Every once in a while, nothing beats black ink and musings about trees and nature and life. No matter how much I wish things would look “better” I know that each doodle is a step towards being “better” —
whatever “better” is–
and well, I’m starting to think that whatever feelings I have don’t matter. What matters sometimes is that I do it. You’ve heard me write that before; it bears repeating.
These doodles come from using a multi-color ink pens like this one (except mine was bought at an O’Hare airport store years ago).
Red and orange turned out to be great conveyors of my typical themes/inspirations; I chose them because i) I wanted 2 inks to switch between for the challenge factor and ii) I was interested in light/dark contrast.
This monster has a bit of a concept behind it. It’s a sky creature that is active in the daytime.
I imagine it floating among clouds, watching over life below.
You know me by now, at least a little bit. I’m very much inspired by nature.
Nature provides more than food, or space, or fresh air. To many, it provides inner peace. I’m happy for those people.
However, what I have always felt (as someone with severe ADD whose mind is running all the time, all the time, all the time…) is that nature is so full of detail that it does not bring me any peace.
And I love it.
My father’s favourite place is the Morton Arboretum, in Illinois. He’s taken the family there since my sisters and I were children. I thank him for the gift of those memories.
I never want to forget the impact trees and their world have had on me, even more than an exact picture or a piece of the forest. So I draw those feelings over, and over, and over.
Sometimes at the end of a toothpaste tube I’ll give up on trying to squeeze every last bit out when it seems thin enough to me. Other people will buy specific tools to make sure they do not waste and probably get more out.
Some of my drawings are the toothpaste at the end of the tube and I’m happy to give them up but also very happy for their service. Every single thing I draw is going to help me draw the other thing. That’s why I love drawing; I’ve never wasted a moment.
I admire the people who waste less than me, but I easily let things go, so I know they can admire me too. But nothing ever stops me from trying to get as much as I can out of everything in my life. I’m not about to throw a half-full tube away.
My monsters are, to me, animal children that I had the pleasure of concocting. They take on their own life, and end up with their own personalities.
I am still exploring why, but they feel like my most honest creations.
I don’t remember when I started drawing all of these sea creatures.
They flow very naturally out of me. Could it be the influence of Mauritius? Island belonging permeates through every part of you; island people can attest to that. It must be.
Or maybe it’s specifically my grandfather’s stories of finding beautiful shells in unattended coves. Stories he can still tell, although his mind is fading.
Why am I being so fussy? I know that it’s all of the above and everything in between.
I can draw pretty fast, now that I think about it. But I don’t think fast is good, so I try to slow myself down.
Speed has its place, but not always.
I always say I don’t know what I’m drawing. That’s mostly true. Sometimes I know just enough for me to draw. Asking questions beyond that, I feel like I’m making things up.
Here’s an example of the most I could possibly say: The apple-shaped creature in the middle is one I’ve drawn a lot. I don’t really know what it is, but at least I can say I know it’s alive.
Back to the older version of me before I updated and fixed the bug where I arbitrarily named everything I drew.
Seems superfluous but getting rid of unnecessary things feels relieving.
And really – does everything need a name, all the time?