As I mentioned, I haven't been drawing lately because a recent migraine cluster has sucked out my creativity. But Miss Pico (my service dog) has been, so I've included one of her pictures from last week. Pico paints wearing a painting paw - a mitt with a foam brush attached. She's a lefty, but this time was wanting to paint with both paws, so I guess she needs another painting paw for her right paw. She learned to paint at Dog Scout Camp two years ago, but we only got her a painting paw of her own last month.
Painting paws and information on teaching your dog to paint, along with lots of other great dog info are available at www.dogscouts.com
I'm taking Sharon B's great course Develop a Personal Library of Stitches. I'd planned to keep my schedule light so I'd have plenty of time to devote to the class - which is fantastic BTW. And instead, we are now midway through week 4 and I've had 3 migraines combined with pre- and post- migraine symptoms for the last three weeks which has left me too muzzy-headed to really be able to think about the class material. Luckily, like all her courses, the course material stands on it's own very well. But I'm missing out on full participation in the group conversation and synergy.
I decided this morning that I'm better off devoting any free time I have to more mindless activities for the time being. The way I feel, following a pattern using techniques and stitches I already know is actually interesting to me, so this would be a good time to do some of the projects in my stash that I find beautiful but boring.
I've also been playing with one of my latest thrift store finds - a 1974 Mattel "Knitting Machine" I'd actually had one of these (also from the thrift store) before and gotten bored with it and given it away. Basically, you turn the crank and it knits a long tube of material. It's great for making knit bell ornaments for package decorations very quickly. However, this one also came with the project book, which explains how to make what they call "puffs" or granny circles/squares - essentially knitted yo-yos or Suffolk puffs (depending on which version of English you speak.) The puffs can be round, square or hexagonal depending on how you block and connect them. I haven't actually made any puffs yet because I had the idea of making an extra warm afghan by weaving the knit tubes together. Since you just turn the crank, this is the ultimate in mindlessness!
This migraine cluster seems to have just sucked up all my creativity, so I haven't been drawing either. Hopefully, it will be gone soon!
This week I've had some breakthroughs regarding what my goals are for drawing. I get frustrated with my inability to interpret images in my head (or in front of me) to paper. But I realized this week that I haven't been fully aware of what that means to me. This week I was playing with a book I bought some time ago - Pencil, Paper, Draw!: Dogs by Steve Harpster. This is one of those books that shows you how to convert shapes and lines into specific images. Just playing with it, I managed to make several perfectly decent basic dogs that could be worked with to make some nice drawings. However, I realized that isn't what I want. I'm more interested in getting what is to me the essence of, say, a dog or the dog's position or action, than a realistic or technically correct image. With that in mind, I purchased a copy of Alexander Calder's book Animal Sketching, where Calder talks about - and illustrates - drawing just that essence. The jury is still out on whether it improves my drawing or my satisfaction level, but at about $3.00, it's a nice inexpensive piece of eye candy.
I think this challenge gets harder, not easier for me. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes the best lessons come from working on the hard stuff. I'm several days late and going to break my own rules and not post anything, because frankly, I don't think I drew anything in the previous week that is worth using up even free photo storage.
I am doing better this week though and having some interesting mental breakthroughs. I'll share them next Monday.
Check out loveFibre's drawing for this week, I love the back story.
I'm starting to wonder if my brain has a fundamental disconnect between the ability to draw and the ability to do anything technical, like, oh... get photos and post my drawings. I finally found both my camera and the memory card for it at the same time only to have to leave for a trip and end up with no internet access three days in a row. The only three days (up to today) where I was expected to have internet access....
Oh and did I draw on said trip? Twice. In almost a week. That said, I really like the two drawings I did - I managed to draw a general shape without getting too caught up in making it perfect. So, here's my favorite, in case you can't read my writing, it says "Pico [my service dog] barked at bison today trying to get their attention"