I've been drawing almost every day lately. That feels good. I think it's my way of reacting to Brexit, violence, political posturing and failures of leadership, and all the other awfulness that's going down around us: in this one small corner of the universe, I can have some moments of sanity, of paying attention, of honoring what's in front of my eyes, creating something new out of that grace-given raw material. When we can no longer see the beauty or respond to it, we've lost and they've won. I guess this is where I'm making my stand: five minutes while the water boils, before the asparagus goes into the pot. And somehow the world rights itself, at least for a little while.
Here's a moodier watercolor from a different day. This is cropped from a larger page that didn't work as a whole, but when I cut it down I liked this section. The fallen petals make all the difference, to me: it's no longer just a pretty vase of flowers.
One day while drawing out on our terrace, I made this little speeded-up video of the drawing process and posted it on Instagram. People seemed to like it so I wanted to share it here - view it full-screen for better effect.
And here's the finished drawing, about 9" x 6". In the video I'm working with my favorite fountain pen, a vintage Schaeffer/Levenger "Seas" series that has a really responsive gold nib. I don't travel with this pen - then I use my more-replaceable Lamy - but when I'm around home and the studio it's what I use. Somehow that's grounding, too - using good and familiar tools, arranging the supplies, getting ready to paint.
Are you managing to find a practice that helps keep you centered and gives you some meditative, absorbing moments of peace and focus during these anxiety and anger-producing days, when the news seems to go from bad to worse? I hope so.
And, hopefully, we can then go out from our terraces and apartments and cabins with some positive energy. If you'd like to see one way some people in my country are making a difference, please take a look at this NYTimes article, "Refugees Hear an Unfamiliar Word: Welcome. - How Canadian hockey moms, poker buddies and neighbors are adopting Syrians, a family at a time. At our cathedral, the money has been raised, volunteers committed, and plans made, we're just awaiting a refugee family still in Beirut, waiting for their papers. We can all give a little money, write some Amnesty letters, join with others. It feels good to take a real step toward our better selves, especially on this weekend between Canada Day and July 4.