Starter Kit

Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008

Fore Sale: Kitten head. Slightly used. Reasonable. (Body sold separately).

So, a brief report on the weekend. I did two things this weekend that I haven't done in many years. First, I drew a picture, something I probably haven't done in at least 20 years if you really want to do the math. When was the last time you drew a picture (not a map, not stick figures, or any other low rent visual)? I've been hearing a lot lately about the power of images--especially in collage form--in making positive changes in one's life. And, I have to admit, when I want to change something about myself, the best way I've found to go about it is to take those few (or often many) minutes between going to bed and falling asleep to visualize new reactions to the given situation, or better alternative habits. And when I say visualize, I mean concentrating on every detail as if it were a photograph. If there are other people, I know their faces in detail and even the colors and designs of every article of clothing they wear. If it's an indoor scene, I can feel the carpet or tile under my feet; I can see where the paint is getting grubby and needs a new coat. I take a great deal of time to decorate the sets, as it were, before starting the action of the scene. And I don't know why, but it seems to translate into results in the real world. But, as I was saying, I've been hearing about collages lately, and I'm not real hep on the idea. I do, however, like the idea of collecting images of the things I want to come into (or stay, for that matter) in my life. However, as is my habit, I have very specific ideas of the sorts of images I might want to include--and I could end up leafing through magazines for hours and still not finding the things I'd want. So I sharpened my pencil and sat down to draw myself surrounded by some of the things I aspire to--not necessarily in an ownership sort of way, but in a how-I-want-to-invest-my-time sort of way.

I must say I'm far more pleased with the results than I thought I would be. The drawing I did of myself is something that I can look at without cringing, and I even got the sort of expression and comfortable pose that I was aiming for. I've made a bunch of random surrounding images, and all of these are recognizable as the things I intended. And, best of all, there's still room for more!

I know that several of you who read here are excellent photographers, but I really would be interested in knowing if any of you ever draw or doodle, even just for your own enjoyment. Obviously words play a large part in all of our lives (as evidenced by the persistent blogging habits we share), but does creating images from your own imagination and by your own hand play any role in your planning process? Or other processes?

Oh, and the other thing I did? I got started writing a short story. It was just suddenly there asking to be written down. I'm not done with it yet, but I may inflict it on you at some future date. Be warned!

9 Response to "Starter Kit"

Jen Says:

I've started to paint. I have no ability to draw and make it look like anything recognizable -- the transition from mind to hand to medium just doesn't work. But for some reason, I'm able to paint more abstract stuff. I just found that out recently, and I'm having a ball with it.

Mental images are a huge part of how I process pretty much everything. Images often represent feelings. There is this stretch of highway in Coeur d'Alene near the river, lined with mountains, that has been popping up in my mind very frequently. That image always seems to accompany or presage feelings about the loss of my home.
I've been consciously trying to replace it with another image, but you can't force these things.

JoJo Says:

So where's the picture you drew??? I'd love to see it.

I can only "copy" draw. Meaning, I can look at an illustration and reproduce it fairly well, but I can't just sketch it from my head. And I can't do portraits at all. My college she could really draw. Much more of an artist than me!

I did a kind of a collage book, w/ pics of me from when I was a baby thru 6th grade, w/ other tchotchkes from my many "memory boxes", and lists of all the TV shows, music, etc I liked. It was a wonderful project.

Danger Panda Says:

Ari, Instead of replacing that image, could you add something to it? Something that might be pure fiction (in terms of the "real world") but could have meaning for you? A house in the middle of it where none was before? A wild animal crossing the road to greater freedom? A person at the side needing help from you? I don't know--just brainstorming here.

JoJo, I don't think my tentative pencil drawing would reproduce, at least no on my low-rent scanner. Your project sounds like fun though. I love that kinda stuff!

Margaret Says:

I can see images in my mind, but have never been able to translate them to paper. It is very frustrating. I'm a Pictionary drop out. Says:

Bring on the story!!


OldHorsetailSnake Says:

Yeah, but where's the picture that you drewed? Pish.

FirstNations Says:

...and yeah....wheres the picture you drew? tease.

FirstNations Says:

INFLICT! INFLICT! I wanna read the short story!

i drew for years. never quite got over a certain stiffness in my figures; i was more interested in the tension and quality of the lines themselves than in the way they combined to make a form. i can capture a fair likeness, but its a fight. i gave up about 2 years ago and let myself do what I really needed to do: abstract. hell yeah! the only drawing I do now is roughing out a particular composition. I also work in calligraphy...surprise surprise.

Tui Says:

That cat photo cracks me up!!!

And congrats on your story. Please "inflict" it upon us. :)

I do enjoy doodling. Sometimes when I am going through a tough time, I just have to draw and make lists and scribble on a big piece of paper. It's just not satisfying if the piece of paper is too small, for whatever reason.

Very interesting post...


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