Wednesday, March 04, 2009

In-between Things

Right now, I am in-between things. . .dappling in music, enrolled in a guitar and music theory class and applying diligently for opportunities to live and work in the mountains once again. Do what you can when you can do it. . .the only time is now. There is no later. My sketching has perhaps reverted back to scribbles on notebook paper, in books, on scraps, and random places. . .but the new and surprising difference I find now (after a good period of little focus on my drawing skills) is the relative ease, looseness, and freedom that comes when I put my pen to the paper. This may be because of many reasons including the fact that I am just doodling on scrap paper and am not sitting down to create a finished piece. . .but besides that possible fact, I am much more comfortable and intuitive, letting things flow as is the nature of fluidity in life. I know that I will sit down one day and create something finished, but right now that is not so important. I'm off to different vistas. . .and when I come down, art will be right there. It will always be there.

View of San Francisco mountains from Wutpaki Pueblo area, AZ/

Playing around. . .nothing in particular.

"The East-Going Heart"- December's Train Trip East

December 2008 was a month of train travel, car travel, bus travel, and plane travel, all to visit friends and a life that I left in the East coast 2 years ago. I consider myself so very fortunate- this past year, I was able to spend time with 99.9% of the people who have a great importance in my life. . .the people I deeply care about. So, the year ended appropriately with a visit to the East Coast.

Here are quick watercolors- really fun to do on the train. I tried a new poly pro paper I found in the art store that claimed it was good for "all watercolor techniques." It definitely is a slicker surface and allows for a lot of happy accidents in quick watercolor sketching.

*From Fullerton, CA I took the Coastal Starlight up to Seattle, WA:

Around San Luis Obispo

The Cuesta Grade (SLO)

Mt. Shasta Sunrise

Some peak in Oregon

Mt. Scott, OR (regular watercolor paper)

*From Seattle, WA to Chicago, IL, I took the Empire Builder through blizzards:
Glacier National Park, MT

My Reflection

*From Chicago, IL to New York, NY, I took the Lake Shore Limited:

Random sketches

"Getting Things Done for America"- the past year (2008)

Hello everyone. It's been a little while, but as promised, here's a catchup on visual work from the past year or so. An old coworker of mine had a great suggestion when I started the Watershed Stewards Project through AmeriCorps in 2008: why not document my year of service through a sketchbook journal? The idea had me very excited, tying together my visual art background with my new involvement with environmental work. . .and immediately I started to sketch the new things I learned from my placement site about salmon, steelhead, and their habitat. But of course, as this will show, I didn't have my nose buried in my sketchbook as much as I initially thought I would. . .there were many new things to explore and experience in the Redwood Curtain of Northern California. As time has passed (and you art nuts may cross your fingers in shame of what I may say), I have let go more and more of the idea of filling up a sketchbook that has been so ingrained in me from college. It's more important to experience life. . .and then the drawings will follow. . . you don't have to fill up a book a month. Heck, if you only fill up a half a tiny sketchbook in a year, you're still just as much as an artist as others. Life is not about quotas. You're not going to lose your skill and ability. . .the time will be right when the time is right. It's good to step away. Being an artist is being an artist of life. Why limit yourself to one aspect, the visual? Life has been so much more rewarding. . .2008 was a rough year, but I have grown much and am grateful for the good that I did experience. Here are the drawings and sketches: