Really. Is there anything less artful than a computer? Computers are, critically speaking, just as artful as anything else. Personally, however, the bright screen makes me mighty tired. Or perhaps it’s the sitting. I come from a long line of tired people. We would likely be wildly successful and highly accomplished if were just weren’t so damn tired. Isn’t it so like the frustrated artist to blame the medium for her failures. My computer is really slow though. It hums. Lulls.
Posting everyday is far more difficult than drawing everyday. I am becoming habituated in my approach to the blank pages. I don’t think much about it. I just draw whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I might plan an image, think about it the day before. Jellyfish look like thunderheads and thunderheads look like jellyfish. Perhaps I’ll draw that tomorrow. That is about how complicated I let my planning become. I just hold an idea and it seems somehow to become an image, though that image does not always make it onto the page. Tonight’s jellyfish cumulonimbus may be tomorrow’s giant garden slug on a dew-diamond sparkly leaf of lettuce, or perhaps a misshapen baguette on a rumpled table cloth. Whatever. I draw what makes me happy at that moment. When I try to make it mean something, it turns out ugly. Like that stupid snake+baby picture. It is so hard to not edit that image off of this record. It feels like high school art class. Oh well.
The point of this project is to draw everyday. I’m doing it. I don’t like the photographs. I don’t know why the scanner doesn’t work. It advises me that there are “No Scan Options” and tells me to refer to the device manual to “troubleshoot” –
Well, the device manual is long gone and so all my drawings look lousy because a cheap digital camera with a blinding flash doesn’t capture in a way that is remotely nuanced or ever so slightly true.
Have I said “Oh Well?”
I clicked “next blog” the other day and checked out an amateur apiarist’s record. He only posted, like, 10 times in a year. But, the posts I read were actually useful and interesting. Did you know that you should photograph your bees so that you can take a close look at them and note anything unusual. Maybe I’ll draw bees. I think there are a couple floating around my drawings already. I looked at the wing of a honeybee under the microscope a couple weeks ago. Lightning bolt geometry with tiny golden hairs, so much like spines. Lovely.
The apiarist left a helpful tip like that at the end of each post. I will do the same, in case anyone else is wondering why they love drawing, but can’t bring themselves to draw – – –
this is advice I offered to my son, age 6 at the time. It was unsolicited on his behalf, just as it is on yours. Bear with me.
Draw only what is true to you. It’s so obvious, but so hard. If you try to draw something that someone else will like, then it won’t be true at all. It’s not what you sell, it’s what you make. (line from a mix CD song – Jets to Brazil? – my brother made my mom) If you draw for other people, then you lose out on the good feeling that comes from art and that emptiness will inevitably show up in whatever picture you make.
If it makes you a little uncomfortable it is either true or false. Familiarize yourself with the details of the squirmy feelings that tell you that you are either genuine and brave or a hopeless poser.
My son always wants to know how much his art would be worth. How impossible is it to explain the subjective value of art to a 6-year-old? Very. I just want him to love drawing, or sculpting, or whatever he wants to love.
I talk too much. I am awful about rotating these lousy photos, aren’t I? As I’ve said before, this isn’t a portfolio, simply proof. However, if I’m going to do a project like this, shouldn’t I try to do it well? If I make it past month two, maybe I’ll buy a new scanner. I have been drawing everyday for a few weeks now. My drawings are getting more interesting to me.