Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I started drawing today at breakfast and quickly decided that today would be a no-thought drawing day: I would simply draw whatever I ate all day before I ate it. So I drew plain Fage yogurt and thawed-out frozen blueberries and raw almonds, my usual breakfast. Then I drew lunch at my friend Linda's, where we combined the leftovers I had brought me with some stuff she had and came up with an accidentally beautiful lunch for the two of us: very dense seedy bread from the wonderful Farm and Sparrow bakery, an apple, some local Stackhouse goat cheese, leftover stir fry of kielbasa and root vegetables including sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, leeks, and kale topped with toasted sesame seeds (gomasio).
Tonight at home it was No One's night to cook. Instead we foraged, and this is what I came up with: a grilled Irish cheddar with tomato slices sandwich on Whole Foods' sourdough bread topped with Patrick's dukkah from Thanksgiving and some leftover broccolini. I had the peppermint tea with lunch. And that's it for today.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
At ceramics studio this afternoon Maya finished under-glazing her fox sculpture. These three views show it in its unfinished state with the under-glaze on but not yet fired. You can see the fluffy fox tail as well as the front feet. This fox is sitting up. Maya made it from a ball of red-brown clay. She has a good feel for form. She draws foxes a lot, and when she formed this piece she pulled on ideas she has about foxiness from all those drawings. The little bag is one I made today to fill an order. It's made out of an Urban Outfitters carrying bag and has a green horse bag lining, tres chic with its tiny white metal chain for a shoulder strap.
Monday, December 2, 2013
I don't know whether it's because nothing else is growing in the woods, or if it really is the optimum time of year for mosses, but today we saw mosses everywhere and in great variety. If you have a moss garden or a rock garden or a moss sofa in your yard like my friend Brad has, this is the time to go out and replenish! I brought home half a dozen different kinds of moss, and that's what today's drawings are of. After drawing them, I plunked them down in a clay pot out in the backyard. Tomorrow I'll choose the best ones to add to my tiny moss garden terrarium.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Today's topic is orphaned objects. (Jesse, leftover from yesterday, was actually an orphan when he hurled himself at our bedroom window three summers ago, and so he too belongs with this group.) On the right hand page at the top left is a pretty beveled glass mirror that had been abandoned in my grandparents' house when my family cleared out their furniture and other things before renting the house out to us while the estate was being settled. When we left to move on three years later, I helped myself to the mirror. It had been hung on the bathroom wall with picture wire and a nail, probably in the early 1900s when my grandparents bought the house. I tried to strip the paint off, thinking I would find beautiful old wood underneath; but the frame of the mirror turned out to be made of plaster.
The three containers were all abandoned by various visiting daughters-in-law. The two on the top are a set: blonde hair shampoo and conditioner, which blonde Maya likes to use when she spends the night here. The one on the bottom is conditioner to tame frizzy hair, which none of them has. It's almost full, so I hold onto it in the event that someday a curly-haired guest will find it.
The drawings on this page are of kitchen orphans. On the let is my other grandmother's big enameled spoon. It was left in her house after she died, and I was staying in her house a few months later and found the spoon in an otherwise empty cabinet. I took it home, planning to use it. But the throat of the spoon is bare of enamel and is rusted and weak. So I hung it on the wall over our sink, next to the other object. This object is a pair of ice tongs from the days when people had ice delivered to their kitchens for their ice boxes. We found the tongs under the sink in our old house in Indiana when we were moving in. They reminded me of the only ice box I can remember, in my spoon grandmother's kitchen. I remember sitting for a few minutes on the block of ice, which was covered with scratchy tan cloth, probably burlap.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
I've been working on a print for a show with the theme Books Without Electricity. Today I sketched the inside pages, which are done, and also what I imagine the cover will look like. And then Jesse sauntered over and lay down for a nap.
Before I could finish this last one, he stretched and rolled over and took off. But I really enjoyed nailing his contours, especially that tucked-under front leg and paw.
Friday, November 29, 2013
I'll try to keep the writing in this big post to a minimum! Actually, many of the drawings are labeled. On this first page are a couple of drawings of landscape patterns from the drive from our house to our friends' house a couple of hours southwest of us. There was a light snowfall, and it was below freezing as we set out into the mountains Wednesday morning; so patterns showed clearly, dark shapes against white ground. When we arrived our friends greeted us with bowls of a spectacularly good soup, the recipe for which is written around the drawing of the bowl. On the right are some of the deer that gather around Sandy and Lee's house every morning for breakfast. They silently materialize out of the woods, so quiet, so still, so attentive. We watched from a window up above, and if we moved even slightly, the deer moved away.
Sandy and Lee have as extensive collection of artifacts and art objects, which I always enjoy sketching when we visit. On the left above are an Innuit doll made of bones and a Balinese container with a carved wooden head. On the right hand page is a drawing and recipe for Sandy and Lee's son Patrick's dukkah, a roasted seed and nut delicacy that he makes every year and that we all immediately eat on fresh bread dipped in olive oil and then in dukkah. Fabulous!
On the left above are three Indonesian jars for ointments, oils, spices. On the right are a group of small and interestingly made kitchen utensils.
Sandy and I always find time to do artwork together. This time we drew together while various of the men cooked (a fine arrangement) and also spent some time in her studio where I worked a bit on my big print project, turning the prints into a book, and she showed me her installation, a work-in-process. Last night after a movie the men made their annual batch of peanut brittle while Sandy and I sketched some cat toys, a pretty bone knife shaped like a fish, and a pair of earrings made for Sandy by a friend. The earrings were made around a core of cat hair from recently departed Sara, the hair rolled into a ball. There was something of the elegiac air of Victorian hair jewelry about them, and the earrings were delicate and creepily beautiful. Sandy pointed out that the fur balls had been constructed from cat hair that had been combed out, not hacked up.
Back home this afternoon, I sketched out designs for a couple of orders that came in today for a small bag and a large laptop and iPad case. I'm excited to get going on them, especially the laptop case since it involves an interesting innovation. Patrick ordered it and designed it, and he has really good ideas and is great at articulating what he wants.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
My friend Fran showed me a sprouting red onion this rainy morning when I arrived at her house. Drawing it was a fine way to start the day. I didn't draw anything else until after dinner tonight, when I grabbed a handful of silverware from the drawer that has odd pieces. I had thought that I might get to 1000 this week, and I really wanted to finish up this sketchbook with that milestone drawing. But I had only one double page plus a part of a back page of the book that already had some notes on it. The silverware seemed like a good choice, all those skinny pieces that could be crowded onto the pages. The numbering system is mixed up because I numbered as I drew, and I drew as I could fit things in.
So here's the last page of the sketchbook. There's no real theme here besides most items being long and thin. #1000, on the other page, is a pretty little green leather pouch in which I keep two Swiss army knives and a whittling knife. I mainly use these for peeling bark when making paper from bast fiber. I plan to take a couple of days off from posting since I'll be out of town over Thanksgiving and away from my scanner. I will keep on drawing, just post everything when I get back in town. I'm considering posting every couple of days instead of every single day, but keep drawing every day. Not sure yet. I am really loving this practice! Drawing just gets easier and easier. I highly recommend this.