This isn’t as depressing as I think I’ve made it seem by the title. It’s just my way of looking at life.
It’s how I think everyone starts their story. Without knowledge, and barely themselves. So all our life we are struggling to be who we are. Hence the imagery of a cell, our basic biological unit.
I’m not the happiest with the pencil lines, but at the same time I like the way it feels unfinished, like a life. So it’s doing right by me.
Nature inspires, as usual! This work is obviously inspired by cacti, and also by something whimsical I thought of when I was little: that plants have entire little worlds hidden from us, inside of them.
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.
I love horror. Gory, funny, dark, demented, all of it really.
This drawing is meant to have undertones of the mystery and paranoia that come wrapped up in the “occult” or “horror” themes. The sinister feeling in your body, the uncertainty of knowing and not knowing, etc. all inspire me often when I doodle or draw.
The eye I doodle constantly makes an appearance as a major character this time. The floating eye and mixed messages coming from it hang authoritatively over the structure below; all existing in a cold white space. I used the structure and environment of a farm because it was a wholesome setting where our sustenance grows.
To me, no place is safe. I have to deal with that reality. Basically, I wanted to show somewhere vulnerable.
Another pencil sketch!
The power went out during one of the recent winter storms here. I found some Crayola Twistables I got as a gift some time ago and went to town. This is the one I liked most; the undersea sketch.
The sea…of course…
Islamic art has been a part of my life since I was a baby and I crawled around my mom’s prayer mat. It continued when I visited the Kaabah in Makkah as a child, and continues now whenever I gaze at the characters in a Qur’an peppered with floral motifs.
Art is a big part of my spiritual practice. Below is a drawing I made when I felt inspired by the majestic carpets I’ve seen all my life – from Turkey, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, etc), Iran, etc.
Recently (a couple of months ago) I got to visit an exquisite exhibit on carpets and motifs present in them over the centuries. I realised that, unconsciously, I had truly been referencing a lot of shapes and patterns from carpets.
My heritage is showing! Without even knowing it, I am passing down the meaningful shapes of those who came before me.
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.