The other day Fran said she was taking the kids to Hobby Lobby. Something deep within my soul stirred and I decided I had to go with them. As I walked through the infinite isles of decorations, sewing supplies and weird paper craft things, I came upon a meadow filled with art supplies. “Art.” I thought. “I used to like art. But then I got too busy and we just sort of drifted apart…” Being a man who believes in second chances I decided to look around.
I picked up a sketchbook. Strathmore Bristol 300 series. Heavy, acid free. For finished artwork – pen & ink. I opened the book and stared at the cool white surface. I ran my fingers across the paper and memories flooded back. I tucked the book under my arm and moved further down the isle.
At home on a shelf was a glorious collection of PrismaColor alcohol-based markers. Every color, hundreds of them. But I was going to need a pencil and some ink pens. I knew exactly what brand I wanted- Pigma. Permanent, waterproof with archival quality ink. I had fallen in love with them years ago as a boy. I selected a set that included a sexy black pencil. Adrenaline coursed through my body. I was going to draw something!
I have a tradition. When I get a new sketch pad I draw Optimus Prime, heroic leader of the noble Autobots (No, I don’t know why). From the get-go I knew the Strathmore paper was special. Pencil erased effortlessly, ink and paper fused sharply, colors sank deep into the surface producing vibrancy with no bleeding. My Pigmas and PrismaColors performed perfectly, beautifully. The power of creation coursed through my fingers. The only weak link was me; It had been over four years since I had drawn anything (if you click on that link the blog entry there is a heart breaking betrayal on many levels). Within in the hour Optimus stared back at me. Was that approval on his face? Not great art, but certainly acceptable given my hiatus.
The next day I felt compelled to sketch a Lamborghini Aventador (Michael has been talking about them incessantly these days). As I sketched out the rough shape of the car I felt the presence of destiny. Nothing fancy, I decided. Two hours tops.
First I roughed in the pencil lines. No tracing (as is evident by some distortions). The Strathmore 300 is much to thick for that anyway.
Next I inked over the pencil. What I love about the Pigmas is that after inking you can simply erase the pencil without any smearing.
And then the colors. You are never too old to color. Blendable, bold, beautiful- best markers ever (lost a little detail when I colored, but such is life). I ended up spending closer to three hours on the car. Again, not great art- but I had a blast.
And then I remembered something. When I was younger I had painted a Lamborghini. A Diablo was it? Luckily I happen to have kept all my artwork over the years. I found my drawing and smiled. June 27, 1991. I was thirteen. “Same old perspective issues” I thought as I looked at the two cars. And there- that same green color around the cars twenty one years later. I must like that color. In case you’re curious this Lamborghini Diablo is what I was trying to draw in 1991.
I really hope I get the chance to draw again soon. It’s something that I enjoy and it soothes me in a way that’s hard to explain. And I especially want to draw with my kids- I hope they can experience the same feelings of passion that touched me this past weekend. I don’t want art to become another casualty of our war against time. Fran bought me an architect lamp today. Maybe it’s a sign.
I will never understand how you got so good at drawing. The Lamborghini sketch alone reminds me of the kind of quality you see in the more detailed frames of Otomo’s “Akira” graphic novel, which is highly thought of in the comic-scene. Whenever I would draw a Scrooge, you drew one that looked like it was straight Rosa (which made mine seem like anything but).
Because of this, I challenge you to an art battle. The time and place TBD. I will spend some time trying to reacquaint myself with the tools of (artistic) warfare.
I had a dream about you drawing out of the blue a few weeks ago. It must have been prophetic.
Yeah for you for getting all artsy again. I think of your bloody comics with sweet nostalgia.
I need to get out my violin. That was my artistic outlet. I miss it.
I’m not so sure I’m all that good. I can certainly draw what I see, but I can’t pull stuff out of my mind like I want to. Still drawing is quite relaxing and – compared to my other hobby – quite inexpensive. I’ll have to dig out those Scrooge drawings. As I recall you were quite the budding artist.
I accept your battle. I await the specifics. As far as reacquainting yourself I recommend YouTube.
So, you’re a prophetess, eh? That’s pretty cool. Do you remember what I was drawing?
I actually pulled out the “Book ‘o Blood” after I read your comment and looked through it. I keep thinking I need to burn it, but I can’t bring myself to do it.
I think you’re right- get that violin out and dive in. Artistic outlets rock.