Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Illumination of the Ordinary

I have been struggling with writer's block, and have been seeking other ways to stir up, use, extend and try to satisfy my creative self's incessant demands (it's been giving me nightmares). I created and finished the third of four planned stained glass windows (the Four Seasons, I just did Summer). I have put renewed energy into my piano lessons, practicing every day and learning new pieces (Eric Satie's Gnossiennes). And finally, I started a drawing class last night at the Free University of San Francisco -- "Pocket Pad Art" taught by David Newman (we call him just "newman"). The idea is to sketch as you sit on the bus, walk down the street, linger at a cafe, lounge on the sofa with the TV on...anywhere, everywhere, no matter what the subject. 

We did some sketching of the room we were in last night, off a downtown, South of Market alley called Tehama St. (my sketch here was done the next day), where homeless people set up their tents and cardboard boxes, and the cold western wind from off the ocean blows hard against your forehead. There wasn't much in the room, but anything is available for sketching. I liked the one I did of a young woman sitting across from me--it started out as a contour drawing, then I elaborated later and filled it in with colored pens. It struck me that the "V" of her sweater made the picture look like an illuminated manuscript letter at the beginning of a sentence, so I decided to call her "Vera" (not the real woman's name) and begin a short story with her name:

VERA chose the purple eyeshadow that night exactly because it clashed with the green streaks in her hair, and also because green and purple were Easter colors, and even though she was Jewish, she didn't think that was any reason not to like Easter.

1 comment:

  1. I love Vera! She looks beautiful, deep in thought, about to make some major decision.

    It would be great if each sketch inspired you to write, too.

    Great job, MFB!