Happy Blogday to Me

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Two years ago today, I started this blog. I’ve felt a shade pessimistic lately about its ongoing purpose, and about my own erratic attempts to make it a place on the web that’s worth visiting. Re-reading some of your past comments, however, has heartened me, and reminded me why I am here: the EDM community which led me to create this online presence in the first place has been responsible for so much supportive, appreciative and thoughtful interaction with fellow painters and sketchers over these two years that I would be foolish indeed to abandon the one virtual corner where I know I can open not only my sketchbook, but – if I need to – my heart.

Yesterday’s sketch for “(Almost) Every Day in February” was done between finishing work and collecting my daughter from daycare. I’m getting used to the idea, now, of sketching more freely and rapidly; of letting my pen take all the detours it needs in order to reach an approximation of what’s in front of me, without fear of mistakes. The previous day’s scribbles can be seen on my Flickr.

Joyeux blogiversaire!

Sunday at the library

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On a visit to the library with my daughter today, I got to wondering why I had never thought of people-sketching there before. Later I returned alone, tucked myself as inconspicuously as I could into a corner and put pen to paper.

For the figures in their surroundings I didn’t go in with pencil first: though pen-only isn’t my usual thing, when it comes to capturing live and fidgety subjects, I figure it’s the only way to learn to trust my own mark-making instincts. I then dug out my pencil for the travel mug and books. (If you’ve ever tried drawing a random heap of books in correct perspective, you will know what a heebiejeebie-inducing exercise it is.) What struck me was that it is much easier to draw people in a library, where they are poring over books or shelves or staring at computer screens, than when fully caffeinated and chatting animatedly in a coffee shop! The library environment also means that one’s personal space is respected to a certain degree, so I found this a less nervy experience than I’d expected.

The brown paper was pasted in as a fix for a mistake and subsequently excised chunk of page. While screwups in sketching are to be expected and forgiven (blokey on the laptop with his short-arse legs, for instance), sometimes I commit a real ugh and it just has to be obliterated. In this case, it’s enabled me to include some text, and I like what it’s done for the journal entry as a whole.