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.

Morning Pictures and Welcome to…Things to Draw

Look, a picture! Okay, so it’s not exactly a masterpiece, but it’s not supposed to be. If anything, it’s intended specifically to not be a masterpiece, to get me in the habit of just drawing stuff. Ten minutes, something to show for it, and a little bit more honesty in my heart for feeling that I’ve started my day in a meaningful way.

And while I’m sure there will be days where I produce sheer and utter crap, so far I’m kind of giddy about the whimsy and instinctive-ness of these pictures. Perhaps they don’t qualify as finished pieces or fine art, but they look like me, like my thoughts, my hopes, my fears and daydreams. I’ve always suspected that if I can succeed at honestly capturing my own experience of the world, that’s how I’ll have a shot at resonating with and moving others. I can’t help but feel that though we differ in our ways and means, the basic emotions of being a human are relatively fundamental. If I can make a picture of my own sadness or my aspiration, as true and clear as I can possibly feel it, it will speak to the sadness and aspiration of others, whatever theirs may be.

To further develop my creative practice and get other people involved, I’ve started a second project, in addition to my morning drawing. This project, I’m calling Things to Draw, and you will experience it here as TtD, followed by a title and an image. I’m asking people in my life to write down things they would like to see images of. I’m collecting all the things and putting them in a mug. Every day, I’ll pull one out and make a picture of it, and then post that picture here.

Welcome to the kick-off of Things to Draw. TtD: Flying

Flying, watercolor and acrylic on paper