Thursday, January 28, 2016

Matters of Life and Death

I drew this skull a couple of months ago just as a way of practicing my seeing and drawing skills. The skull was the better of several creepy suggestions. At first I did not want to draw it, finding myself resistant to the thought that I myself will one day die. 

The skull reminded me of my own frailty in the here and now as well, of how we are made up of such tenuous parts as blood and bones, and myriad other parts that somehow function together, which is truly fascinating. I was, and am, simultaneously repulsed and intrigued. 

Our being alive––moving and breathing, interacting with others and the world around us––is a wonder. By focusing on death as I made the drawing, I actually found myself being more aware of life. As I reflect upon it now, I feel my breath gently tickle the inside of my nose, and my eyes delight in the play of light and shadow on the form, the play of light and shadow on my life.

Skull, graphite on paper, 10 x 8 inches, 2015.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"To try to be brave is to be brave."

I came across this quote by the great Scottish author George MacDonald recently––“To try to be brave is to be brave.” I found myself thinking about it over and over, being intrigued for a couple reasons. 

One––often “trying” isn’t actually arriving, yet with bravery the “trying” and arriving seem to merge into one. 

Two––the word “brave” is a richly wonderful word, signifying something I want more of in my life. How would my life look if I were to be just a little more brave? I see new possibilities opening and a sense of being more proud of myself. The United States was once known as “the home of the brave” due in part to the Star-Spangled Banner (a poem written in 1814 and later put to music), but I wonder how brave we really are as a nation––how brave are we as individuals? In thinking of bravery and wanting to practice some graphic design skills, I made these shields. 

Go forth and be brave!