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Friday, June 5, 2015

An Altar, A Dragon-Ship, and Leaves

This week, my mother and friend stayed with us while they attended their denomination's district assembly. I attended the afternoon session, where I finished this sketch. I began this back during the Christmas season, which lasts for a few weeks into the New Year in the Anglican calendar. I started with the altar, the plant stands, and the flowers, but it took me awhile to get most of those details right, and I worked on other drawings too. 

A confession: As I didn't attend church each Sunday, the process stretched out, and the will to finish waned.

On Easter Sunday, I started putting in the background, and working on the candle stands, as well as adding some more details. Then I went back to pursuing other projects.

I nearly finished the drawing during this week's afternoon assembly session, while various speakers shared their views on worship (appropriately enough), discipleship, and district budgets. Later, at home, I finished with metallic pencils, and a few last details with the new artist-quality pencils my wife gave me.

"You're doing artist quality artwork," she told me. "You're ready for artist-quality pencils."

The next day, I attended the missionary convention with my mother and friend. One of the most interesting presentations was on one congregation's work-and-witness trip to Cuba. What a change! A decade ago, you couldn't visit the country legally, and if you did finagle a way there, for any reason, the Internal Revenue Service would send you a bill to penalize you. I really enjoyed seeing the group help build church buildings, worship with locals, and all the 1950s cars driving along in the streets. Anyway, thoughts of travel must have inspired me. I kind of like the ship, although my zeppelin definitely needs work. I have trouble seeing it as artist-quality, but I did enjoy drawing it. 

Maybe I'll have to give it another shot sometime.

After I finished it, I excused myself from the meeting, took a walk, and then found a tree in the courtyard that inspired me. So in 20-30 minutes, I started another drawing.

Remember how I spent about two hours trying to draw a tree in Hawaii a couple years ago, but couldn't figure out how to do the leaves? While I appreciate my wife's encouragement, I recognize that I've got a long way to go as an artist. Still, it's nice to recognize progress and growth. I should read more about sketching. Heck, I should read any book on sketching. Still, maybe I've stumbled upon a better way of depicting flowers and leaves. I have high hopes for this one, that the final result may somehow transcend my previous sketches, and put my work on a new plateau. I'm under no illusions that I have any great talent in this area. But my limited practice has proven artist Mike Bocianowski's words true: as with any endeavor in life, if you want to do something, practice will help you get better at it, and spur on your creativity. 

Sometimes it's even fun.

Dragon Dave

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