Too Long a Winter

trainersEVERYONE IS getting fed up about the winter. It might not have been the worst but it seems to have gone on for so long, especially as it stretches back to merge almost imperceptibly with a long wet summer.

walletBut it doesn’t have to stop me drawing. I grab the nearest pen, the Lamy Safari that I like to write with and draw whatever happens to be around me. The only thing that I rearrange is my pair of trainers, taking them out from under the coffee table and setting them at what for a human sitter you’d call three-quarter face.

It’s surprising how fascinating familiar objects can be when you really look at them. Different types of trainers seem to have different expressions. Tongues, eyes and a hint of a smile give them an individual character that you’ve got to draw with as much care as you would a face. They even have a sole.

bowlThis is the first drawing that I started this evening. As you can see it took me a while to get into drawing. To me this looks rather stilted and awkward but perhaps that’s because the bowls and the vase are standing around like the guests at a party that hasn’t quite got off the ground yet.

I soon realised that the cartridge was running out so popped upstairs for a refill.

bookshelfAccording to a Horizon documentary that I watched last week the optimal way to increase your creativity is to take on a task which is moderately demanding. Sitting there doing nothing doesn’t free up the creative side of your brain as you might think it would do and nor does getting involved in a task that demands all your concentration.

So drawing a bookshelf, with those repetitive but slightly different shapes, must put you in the ‘Goldilocks’ zone for creativity when you’re drawing. Not too demanding but sufficiently engaging to get the creative parts of your brain ticking over.

4 Replies to “Too Long a Winter”

  1. I love your drawings and your gentle explanations. I would love you to draw some illustrations for my blog urbanwildlifediary which is about the wild life in my back garden. Please drop by for a visit.
    urbanwildlifediary.wordpress.com

    1. Your Oscar and Sooty would make great models, when they’re not busy chasing your extra large mice. We don’t have a cat but one or two of the neighbourhood cats have been through the garden today. I can tell by the tracks in the snow!

    1. Best of luck getting the diary into print and thank you for the offer but as I’ve just started on a year long book project of my own I’m not taking on any additional work (well, if it involved an expenses paid trip to the Galapagos Islands I might have to reconsider that!) but I think you’re absolutely right to try and find an illustrator as that gentle informality that you can get with illustrations will complement your style of writing. There’s nothing wrong with your photographs but photographs can give a documentary feel to a book and you’re going for a more individual point of view.

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