Friday, 13 July 2012
Carry On Looking Hard
As if in subconscious defiance against the perpetual greyness of this English summer I seem to have moved into colour with my daily drawings. I didn't realise until I looked back through my visual diary, which I first wrote about 'here', back in February, when I was relatively new to the discipline of daily drawing.
In a determination not to let my daughter-in-law down (she gave me this Sketch-a-Day book for Christmas) I have not missed a day this year (and she says that's got Christmas sorted for me for the next umpteen years).
I should have noticed because my miniature pencils are dwindling, especially the greens, and I can't find any replacements.
Then I wonder if it's such a good thing to look back through what has become not just a series of little drawings, but a visual journal of my little life.
It is all about plants and the garden, small snatches of life elsewhere, the corner of an office, a view from the attic window, a sleeping dog, the seating pattern in a train, the fish tank in the dentist's waiting room.
It seems too small, but then I console myself by realising that I can't draw the most significant things of all, which are people.
I can sit and stare at a leaf for ten minutes, but it's not possible to do it to a person (unless you pay them to be a model, that is, or unless you go to art classes and draw with other people).
I've had a go, in my discreet way.
I was captivated by a couple in a cafe recently. He was eating a big wedge of carrot cake, using both hands to support it, and she, in her tiny shorts and gold sandals was sending text messages on her tiny phone. While she was thus occupied he leaned over and lifted her slice of carrot cake with both hands and transferred it to his own plate. She reached out, eyes still on the screen, found her plate empty, sighed, sipped her coffee and continued to text. I managed to capture some of the action, and the colour of his face and her shorts, which matched, as did the magnificent convex curve of his frontage and the corresponding concave of hers, but I was aware I really should not be doing it.
I managed to capture the mutual admiration of a man and a swan as they gazed at each other on the riverside, although I think the swan was possibly more fixated on the sandwich being slowly eaten. But they made a good pattern against the hypnotic swirling of the beige river, and they were sufficiently engrossed in one another as not to notice me.
Then I went to a day-time screening of 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel',and I'm pleased to say that I managed to capture something of the great froth of white haired audience against the rich red flounces of the safety curtain.
So I've used some reds and dark pinks and beige, but mainly my artistic endeavours seems to be blues and mauves and endless, endless shades of green from the dank and dripping vines, the collapsing herbaceous beds, the sodden lawn, the fruit-free tomato plants.