Saturday, January 14, 2012

Colorful Alphabet

I've made one swing through the entire alphabet, and my little sketchbook had a few blank pages left, so I decided to just play around with quick drawings of the letters and coloring them in arbitrary ways. It was fun and fast and good practice for staying loose. After a day of work where precision is required, it's nice to do something just for fun where there's no such thing as a mistake.

Now to contemplate the approach for the next sketchbook.... 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Z is for...

Z is for..., watercolor on mixed media paper, January 13, 2012
I remember studying about ziggurats in sixth grade. Such a distant and strange time and culture, but human nature remains the same. We must worship something, and we are forever tempted to exert great effort to erect something worthy of our adoration. Being absorbed by the compulsion to follow lesser gods (modern-day ziggurats) is at the core of man's rebellion and brokenness. The zipper is such a great invention--brilliant in its simplicity. How can anyone believe the zebra came about by accident? Zebras are hardly fit to survive in a predator world when everything about a zebra says, "Here I am! Look at me!" The Zia adorns the flag of New Mexico, where we lived for almost 12 years. The Zia sun symbol has 16 "fingers" divided into four sets of four, each significant for some reason. Does anyone remember what their state flag symbolizes? I grew up in Toledo, Ohio, which I've been told I shouldn't admit. Yes, I've heard all the jokes. Toledoans are proud of their great zoo and being the Glass Capital of the World and being the place Klinger is from. It is a great place to be from. Zaffre is a color. I know because I saw it on the Internet. I'm sure the name will be on a Crayola crayon wrapper someday. I was a Ziggy fan once upon a time. Since I don't read the paper, I've sort of lost track of him. Z is for ziggurat, zipper, zebra, zero, Zia, zoo, zaffre, and Ziggy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Y is for...

Y is for..., watercolor on mixed media paper, January 8, 2012
This will likely be the first and last time I draw and paint a yak. I was desperate for Ys. When I was a child, I thought yew berries were cool. Then I was told that they are poisonous. After that I was too afraid of them to even touch them. That might be a metaphor for my entire childhood. More things induced fear than awe. Yellow has always been my favorite color. My dad was an architectural engineer, and I loved going to his office to see the blueprints and especially the model-making department. I always wanted to live inside the models. An aerial view of the world lends a surreal, almost artificial quality to everything. I wonder how long phone books will continue to be produced. I doubt the next generation will demand them. I love yarn, especially when it is still in hanks. I appreciate process, and I think I would enjoy going through each stage: carding, spinning, forming a hank, rolling a ball, knitting a sweater...or maybe something much smaller. That would be genuinely homemade. In the office where I work, there are three of us "girls," and we used to identify with the Hallmark Card characters: Hoops, Yo-yo, and Piddles. I'm the little blue one, Piddles. Y is for yak, yew berry, yellow, Yahoo, yard, Yellow Pages, yarn, and Yo-yo & Friends.

X is for...

X is for..., watercolor on mixed media paper, January 8, 2012
When our children were very young, we taught them most of their vocabulary. As they approach adulthood, they've become the vocabulary teachers, and I just try to keep up. This will continue to be more and more challenging as long as every new technology requires its own vocabulary. By the time I figure out the new "everyday words," they're considered outdated. Sigh! The ONLY part of studying biology that I enjoyed was when we got to draw color pictures of cells. We didn't get to do that often enough, so I endured biology. X-Men have been around for decades, but as far as I'm concerned they did not exist before the recent batch of movies...and I'm as uninterested in them now as I was when they only inhabited comic books. I'm told that it's a guy thing, so my disinterest is understandable. Being unable to find an "X" color, I chose cross-stitch as X's color. Like other hobbies I've obsessed over, cross-stitching used to occupy much of my free-time. I've moved on as my eyesight has aged. X-rays really are fascinating, and every member of our family has had them taken multiple times in the past few years, as recently as last week. Sigh! My husband played xylophone in high school band. Including "chi-rho" is a bit of a stretch. It's not exactly an "X," but it looks like one. I studied Greek for two years in college. I wish I had kept studying it beyond college. "Chi" (the X) is the first letter of the Greek word for "Christ." "Rho" (the P) is the second letter of the same word. Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and remind us of Christ's eternal nature (beginning to end) and His role as originator and culmination of all things (first to last). Lesson over. I hope I got it right! X is for Xbox, xylem, X-Men, X-stitch, x-ray, xylophone, and chi-rho (sort of).