Sunday, December 19, 2010

Highs and lows, Dec. 19th edition


I finished the charcoal drawing of my grandma -- finally! It took two days (about 8 hours total), and I wanted to spend a lot more time making it perfect, but had to wrap it up quick since I wanted to give it to her last night (I won't be seeing her for Christmas). She seemed like she really liked it, so I was happy about that:

 I used to do charcoal art all the time but stopped at some point in college. Not sure why. Probably a mix of time and priorities (those two rainy clouds on any adult life), and though I've been lugging my art supplies around with me years, I never thought to just sit down and pick up again until this week. And I'm so happy I did! Since I'm on a computer so long every day, it's hard once I get home to sit down at a desk and continue writing on my laptop. Drawing is a nice break for my mind and eyes, and gives me that creative outlet I desperately need. I'm obviously rough around the edges and have a lot of practice to do, but it feels good to put hand to paper.
D says when we eventually get a house he'll build me an art studio off to one side, which would be divine since the carpet that I worked on (even though it was covered with newspapers) is not letting go of those little charcoal stains as nicely as I hoped. Concrete flooring would be SO much nicer to work on.


You know, I've been wracking my brain trying to think of a Low today and nothing comes to mind. I'm thinking this is a good thing. 

I suppose what could be considered a low is I started Saul Bellows' "Herzog" recently, and it's taking me longer than I'd like to get into. I'm about 50 pages in and the main character, Moses Herzog, is borderline boring, in a petulant, arrogant way. And I get that he's supposed to be, so maybe I just need to be more patient and let him grow on me. Plus the book has a lot to live up to since I just finished reading the third book in John Updike's Rabbit series ("Rabbit is Rich") and, well, that book won a Pulitzer for a reason. Updike is incredible. So gifted. There's no other way to describe his gift with the written word. Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the main character, is one of the best in literature; he's tragic and flawed (like every good main character should be) but has the innocence and impurity that makes him so relatable. And through the four books you get to follow the story arc that is his life through the most pivotal decades of the 20th century. I recently heard a reviewer on NPR call Harry symbolic of America, and that his descent through the books is like the country on its way down the rabbit hole. I couldn't agree more.


  1. Your drawing and grandma are beautiful!! Anyone who can capture faces on paper are extremely talented! I stick to shapes, patterns, and more abstract with my watercolor. :)

  2. HOLY CRAP YOU ARE TALENTED!!! Can't wait to see you tomorrow :D