Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Drawing in Ireland

It sounds like such a nice idea -
but it takes a certain brave leap to do it,
stepping into that unknown relationship with the world - and one's self -
and letting something land on the page.

Here is what landed as I wandered around Ireland in October.
Each time I drew (sometimes just for a few minutes) I felt better, more engaged with my life.
and each object I spent time with reflected back some quality in me.
The words I added revealed why I had chosen that thing to be with.

My drawing process takes some courage to enter,
stepping into dialogue with a resonant object .
What is my connection to it ? Can I meet it ? Will it meet me ?
I finally jump in, the pencil touches the paper, begins to move
as my eye touches the object - eye and hand joined.
And then some magic happens.
I am with this world, the world is with me,
reflecting who I am and why I chose this thing.
I know it now - I know myself.
The world and me together.

I wandered around the Archaeological Museum in Dublin one afternoon,
gazing on the ancient shapes - waistbands, necklaces, earrings
that seemed scaled for enormous bodies - who WERE these people ?

I stop in front of a simple mount (perhaps for a belt or clasp ?)
and trace the pattern - settling in . . .

Time stretches out and then suddenly it's five minutes to closing.
I gather three simple strong forms on the page -

At the Decorative Arts Museum I walk into the Asian gallery
and pause in front of this cheerful bird. I bring the shape into the sketchbook.

The next day I take the train west to Galway and walk on the promenade along the wide bay.
There are people swimming in the frigid water ! I point this out to an elderly woman as we
both stand under a shelter waiting for the rain to pass. She says, in that lilting Irish way,
"Oh yes, I swim everyday. Keeps me healthy. Never get a cold !"
My impression of her completely opens and changes.

The rain stops. I see a high hill in the distance and decide to walk there -

As I find my way along the rocky beach empty of people I being to worry that the tide will rush in
and I'll be trapped. Then I worry that I'll stumble, sprain my ankle, not be able to move.
When I make it to the top of the cliff and lean over the edge I worry that the ground
will give way under me. So many worries carried along !

It is windy, cold and bright up there. I open the sketchbook and catch some of the moving lines
with my pencil - no time for color (will add that later ) just a moment of touching the page.
I pack up and head back down the hill. The ground does not give way,
the tide does not entrap, the rocks do not throw me off.

I make it all the way back to a warm cafe just as the sky opens and the rain starts up again.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Story about Fear and Drawing and Opening

I spent some time in Mexico - San Miguel de Allende - this past month.
I wandered around this interesting town, sketching a bit, but what I really enjoyed
were the private salsa lessons I was taking.
It felt like a brave and joyful activity - relational, creative.

I got a listing from my teacher Fernando of some social dancing spots in town
and I ventured out one night to a rooftop bar with the Parroquia church spire in view.
But I had the time wrong and it was going to be an hour before the live music
started and my friends arrived (hopefully).

I ordered a glass of wine and waited.

It was hard to sit there alone - I tried not to panic and leave.
Many minutes passed . . .

Then I remembered I had a folded piece of paper and pencil in my purse.
I took them out and began to draw the cathedral tower in blind contour - not looking at the page -
just following the forms - my attention completely with the thing itself.

I wrote next to the drawing -

Then I realized I hadn't described the church tower - so I added on either side of it -

And at that moment I knew I was describing myself -
"Many chambered - silent - calm" and something settled inside -
I was fearful - and also calm . . .
I looked out at the people around me and noticed something new - like a veil lifting -
and wrote at the bottom of the page -

All of us - just like me.

Two minutes later my friends Maureen and Michael arrived - the band started up -
the dancing began. I went up to a man who was sitting alone. I put out my hand and said -
"Would you like to dance ? "

And I joined in the connection and flow and happiness.

Here is the whole page !