Finally, spring has arrived in Montreal. Not all our trees have leaves yet, but many do. The magnolias are on bloom, and flowering pears, and there are daffodils and tulips. I picked the first from my garden a few days ago, and they've found their way onto our table along with a basil plant left by friends who've gone on vacation. I'd been drawing the tulips alone, before (see below) but the addition of the basil set up a more complex still life that begged to be put on paper. I like the tilted perspective of the tabletop here, and the flatness of the picture plane. I'm glad I added the background of books and sideboard. In the end, it isn't a drawing of tulips but an arrangement of shapes and positive/negative space that creates tension and release, with the many types of curves leading the eye through the picture, balanced by the verticality of the books and vase handle. It doesn't matter a bit to me whether the objects are identifiable or "realistic."
Here's a fast sketch that was an earlier version from a few days before - not nearly as interesting as a finished drawing, with the two blooms so symmetrically arranged on either side of the vase, but making it served to instill the shapes in my brain, so that when I looked at the objects again, in conjunction with other things, it was easier to see what I wanted to emphasize and how to work with the shapes.
I put some color on this drawing afterwards, but liked a cropped version of the right-hand side better than the whole image. It helps to photograph the image and play around with it in a photo editor, but I used to do the same thing with a couple of cropping covers cut from mat board. I always ask myself, where is the liveliness in this picture? What cropping makes it the most dynamic? What do I like the most in it? What sings? Sometimes there's not much! But it really helps to zoom in, move around, crop different areas, copy it and cut it up: artists are fortunate now to have tools that allow us to do this non-destructively.
I've almost finished this sketchbook! Looking through it last night, I was contented and grateful to see it as a journey and journal through the year, rather than being critical of the drawings.