Friday, August 10, 2012


I'm working in a smaller sketchbook right now. It's about 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches tall (rather than the larger black books). It's okay but it requires an adjustment; I tend to jot a bit more in it instead of making "compositions". For artists, scale is everything and sometimes it takes an effort to get the same creative flow at different sizes. Why is this?

It's because Art is made by fingers which are attached to hands which are attached to arms that are part of a human body. Each link in the chain and change in the kinesthetic causes different kinds of marks. The body becomes another medium and another tool. Did you know that?

It's good to try different approaches. I do this not just to keep loose but also because I like the surprises that a new method of working fosters. Some of my best brushes cannot be bought in store: they are old and decrepit and missing many bristles. My best paper is in an ever growing pile of castoffs and things saved from the garbage man. Paints come from yard sales and people too tired and uninspired to paint anymore. The downside of all this rag picking is that once I use some orphaned thing up, I can't replace it because its provenance is lost in the intertwined destinies of strangers, their attendant objects and my magpie self.

So there you have it: today's little quick sermon on what it's like for this artist trying to sort things out. And below are some mallards and things from the river that flows near my house. All done in that small sketchbook.

sketch of mallard and a heron

two mallards near a cascade

one lone mallard duck

Canada Goose standing on top of the dam, preening

an arch of the Pleasant Street Bridge

A hard-to-see example of my fanciful work.
See more on my blog

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