I’m trying to draw away a dark cloud that is trying to settle over me. I might succeed; it’s worked in the past.
There’s no guarantee that it will though. But motivation is motivation,and even though I try not to tap into negative emotions for my art anymore, sometimes it helps.
But you can’t stay there. It’s a loop and the only real way to break it is to do the things that you don’t feel like doing. Upbeat music. Time spent outside. Go online and listen to jokes or comedy clips…
Believe it or not, I actually had artwork ready for last week. But I ended up two states away at a hospice center, watching an old aquaintance pass away.
It was interesting in a terrifying way.
I’ve seen people die. I’ve caused it as well (do NOT recommend). But that’s pretty quickly over. You can’t process everything and it leaves you a little dazed.
This was… different.
First the call came and I drove to North Carolina where my friend had retired. I thought he was hurt. Then they explained and I told them that I hadn’t seen him in over a decade. It was awkward. We weren’t super close. But I decided to stay.
I have never had someone look so happy to see me. EVER. We talked a little, got caught up. My brain was having a hard time processing that he wasn’t just….in the hospital. You know? Like he’d get better somehow.
His biggest fear was that no one would come. “I couldn’t think of anybody, man. I was a little scared”.
What could I say? Having noone there is pretty much a horrible thing. When he turned and stop talking, I got a break. The nurses thanked me for coming and wanted to hear how I knew him. The more they asked the less I could answer. Finally the question came…
Why did you come?
Those places are very religious. He talked a lot about the Lord and what he believed. Sometimes he just stared at me, like he was trying to memorize my face.
Eventually he was gone.
I drove home. During the drive I thought about how I had pulled away from friends and family. Three years ago, I had tried to end my own life. I thought about this stuff over and over.
My life is still out of whack right now, but drawing as therapy isn’t working. I kinda shifted where I emotionally gather the energy to draw from. Doing so, means that I have brown outs, of sorts, and can’t just put on sad or dark music to get back in the flow. My playlists are useless!!
So when I was asked to do a caricature for someone I reluctantly agreed. I’ve never been very good at those; that weird cartoony look is definitely not the Marvel style of drawing comics. But I decided to give it a shot.
It came out really well and she immediately made it her profile and put it on her Instagram, Facebook… ALL of her accounts. She was actually happy to pay and now a bunch of her friends want one. I feel a little bit better.
While my life is going through reset at least one unexpected thing came out of it. My son found a couple of pictures in the attic. They were old but in decent shape and brought back some fond memories. Why you ask?
I painted them during a war. A war that I took part in.
Both of these were painted during Desert Storm. They’re made of watercolor and the remnants of my canteen water. I was 20 years old and drew everything I saw.
But the rest were stolen in South Korea. These are the last remaining pieces of mine from that long ago.
That is, I’ve sold my home of the last 20 years and currently don’t have another place to live.
There’s no joy in this. It’s me moving on with no enthusiasm and lots of regret. But you have to keep moving forward in life and I was haunting this place instead of living in it.
I still found time to draw. It helped me not worry so much. Helped me try to be a little more dispassionate to the situation.
Maybe it worked. Who knows?
In the meantime, I dreamed of racing this Mustang and what building it would be like.
It’s important to draw objects because you can easily start making objects that float in space, without any weight to them. Cars, robots, boxes; they all let you practically work on vanishing points and multiple horizons.
I was never a fan of kaleidoscope or ruler art. I hate all the erasing you have to do. But having objects on the same plane is a big deal. Also know your model, otherwise a concept like camber for wheels would make no sense.
It’s been super busy for me in life recently. To begin with, I have a new job! It’s going to allow me the time to do some of the work I’m interested in. More on that later…
I found an old sketchpad. Well, I guess “new” would be more appropriate since it’s been in a cabinet unused for this entire time (5 years!). As soon as I started working with it, I knew it for what it was.
A damn great medium.
It allows me to give my markers an almost watercolor feel. That level of detail and control is exactly what I’m looking for.
Plus, now that I’m riding the commuter train again, it’s portable enough for my needs!
So I have a few weeks before #inktober kicks off and I expect to get in a lot of practice.
Luckily, my life seems to be making a turn. I’m holding out hope. 😊