OK - I said I would be away a while and then I post these posts... Thing is I won't be able to tell you when I'm under water at work, so I forewarned you.
Anyway - tonight I played for a while with the watercolor I started a week ago. I was working on it with my favorite neon Prismacolors, just reacting to the colors and playing games with contrasting and analogous colors. This has a long way to go, but I can work on it in little snatches of time - handy right now.
Then I decided to play. Sometimes I arrange elements in my drawings by casting pebbles. I have seven of them from the Atlantic coast of NC on my desk, and I cast them like knuckle bones, foretelling the future of my drawing. Today I just drew lines from the edge to the stones. Then I cast again and drew more. The results accumulated. Click on the images to see them larger - I blew up the contrast, so you can hopefully see the pencil lines.
Here are two shots - the first one was taken after one cast, so you can see what I was doing to start with. Eventually I started sweeping the pencil around the stones, as well. Cast and draw. Cast and draw. Even if the stones left the board and were out on the table, I drew something for them. I cast some with my eyes closed - those were often the best ones. So this second drawing is after a number of casts (though not after all of them).
Once there were plenty of lines all over, I started seeing trees and spaces between trees, and editing them. Adding lines, erasing lines, working fast - too fast to overthink it. I was building a forest, so I could tackle a theme that recurs for me - birds rising in a copse. And I also wanted to play with shattered light and broken zones of color, like I did in Spring, the Green Phoenix, which a friend in Winston-Salem bought and has hanging in her guest room. I am more confident in many ways than I was when I painted that, and I am interested to see how that place in my heart looks now with a stronger brush and brighter colors. Can I keep it together, or will it spin out of control like a sled full of laughing kids going down a snowy hill too fast? Here is a partially edited version of the drawing, with the start of trees emerging. The little curving disturbances were where the birds wanted to go.
And then I realized that the lower left was where the cat was that was causing the flight and all the avian ruckus. I'm looking forward to painting this over the weekend, maybe. There are beams of light all over this, illuminating different things (including the cat's face).
My family, knowing I have some tough weeks ahead at work, have taken all of my usual chores from me for the next few weeks. They've also taken on the preparation for Youngest's birthday party tomorrow. He went to bed a single digit, but will rise a double digit kid. He came to say goodnight and gleefully told me that...