A strawberry is sweeter in sugar.
Or is it?
As far as showing off, this is a newer drawing, and yet definitely up there with one of my favorite reaction to date.
This was a drawing a did when it was the equivalent to having writers block,...what do I draw?
I tend to think of a blank page, blank canvas, empty computer screen, empty stage, etc as an exciting experience, an opportunity to let the imagination create whatever it wants, desires to see come to fruition. However, as we know, there’s always two sides to every coin. A blank page, canvas, computer screen, empty stage, can be terrifying.
I suppose it’s really just a mind game. As children we pretend and a box can become whatever we want it to be from a rocket ship to a race car or even a canoe traversing a precarious dense jungle.
Then, as a lost boy having grown up creativity became interwoven with ‘right and wrong’ and the idea of being ‘wrong’ was terrifying. As if doing what you want, what you feel, what feels natural or intuitive or simply because you want to is still somehow dictated by rules. Rules, such as
never center an image.
If the image is off centered or better yet a portion cropped off then to the observer it adds intrigue and mystery and dynamics to an otherwise static piece. Another rule,
don’t let an image/ object ‘float.’ Objects do not naturally defy gravity. Fruit, or any other object with weight, do not float. To give them more realism, they need to rest of something.
Breaking the block
To be honest this, ‘writer’s block’ drawing was just practice. I laid out my supplies, got situated. I went to the refrigerator for a drink and saw a basket of strawberries.
That’s it! Why not?! A strawberry.
I have a tendency to lean towards natural content anyways; such as food, flowers, animals, landscape etc
The self doubter kicked in; what about all the seeds, it isn’t going to be easy, get the red hues just right, etc. My excitement of actually doing was sedative enough for my doubting-alter ego.
Once I got to a point I was able to stand back and be happy with it. Besides it was practice anyways, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Who’s really going to see it? Even having thought that, while I was everso concentrating on the still life peice of fruit, I neglected that anything else was going on. All the while, the pinky-side of my right hand was dirty from making contact with the drawing and I had been making smudge marks on the surrounding paper around the centered strawberry.
Artist don’t make mistakes. They just know how to make them look intentional.
At first, I thought it was no big deal. I’ll clean up the paper with a white chalk or maybe even paint. Starting with chalk, I was hoping for the best but I knew white would do nothing more then make the smudge marks lighter. But the it dawned on me, the ‘floating’ strawberry doesn’t have to be floating it very well could be laying in a plate of sugar. Then I added a few more smudges and subtle shadows to giving the appearance of uneven bleach white sugar.
The reactions I got from this drawing really were the sugar-filled icing on the cake. I would pull up a picture of it on my phone and ask ‘what do you see?’ Deliberately leaving out any comment of ‘...I want you to see my latest drawing...’. 90% of the reactions were “(so what), it’s a strawberry” with a tone in their voice making themselves sound sure of themselves just leaving out the ‘so what’ part. Just for me to wait a minute and flip their lid by saying I drew it. Some time has gone by and I recently had someone see me and tell me, “I’ll never forgot that strawberry.” What else could I say besides, thank you, but honestly I was touched.
Out of all of the people I’ve shown, both face-to-face or via social media, only one person nailed it exactly on the head saying it’s a strawberry in sugar.
I had to ask,
how did you guess that?
Her answer was obvious. She said
Because that’s what it looks like.
Here are two images showing I drew them on the kitchen table and the right one showing the Rembrandt soft pastel set I used.
Thank you for sharing your time with me and don’t forget to do something even if it feels small as long as it helps to
Better yOurself everY Day.
My name is John Boyd. I live in Tampa, Florida. I want this blog to be a place where I share my art, what art is to me, what inspires/ motivates me, etc all with an air positivity.