Centering Through Art

It’s no mystery to long-time readers and people who know me that I use art to centre and calm myself. All the things that happen around me flow through my pens to evoke patterns and flows. Sometimes there are creatures and more figurative elements, and sometimes it is a lot more abstract.

The last week or so in ink

A common theme is one of disparate elements flowing into and through each other. There are knots and reflections, sinuous morphology and interlocking pieces. Tension and worry tends to result in spikes, while calmer emotions bring curves and loops.

In a very real sense, a whole page of my sketchpad will reflect the ebbs and flows of my mind and emotions across a period of time.

Some of these pieces get thrown away when done on scrap paper or consigned to collections that rarely see air. Others I’m actually quite happy with, especially if there’s something innovative or new that has emerged in terms of technique or detail. These are details from this week or so’s decompression work

Yuck

As of the time of writing I seem to have quickly defeated some sort of delightful virus that had me exploding each end and running a temperature when it didn’t have me semi-conscious.

So that’s been a fun couple of days.

Back to work tomorrow then. I’m not 100% but I’ll be well enough to be climbing the walls if I don’t, and I’ve lots to do and organise. So, sorry to be boring and all that. I have at least had time and energy to do some drawing. I’ll post some tomorrow of today’s but here’s some sketchpad stuff from earlier in the week:

Doodles and Sketchpads

I finally got round to updating this year’s Inktober gallery under the Art pages, and after a few days rest the drawing bug has returned, so some of the more coherent doodles will continue to appear here

This one has been gradually growing in my new sketchbook, mixing block structures with finer lines reminiscent of magnetic force lines. I hadn’t had any image in mind when I started, and the larger fragmenting piece only developed into something resembling a heart when I saw the resemblance and wanted to fill the page.

The finer lines started as more practice at the style, again with the intention of just filling the page, until it felt like any more would spoil it somehow.

There wasn’t any conscious design element to this, but I’ll be interested to hear what it says or suggests to people.

Another Week Down

Oh, wait, I’m working again this weekend. Okay, it’s nearly the end of the week. Lady M’s nephew is staying with us this weekend, so hopefully they won’t end up as semi-drowned rats while I’m at work and I’ll be greeted with smiles as I get home.

A quiet Sunday will hopefully then be achieved before I have to go get prodded by disappointed diabetic clinic nurses and ambushed with a flu jab on Monday.

I did have an interesting character come into work and try to engage with me at work over art, writing, the creative process, and the angels and demons that inspire us – but the need to stay professional overrode the temptation to play along. No doubt they’ll return at some point. There’s something to look forward to…

Oh well, was nice to have the doodles on the scrap paper admired

Inktober: The Final Push

I made a minor mistake not bringing my sketchpad with me, but I’ve persevered through and managed to get the last stretch done. Don’t get me wrong, I love the challenge of working to prompts each year, but I’m going to enjoy not having to draw for a few days – especially as we’re in the road and there’s a wedding to attend.

Given the fun and games I’ve had with my back this week, perhaps I should have drawn that, but a couple of plasters seemed to evoke the prompt of Injured more precisely. I’ve never drawn plasters before for some reason, so not bad for a first try.

Day Thirty prompted us with Catch and I enjoyed this simple representation of a fishing line that may or may not have something on the end of it. I particularly had fun with the riverbank and bushes in the background for some reason.

And at last, the final image for the month: Ripe. As we’re visiting my parents and cheeseboards are a regular feature of meals, it seemed entirely appropriate to represent the lovely Cambazola we had yesterday evening. For those unfamiliar with that cheese, it’s a mixture of Camembert and Gorgonzola that combines creaminess with the sharpness of blue cheese. One of my favourites after a good stilton…

Inktober Twenty-Seven and Twenty-Eight

We were travelling most of yesterday so I was too tired to draw anything yesterday, let alone upload and post it. Today, everything hurts, and the traditional seaside air lassitude has me groggier than the groggy thing of your choice, but I have at least done yesterday’s picture so I can post these two images up

Day 27: coat – I’ll make no apologies for a pretty literalist approach to this one. I could have done something cute with coatings or animals, but cloth and semi-normal clothing is something I still feel I need to practice, so I did this. It’s not perfect, but it is recognisably a coat and is done in a mix of grey fineliner pens.

I forgot to pack my big sketchpad so we’re back to the small notebook that I used for most of last year’s images. The prompt is Ride – so I wanted to do something with a bit of implied motion to it. As winter approaches, what better than a snowman enjoying a ride in a sled? Go on, tell me he’s not enjoying himself!

Inktober Twenty-Five and Twenty-Six

Day two of being on leave, and I’m just enjoying having a staycation for a couple of days – and it’s just as well as it’s allowing me to get all the sleep out the way that my body is craving. Oh, and do some drawing

Day 25’s prompt is ‘Tasty’ – and while I made Lady M groan by saying I’d draw her but be unable to do her justice, I settled instead on attempting a chocolate-coated strawberry, complete with a pot it’s just been freshly dipped in. It’s fun, but another reminder that I really do need to practice drawing real things. It’s recognisable as a strawberry, but it could be much, much better.

The prompt for day 26 is “Dark” – so inspired by lady s’ love of the TV show Hannibal I went for a representation of the titular character as the Chesapeake Ripper vision used as a recurring motif in the show. I enjoyed this piece, spending my time in layers of greys to produce it.

Inktober Twenty-Three and Twenty-Four

We’re nearly into the final week of Inktober, and I’m about to have a few days off so finding time to draw as inspiration strikes should be a bit easier. Well, that’s the theory

Day Twenty Three gave us Ancient as a prompt, and while I initially toyed with doing a wider Stonehenge/Avebury landscape I settled instead on focusing on a classic trilithon to practice rendering a set of stone surfaces and a bit of perspective. I’m really happy with how this one turned out, layering successively darker greys and some fine black lines for outlines.

I struggled a bit with “Dizzy” and originally drew a full-length pirouetting figure before making horrible mistakes with feet and leg proportions. So I started again with a head and shoulders shot. I only realised as I took the photo that I’d drawn a blonde to lean into the “dizzy blonde” stereotype.

I’m not as keen on this second image as I am on yesterday’s, but it’s also about of an apples and pears comparison. Onward!

Inktober Twenty-One and Twenty-Two

These were a couple of fun prompts these last couple days – well, I say fun, but what I really mean is that the inspiration and execution came relatively easily, even if again I was trying different things to make them happen.

Being an avid gamer for many years, the prompt of Treasure immediately suggested a great big chest of it. I wanted to create the impression of a great big mound of it without actually drawing every single element of it, and I think I managed to imply several rises and falls of piles of coins. As with many of this month’s prompts it’s a subject I’ve never tried before.

Today’s prompt was simply Ghost, so I challenged myself to draw the most ethereal sight I could, to let the mind’s eye assemble a picture from the bare suggestions. Many descriptions from people who talk about seeing ghosts talk of vapours or shimmers or movement in the corner of the eye, so it was that kind of representation I was going for rather than a floating sheet, or a clear-lined transparency. This again was a very different style of drawing, and one I think I’ll come back to.

Inktober Nineteen and Twenty

I’ve got a bit out of sync with my days, so I’ll do another of these tomorrow to get up-to-date. Today has been a day off, so I’ve been relaxing with a box set on TV and sketchpads around me (ok, and a modicum of housework too)

Day Nineteen: Sling – I think calling a catapult a slingshot and therefore a valid use for the word just about scrapes above the bottom of the barrel. I could have shown someone injured or in a playground, but an Angry Birds-style picture allowed me some practice with drawing clothing, some mud squelch, and some humour. I’m particularly proud of the trousers and the mud around the shoes.

Day Twenty One: Tread – I didn’t feel like doing anything particularly dynamic as I was quite tired (pun noted but not intended), so I modelled this on the tread on the bottom of a pair of my trainers (sneakers for those in the US). It’s simple, but it’s practice from a still life, which is an area of weakness for me.