.
The original image, graphite on paper.
The final image, with dark digital lines and digital coloring.
Today, I am happy to have three poems published at Eunoia Review! “The Classification of Rainbows,” “Requires Heavy Lifting,” and “Pavee” have found their home. I am pleased to see all three together, in such a well-represented venue. I have been a fan of poems published here for some time, and I feel privileged to be among those poets. (If you’re in a poetry-reading mood, and want to catch up with my other publications, click here.)
I happened to find the most lovely grouping of succulents about a week ago. These were such a sweet pair that I decided to draw them in Sketchbook Pro. It is likely that I will making sketches of succulents for awhile, as I took many pictures of lots of them. I love the colors and the ability to do such fun line work with such a deceptively simple shape.
This was a short study in using simple lines to convey depth and perspective. I didn’t pre-measure, just launched in to the drawing, using my hands and eyes. I am still working on developing the connectivity between what my eyes see and what I can bring to paper. I’m sure this is going to be an ongoing process, with many iterations, for the rest of my life. I’m happy with this because I was able to get so much out of it being minimal in my approach. (To view at a higher resolution, click here.)
Ink and graphite on paper, 9″x 6″.
An ink drawing of an approximation of my sailboat at the opening of our marina. This started as a landscape, but I decided to include the boat. The perspective is off in places, but I like the composition. Not a bad drawing for not sketching first and making up the scene mostly from memory.
I have been sending poems out like a crazy lady lately. I must have thirty different sets of poems out in the world, in various inboxes of some very tired and underpaid editors. I found out via a tweet that my poem, “Nature is Nurture,” was published today in Burningword Journal. Yay, so happy. This is encouraging after a rather long string of rejections lately. I am also heartened because this is a recent poem—written only a month ago. Below is a screenshot taken from the publication.