Sketch XXXI

Such a busy weekend! On Saturday...after riding 40 miles on my bike, I spent four hours pulling weeds and hauling mulch and rocks, (thanks to my dear, sweet neighbor who simply wants me to be the best i can be). On Sunday I attended the annual Seattle Print Arts picnic at Sidereal Press, ( a print shop/facility to die for!) after I attended Eva Pietzcker artist's talk and demonstration at Cullom Gallery. Eva is also a NAP alumni, and seeing her work and watching her demo was truly inspiring. Her exquisite prints reminded me of just how beautiful Japanese-style woodblock prints can be. The color, which permeates the paper, (and doesn't just sit on top of it as in oil based prints) is radiant, luminous. Since returning from Japan I have shied away from moku hanga. The intention has been there, but the courage has been lacking. My biggest fear has been sizing paper. After talking with Eva yesterday I realize my 'mountain' of paper sizing is really just a molehill, (and I'm kinda dumb.) Eva uses sized paper. This morning I hopped online, purchased some sized paper and am one step closer to hauling out my maru bakes, barens and sumi ink. Below is the announcement postcard for Eva's exhibit at the Cullom Gallery, (see it through October 9th!)

(detail) Baltic Sea, Moving Trees - Eva Pietzcker, 2009


Saturday Sketch XXX

When I was in college, the professor of my Introduction to Drawing class gave an interesting and useful assignment...100 drawings of one object, (I chose a cardboard box). Looking back I understand what a brilliant assignment this was. After the first dozen or so drawings, one simply must 'get creative' to fulfill the 100 drawing quota! I've been reading Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit, and in her chapter entitled, Ruts and Grooves I discovered Ms. Tharp suggests something similar. She says, "If you find yourself caught in a rut, what you really need is a new idea, and the way to get it is by giving yourself an aggressive quota for ideas." She then describes an exercise she uses when she lectures at colleges...she shows students an object (she used a stool in her example) and challenges them to come up with 60 uses for the object in two minutes. She finds there is a consistent order to the quality of ideas; the first being the most obvious, and the ideas closer to number 60, more imaginative and creative. The same was true with my 100 drawings of the cardboard box.
Lately I've found myself lost and uninspired, experiencing lots of fits and starts and getting absolutely nothing accomplished in my studio, the result of which is pessimism. (Twyla addresses pessimism too, she calls it 'the mother rut".) So earlier this week, in an attempt to just do something, I sat down at my drawing table with a stack of assorted sketchbooks, pens, brushes, pencils and paints, and spend an entire day doing nothing but drawing; sort of a combined variation on the 100 drawings and the 60 uses exercises. I don't have any wildly imaginative drawings to post, (would you believe the wildly imaginative ones are too large for my scanner?) but the day of drawing did propel me out of my malaise, and into a better place...out of my rut and searching for a groove.


Good news, bad news

The good news: Sketch XXIX, actually posted on Saturday! The bad news: I can't seem to move beyond sketchbook mode. sigh.



On a day that felt more like the first of September than the first of August it actually was, I pulled out a piece of copper and for the first time in more years than i want to admit, did a dry point sketch. I wouldn't say the result was 'successful', but the process was informative and fun. Me thinks I shall further explore this technique.

On another note, today, the smoke from the wild fires in British Columbia turned our Seattle sun an eerie and wonderful orange. I tried to take a picture but my camera went blind.