Things to Draw: A Germ

A Germ, colored pencil and ink on paper

I may have been a little slap-happy on this night. That’s the best explanation I can come up with for how the prompt “A Germ,” fomented a picture of E. coli in love. I do have to admit that I find microorganisms pretty cute, so there’s that too. Either way, it happens. Enjoy!

TtD: Terrible Purpose

Terrible Purpose, acrylic and graphite on paper

This is the first image to come out of this project that feels unfinished. The others may be mere moments, a fleeting thought captured, but they exist as discrete images, complete unto themselves. This image, for me, is not only unfinished, but achingly so.

The idea comes from the book Dune, by Frank Herbert, which I’m reading with Ethan, my love. Through our reading, we got to talking about “terrible purpose,” which is at first a vague allusion in the story and then becomes a concrete occurrence and quite specific idea. Although the term takes on a particular meaning within the context of the novel, the ambiguity at its outset allowed me to create my own association based on that feeling within myself.

Terrible Purpose: the sense of one’s own potential, which is both vast and imperative, yet which unfolds in the smallest increments accompanied by all the fear of a human mind.

Do you feel it?

I feel it. I am going to make a picture of it; I am going to finish what I began here today.

Things to Draw: Follicles

Hmm…of all the things you could have put on that piece of paper, you wanted to see how I would render follicles? Really, Brian? Okay, fine.

I have to admit that though my first response to unfolding this piece of paper was that my friend is a little too clever for his own good, I really enjoyed this prompt. I like the way that this suggestion forced me to take something slightly weird, or maybe just overlooked, and consider how to, in some way, make it beautiful.

The drawing I made is very simple, more-or-less the first image that popped into my mind. Still, making it has got me musing about all the possibilities of emotion or idea one might be able to capture through an image of something as arbitrary as follicles.

Follicles, pencil on paper

I chose this particular image because when I think of follicles, the first thing that comes up for me is my childhood fascination with those tiny hairs on the bottom segment of each of my fingers. What are they for? How can there be a part of me that is constantly present, which I almost never think about and certainly never utilize intentionally for anything?

I have always been impressed by how intricate a machine the human body is, filled with unseen complexities carrying out mysterious yet essential functions. That the working of my own physical form so escapes me and yet continues mostly without a hitch, I consider one of the fundamental paradoxes of life. It is also a powerful argument in that question about whether or not designs beyond my comprehension can affect and even, perhaps, benefit my life. Commensurately designs of physics and designs of divinity. Who am I to limit the potential of my life to that which I can comprehend? That approach always struck me as terribly self-defeating. Why not at least consider that the universe has workings and systems I don’t understand, which facilitate my life and my purpose? Sounds great– I’ll take it.

I know, that’s a vast train of thought, and purely subjective, as per the nature of this blog. Still,  I can’t help but wonder if, though this image does not tell that story in any tangible way, it has a hint of mysticism about it, which is a beginning, at least.

Things to Draw: 1,000 Steps

1,000 Steps, oilstick, watercolor, and ink on paper

The complete prompt for this piece is “The journey of 1,000 steps begins with, ‘Oh fuck, that’s a long journey.'” Ha. Thank you Reuben.