I haven’t drawn with pencil in ages for some reason. I now see that was foolish, harmful and borderline sacrilege. A pencil is just so damn versatile and fun to use. I mean, you sharpen a pencil using a razor. And you blend pencil with your hands. How cool is that? Anyway, here are a few recent drawings using a little set of pencils I got last Christmas.
Art projects are like little fires: gather your materials, keep them ready, and when inspiration strikes you get burning. This weeks (and last) little fires included blot painting, some outdoor painting, and the usual assortment of drawings.
Art projects are like little fires: https://getonwithit.blog/tag/art-projects/
The fires were alive and burning this week.
Vivi made a morning note for Sam. Just saying he’s the best, that’s all.
Polar Bear Story Mini-Zine
Continuing on the them of making mini-zines, made this one using some magazing cut outs. Here’s the inspiration: https://austinkleon.com/2020/03/04/how-to-make-a-zine-from-a-single-sheet-of-paper/
I liked the way this turned out in a strange way.
A collaboration between Kav and Sam.
The new normal
It was Kav’s birthday last week which was another excuse for making things.
Here is some inspiration for a little morning brush pen drawing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this metaphor of the side of the mountain versus the top over the past week.
“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.” (Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
This book was not the easiest read, but it keeps coming back to mind for me. I think I could re-read it another two or three times and still find new things within.
Another excerpt in the same categorey and from the same book that gets to the point more succinctly:
“The past cannot remember the past. The future can’t generate the future. The cutting edge of this instant right here and now is always nothing less than the totality of everything there is.” (Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
Finally, the only recording I’ve re-listened a number of times on the subject of recognizing that the most important thing is right now:
I like to think of art projects like little fires. First you gather your wood (the materials), you built it (get everything set-up) and then you light it. When inspiration strikes, you get burning.
I love the process of gathering the materials from the store (art, craft, book, hardware, etc) and have them all ready, meaning out and in view, so we can work when the mood strikes. Until I have a dedicated studio space this means transforming our dining table over the weekend, but here’s proof that it’s worth it: four projects done over the past four roughly four weeks that just sort of happened because the fire was ready to be lit.
I got this idea from Austin Kleon. I never knew how to fold and tear a piece of paper like this until now, and it’s a little detail that makes it super easy to transform any piece of paper into a mini-zine. No idea where the story came from either.
Mixing by hand
Me: “Sam you want to do some painting?”
Sam: “Yes daddy!”
Slide out some large sheets of card stock. Squeeze tubes of different color paints on. Watch him mix. Repeat!
The paper laptop
Vivian created this paper model of a laptop complete with fold out keyboard, sitckers on the case, kick stand, and laptop sleeve with handles. It’s just like what her parents use, and she even drew a browser on the screen showing “Google: Unicorns” on it with the search result.
No one helped her, no one even knew she was working on it. We were just going about doing chores while she was busy doing something at the dining-table-turned-studio.
The box critters
Kav made these with the kids, starting with some cutouts from a magazine and expanding into homemade hands and eyes and tails of all sorts. Reusing materials from around the house is a bonus, as it the fact that this art gets named and played with after. This genre of art project (box critter-making?) is an underrated wellspring that we’ll be sure to tap into more often.
I love art projects. Keep burning those fires!