Sometimes I have down time, and when I do I pick up a book by Andrew Loomis entitled Fun with a Pencil. Most of the book consists of page after page of looney, retro figures: cartoons, facial expressions, activity poses, and types of people: laborers, bikini babes, infants, and old men. Right about the time you just can’t stand to draw another fat man with a bulbous nose the middle of the book changes course to perspective drawings.
Loomis begins with the artificial horizon and pretty soon has it filled in with trees and houses set along curvy roads, and another bikini girl posed on a set of stairs. From there the book moves indoors and explains how to lay out a room in 2D.
And that’s how I came to spend the weekend drawing the front room.
The New Year is almost upon us – must be time to start a new daybook. I use the Exacompta “Space 24” weekly desk planner. At @ 6 x 9 inches it has plenty of space to record weather, appointments and lists day to day, a generous “notes” area, and the paper lends itself beautifully to drawings. Meetings, conference calls and on-line seminars are just doodles waiting to happen.
The amount of stress relief available from a black pen on smooth, heavy, finely finished paper is amazing. The Exacompta books start with the month of December of the prior year, so I’ll be switching over to 2011 tomorrow after recording notes about the “Boxing Day Blizzard of 2010″ (15” of snow over two days here on the island) and what we had to eat on Christmas day in 2010. It’s always a wonderful feeling to start in on newly opened pages. Below is a small beastie from a short staff meeting in 2010 – Happy New Year!
This beautiful Hydranga grows in front of the office of a hotel on Rte. 3, about two feet from the busy highway on one side and the same distance from the roundabout on the other. All winter the plow trucks brush it by and dump sand and salt all over the little plot of grass it sits on. It never seems to be watered or cared for in the summer; they just mow the lawn around it and let it be. No one prunes it or takes off the dead flower heads in the fall. Evidently hydrangaes love neglect.
I’ve admired this shrub for years and tried to draw it once or twice but I’ve failed miserably to bring across the sheer abundance of the blossoms, the fade from dark to bright on the individual flower heads as well as en masse and the strength of the branches underneath that carpet of foliage. It is now firmly in the category of “things I’m never going to paint”.
I keep a notebook of places to paint, eventually, some day when I have more time out of doors. Some of these houses and trees will wait till I return and some have been torn down or “restored” out of character. The images are glossy 4 x 5’s taken with an ancient auto-everything Nikon and worked over with a Sharpie and photo retouch markers.