A Sacrifice For Art

I don't like drawing.  Which is unfortunate, because it's what I do. 

It's a nerve-wracking business, rarely enjoyable, and only satisfactory when I feel that the drawing is going well:  when the shapes, shadows and textures are exactly as I imagined them.

This isn't often.  And really, it's no reflection on my talent, because I rarely complement myself on a job well done.  Whether the job was a success or not.  Sometimes there'll be a spark that pleases me – if I hold the pen with exceptional lightness or control through a particular passage, or if I make the correct choice between pointilism and cross-hatching - but invariably they'll be one or two bumps in the road before the thing is finished.  And the enthusiasm over that spark gets smothered.

But then again, I might be wrong.

Anyway,  what is exciting is to be casting about for a new subject.  Your focus becomes clear and creative, as you comb through your surroundings to find something that attracts you.  This is not a bad way to pass your time, by the way.  I suspect that it's the same if you look inward for your subject matter.

Now, I know of a literary magazine which has food as its exclusive topic of choice.  Essays, poems, reviews, art – all relating to food.  So I'm in the process of putting together a selection of things to send.  But I have to draw them first.

So, as Monday was market day I figured it was the perfect opportunity to pick up some subject matter.  Stallking the produce section, I ignored the scales and weighed my options.  Apples, pears, citrus…too spherical, too much implied symmetry.  I needed something uneven, with a grizzled, interesting texture…something to get my teeth into.  (I kill me – though I'll be cutting in line, I believe).

And then I saw them…huddled into and spilling out of their dear little baskets:  STRAWBERRIES.  With shapes bumped and squeezed, seeds imbedded in their skins, leaves uneven and twisted:  they were beautiful. 

They were also $4.99 per basket.  Apples:  $1.29 per pound.

What to do?  What do do?  Think!  Use your tiny mind, Aubrey, and think! Stop looking at shiny objects and think!

I bought the strawberries.

And now as work has begun, only time will tell.

Oh, and the berries – out of gratitude perhaps – were yummy.  And there's more for tonight. 

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20 responses to “A Sacrifice For Art

  1. "Straubrey". You're a writer and an artist. Ahhh. You poor soul.I hope the one is a cure for the other. I will pray for you. 😉

  2. Aren't strawberries a June fruit? When is strawberry season in SoCal?

  3. They're a summer fruit, true – and when you consider this out-of-season-ness along with our recent cold (for us) snap (citrus and berries suffered especially) the ruinous price isn't that hard to explain.
    Did I mention that they were delish? (I dislike ripe fruit)

  4. ah, i love strawberries; you couldn't have picked a better muse. delicious.

  5. mmmm, strawberries! i have happy memories of strawberry-picking with friends.

  6. Strawberries are my fav, good choice for color, minute textures, rough and smooth. Being creative on call is one of the most difficult jobs one can have. How to elicit inspiration? The terms are mutually exclusive. Inspiration just comes. When you elicit, you call something up intentionally, or go searching for it. Ah, well.

  7. Wow. I hadn't realized that you were an artist before, Aubrey.I know that it's hard to make yourself feel creatively productive sometimes, when you're not feeling particulary motivated nor inspired. But I sincerely envy you for being aware of your talents and being able to do what you do for a living. I do envy you for that!I would think that drawing would be MORE satisfying than NOT, if you're actually making a successful living out of it, or am I wrong?Is that YOUR strawberry pic at the bottom of this post??? ( it's purrty! &:o)

  8. Great painting.I haven't eaten decent strawberries. I did have some last summer at a hill station but they were too tiny. I like them when they're kinda sour, though.

  9. GAH.
    Now everyone is going to hate me, and retract their kind messages.
    I don't draw for a LIVING; I get published for pennies and thin air. Drawing is what I do, because artistically, it is my chosen mode – so to speak – of transportation.
    And the illustration at the bottom of the post is from a vintage postcard – I thought it was pretty too!
    14 years in the business and I still haven't learned anything about truth in advertising!
    Oh, and Suga', I like 'em sour, too.

  10. oh my goodness NO! How could we ever hate u???&:o)Nope — it was just ME misunderstandin' ( as happens quite often… )No, I just thought you meant that you make your living by drawing professionally. — and I was envious of that! So — did you actually get a finished drawing, or did you * munch * down * all of your MODELS before they were done posing for you!?&:o)P.S. You know what ELSE (food-wise) has an interesting appearance to draw? There's some kind of nut that grows on trees here ( Pennsylvania ) and it's encased in this big green ball (like the size of a tennis ball) and the OUTSIDE of the big green ball is all little individual NUBBIES. I drew a pic with one in it once and the little nubbies are VERY time consuming. Do you know what kind of tree I'm talking about, by any chance???

  11. ygrs – The mighty Chestnut perhaps.

  12. yep pyrit! I'm thinking you're correct! (and the green nubbied covering STAINS hands and clothing VERY NICELY…&:o)

  13. Must be the Horse chestnut, I'm thinking, since real chestnut was blighted out of existence in the Northeast one or two generations ago. The only chestnut left in New England is hewn into barns and fences.

  14. Jaypo-I've been told there are people who are working on a blight-resistent American Chestnut.At some point they were seeking people to provide homes for saplings.

  15. Wait – so is it yes or no: can they still be roasted on an open fire?

  16. I don't know that it's a successful project…So we're probably still looking at I think they're Asian Chestnuts that we get now.

  17. I thought there was a stand of American Chestnuts in Wisconsin?As for roasting – ours didn't pop.

  18. I dislike drawing also. I've just started reading The Artist's Way, hoping it will help me jump this hurdle. As if that's the only one, ha! It's 7:30 and I've yet to start creating, though I took the day off work to do it. Such lovely self discipline. I'm here in the neighborhood always, by the way. For some reason, Vox doesn't always let me comment.

  19. I always knew you were in the 'hood, Woofie – I felt it in The Force. And a pox on Vox for not letting you comment!
    Pyrit: I didn't know nuts popped; don't they crack? We know so little here in the Wild West.
    And I haven't worked on the drawing for days! I planned to tonight, but had to get drunk with some friends. You know how it is.

  20. Um….did you buy any whipped cream or shortcake along wif dem strawberries? Did I mention that I'm coming over for breakfast??? *checks the back of the Bisquick box for shortcake recipe*

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