The temperatures have been rather chilly lately, and i've been wearing my boots again. I was starting to draw them tonight and it got too dark to continue. Note to self: don't tackle drawings in natural light at 6:00 PM.
Dark and messy. My desk is a 5-foot plywood board that i got cut at Home Depot years ago, on two wooden Ikea trestles. What i love about my work space is that i have everything within arm's reach: scanner, printer, paper, tablet, school binders, textbooks, remote control for the stereo... the only reason to get up is to get a Cherry Coke from the fridge.
Just realized i forgot to finish drawing the blinds in the back.
So i heard Bob Dylan has a new album (Modern Times) out today. It's funny how i barely ever tackled little portraits like this in pen. I used to be petrified by the prospect of failure, so i would seek refuge in the pencil. Now i don't care -- i start a portrait and trust the pen. Or is it the hand that i trust. Or perception itself. Maybe it's the result i don't care so much about anymore. As Danny Gregory wrote: "The drawings don't matter. The drawing does."
Came upon a heart-wrenching picture of an old Lebanese woman in the New York Times today. My friend Tom had given me some charcoal pencils a couple of days ago, so i thought it would be interesting to try them out. I had never used charcoal and found drawing with it arduous... yet fun. How about that for an oxymoronic concept.
This is part of the series of cards i am making for my sister on Tokyo, and mailing to her one by one. I am trying to compile all the places she told me about while she lived there. Shibuya was one of them, but i forgot why.
Talking about Keith Jarrett in The Creative License, Danny Gregory writes:
"He says you have to assume that what you are doing is meaningless, to be willing to toss it away. The best moments, he says, "are when i am playing only in the present and not heading anywhere. I aspire not to know what i am doing." This is mindfulness, living in the present. (...) But to achieve mindfulness, you just need something you already have: the willingness to quiet down, clear the crap, and TRUST."
It echoes what Karen Winters was writing recently about "effort without striving".
Hence this meaningless view of my bike lying in the grass. It was all about trusting the flow of the pen.
I received a sad e-mail from one of my students last night, informing me she was staying in El Salvador for next school year. I was (selfishly) looking forward to having her in my French A.P. class in the fall. I started wondering about life there in central America, and the kinds of landscapes she sees every day. Flickr is a gold mine for things like that.