Another anthropomorphic inanimate object. This time, a pumpkin channeling Hamlet, because why not?
Here are two prints I did in 2009, while I was living in Michigan’s upper peninsula. I was taking an art class at a little local community college, which turned into an independent study, which led to me being part of a committee to start a gallery in the college’s basement.
I moved on from that town, but being on that gallery team was great. We wanted to paint a room, put up lighting and host the kind of art displays we’d always wanted to see. We were a little judgy – this town needed some high-class art, and we were obviously the people who were going to bring it to them. But we were also just excited. We wanted to have a space open for people to try their own thing, a stage for music, maybe a projector for movies. Heck, we even kicked around the idea of a coffee shop.
I moved before it got past the planning stages and I wasn’t sure if it ever came to anything. But it turns out the group kept on. They opened the gallery about a year ago with a student exhibit of charcoal sketches. Very, very cool. I’m glad I moved, but I wish I could have been around for that gallery opening.
I did these two paintings with watercolor and Sakura micro ink pens. The gallery committee was talking about doing an exhibit that embraced the place where we were living, with its pine forests, deer and wolves.
It wasn’t all idealized wilderness. The deer had a bad habit of treating speeding cars like long-lost family members they wanted to hug and half the town was lobbying for the right to shoot the (endangered) wolves on sight. But if you let go of the gritty day-to-day reality, you remembered that there was a reason you couldn’t look away from these animals when you saw them, or get enough of hiking in those woods.
So deer, wolf. The extra lines are part of how I draw, and I thought they added a little movement. Then I added some geometric shapes, because, I don’t know, this was supposed to be a high-class gallery, and nature and geometry are a fancy pair because juxtaposing, or something?
I’d like to think that when professional artists are asked to explain the things the make, they sound as incoherent and full of nonsense as I do. But that couldn’t possibly be the case.
But I’m not a professional artist, so I don’t feel bad about saying: I think that deer painting would look great writ large on a T-shirt.
The garden still exists. But we’re currently in the middle of a drought in southwest Michigan, so my garden goes through droop-normal-droop periods. I’m hoping the fact that the plants all look pretty dead before I revive them with water doesn’t do permanent damage. It probably does.
But! There are other, worse culprits than an abundance of heat and a lack of water. Exhibit A: My planter of broccoli seedlings. Full of life when I stuck them on my porch and now leafless. Just sad green stems sticking out of the dirt. There was a little depression in the soil, almost like a comfortable little seat that a small creature might dig for itself before laying into the feast I planted for it. Last week, I caught said creature in the act.
So, here it is, one of the several reasons behind my failing garden.
Noooooooooo, tiny chipmunk, why?! There are so many other plants for you to eat. Well, there were, before it stopped raining.
So I guess my garden is keeping the neighborhood’s small adorable rodent population going during these hard times. Yaaaaaay I am so happy about that (that was written mostly with sarcasm, but there’s also a part of me that is legitimately okay with providing rodents with food. Don’t judge me).
I have more Garden Failure sketches coming up, because there have been (sigh) many more garden failures.
I know I said I’d put up some pictures of my trip to the deer farm, but I’m not going to do that. I know, I know, you all were just dying to see them. Literally sitting on the edge of your seats, desperate to see pictures of me feeding crackers to deer. But I kept putting off writing the post, which is a pretty clear indication that I thought those pictures were boring as heck. Chances are you would, too, so bullet dodged for you guys, I’d say.
Instead I’ll show you a little drawing I did, part of a series I call Anthropomorphized Inanimate Objects, or AIOs for short. I’ve got a whole mess of ‘em!
Making of: I did a pencil sketch, scanned it into my computer, then opened it in Photoshop. I used a layer for the black line drawing and another for color. I’m just terrible at harmonious and/or interesting color schemes, so I googled “color schemes” and found colorcombos.com to help me out a little bit. I can’t remember if I actually used a color scheme off of it, but I know that it was great for zapping my poor, grayscale brain full of ideas.
Here’s a print I made about two years ago, when I was in the middle of a phase of randomly doodling henna patterns. The original is pencil and ink, which I scanned, then added a paper texture and orange screen background and painted the lines white and yellow. I think the henna patterns turned out, but the hands are a little hard to read.
Here’s the original. Clearer, but without the fancy paper texture and color.