Sad Panther Drawing

While going through some old art files, I came across this pen and ink drawing of a black panther drawn February 14, 1982. I was learning the craft of illustration, clearly seen in the clumsiness you see in my execution. Still, it is a nice drawing, which is why I kept it. Also because it made my seven-month-old son laugh. After all these years, when I see this drawing, I still hear his giggles.

Panther

Some Sketchbook Drawings

I like to draw. Figure drawing, cartooning, doodling … you name it. Graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, various kinds of erasers, markers, styluses. Line drawing, shading, hatching, cross-hatching, broken hatching, stippling, entopic graphomania (you make a dot at the location of each imperfection in the drawing paper, then connect the dots using straight or curved lines) — the list could go on if I had more time.

Drawings 01

I have no favorite medium, drawing instrument, or even subject matter. I like to draw … period. As artist Grayson Perry said, “Until we can insert a USB into our ear and download our thoughts, drawing remains the best way of getting visual information on to the page.” But I don’t draw haphazardly unless I’m doodling ideas. And even then I’m aware of what I’m doing, which is usually observing size and viewpoint. The drawings can look childish, but I never toss out any childlike drawing. Most children instinctively draw objects from the viewpoint that gives the most information. So they draw a house from the front, but a truck from the side — because it’s from there that you can see the truck’s cab, trailer and wheels. I still draw that way today; whichever drawing has a viewpoint that gives the viewer the most information is going to be the easiest to understand. That’s what I look for in my artwork (and my writing).

Drawings 02

Everyone has their own ways of expression, and finding ways to say it can be a battle. The power of any kind of art is keeping it simple and understandable. Anyone who can do that can make the uninteresting things in life look complex, advanced, and largely exciting. That’s the true power of art.

An Unfinished Art Project

Unfinished Hawk
Unfinished Hawk Drawing, Colored Pencil and Pastel on ribbed paper

I have many unfinished projects. Whether artwork or writing projects, I’m surrounded by incompleteness. But I will finish some of my projects. Others I won’t because of time and procrastination.

I am not a morning person—I lack energy during the early part of the day. I’ve tried to be one of those people who are awake before dawn and barrel into the day with enough energy to power a continent. But I have a second-shift job that keeps me active past other people’s usual bedtime. Therefore, my brain and body don’t begin functioning until around 5pm. So, getting around to working on a project is a consequence of overcoming sleepiness, slowness, and often a ringing telephone. I may be half-asleep, but the “normal” world is active and busy reminding me that I have bills to pay and appointments to keep. I turn on my computer—my social connection and alarm clock—to remind me when it’s time to do A), B), C), or D): All of the above. Email notices chime away. Oh, look: WordPress is telling me that I have new likes and followers and that they’ve created a new theme that would look great showcasing my blog. And amidst the bells and whistles, I hurry to do this, that, and the other until writing the next chapter of my book or drawing/painting the detail of a wildlife picture has to wait.

But still I persevere, writing and making art, even though I’m a zombie until evening. I perk up then … and head off to my 9-to-5 second-shift job, unless I have a day off, which happens twice a week (though the days are not usually consecutive). My creative juices flow and I attack whatever current project I have on my agenda. And then my wife comes home from work and wants to socialize. My projects linger, unfinished for weeks, months, even years.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. With more of the same. But every new day gives me a dash of hope.

Always Busy Writing and Painting

Anyone following my blog would assume that I’m rarely busy writing or making art, simply because of the lengthy gaps between my posts. But that’s far from the truth. I’m busy every day working on my stories and art, from creating new chapters and editing old material, to sketching in my sketchbooks or actually composing and finishing a drawing or painting. All this takes time, leaving barely a few minutes to blog about it.

Blogging is often the last thing I do when I visit the Internet. Reading my email is top priority, followed by answering it, and then checking on family and friends at Facebook. I usually spend an hour a day at Facebook (sometimes two hours or more), and I often add my latest achievements there, leaving me little time to post anything here at WordPress other than a blurb before I turn in for the night.

That is a good description of my posts: BLURBS. They may never be anything poetic, but they’ll certainly keep you, my fans, abreast of my latest news.

Deer Sketch, circa 1988 Acrylic paint, white gesso, and graphite
Deer Sketch, circa 1988, Acrylic paint, white gesso, and graphite

Above is a deer sketch from 1988 or so. Old news, but it was a treat for me to find this photo among my old art photographs and share with you.

Meanwhile, I promise to blurb more often here at WordPress. I just have to learn to schedule my time better.