Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Art of the Rake

I'm taking a wonderful online class right now with Jane LaFazio. I am learning techniques for journal sketching with ink and watercolor. Actually I didn't know I needed to have these skills or wanted to take this class with Jane until the day before it started. Blind luck found me reading the class description from a blog link I was following (I think Lyric?)  But that's how I work these days. If something falls into my lap I figure it is a gift and I'd better take it. Well, not everything of course. A class on small motor repairs might have been construed as meant for my husband, and discarded. But I did, at this very moment in time, need a nudge (or maybe a noodge) to help me finally crack open a journal and start sketching.  It has been a goal for years, but I have felt the fear of self-doubt, and resisted. Well, I'd like to report that with the kind and competent help of Jane and my numerous enthusiastic classmates, the fear is on the run.

Some days, however, it is necessary to just get outside and meditate on nature. Last week had a couple of those days (bracketing some serious wind storms here in the Midwest) that were perfect opportunities for my favorite way to revive my art senses: garden work. The repetitive pull of the rake across the lawn, stacking leaf upon leaf into giant piles, the trips to curbside, pausing to note the clear blue of the sky, the smell of the earth and small sounds of animals and birds doing their own important work: this is a form of meditation that totally refreshes.

Lucky to have a healthy elm to provide shade, animal homes,
and leaves to rake

Raking is more fun with polka dot yard clogs, alpaca socks,
and a good man to help when you wear out

...And suddenly I needed, NEEDED, to draw the yard ornament that lives under the elm tree, the one I had been daring myself to commit to paper all summer. I wasn't nervous any longer that I couldn't do it right, I didn't care that someone would see me and wonder what I was doing. I sat down and sketched, and then sketched again. I LIKE HIM! Do you? So why did it take me so long to trust myself with such a simple task? All I can say is "Thank you, Universe!" for a little synchronicity.

Yes, Melly. This is hippo love.


  1. oh yea, hippo is very nicely done. nice post, thanks!

  2. OK,
    then go here:
    I admire your use of words too! It is something I am working on.
    I just bought her book, it is whizzing my way.
    And KEEP drawing.