I must quiet my mind.
Sometimes it can be done with reading on the train. And sometimes it needs to be done by formulating, or finding, some clear thing out of the jumble of tangled strings and wires— the ones that formed knots in one’s head during the tumult of the day.
Day twelve of #Inktober.
Various and sundry hunting trophies adorned the walls of the anteroom. The light from the fireplace made them cast shifting, unsettling shadows onto the walls and ceiling.
I’ve added some process pics after the jump, if you’re interested.
A little sketch I did last week; result of watching Project Runway. After inking and applying watercolor, I went in with an opaque white paint marker, in varying degrees of density. It stays wet initially, especially when you press down and get a big blob, so you can blot with cloth to make it more subtle and soft. Really fun working on this little reversed suit design.
My subconscious has been working on a thesis for me lately; broadcasting things which on the surface (flattened and simplified by my waking mind) appear disparate, but on closer inspection are stitched together by a continuous thread.
Its thesis is about crafting sensible (or at least legible, recognizable) solutions, guides, codes to amorphous and unformed problems. Striving to find concrete solutions to riddles or puzzles only hinted at. Trying to map a place whose geography and even location is ever-shifting.
A reminder that, sometimes, the answers one wants or needs are unattainable because one is asking the wrong questions. It’s telegraphing this to me visually; that’s how I best understand the world. And the message coming through: I must widen my frame of reference, my view, in order to ask the right questions.
‘Maps for cephalopods’ is perhaps the most obvious— my subconscious’ version of hitting me over the head; a wry attempt at a movie-montage or voice-over exposition— and its point at least two-fold;
Here’s a sketch I did on the weekend; the view from a corner table. There was no place to sit at the bar, and the whole length of it was occupied by men. hence the snarky little title in the upper left. This is perhaps a 15-20 minute sketch done directly in ink.
Last evening I went back into it, first with my grey markers, and then with watercolor. Getting down some tonality before hitting the colors allowed me to distribute darks and lights. (I’m better at doing it in monochrome). I do enjoy the combination of alcohol-based and water-based media, it’s great to be able to layer back and forth.
The third image shows it in full color, and where I decided to leave it.
Also: for anyone else who’s still counting, this brings me up to 73 people (from one week 100 people, now on week 3, haha!)
Here’s a couple of drawings from last week.
Did you know that Matisse was going blind toward the end of his career, and resorted to cut paper instead of paint, so he could feel the shapes? I sometimes feel I can relate to him, in a small way— mainly in dim lighting. It’s an upsetting thing for a visual artist, to begin to lose the erstwhile sharpness, the detail. To have to rely upon lights and optical assistance to be able to even approach what your eyes have seen always, for decades.
It’s stressful, and somehow still surprising to me. I do see well in bright light with contacts. And fine in dim light, with glasses. It’s not a surprise, then, that I often rely on my accumulated inner library of gestures, angles, and details.
I began this earlier in the week in pencil, and spent far longer on it than I expected to on that initial drawing, but have been aiming for greater attention to accuracy and detail so I can get faster at it.
I meant to scan it before inking, but I forgot. Here’s a part of the pencil from my pocket computer, though:
And the inking, which I did yesterday, below. You can still see the pencil lines here, anyway, as it was before I erased:
Next, my beginnings of putting bits of color in. At this point I was unsure how much I planned to fill in:
In the end I erased the stripes on the awning. Really, when I put them in (they were imaginary), it was mainly with the objective of simply keeping track of what was what— so many lines! I used the menu at the restaurant a lot as a straight edge.
For the final, I decided against filling in the iron of the windows, and only filled in the black awning outside, and the colorful bits n bobs, essentially leaving the architectural / structural things white (except for that wee shelf in the corner— a diagonal to the browns of the furniture).