Putting Pen to Paper

Haven't Drawn

Aside from a few ATCs, I haven’t drawn since we got back.  I have sat down with my sketchbook a few times, but couldn’t.  Just couldn’t.  There was no spark.  The four walls and the items contained therein seemed to me more like a dull banality, a constriction of the part of me questing for inspiration, rather than a source of that inspiration.  Already trying to process being here in Manitoba rather than in Europe, I couldn’t handle that feeling.  Who wants to feel that way about their surroundings? Their home?

I discovered on the trip that architecture really is my muse. Sketching the everyday around me wasn’t inspiring once we weren’t out and about, sitting in cafes with views, staying in places whose very structure was different and interesting to my eye.  I toyed with the idea of sketching from photos, but felt a need to have a greater space between then and now.  I was mourning the change back to home even as I reveled in being home.

The lack of art in my life struck me forcibly as I listened to the latest episode of Craftypod.  A wonderful episode about a woman who has found oodles of inspiration in drawing what she buys.  You can see her over at Obsessive Consumption.  Suddenly I realized it wasn’t just weeks since I had made art, it was months. And in that moment, what I had previously accepted now saddened me.


Drawing again. Documenting again. I think I may be finding an overlap between the documenting of our lives that I do as part of Project 365 and my sketchbook.  I’ve got an urge to try a daily drawing series in January and February, just common things like soup cans and mittens and books.  My word of the year for 2008, “Adventure”, is already giving way to a new word that resonates for me: “Home”.  We have promised the kids we won’t go far from home this year, and have many projects to inspire us in the house and the garden.  2009:Home.  Sketching around our home, documenting – and thereby really truly seeing – the small things that make up the texture of our home, sounds alluring.  Sounds like an adventure on the small scale.


4 thoughts on “Putting Pen to Paper

  1. JoVE says:

    Interesting. Maybe you need to look at the architecture around you with a new eye, too. What if you were German and came to Manitoba for the first time. What would look interesting (because different from home)? Is there a distinctive Prairie architecture? Barns? Houses? Grain elevators? Try looking at your shopping streets the way you looked at the streets in Brugge. Maybe try drawing them just to demonstrate how boring and uninteresting they are 🙂

    Pieces of things might be interesting, too. And it seems that there are a lot of people of German or Scandivian heritage in Manitoba. Does any of that show in the architecture? Maybe in small ways.

    I don’t even draw so feel free to ignore all of that. But those are the ideas that sprung to my mind when you said you were uninspired to draw and that architecture inspired you.

    And how did I think you were in Saskatchewan. Hmmm.

  2. V says:

    I write. Not for money very often, but just when I want to capture something, I put the pictures into words.

    And sometimes I have nothing to say. For weeks or months, I have nothing to say–chatty old me? Nada.

    I don’t know if it’s a mood or a moment, or what captures a scene or a feeling like a photograph and I want to pin it down. Usually it’s pretty simple things, universal, stuff that connects an experience I’ve had to things other people undoubtedly feel also.

    I think your drawing will return when the moment or the mood hits you in just a way you want to capture it.

    I also sew baby blankets and give them away, sometimes sell them if anyone asks to buy one. When I get in the mood, all the fabric in the store seems to sing with possibility, colors and patterns put against each other for personality and energy… other times nothing. The smell of the sizing in the fabric annoys me, I am ticked off about filling the bobbin, the scissors all seem dull…. and I just don’t feel the love.

    But it comes back.

    Something I do want to capture and haven’t so far is this–we were on vacation on the gulf of Mexico for a week, no kids. The first morning after we came back, my littlest girl, 4 years old, tangled gold curls, came to our bed in the morning before it was light out and climbed in with me while her dad was starting breakfast. She cuddled in the crook of my arm and sang Go Tell it on the Mountain to me, her toddler voice with that sweet raspy swoop on the last word of the verse before the chorus. I can go 1000 miles away to paradise, but my heart is in this old house in a snowbank with a baby singing me a Christmas carol at dawn.

    Some thoughts, a hug, would love to share a cup of cocoa or a little gingerbread together. Manitoba is so far away. love, V

  3. catalinakel says:

    I still can’t believe that you are such a good draw-er even though you are pretty new at it. You are very good. I am always inspired by what you render in ink and watercolor. Thanks for sharing.

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