|A small drawing of|
There's a sweetness about working small, an innocence to be found in exploring a subject on a basis that's limited by size and therefore time. I can capture the essence, the attitude, the pose, the feel, a little bit of the environment, a few details, and voilà... it's done. I'm working with my familiar friends - my coloured pencils - but by working small there's no huge commitment, no great struggle, just a satisfying foray into consigning an image to paper. The right thing when life's other challenges are just shy of overwhelming.
I also find myself lured by subjects that honor the renewal of life. A friend of mine has the good fortune of having a flycatcher couple nesting by her house - actually ON her house, wedged onto the plastic box that houses telecommunication cables. The birds themselves are not particularly striking - small but exquisitely beautiful in their simple elegance.
Their nest, squashed against the wall, is a marvel to behold - a cozy work of art woven from moss and lichen and bits of grass. The pair is now in the process of brooding a second family, having successfully launched four babies into the world a while ago.
|The flycatcher's nest filled with sleepy chicks.|
They blended so well with the environment I noticed them only when they scurried from one point to the next where they would freeze, motionless, till they carried on again. Their parents shrieked warnings continually all the while, or perhaps they were attempting to distract me, despite my assurances that I meant no harm and the respectful distance I maintained.
While I expected that my art might be changed in some fundamental way when I returned to the studio, so far I am finding comfort in simply scaling down. It feels OK just to focus on subjects I love in a medium in which I'm fluent. The time for experimentation may come, but not just yet... not till I regain my equilibrium and learn to breathe again.
And now, back to the tiny drawing board.