Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Flower Power

Once upon a time, in another life, I created art. I wasn't an artist, per se, as I've always found that term pretentious (and I feel the same way about the word writer). For the most part, I sketched and I drew. My working-class weapons of choice included lead and colored pencils, ballpoint and felt-tip pens, charcoal, oil pastels, and correction fluid.

I won a few
prizes along
the way, which
was rewarding,
but the real sat-
isfaction was in
the doing, which
I found meditat-
ive and emot-
ionally fulfil-
ling. Once pen
hit paper, the
outside world
melted away.
All that mat-
tered was the
work and the
desire to
complete it.

In high school and college, I turned to painting and printmaking, two forms I never quite mastered (I was even worse at sculpture). Though I obtained my bachelor's degree in studio art, I chose not to pursue that field. It's a long story. More telling is the fact that I minored in English.

Suffice to say, radio and writing, music and film were calling my name in a way art was not, but I still get the urge from time to time. I suppose I always will, although I can never find the time, and I'm not so sure I was good enough to make any money from my work. Not that I'm getting rich from writing...but I make a living at it. Instead, I take the occasional photograph and assemble the occasional collage. These activities fulfill a similar need to express myself in visual terms.

In a way, I feel relieved that I'll never know whether I could've made it as an image-maker. Because I took myself out of the equation, I can't say I failed—or won. Instead, I look upon all those years of outlining, shading, and cross-hatching as something that helped me to deal with whatever was going on in my life at the time. Drawing allowed me to work through situations I couldn't otherwise wrap my head around.

In this instance, it was simply a pleasant way to pass the time and to
create something purely decorative. I could claim that this picture
references pop art in some way, but really it was just an opportunity
to repeat the same form in slightly different permutations. Also, it
permitted me to combine painting and drawing, since these pencils
doubled as watercolors with the judicious application of H2O. I've

still got them around somewhere. Someday, I'll dig 'em out again.

For more pictures, please click here.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Endnote: I have no idea when I drew this picture, since I rarely
date my work, but would estimate I knocked it out shortly after
graduating from college. After years of angst-filled paintings and
prints, I wanted to return to the simple sketches of childhood.

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