Sunday, December 28, 2014

So Much To Do

So much to do this time of year, once the dust settles, hard to tell how many of these come from the heart, how many are duties pressed upon us by custom.  So when one more thing to do appears on the horizon, it might be that, minds already occupied with things grabbing at our attention and for our time, we are less open to possibilities than we might otherwise be.

I believe this character needs to grasp something lovely with every bit of the mind, and, in a more open state of mind see what that is that is catching up and asking for attention.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sketchbook - Music Sweep

Music heard invites us to step into the landscape it creates as it unwinds, unrolls, explodes...

Making music takes the mind on a wander, half our senses involved in the technical, adding to the waterfall of sounds.  The other half responds, the conscious suggesting new directions, the unconscious making connections to memory and imagination, opening doors and windows to a sweep of fresh experience in the mind.  

Improvisation multiplies the inrush of experience, and improvisation in collaboration with others makes for an exponential explosion in which musician as creator and listener is danced away to places he might otherwise never reach.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sketchbook - Shame


First lines on the page seemed inward-facing, reminded me of how much sometimes as a teen one just wants to be invisible, to pull one's being away from the visible world and disappear from view. 

This girl is wishing it so hard she's beginning to disappear at the edges.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sketchbook - Hammerhead

I'm so very thankful that I can draw... because if I were to try and put this thought into words, well...  

Even now, long after completing this in my sketchbook (and earlier than that, it was a loose ink doodle in yet ANOTHER sketchbook) well...  

That's kind of where words run out.  At... well...

When you look at this image and something specific you're doing comes to mind, well.... ...stop.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sketchbook - A Sea of Eyes

When I  draw without a preset theme, the drawing comes out of an inner space and brings something of that with it - but I have found over the years that the reverse is true also:  while drawing, the surrounding scene with its noises and energies is somehow captured intensely in memory, and each sketchpage and doodle, when opened, opens those snapshots as well - here what is visible is an ocean of impressions and observations - a question: what will fit?  What will become? and memory fills in a sunny afternoon on a neighbour's back porch, children coming and going, the sun searing the blank page a blinding white. 

I have doodles on lined paper squeezed into the margins of notes taken years ago. They  bring to mind the dim upstairs feel of Mr. Baxter's gr. 12 French class.  The colourless tiled floor.  Joe on one side, Wayne on the other.  Good friends.  Worth remembering. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Developing Idea - Sketchbook pages

Picture      I had kept a sketchbook, lugging it from class to class in high school but the habit had lapsed when I acquired other duties and things to carry and ran out of hands for the sketchbook.  It dawned on me that I missed the process.  So a few years ago I picked up the technical pens and pen and ink I had used for the earlier sketchbooks and creaked open the cover of a new book - not knowing what direction it would take. 

I decided only one thing, to begin with: that I would continue working on each spread until it expressed a unified thought or theme - no matter how obscure.  New pages were unnerving, at first.  A sweep of line would break the page and then - ? I began to approach each page with the same general thought:  Now let's see...  and I was hooked. 

I began to feel pulled by a work in progress, left on the table, pen beside the open book.  Whatever the mind was chewing over, seems that was somehow being digested on paper.  I began to savour  the way a drawing developed slowly, dragging thoughts with it, developing a mental space internally as the drawing emerged on paper over days and weeks.  Some drawings didn't seem worthy of further work - a doodle, the moment, not needing digesting or developing.  Others were left unfinished for days or months - I had no idea what to do next with them - and may be in that state today, still waiting.  Others, when I flipped open a page, suddenly I could see just what was needed next - and the pull returned. 

I'll post them in the order that they appear in the sketchbooks, but undated - as they have grown over a hopscotch of timelines, some images surging to the page in a rush of hours drawn from a busy life in the course of a few days, others developing almost despite me, across years.

I enjoy comments and questions and look forward to hearing from you

Friday, September 5, 2014

Doodle Journey

 A page of raw doodles.  Who knows where they will end up, what life they will take on one day?

I'm always doodling.  Especially when I am listening intently to someone speaking.  I have doodles that go all the way back to high school and beyond.  Sometimes I doodle when I want to let my mind off the leash, and as it wanders through landscapes of colours and textures, the pen moves.

Usually a pen.  Back in grade school wherever I went, I would always have a stack of newsprint and a ball point pen.  Any spare moment out they would come and doodles would happen.  Lines would begin light and sketchy, growing darker as I decided on a final path and committed a dark deep line on the surface of the paper that gave way in such a satisfying way. 

Thinking back, that deep, dark line behind the pen felt a little like planting in my garden does now.  Seating the line or plant deeply leaves it in a good place.  Who knows, maybe those doodles when I was seven and eight have rooted and are bearing their fruit now on every sort of surface around me?

Some days the doodles are just a lifeless collection of lines.  Those sit a while and then get tossed.  The lively ones, the doodles that seem to breathe, have a life before and after I made them, they stick in the mind. 

These days, the lively doodles are finding their way onto and into different forms of creation.

Curly toes have become a series of satin-lined baby slippers.  Cheery monsters have morphed into huggable pillows in fuzzy fleeces and lively colours.  Lanky critters have spawned a series of big-footed floppy bunnies made from hand-felted old wool sweaters - some were mine, some have been found in used clothing shops, and now they know I am interested, shamefaced friends have begun hauling out accidentally-felted sweaters in gorgeous colours, apologetically offering them to me, since they are too lovely to throw out...

I see all kinds new ways for these doodles to take on a life beyond the paper.  I seem to wake with new ideas every day.   Hours are filled with developing new ideas, making up doodles already destined for some purpose, and the house is filling up with work in progress, materials destined for a project, and finished work.  In between, around and through all this, family life continues - albeit in a more colourful, doodle-filled way every day.

If you want to see work as it is happening and would like to put in a comment, do visit on my creative Facebook page:  ThePlayfulEye.  Work that is ready for sale is posted in my Etsy shop:

And comments here, of course, are welcome as always. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Winter Dreams

Deep in the mad scramble of preparing for my first foray into art/craft show territory, with the house around me filling with art and crafts for sale on the one hand and undisturbed clutter on the other, a phone call: was I available for a rush assignment?

Why yes, yes I was.

After all, they do say a change is as good as a rest, and waking up repeatedly at 4 a.m. feeling I should get up and make something was beginning to wear me down a little.

Here's the third iteration of the design, once I got the final dimensions confirmed. Colour version anon.

 So far so good, changes to be made were outlined, and among them a better look at the raccoon.  So here he is in colour.  Book comes out next month, I"ll post the full cover then.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Unexpected Find

Developed originally for the Kids and Moustaches series this guy has grown on me more and more.

He used to have a lot more hair, but his older brother and sister told him he had no luck birdwatching because he had such big hair it scared them away.  So out came the scissors.

He may not have had much more luck birdwatching, but out there on a limb he did find SOMEthing...