Monday, May 18, 2009

My Aspidistra

Who would like to see my aspidistra? It's a rainy day here today, so I have done a bit of sketching. Et voila! My aspidistra. I haven't been doing enough drawing or painting in the last few months, and I'm very rusty -- to say the least. The aspidistra is in a brass pot which I did not draw very well and the whole perspective is all wrong, but I feel as if I'm getting my mojo back. It takes a lot of practice. I wish I had the time -- and the resources -- to be able to spend all my time drawing, sketching, painting. But I go through stages where I don't feel the inclination to paint at all -- sometimes for months at a time. When I was a little girl, my mother was a wonderful artist, but she would go for years without picking up a pencil or a paint brush. I never understood it then, but now I do. I do the same thing. I haul my paints out, my sketch pads and my paper, I set them up and look at them, and there they sit until I put them away again. Why is that? Does anyone know the reason for that? I think writers go through the same thing, and perhaps photographers, musicians...

The other day I was in a bookstore that was going out of business, and I found a sketch book for the princely sum of $2.00 -- so I bought it -- thinking it would inspire me to sketch. This pages are still brilliantly white and empty, however. Often when I am out for a walk, or having a coffee somewhere -- whatever -- I will look at something that I think would make a good sketch. Often I take a picture of it, but by the time I get home, the moment has passed. If I had my sketch book with me, I could discreetly open it and jot down some sketches. I had an art teacher who once told me this was the best way to keep the creative juices flowing. So, hopefully the next time I show you my sketch book, it will be filled with dabs and doodles of sketches I have done.

32 comments:

ivan said...

Strange how the commonplace English aspidistra could inspire a great novel.
George Orwell: Keep the Aspidistra Flying.
It is a gem.
Moral is, be an artist, but take care of the homey,routine, commonplaced things that make up your life. Pure art alone is not enough. You need to have relationships, people.
But bigod, what George Orwell, when writing a straight novel, could do with an aspidistra!

Jo said...

Ivan, yes, Geoge Orwell was a genius, wasn't he? I read "Keep the Aspidistra Flying", but now I feel like reading it again. And yes, we have to take care of everyday business, don't we? Unfortunately. :-)

TC said...

I do the same thing, buy beautiful things to draw or write in and not use them, I should I know. I have colored pencils in an elegant box, I do use them.
My parents didn't paint or draw but I also have the habit of not picking up a pencil for months and then it's like I MUST. Beautiful work BTW.
I didn't know I could eliminate comment verification with the funny words, will have to go check it out.

Lover of Life said...

Your drawing is very good. And that sketch book deserves you.

TheChicGeek said...

Jo, I like your lovely aspidistra...At first I thought perhaps this was going to be a naughty post...LOL
I think the key is to always have your sketch book in tow and I'm sure it will be filled in no time flat with lovely drawings :D
Have a Happy Arty Day!

Linda S. Socha said...

I love this one....
Linda

lovelyprism said...

I think it's great! I for one, cannot do that. I do take pictures and write a bit and I am sure you've noticed that I sometimes disappear for days or weeks at a time. So yes, this happens in all forms of art. It's a hobby, a pleasure, you do it when you can and when you want to. :-)

Firefly said...

I can imagine you sitting somewhere sketching away on something. You go girl. Use that talent

Owen said...

I too am a big "Keep the Aspidistra Flying Fan"... and another you may enjoy, if you haven't already, is "Down and OutIn Paris and London"... a great travel novel.

the walking man said...

One thing is certain enough Jo...the sketch book would be better to have with you and not use it than to not have it and want to use it.

niamh said...

Hi! I just wanted to say I love your blog! And I definitely get like that with drawing and painting too. I find when you take a break you work better and are more inspired and motivated!

/Niamh

meggie said...

I know what you mean about drying up between creative bouts. I have the same gaps with my quilting mojo. Some days are diamonds...
Good luck with your lovely book!

Mary Ellen said...

What a beautiful sketch book! And a great sketch...you definitely have some talent there, kiddo!

By all means, sketch away. My daughter is a wonderful artist (I just dabble), and I could see my granddaughter following in her footsteps. I just gave me granddaughter a sketch book last week and she couldn't wait to get started in it. I told her to be sure to write her name and the date in the bottom corner so she could look back through the years and see how much she's progressed. It will be a wonderful keepsake to show her own children some day.

Dee said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the English comedienne/actress sing a fairly "naughty" song about her aspidistra? I guess you would have to be a senior citizen to remember her!

Dee said...

Just showibg my age! The English singer I'm thinking od was Bea Lillie.

Dee said...

And I can't type well, either!

cat said...

Your rusty would be a masterpiece to me if I drew that. I am not an expert but I wouldn't (and still don't) have noticed anything wrong with the sketch.

Dr.John said...

I think a lot of bloggers go through that set of stages. They are all excited about blogging, they create entry after entry. Then they lose interest and the blog just sits there until one day they start in again.

Patty Mooney said...

Hi girlfriend,
come on over to my page and pick up your "Kreativ Blogger" award.
I think you rock!
www.sandiegovideoproduction.blogspot.com

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lovely Aspidistra drawing. I love drawings! I think you're onto something about carrying the sketch book, just as a photographer always carries a camera. It won't happen otherwise.

Just so you know, I read all your posts but don't comment often because my system nearly always crashes here. It's sad because I love your blog and always enjoy what you write, and your artwork.

Mean Mama said...

I paint and I too go through dry spells, for a while it was years. I think it mainly depends on my inspiration, and sometimes I am building a paining in my subconscious for a long period of time and then all of a sudden the paints are out and I'm ruining my clothing and furniture. I am the same way about writing, but I have to write in order to keep up my ability. Sketching is different for me though. I agree with the other bloggers...keep it up, it helps the painting skills, so when you do sit down with a brush, if flows better...not so much staring.

Marcella said...

Jo, I have tried several times to post a comment and will try a new tack. I seem to have been going around in circles. Love your still life. I think after seeing your aspidistra drawing that I will have to dig out my pencils again and have a go to. Marcella

Country Girl said...

Wonderful acquisition of the sketch book, Jo! Hope you begin using it soon and wanting to do so. Your apidistra is great!

Donnetta Lee said...

The pretty flowers at the top of the page--white and pink. They look almost exactly like the flowers and vase in my informal dining room. Mine are not real. I would kill them surely. And we go back and forth between OK and FL so I can't take care of the real thing. But they are still pretty. Just like yours! D

Arley said...

Well Jo, I do hope you get out of your painting/sketching slump, because I do enjoy your work!!

~Brittainy said...

You did much better than I can ever aspire to do!

mo'ikeha said...

Not only that you paint with your words, but also that you seem to write with your drawings, forces me again to bow in respect of your entry today.

Carl said...

Hi Jo.

Yep I struggle with that all the time. Not so much with the camera. but I go thru long downtimes on the painting side.

I'd love to find an answer.

C

leilani said...

JO, i am challenged to draw a straight line, so ur gift of art is a delight to my eyes . Thank you !!

Jo said...

Thank you, everyone for your lovely comments. Time (and work) got away on me, and I have not had a chance to answer each of you personally. *sigh* I will be over to visit all your wonderful blogs very soon, however.

Cheers!
Jo

Paula Slade said...

Jo, take your sketch book with you and give yourself the freedom to capture (just like a photo) quick sketches of whatever strikes your fancy. Don't worry about it being perfect - that's what you refine when you are in your studio space. Your sketchbook is quite lovely for the "princely sum of $2.00," but because it is so formal looking it may be inhibiting you and asking you to be perfect. Art is a discovery process - some things work and some do not. The best creative moments come "on the cuff" and can always be reworked and refined even if you make, what you may think are mistakes. Take the time to enjoy whatever makes your soul sing.

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