Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Little Black Book

A few months ago, I made a concerted effort to infuse more creativity into my day. I started carrying a little black sketchbook around with me and taking at least a few minutes almost every day to just draw "something". Doesn't have to be anything special, just a chance to let my mind get in right brain mode for a few minutes. I've found that besides being a good way to get a pen or brush in my hand just about every day, it's also been good for my soul. Having a small creative outlet on my lunch break at work or spare moments around the house, has let me explore ideas I wouldn't have otherwise and gives my brain a sort of "reset", leaving me in a fresher state of mind. This week, I made the accomplishment of filling the last page of my sketchbook that I started last summer, and decided to share a few of my favorite sketches.

Some abstract color:
Some water studies of the Winooski River, which flows by my workplace:

I'm a little obsessed with the subterranean landscape:
Also a little obsessed with cephalopods. This one was a reaction to a news story about how octopi were observed collecting discarded coconut shell halves and reassembling them to use as a shelter. It's considered a form of "tool using", and thus highlights the high cognitive abilities of octopi. I think non-mammals, and especially invertebrates, get a bad rap in terms of people's perception of intelligence. Octopus, squid, cuttlefish are all in the class Cephalopoda (Phylum Mollusca), and are considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates. They're known for their problem solving abilities and ability to learn and adapt to new situations. The root "cephala" is latin for "head". Indeed, vertebrate or not, heads are where brains reside. So this little sketch was kind of a "no, duh..." reaction - not because I don't think cephalopods are amazing (on the contrary), I'm just not surprised to hear about octopi being so inventive.My version of Munch's "the scream" - renamed "the squeeze":
A brown bullhead. This and the two above were drawn with a non-waterproof pen and then brushed with water.
Some trees:

Some birds. The stork is based on a picture taken in Lithuania by friend Tony. I think of the other bird as a kind of superhero.

I saw this Carolina wren on Christmas day in Carbondale, IL. Had never seen one of those before.I drew this while flying over Toronto en route to St. Louis.
This reminds me of Pakistan. I have never been there, but this is sort of how I imagine it.

This is an abstraction of a thought about a description someone told me of how sometimes when the weather conditions are right, a very delicate and fine frost can protrude from tree bud tips.

Some random pen and ink doodles:

This one reminds me of cfl light bulbs -- sort of cfl light bulb people. An army of them.
Sort of sea anenomeish:

An abstracted landscape:

Today I made my first sketch in my next sketchbook. It's become a ritual for me, and I like it.

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