Tuesday, June 30, 2009

rooted but reaching
which is more desirable?
to run deep or free?

This is a haiku I wrote quite some time ago about what a tree represents to me. Always the tension between reaching up toward the sky with leaves flying while at the same time, digging deeper and deeper into the ground and rooting to the spot.

I was thinking about my last sketch of the "blob" of myself and how I said I'd wrap myself around whatever was closest in order to take a shape. Luckily, I'm getting much of my sense of humor back so I thought of all kinds of things I could wrap around and started sketching some of them. Here's one image that came to me.

I'm not happy with how dark it turned out but that's the way it goes. I'm beginning to like this little guy. He's developing some personality!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Take it for what it is

"Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job...And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another -- that is surely the basic instinct....Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is." -- Barbara Kingsolver, From High Tide in Tucson.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is that sausage?

It's hard for me to describe where in my head this image came from. As I've noted elsewhere on this blog, I'm experiencing a major mid-life crisis. Sometimes, I wish I could've just bought a little red sports car and be done with it. Instead, however, the universe has asked me to turn myself inside out, scour my insides with steel wool, and then hang myself out to cure for a while.

When the universe speaks, I try to listen. This blob of stuff is how I see myself being in the world for the past several years. It kinda looks like intestines or sausage to me - I'm a Psychologist but I have NO idea how to interpret this form. Feel free to project your own interpretation and share. The essence I was trying to capture was a feeling of not having a clear form; not having a core around which this "stuff" could wrap and take shape. My career, relationships, day to day life provided a structure. At times, I would lock onto the closest shape and wrap myself around it because that's less scary. Now I'm wanting to find that core internally.

I know it's quite a luxury to be able to spend all this time navel gazing when some are working their fingers to the bone just to put food on the table or trying to survive in a combat zone. My hope is that the form I'm able to take will allow me to add something of use to this world. I will likely continue to sketch the process to see what takes shape. I'm kind of interested in what will happen next.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I've heard of an art exercise called 100 Demons where the artist creates...well...100 Demons! I started with my worst demon: shame. This sketch is based on a picture of a magnified cancer cell (breast cancer, I believe). To me, shame is like a cancer that's insidious and difficult to get rid of -- all those tentacles reaching out to take over and kill the healthy stuff. I'd like to stylize this more so it really looks like a demon -- kind of make it funny or over the top as a way of mastering it! The design principles at work here are repetition (the tentacles repeat within the main cell and are also repeated at the edges of the page) and movement (the tentacles lead the eye back to the sphere of the cell again and again; the diagonals and the hashmarks of the shadow - yup - that's a shadow - also create a sense of movement). I'm not quite sure how to apply the containment idea but I might say that the white space around the cell provides containment for the image of the cell (??).