The problem is not entirely how to find a room of one’s own, the time alone, difficult and necessary as that is. The problem is more how to still the soul in the. midst of its activities. In fact, the problem is how to feed the soul.
I’m drawing & painting from a photo posted all over the internet. Credit goes to Win McNamee/Getty Images. Ms. Cheney is not looking at the camera but try as I might, I just cannot paint her eyes to show how she’s looking straight ahead to the video setup. I must have painted & blotted three or four times. Finally, I just have to accept it.
“Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.” —- Liz Cheney 09 June 2022
Back in April I signed up for a drawing session organized by Gayle Kayaker and Jennifer Orkin Lewis. We drew from a live model on Zoom, a costumed ballet dancer, Leigh Kidwell.
The Zoom presentation was 2 hours long and Included several breaks for both us and the model, Leigh. She delighted us with a few costume changes to complement her elegant poses.
I drew, and drew, and drew… even scanned all my artwork… and then it all sat cluttering up my laptop’s screen just waiting to be uploaded.
Well today’s the day.
I’m presenting my sketches in chronological order with a number key above each image. The first number is the number of minutes Leigh held the pose and the second number is the sequence number. For example: 5.4 means it’s a 5 minute pose and it’s the 4th time I’ve drawn a 5 minute pose. I used a black Pentel Pocket Brush Pen on 7 in. x 8.5 in. pieces of Strathmore Drawing Paper.
This experience just whetted my appetite to get back to live, in-person life drawing. I just checked, the next session starts in a few weeks.
If the video above doesn’t play you can watch it on YouTube here.
In my previous post I detailed the year-long project that culminates in this nearly six minute long video. Yes, I’m pleased with the book… actually, I’m thrilled. But most importantly, I’m pleased that I could see this project through to completion, COVID-19 pandemic and other stressors be damned!
And now that I’ve finally finished the video and uploaded it here I’ll take a few minutes to reflect and get over my post-project letdown before picking up my paintbrush again because you see… I already have another project going!
It comes as no surprise to those of you who follow here that I’m a huge fan of Roz Stendahl and have been a long time reader of her blog, Roz Wound Up, and more recently, Roz Interim on Patreon.
Way back in November, 2020 Roz discussed how to select personal projects that are both meaningful and enjoyable that would encourage long-term exploration. She feels it’s important to develop the independence to organize a project that will be meaningful and not dictated by prompts or an instructor’s guidance.
Enter the Project on Projects: Do It Anyway December.
Roz pushed us to select a simple project based on accessible subjects that would continue through the month of December. We would build our project around three crucial items: skill, medium, and subject matter we loved.
I had been thinking of cataloging my collection of Christmas Ornaments and it seemed to fit this framework perfectly. I love serendipity!
I would paint my ornaments on watercolor paper signatures and then bind them into a book when I finished. But I have a lot… a LOT… of ornaments! I knew immediately that “Do It Anyway December” was going to turn into “Do It Anyway 2021.”
Skill – watercolor on 140lb/300gsm cold press watercolor paper signatures using standard brushes (no waterbrushes). Medium – watercolor, ink if desired. Subject – Christmas ornaments
I worked diligently through December but then my interest waned only to be invigorated a week or so later when I’d resume my mission. And so went the whole of 2021. I had other drawing and painting projects going on simultaneously so I was still keeping up my daily art practice without ever losing sight of my goal. I wanted my ornaments painted and scanned by early November and the book case made and bound by Thanksgiving.
I did it!
The book is approximately 8 inches square and contains four signatures with throwouts. It’s bound into a Sewn on the Spine structure using Keith Smith’s Dash & Bars stitch pattern twice on the spine. The case is covered with Asahi Scarlett book cloth and inset with a watercolor and ink splattered label.