Spent about thirty minutes marking and sketching out lines and shapes and relationships – the fruits and their reflections in the folding mirror – only to realize that I forgot about the mirrors. Oops.
All of the fruits need to move a few inches. But they’re tired and refuse to budge. Can’t say that I blame them. Another time, then.
Went back in with light green chalk and charcoal to mark the ‘true’ lines of reflected mirror (the one that points at the step ladder in the background).
Oh well, it’s only chalk. And paper.
Somehow, I got away from the habit of sketching in the morning. Not sure why, because it’s a wonderful way to start the day. Fresh cup of coffee, the sun room beckoning, silent except for the hum of the window a/c and the chatter of the birds in the yard.
White paper. A box of pencils, a stick of charcoal. An eraser – not to remove mistakes, but to deliver the shapes of shadows and hints of the darkness to come.
Now … what to sketch? Not fruit, though I really must do something about that lemon, forgotten from a still life painting over the 4th of July weekend. Something beckons from the window above the sink: Ganesh, the Hindu God of Good Fortune.
Ganesh, made of some sort of metal, has developed a wonderful patina over the years. And dust. Could probably use a good cleaning, but not today.
I put together a framework for a still life: a heavy bi-fold mirror that stands on its own, and if it fell over, would probably break something. I add a drape of muslin, to cover the surface of the mirror, and then Ganesh.
He looks a bit silly there, alone in a muslin sea. I lean forward and turn him sideways. Hmmm. No. A tilt, then? Yes.
And so we begin. Both of us starting over. Things look different from this angle.
In looking for a clean sheet of paper to capture the beauty of Ganesh, I find my notes from a drawing class: start with the general, not the specific. But this is a God, I want to say.
Oh for God’s sake, someone – Ganesh? The Muslin?- mutters, it’s just a morning sketch. Remember those? And so I begin.
Outline, squint. Mark. Squint. More marks. Stop and measure. Pencil in my left hand, arm out, point touching the air of A, thumb pressing against probable landing point of B. Make a notch with charcoal. Turn the pencils sideways. Repeat. Squint. Then angle from top of cap to end of tusk. Ear to ear. Keep going. Charcoal, fingertips, charcoal, eraser.
Ganesh hums in the background. Or maybe it’s the birds at the bird feeder. The world sails away.
Later, I put them together, the ‘real’ Ganesh and the pencil/charcoal sketch. Not bad, given that he was two feet away and set at an extreme angle. Go, team!
Have a lovely day, and may fortune smile upon you!
On the morning of June 20th, 2017, Wayne Smith, Junior was on his way to work. He was stopped at the traffic light. Or maybe he pulled over to take this photo.
I had been asleep for about 45 minutes when he took that picture. The first tornado warning came through around around two, maybe three am. I put down some blankets in the tub of the hallway bathroom, our go to shelter during hurricane season.
The rain so heavy on the metal roof that it sounded like a drum circle at the end of the world. A hundred tiny freight trains racing across the sky.
And then it was quiet, and eventually, I fell back to sleep. To be wakened by another warning, this time an Amber alert, hundreds of miles away. When I checked my phone, I saw that we had had another tornado warning, but somehow I slept through that one.
I wish now that I hadn’t fallen back to sleep. That I had gone down the hallway, passing by the blanket-padded bathtub, continuing on to the kitchen, where I would have made that pot of coffee that I wanted, given in to the energy of the wild dark night, stepped outside with my coffee, sat on the front porch and been fully alive to greet the dawn.
Had I done so, in that early light, I would have seen it coming.
At the moment when that photograph was taken, the tornado was approaching Ferry Park. Twisting its way through the trees, breaking everything in its path, including destroying a concrete dugout at the baseball field.
I couldn’t have missed seeing it. Only one street – Hughes – stood between us.
One street, the elementary school, and the neighbors across the street. All of us in the path of this thing bearing down on us, roaring and spinning and impossible to escape.
But then it stopped, suddenly, rose and leaped into the sky. That’s the part I really wish I had seen. Stepped out, looked up, fallen back in shock and awe, and then seen the miracle with my own eyes.
Instead, I slept through it.
It would have been a rush, though.
After the rain stopped, I drove around and took some photos. Fortunately, no one was injured. The park was closed for a few days.
The blue building in the next photo is what’s left of the concrete dugout. Would have been a bad place to seek shelter from the tornado, but there is a second dugout nearby that wasn’t touched.
I don’t know what to make of any of this. Sometimes I feel as if I was supposed to have been raised by wolves but ended up as a puppy in a traveling van.
My husband – the astrologer – says that Uranus is messing with all of us.
This was, by the way, supposed to be a post about our upcoming Solar Eclipse Road Trip.
Got distracted by the cup of coffee that never was.
My last post, back in November of 20 one six, was a beach scene, photographed late in the afternoon and manipulated via Photoshop to a strangely lit landscape, as if time had quit but light still worked.
That light thing is marvelous, by the way. The way it sets out, collecting moments (probably in waves, but I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know. But I like to think that it involves waves), everything in its path, this universal snapshot that will flicker a billion years from now, and I will still be me, and you will still be you: strange brethren, lit from within, as if we had a living pulse, even in space dark, shining.
One of the nice things about living near the Gulf of Mexico is that you can drop by any time.
But this was photo was taken on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. Yesterday, in fact. Enjoy!
Effects via Photoshop (Neon Glow).
I didn’t sign up for Nanowrimo this year, but decided to challenge myself to put up a post every day this month. This will be a short one. A salvo of sorts. Over my own bow.
Here’s one of my weapons… RESEARCH!!!!
Found an old phone book at a local estate sale. May 1956. Apparently, I’ll buy anything.
Actually, not true. This is exactly the sort of thing that gets my heart beating faster: time capsules with nouns! People and places. Where they lived and shopped. Where they ate and drank. Their banks, barber shops, beauty parlors. Tailors, typewriter repair shops. Flower shops and funeral homes. Every page has a story to tell.
For instance: Tourist Courts!
Tourist Courts were popular all around the Florida coast back in the 1950s. Most of them are gone now, but I found one …
Pelican Court Cottages, located in the small town of Cinco Bayou, which is surrounded by a large body of water called … Cinco Bayou.
And here it is, sixty years later. Just up the road and cute as a button.
Has a lovely courtyard. If you look closely at the following image, you can see a deep shade of blue straight back. That’s the bayou.
Since I didn’t want to trespass, I drove around the corner and took a photo of the bayou from the Cinco Bayou City Hall.
There you have it. Adventures with time on the beautiful Emerald Coast.