The shapes created by the spaces between things

watercolor painting of poppies in sunlight
Poppies in sunlight (watercolor)

One of the reasons I enjoy poetry is because it comprises all of my favorite ways of making. It’s creating images with words, yes; a kind of storytelling. But it’s about so much more than just the correct or precise words —more than denotation or connotation— it’s also about design.

It’s about how the words interact with the space around them; make a composition, make aural and visual rhythms; remainders as important as omissions.

As in any kind of composition, the negative space is crucial.

watercolor painting: fraternal twins
Fraternal twins (watercolor)
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Suggestions of a fine summer day

Here’s a scene from the deck of our little house in Cherry Grove. I had it in mind that I’d start with some color then go in and add structure with pen, but I quite liked how serene and unfettered this looked so decided to leave it as mere suggestions of the pool and flower pots.

I see thee yet, in form as palpable as this which now I draw

Last night, sitting on a blanket on the ersatz turf of the sporting field behind the Old Stone House in Park Slope, I enjoyed the production of Macbeth by South Brooklyn Shakespeare, now in their fifth season.

Set in a post-Vietnam timeframe, fatigues comprised much of the wardrobe, and the weird sisters in proto-punk variations on kilts, a playful reminder of the setting (and I wish I’d drawn them, too).

The sky, too, was dramatic, the wind never ceasing in its toil to keep the endless tide of clouds moving overhead, first unveiling then covering over the moon, and over and over.

(For anyone still tallying up: these bring me to 81 / 100 people )

One week: 100 people [days 3-5]


Well, I took up this challenge Monday (17th), and it’s now the 22nd, making today day six, but these are drawings from days three through five, and not in order. Just haven’t had time to finish and scan everything.

So, I’m only at 58, which means I must aim to draw 42 more today and tomorrow! I’ll try. This is quite a challenge, especially as I’ve been getting a bit precious about some of these, spending a fair amount if time. It’s a good challenge. I’ll be circling round again tomorrow and Monday to tally it all up.

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1 week : 100 people [day two]

I’m behind where I ought to be; only 23 people after two days. Yesterday I slowed down, took my time. As I did, I wanted it to be about quality over quantity— yet the challenge itself is all about quantity!

I will endeavor to catch up, and in the meantime hone my skills; try to get faster without sacrificing quality. Most of day two were from photographic references, by the way.

Black ink bleeds into paint; makes the colors more tertiary

I tried a different approach for this first one— paint first, ask questions later. But when later arrived I decided not to go back in with ink at all; I rather like the floaty quality of it, so left it as is.

Above is one I drew earlier in the week out at the beach— the abandoned buildings at the end where Riis turns into the Rockaways. I painted it a few days later, and here, too, a new approach— a desire to be less literal about my use of color, or at least my placement of it. I like how the bleed of the G2 pen worked with the color.

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