I’ve been focused on the art these last few weeks. Above is a recent piece I finished. It took hours and hours to do. I started with the main circle, the sun perhaps or the center of a flower. The viewer can decide. I
had the new idea of adding flowers going across. I used a template. On my own, I’d never get the petals that uniform. The lines coming out from the circle came next. I jump around to do those. One line on this side, spin the paper around and put a line on the other side, spin the paper around add another line. Sometimes I knew exactly where I wanted the line, other times I let the pen guide the way.
I colored in a heavier lines and thickened the outline of the red flowers, though they weren’t red yet. I considered other colors like pink and green. I also considered black. I like black and white, but this seemed to need color. I’ve promised myself not to buy any more art supplies for a while, and so I wanted to make sure I chose a color I had enough of. Yes, sometimes design choices come down to what I have. I might have used gold, but I’m almost out of gold ink.
If I had felt passionately about the color, needing a special shade of blue or whatnot, I’d have put the picture aside and waited until my budget allowed me to go buy blue, but in this case, red seemed good enough, and I have plenty of red.
After the red, I drew in all the circles. Circle, circle, circle…Some of them are random and others are deliberately chosen. Sometimes I color in the spaces between the circles as I go. Other times I wait until several sections of circles are drawn. It’s tedious, but it is my meditation.
I have to take care not to rest the side of my hand on what I’ve colored in because the ink will smudge. Or the ink will stick to my skin, and the next time I set my hand down, that ink transfers to the paper and I have a mess. Sometimes the mess I can work around, but often it ruins the piece. And in the past, I have spent hours on one image only to ruin it in the last ten minutes.
The center circle needed something. Leaving it blank seemed incomplete. More circles? The flowers would get lost in them. A solid color? No way to do that well with a pen. If I were exceptionally good with an X-acto blade, I would have cut the large center circle out leaving the flowers. But I felt confident I would end up butchering my red flowers doing that.
My mother used to make art with tiny dots, so I settled on dots. Once my son bumped into my desk, but I managed not to let the pen get away from me. I played a few documentaries while I worked (one on Nina Simone and another on Harry Nilsson and still another on Jimi Hendrix). And finally, it was done!
I’ve worked on several other images too, but now I want to get back into writing. It is so hard to get back into writing after neglecting it for a week or two. I don’t know why it has to be so hard.
Sadly but fortunately (because income is great!), I go back to work tomorrow. A new semester begins with all its adventures. Welcome fall term! We’ll see what happens.
Thank you for reading.