Everyday Matters #1 - Shoe
But before the shoes...
I am sure it seems I've completely disappeared. It feels that way at times, but the truth is that the site, the podcast, the blog, the journey... none of it is ever far from my mind. I had good intentions for something in June around the time of birthdays, podcast milestones, etc. The "themes" that go along with June are some of my favorite ones of the year, and it is often a time of introspection, self-awareness, creative rejuvenation, and restored spirit. This year, it just wasn't to be, however.
A collaborative visit during recent weeks saw a lot of exciting work done, even though it seems there was not as "much" time to work together as in past visits. But we squeezed in a number of projects, some pattern work, and more. It's been an odd span of days. On day 2 of the visit, the iron broke. Quilters need irons, folks. Then a day or so later, a camera was knocked over and the lens broke. (I at first feared the whole camera was done for. Thankfully, my persistence in getting the jammed and broken lens off the camera paid off. The camera itself was fine.) A favorite bowl broke the next day. And somewhere in those days an electrical outlet in the kitchen completely failed. Then we were involved in a hit and run coming home from seeing fireworks on the 4th. (I spent a lot of time thinking about the randomness of that night and that moment... we hadn't planned to go "far" to see the fireworks, but our typical spot was closed off when we headed out after dinner and blueberry pie. I would have just come home and skipped the fireworks, but one child really wanted me to find another spot for us to sit and view them... so we did. And then coming home, I missed two different turns to take alternate routes home, and so I took the final way... and got hit. [We were all fine, by the way. And no, the driver did not stop.])
Taken all together... it adds up to something.
During the visit, I almost got compelled to start the 365 project mid-year. I actually took photos on the first day of the second half of the year. But the next day, my photo never happened. Watching someone who is doing the project was exciting but also confirmed my sense that it does take time and does become a real focus. I want to do this project next year for sure. (Of course, I'd like a new camera, too. I'm just going to keep saying it!)
I'm listening to my reality and not going to start the 365 until I feel I can really "do it" fully and daily, but what I think I might start is working through some of the Everyday Matters prompts. I was inspired recently by seeing Danny Gregory start on the list (again). And then Tammy at Daisy Yellow decided to do the set, too.
I think it might be a good thing in my house because my oldest and I have done a lot of daily drawing in recent months, but often we both are stumped about "what" to draw. Even with the emphasis on simply drawing "anything" and on the value in recording everyday objects, it is often a tossup as to who has to find an object for us to draw. Generally, it's the requirement--I have to find something to draw if we're going to draw. Sometimes, not knowing what to draw has turned into, simply, not drawing. And then, an outgrowth, in part, of being repeatedly stymied about what to draw, we detoured into several weeks where we drew manga and comic faces and explored the differences in those (fascinating!) as well as searched for our own characters.
Everyday Matters, I think, could be good for us. Not only would it encourage more frequent drawings and more disciplined practice on my part, but it would eliminate the hurdle of finding something we want to draw. So, we did the first prompt, the shoes. We didn't pick shoes we were invested in, but they are shoes that, for me, have some meaning and significance. They are tied to something about this summer, about personality, about trying new things, and about stinky feet.
We both drew the shoes, trying out our new Tradio Stylio pens for the first time. I was disappointed by some feathering, but still, it was good. And for him... it was good because he doesn't normally work with ink unless he's drawn his piece in pencil first. If Everyday Matters will nudge him to more "just get the lines down" practice, I think it would be great!
My shoe drawing (lower left) isn't one to write home about. It feels weird even putting it on the blog. It's just so not blog-worthy. But I think that's part of why Everyday Matters matters. Doing these drawing exercises should both warm up my line and get me focused again on my line and not on the critique of it. I flipped through the drawings he and I have done in recent weeks, and I like a lot of what I see there. And I love that we've "both" done these same objects but always from a slightly different perspective, which has made a huge difference in the process. Even a little truck I drew that was completely warped in terms of perspective makes me smile when I see it. But there are others I see and know... they are me... and that is my line. It does matter. So the shoe isn't great. But it's just a single drawing. It's a tip of the hat and nod of the head to ritual, routine, and to the value of diving into something--without erasing or starting over.
Prompt 2 is a lamp... hmmm. That one has me scratching my head a bit. But I'm going to do it. And I'm going to make an effort to post at least glimpses of the drawings here as a way of "owning up" to the process. Bear with me!
As an aside, the oldest is at cartooning camp this week. The overview looks super cool. And on the first day, they had to do a story that somehow dealt with their "family car." Pretty funny!