I’ve joined a public group on Facebook, A drawing A Day. This morning Mark Andres chose my sketch to update the group photo. Yesterday I took a walk along the water in Tiburon, California. My friend and I parked our cars near Blackie’s Pasture. For 28 years a swaybacked horse named Blackie stood in the same place near the road that goes into Tiburon and Belvedere. We all knew Blackie. Our children grew up seeing Blackie standing in the same spot. After he died, the corner grassy field looked like a very lonely place. Then, one day another horse arrived. Anthony Connell created a life size bronze statue of Blackie, so now the spot is filled with joy again. I said goodbye to my friend, got into my car and sat, looking out the window. Reaching for my sketchbook I drew the dogs circling the huge horse, running, barking and sniffing. Good! I have my drawing for one day.
Cody is an English Cream Golden Retriever who lives in England with my daughter and her family. For three weeks I stayed at their home and babysat this cute puppy. Wondering what I was going to do with myself while I took care of him, I gave myself an assignment: Learn how to draw a dog. Besides sketching, I wrote some prose and a few poems. Maybe there is an Artists’ book in the making. I have the images and the words. The next step is figuring out a structural form for a book. Then, do it!
OK here is my question. The pen and ink sketch was drawn on white paper. I took a photograph of it with my cell phone, cropped the picture so it had clean straight edges then, moved it over to my blog. Now, the white paper looks grey. Because I post photographs of paintings with color, I don’t want to have a colored background on my main blog page. I don’t want black either. How do I get a black or colored mat or background for the drawing so the drawing shows black ink on white paper?
Wash out all those ghosts cobwebs worrywarts black cloud critters
chattering like monkeys in your swollen brain
swollen brain filled with piston-like repetiton
it’s wrong it’s wrong it’s wrong
not good enough for who? for tin man looking for his heart?
wash out all those ghosts cobwebs worrywarts and black cloud critters
chattering like monkeys in your swollen brain
quickly lay your thoughts out on the page
protect those tender shoots
close the book
click on image to see detail
Walking up to the top of the hill in Calistoga, California, I sat down on a path in a stand of trees. It was quiet. I thought about being present while I sketched the space between the trees. I sketched the silence and breeze surrounding the space.
Back in the studio I translated into painting my interpretation of the space, the breeze, around the trees. Then I needed to put the trees in. How did my body respond to those tall trees all around me? I know too much. I know how to paint a green forest. Instead of painting the same old thing, I wanted to grow. I wanted to take risks. After painting two abstract blue tree trunks, I added a red wood plank. Leaving the painting, then coming back later gave me some distance from the piece. Something was missing. It just wasn’t very interesting. The strong blue and red had taken over the marks of silence.
I looked out the open door next to my painting corner and a white horse walked by. That’s it! I grabbed a piece of charcoal and quickly added the horse to my painting. The horse was perfect in that space. The light application of the horse brought attention to the quiet breeze. The painting was now balanced. ‘Ghost Horse’ was finished.
This painting was to be the beginning of a series about animals. A year and a half later it ended up being the first in the Red Line Series.
The deer were hungry after the fire. Their ribs were showing. A couple of deer, followed by their babies, cautiously walked up to me. The buck appeared. I sat right down under a tree where I was standing. Rummaging though charcoal where a campfire had warmed the family during a summer visit, I found a stick and started to draw. A dozen sketches were made in one sitting. I’m thinking of making a book to sell at a reasonable price or to give away as presents to my friends. I could use a professional printing service or I could take the drawings to a copy store and have some books spiral bound for me. The other idea would be to create a book online. Any ideas? What do you think? How could I sell the Artists Books? Making the art is my thing. Marketing my art should be left to the experts in their field. As always, click on one of the images to enlarge.
This post is for Brad and his loving family.