Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Snowy Day

It was windy too. Hooray for binder clips!

South Natick Dam with ducks and snow
charcoal, watercolor
Jan 27, 2015 

charcoal, watercolor
Jan. 27, 2015

I skied to the dam this morning and did a couple of snowy views of the river.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

1 - 2 - 3

Sacred Heart Church
25 January 2015

Pleasant Street Bridge
ink, charcoal, lithographic tusche
25 January 2015

Pleasant Street Bridge
charcoal, ink
25 January 2015
We had a few inches of fresh snow yesterday. A blizzard is on the way tomorrow night. But today was brilliant blue and white and not too cold so I was able to get in these three drawings in my morning rounds before we went to church.

Sometimes I get tired of drawing and I wonder when things will dry up and I have to figure out what to draw next. I need to be interested in what I'm doing. Sometimes my attention or pleasure wanes but so far, nothing to actually stop the motif from calling to me.

But those gaps, those "writer's blocks" are perversely essential and need to be endured. Then I burrow in deeper or approach things from a different angle or hold the pencil in my toes left-handed, whatever. Just keep the dialogue going whatever the cost.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Freezing Time

In a peaceful forest, as I drew/painted a tree, my ink and brush were freezing. It was 8º F (-13 C). Luckily, the ink in the bottle wasn't freezing so I could daub away merrily, like Matisse on a sunny Summer day!

I'd taken a walk into town for coffee and to work on a couple of books. The path goes through forest and around a frozen lake. It was beautiful (and very cold!). But my mind kept tripping over photographs I'd seen earlier of a man being pushed off a minaret to his death.

The man doing the hurling/pushing, the executioner, wore a mask over his face. Why a mask? Why masks on the Kouachi brothers? God sees past the mask right? Are the killers afraid of men? Is it to spare the populace so they won't see the truth that one of their own has just murdered one of their own? Maybe a mask makes the soldier braver. My head spins and twists at the insanity of killing like this.

I almost went down to the river this afternoon just to get away from my imagination for a little while. I just wanted the white noise and the needs of the drawing in front of me. And my freezing fingers and the urgency and clarity of the moment. The moment that drowns out the crazy world and replaces it with the simple fact of my consciousness struggling peacefully with itself and Creation. AND NOT HURTING ANYONE!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Seeing God

"La Quinta"
10 January 2015
Out of respect for the passionate, loving people on both sides of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, I have been mostly silent. I know which side I support of course (Je suis Charlie!) but I've always felt that I create an image of the face of God (not the Prophet, I am not Muslim) whenever I make a picture of what is in front of me.

So here you see a banal image of a banal scene: a hotel lobby at 6:00 in the morning. I try to approach this with the same open mind and care that I have when I draw the river back in South Natick.  Because I am a seeing and scribing instrument, the subject doesn't really matter. What matters is the time spent and the attitude during those moments of attention. Some call it prayer. Some call it listening. I call it Art.

Art shows us a facet of the place where our minds meet whatever is outside of the mind. God is in that place and therefore God is in this lamp and in this banality. Since God is there, the moment is sacred and Life is sacred and Life is an Art of recognizing sacredness (unlike the murderers in Paris). The questioning mind is a seeking, scribing instrument used by Creation to find language to create and praise itself. In this way, "blasphemy" could be seen as an form of Love and engagement. It could suggest an ultimate and intimate cry to God to descend from a human-created throne to dwell among a marvelous, many-faceted and intelligent Creation. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Different & The Same

depth: foreground, background and the space in-between
horizontal elements: the dam, the bridge
mark-making: ink, charcoal lines & smudges, tangles, black blobs. colored pencil
Don't think, just draw what's in front. Now.




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