passed away today. She had an infection that could not be cured.
As you may know I started this blog to work with my ability to draw representationally. It has been a year since I started A Hamster A Day. It is possible that I could draw hamsters for the rest of my life and continue to learn new things. I suspect that I will still draw hamsters. But I have felt the desire to draw other things including people. I wasn’t sure how I would approach this. At first I thought of anatomy or figure source material. Magazines seemed a reasonable resource. However I don’t want to draw idealized people or fake poses.
I have also been concerned with the purpose of art. Now, surely, much of art is of benefit simply because it opens our minds and creates a sort of pause that might allow something new. This is very important. But then there are artists like Vik Muniz and Ai WeiWei whom use their work to actually help people. For those who do not already know there are great documentaries about both artists that illustrate this.
I came across “Fragile, The Human Condition” by Howard G. Buffett used at a library bookstore. It is full of real people. People from all over the world and the lives they lead. I was struck by how much beauty there was in them and their lives despite their hardships. Some of the hardship I see is a cultural bias I impose on them as I compare their life with my own. Some of the beauty I see is first world romanticism of “a simpler life.” these are the abstractions about “others” that I am attempting to confront. As I say this I am aware that one can’t face things in others that they have not faced in themselves.
As I draw these people I will probably be pretty bad at it. I can’t really see how my drawing them will make much of a difference to them or anyone else. But I suspect they will make a difference to me. They will change the way I see, and I will learn in the process. I hope to see people more clearly and honestly. I want to see the beauty in people, not just the beautiful people.
I was sorta recently in a bike accident that gave me a mild concussion and now I have a cold. I have been using these things as excuses to avoid drawing much longer than is reasonable. However, I have also started a drawing group IRL. I hope to be back with the hamsters soon, and maybe some ink.
“It’s about reaching that moment of pure ecstasy when a drawing just happens. Where every move you make with your hand and every thought you have in your head grows in front of you without any mistakes; no rubbing out, starting again and getting frustrated. It’s like being in a trance – it’s a fluid – and you almost don’t remember doing the picture. Drawing is an escape from all the unnecessary things in life that get in the way of being free.”