Whatever More

Aaaaand here’s another batch of these unholy trees or rocks or candies or whatever they are.

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After months of what seemed like a hopeless, Pyrrhic war with depression and anxiety, I snapped completely out of it yesterday and I can’t explain why. Nothing had changed in my life in any positive way – I just wasn’t under water anymore. I could breathe again.

The only thing of note that actually happened yesterday was that my seasonal allergies finally kicked in. That’s hardly a trigger for positive, upward motion is it?

And yet there it is, and here I am.

It’s like having spent months locked in the darkest, hottest, most boring room you can imagine; and then *boot*, you’re outdoors in the breeze again with the world moving like a carnival around you.

A jug of cold water instead of warm vinegar. A skull made of open windows and not smoked iron.

Today I’m left scratching my head, wondering what happened.

 

In the hour of it happening, my mind was once again flooded with all the projects I wanted to get back to, and a sort of second-chance kind of gratitude that I could now remember what it was like to be a person again.

It’s frustrating in that whilst in that state of depression, you can’t even comprehend happiness, joy, or anything beyond the oven-like intensity of it. Now that I’m out again (at least for a day) I can see horizons I’d forgotten existed.

I’m inspired again. My blindfolds are shed and ankles cut loose from the church-bell that I left somewhere under the waves.

I’m not one to look gift horses in the mouth, so I’ve been busy all day and night making plans, smelling roses, and sighing heavy sighs of relief. Like a fugitive, I’ve been running to put distance between myself and whatever wants to throw me back in.

 

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Meanwhile, my sketchbooks continue to fill up with this tree-like nonsense.

I’ll keep this journal of mine updated as plans and art continue to pour out. In the mean-time, I’m looking forward to whatever day I find tomorrow.

Sketchdrop: More or Less

I’m still exploring the organic, maze-like surfaces of trees – and in the process I’ve gone further in the direction of abstraction.

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In one case, I tried turning stumps into moons. There was something about the way the knots and layers of bark were coming together that reminded me of craters.

Some of these drawings were done in a group setting with friends. Others done while swilling coffee at the neighbourhood diner.

Oh, and here’s a bonus drawing of Rodin’s great sculpture in red pencil. As perhaps my last post might explain, I’ve been lost in thought, and this seemed – at the time – to be the best way to express heat and the muscular struggle and weight of thought without actually admitting anything.

I’ve really got to stop being so oblique. It’s one of my most frustrating qualities.

The collection of these grows steadily, and again, I find myself with the material for a legitimate show in the works. Once I have a venue, I’ll put them on display and make them available for sale.

Sketchdrop: More Trees

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Trees and tree-bark continue to interest me, but I haven’t been trying to draw them directly since moving to colored pencil. Most of these had been drawn indoors somewhere, and often at night.

They’ve been an intuitive exercise in rendering without reference.

Stumps are a simple volume to fill, basically; a solid, three-dimensional object with a textured surface. They’re just big jagged cylinders made up of organic forms: rings, scales, chunks, grain, and fiber; all with an organic language of its own. I enjoy both the free imitation and rejection of its grammar while I draw.

It’s fun and produces interesting results. I’m considering putting a show together out of them, or selling them privately. Contact me if you’re interested.

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Sketchdrop: Trees

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With the weather growing ever less garbagesome, I’ve been taking my sketchbooks with me on adventures into the forest and up the side of cliffs; also to cafes, diners, and spontaneous drawing clubs in basements (the first and second rules forbid me from elaborating. Sorry).

I’ve been drawing trees a lot lately, and the more I draw them, the more I find myself getting lost in fabricating three-dimensional bodies with a flow of lines. What started with fairly ordinary landscapes in pencil went into outer-space once I stepped away from trying to represent a true object and instead started playing with its visual DNA.

Pencil crayons are mama-hecking fun, too.

Some of my friends and neighbours are fallers (lumberjacks if you’re not from around here). Regardless of how abstract the stumps were, they’d look at it and see only a bad cut. From the moment I opened the page to get their opinion, out would come a chorus of “Aww, that’s a terrible stump” from anyone who’s looked at a chainsaw twice.

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“What!?”

“Well, any BC boy ought to know a good undercut.”

Fair point, I suppose, but I didn’t realize I’d be graded on my saw-craft of purely theoretical stumps.

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