June 20, 2012

Tuning myself out

June 12, 2012

Having a mild case of the Baby Blues lately, because life whips by so fast and the things that I wish I understood and the personal and artistic goals I would like to meet, aren't. I always hope to become more secure, both in my opinions and in my identity. But it's like my drawings. I keep drawing the same things over and over, without ever developing - or adopting - my own "brand." I feel that I could get to the next level, but there's something I've never been able to figure out. Am I battering away at the wrong question? Is it a question without an answer? Is asking the question enough? Do we ever know who we are, and can we do something bigger than ourselves if we don't?

With this blog I I'm trying to develop my own drawing style by doing, not by thinking. I want to look back on these pages someday and see the development of a signature. Right now it just looks like a series of faces with someone's else's autograph on them every week. James, by comic book inker. Bus passenger by first year art student. Ada, by illustrator for women's magazine.

I shouldn't let myself think about this. From experience I know it never goes anywhere good, just leads to giving up. And my artwork is becoming more 'mine' over time. It hasn't even been a year and a half of regular drawing practice. Sleep deprivation's wearing me down. I never got anywhere from trying to think my way through artistic challenges, and I'm not about to start now. Commencing neurosis shutdown three - two - one.

Aaaaaand we're back! Cue upbeats:

Here's James. Surprisingly, he's sleeping. Have I mentioned how much I love my kids?

June 11, 2012

Wanted: less risk management, more scary

June 10, 2012

June 7, 2012

Sort of not really Ada, and another James sleeping.

* * *

Check out the latest monsters by Aida Alves, an artist I first learned about when I ducked out of taking her anatomy course last January because I didn't think I could manage the homework. Little did I know that I was embarking on a project that would more than meet her daily drawing requirement, and blogging it, too. Anyway, I've never met this artist but I think her art demos her anatomy chops, eh? Look at this Dragon! Lizards to swoon over.

I haven't studied anatomy since I was a visual arts student at the Etobicoke School of the Arts in the '90s. Mr. Paulionis, bless him, had his teen students gather around a live model and draw her figure. Next, he replaced her with a skeleton, and we drew the skeleton on tracing paper laid over the original picture. Or maybe we did it the other way around. That's it. I do own Gray's Anatomy, and if you can learn by proximity, then I've absorbed a terrific amount of information the twenty years it's been wearing a groove in the bookshelf!

All this to say, I'm gathering the courage to sign up for her course this fall once I've forced myself to start giving some of James' milk by bottle and to carve out some time to <gulp> take this drawing thing to the next level. I love my drawings these days, but there's no risk. Di Brandt, poet and my Master's advisor, told her budding writers at the University of Windsor's Creative Writing program that we should write the scary thing. It's time to branch out.

June 6, 2012

Oh mommy pundits

June 1, 2012
Ever notice how the things you aren't supposed to do in life are the things that help you stay sane?

June 4, 2012

This record's on repeat

June 2, 2012

I never drew the same person twice during my commute, and now I draw the same person every day. Plus, I am making a record of my first days with my son that he and I can keep for the rest of our lives. Should I temporarily rename the blog "My Year of James"? (Hope Bus Blog on parental leave isn't getting toooo boring for you all.)

He's passing out of the newborn stage and, like many mothers, I am sad to see it go. He sleeps a bit longer at night than he used to, and his cries have changed from "la! la!" to proper wails. His little face is fat, fully unsquished and wide-eyed. I don't plan to have more children, but I selfishly wish his infancy had lasted a bit longer.

June 1, 2012

Awkward squawkery

May 27-31, 2012

This is Angela, my sister, who is traveling two weekends in a row from Toronto to help us out. We are fervently grateful for her good company! James was on her lap when I started drawing this picture, but he began squawking a bit so I never got to put him in. We're so used to rectangular pictures that I find these dimensions awkward. It's annoying how governed by convention I am. Not like this guy, holy mac.