Hand-written thank you notes seem to be a dying practice. Receiving personal mail through the post, be it holiday, birthday or condolence cards or even a letter, is an event to be celebrated in our house. So when Tim asked me to turn yesterday’s drawing into thank you notes I was thrilled to do it.
My painting skills don’t always live up to my expectations, and like most artists I’m never 100% happy with any of my work. But I was pleased to offer up the following finished piece…and reminded to thank all of you who are reading this and supporting my efforts.
A beautiful bouquet of lillies and roses was delivered to our door. Each flower has slowly shown its brilliant colors of creamy white shot through with deep pink over the last week. The white rose buds have unfurled and the lily pods have exploded, a few each day.
I couldn’t resist them. I carried the whole vase outside today and sat in our backyard to draw. As I sat on a dusty lounge chair, concentrating on getting the fleshy petals just right, I heard a whirrrrrrrr just two feet above my head.
My little hummer, ever courious, had come to investigate (I’ve named him Henri.) He hovered between me and the flowers for several seconds, looked me straight in the eye, and zipped off. I don’t think he trusts me. After all, he’s been fooled several times by the brightly colored flowers on the bathing suit my daughter leaves hanging over our patio chair to dry.
I have discovered how easily personal commitment can be derailed by life…and death…and that it’s as it should be. Last week my husband’s mom passed away and the painting below is dedicated to my hubby, Tim, and his mother, Velma.
As for my own intention of a sketch a day, I found it to be surprisingly selfish to spend my time last week pursuing my own interests. But I firmly believe everything works out as it should, and Tim and I enjoyed a quiet, loving & healing week supporting each other.
‘Hide & Seek,’ 6″x6″, watercolor & color pencil
© Wendy Fallon
Up to now I would have never considered myself a bird watcher. I’ve not had the time or interest before to sit still long enough to really see them, but for the last several late mornings in a row I’ve had a visitor.
A hummingbird peeks into my picture windows every day just as the sun begins to warm the backyard. He buzzes around with all the curiosity of a toddler and the twitchy excitement of too much caffeine. He zips from one window to the next, then back again, for a brief few minutes and then takes off.
When he’s gone I sit for a moment and savor the pure awe and delight he leaves me with. All I can recall is the tiny curve of beak and tail, gem-tone colors, a blur of wings, and tiny bright eyes.
I really, really want him to sit still just long enough for me to throw a few lines on paper for his portrait. I know he will not slow down for me, but with enough visits I might just be able to capture a vision of him in my mind. Today I’m ready for him. I’m sitting here just waiting for this tiny fly-by miracle.
Ok, so I had to do some research about this guy to figure out how he’s built. But these drawings are inspired my own visitor – who brought a friend with him today!
No matter how I arrange this plant, or where I place it, it insists on growing towards the light…me too!
As I sat in my backyard today, nothing seemed to be inspiring me to draw. I sat quietly for about 20 minutes, and then was suddenly struck by the geometric shapes created by our iron and concrete fence. So today’s sketch became an exercise in straight lines.
There is so much wildlife in our urban yard that the fence, which we can see through, seems to represent control over chaos. Deep thoughts…however, I do find the unintentional crookedness in the drawing a bit unsettling. LOL, I’ll have to work on that – the fence does NOT lean…
I spent an hour early today sitting on my patio with my sketch book. I thought it might be quiet and restful and give me the opportunity to meditate before drawing. It turns out that we have so many birds that sing joyously and without restraint that I went straight to drawing.
After watching our dog, Daisy, I realized she was bird-watching! She stood in the middle of the yard, very still, and scanned our yard for movement. She watches the birds, and they watch her. It seems to be her entertainment, a bit like watching TV for humans.
I was lucky enough to catch sight of two quail this morning, and I think Daisy did too. Unfortunately for her, they didn’t want to stay around to play!
I’ve entitled the following sketch ‘Hide & Seek.’
I completed this sketch from a photo of my daughter when she was 6. She was crabbing off Grandpa’s dock along the New Jersey shore.
I’ve discovered that once I complete any of these sketches, I want to paint them all! For each sketch I’m currently using 6″x6″, 100% cotten, 140 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper. This will allow me to use a choice of water media, and the size constrains me to approximately an hour of drawing.
Now that I’m spending more time at home, I’ve also discovered that we have a variety of wildlife right in our backyard. We are lucky enough to back up to a Phoenix Park and Rec urban trail built along a small canal. It’s used every day by hikers, runners and horseback riders, as well as early morning rabbits, quail and ground squirrels. With South Mountain as the backdrop there’s always something interesting to see and draw!
My plans for a daily sketch are so easily derailed! I lost my job on Monday, and was tempted to use that as an excuse for not drawing. But now I feel there’s every reason for drawing every day as a means of propping up my flagging self-confidence! Here is the first, and I hope to add two more before the weekend. This sketch was an easy one, with no straight lines or complexity. But it is a start.
Also check out my new post to my Graphic Art page!
When I started this blog I wasn’t sure anyone would care enough to read it. I had always felt that blogs were for those who simply liked to read their own words and too self-centric to really contribute to anything important. But I’m rapidly changing my mind.
I’ve decided the only thing each of us has to contribute to the world is ourselves, in whatever form we are blessed to possess. Mine is writing and drawing. I would like to use my gifts and addictions to encourage and inspire those of my own generation (or anyone else) who have been crushed emotionally and financially by recent US and global crisis. These disasters have impacted my life on a personal level, and although my husband and I have survived to date, there are so many around us that have not.
And I’m addicted to writing! I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. So, if nothing else, I intend to contribute to this world through example and use this blog to work through a few of my own fears.
First, an admission: I haven’t made any NEW art in the two years since my dream gallery closed (Art on Boston, Chandler, AZ.) Therefore I’m thinking of starting The Daily Sketch, posting each drawing here, picking one to finish up with paint over the weekend, and then posting the result. Truly a New Beginning!