Finding a Focus for Now in the Studio


I have finished a second of the 8 x 10 watercolors on gessoed board. More collected dried things from the yard and studio. Someone in Australia asked me why I was always drawing or painting dead things. It is simple. They stay put for the length of time it takes to draw them. I get to really look at them. I get to hone what skill I have. I can touch them over and over while they stay the same. Their withering has already happened.

It feels good to be back at drawing. I miss it when I am doing more of the collage/assemblage/textile/stitch work….mixed media. That collection of words reminds me of something a character in my novella says when faced with having to frame mixed media work.

……..”And the results were pretty much the same. Layers of smudged papers that include pages from old books (with all but a few meaningful words exposed to reveal the artists intention), photos (old black and white ones collected at random from antique shops and flea markets), used tea bags and crumpled tissues, all of it dry brushed with gesso or in lieu of gesso, house paint would do. This recent interest in mixed media was followed quickly by workshops in encaustic so the entire piece could be covered in wax to look even more mysterious and meaningful.  …… Sue had to be careful not to frame them upside down or sideways.”

It makes me smile when I read what Sue thinks about the artworks brought into her framing shop. And it also reminds me to just get to doing something simple….draw.

Few pieces have given me the satisfaction of making something like drawings have. Here are some that were especially gratifying.



And always those little bits and pieces from travels.


I will get out another gessoed board today and find some things to draw. It is centering me now and I really need that. Then I will build it into a frame with a mat and hang it with the others. I don’t know what to do with them after that.

My art group meeting was yesterday and it bothered me that I was so content for now to just do this. No meaning, no desire to fix a burning issue into form or a need to say something beyond putting careful marks on board…..getting down what I am looking at. The feedback from the rest of them was good. I was inspired by one members new narrative work in dry point etching. He not only does the drawing well, but has a way of creating an atmosphere around the subject that pushes our imaginations further.

When I get all my old boards meant to be used for egg tempera completely covered in watercolors, I will return to the press with renewed enthusiasm. But for now this is where I am….here in the studio working quietly on drawing and finishing up my Scrapbook of Decades.