through art and giving
through art and giving
I drew a cruise ship and wrote on top as a personalized birthday card for a Librarian.
Above is a snapshot of the progression from priliminarly design to the finished product.
Top left to bottom right;
1) ititial design
2) darker pencil
3) inking the darker areas
4) shadows of a white cruise ship
5) a lot of layering and blending of the ship, adding the water, and under shadows of the dock.
6) I like the bright contrast to the yellow lip on the dock and the blue/ purple of the water. Easier to see and not trip over. Also added the sky.
7) added color to the foreground dock, a few blue-rope anchors, and touch-over the rest of the piece.
8) I cut the top white background off, created a black faux-frame around the rest of the picture minus the ship, rewrote the note a number of times to get it right and the final on a sheet of vellum which is adhered by an adhesive spray, and last but night least..my signature in the bottom left (which I did not get a picture of before the one-way-trip goodbye.)
The idea came to me not even 30 minutes after finding out her birthday was 5 and a half days away. When I say the idea came, I mean the words for the note, image of the ship. All I had to do is make it. What’s funny is that certain things happened along the way that felt like I was having to compromise the out come I’d seen. Such as using such bright colors like yellows and reds and bright blues. However, using the semitransparent vellum muted or subdued those bright colors and giving the effect I wanted from the beginning.
Thank you for joining me
and remeber to
Better yOurself everY Day
Ever watching, ever vigilant
are the result of a series of coincidences
Something so subtle
It is by far, easily overseen
Something so sad
It consumes one’s attention
Something that keeps me
Awake at night
If I don’t stay awake
Then at random times
I do wake
I Should be deep in sleep
But yet I’m deeply pondering
‘What are the chances?!!!!’
‘What are the odds that the eyes appear?
It’s not just eyes
No, that’s far too dismissible
It’s as if a human skull were sliced
Horizontally into thirds
All the we see
All that I see
Open to close
Day in and day out
Are those eye
Hanging like orbs
In fleshless sockets
And neighbor to a
fleshless nasal cavity
And brow ridges
There are details!
It’s not JUST eyes.
As you can see
It is at work where this thing,
This fraction of a foul face
Like a magic mirror on the wall
Yet it does not reflect
It does not detect
And deep down
I feel as if it does
It does detect
As we fight and yell
and embrace negitvity
as our blanket of well being.
Oh how I wish
What I see when I see the eyes
Was a work of art
The talented touch of a mortal hand
That would not be
a pleasing thought
nor would it be
an unpleasant though
it would just simply be
An image without a second thought
Nothing more than
‘It is what it is’
But it is not
I don’t know
what it is
But it is more
They are doors
I close my eyes and sleep
It doesn’t last long
the door opens
What is metaphorical
Is visualized the the mind
When I try to sleep.
The eyes are the door to ones soul
These eyes are
A door to a lost soul
A lingering soul
A soul that doesn’t want to leave
It lingers longer and longer
Leaving a lasting impression
On the world
Not just with the surviving memory of achievement
But literally a lasting impression
In the form of a
Skull with eyes.
Another question too...
Has it always been there?
Or is it new
If it is as subtle
As it is
Then it is
Possible to have been
There for an eon
And no one the wiser.
From a far without binoculars
In a place where you are
more than you are home.
What a gut wrenching Thought.
People have talked about
Halloween being a time
When the boundaries of worlds
And passable crossing
Of the deceased
And the like
To this world
Is easier and possible
Dressing up in costume
In something terrifying
Revolting and repulsive
Was intended to
Thrwart off any threat
Any unwanted visitors
doing so we actually encourage
That which we were
Trying to prevent?
We dress up
In what WE think
Would freighten spirits
Because we are frightening
We callous our minds
Get used to the idea
And yet when true malice
we are caught off guard
and not just a little bit either
No...we are unarmed
and with our pants down
Exhaustion from fear
and a heartbeat
from running a marathon
without taking a single step
shiny sliver of solace
As I have left my bed
But still need to rest my weary head
Too much have I said
In an effort to rid myself
Of those ever vigilant
Wish me good luck
For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed seeing birds; the diverse array of plumage, the various sizes, and the fact that they can fly. One above all others seems to stand out...
Golden but especially Bald.
I remember going to a Busch gardens with my grandmother when I was a wee lad. That was still when they had brick built brewery in Tampa. The public was allowed a tour through the building and the outside wreaked of used hops. But the exit,...the exit was a sanctuary of sorts. For injured and recovering—Eagles. They were rehabilited by the park but not heathy enough to be released into the wild. I thought it was neat to walk through the brewery and see them upon exiting.
History has them as birds of prey worthy enough to immortalize on flags, currency, and symbolism in general.
Most of my life, I remembered hearing that eagles were on the endangered species list. Perhaps that made them much more of an awesome sight to see.
Knowing they are or were a rare sight to see and potentially a species that could be no more. Unbeknownst to me, 2008, they were no longer on the list but are actually thriving and are currently a protected animal.
OBSERVANCE IN THE WILD
In 2010, we took a family vacation, a road trip out west to Yellowstone National Park. One thing you want to do when you are there is watch out for a crowd of people or a group of parked car along the side of the road. Well, it was parked cars that caught our attention. We almost missed the turn and it’s not easy to go a u-turn with an RV. Next was a sight I could just stop and watch and throw away the clock.
A SIGHT TO SEE IN A WILD AMERICA
What we saw were three eagles. Not one, not two, but three. It still leaves me in awe as I recall the event. I felt like Marty Stouffer as we watched the eagles fight each other over food. They were on the other side of a river. There was a flat area along the river and then a hill that had a steep incline. The geography and topography matter because being that they are large birds it was definitely a spectacle.
inspired from life
I drew a number of sketches. Recalling scenes of the squabble. Finding it interesting that one would pick and choose when to enter the fight then retreat to the hillside or even the top and watch the other two. As if waiting for the opportune time. Like a cat patiently waiting to pounce. The above is the result of the sketches combined with old nature magazines my grandmother collected for help with extra details. The medium was Rembrandt soft pastels.
Just when I thought that would be the highlight to my encouters with eagles, much to my surprise, there was more to come back home. I had a German Sheppard at the time and if I was home (and the weather was fair) she loved to spend time outside. One day in 2013, instead of just calling her in I went out into the yard to get her. I looked around the pond and see a bald eagle pirched on a palm branch of a neighbors tree. Hopeful, I ran inside to get my camera but knowing that nature constantly changes. Luck would have it, nature took its time to change.
It is by far one of my favorite pictures I have taken. I was originally outside to bring my dog in so that I could leave for work but there are those things, moments worth being late to work.
Yellowstone for me was 2010, one child was 2 and the other 4. It’s most unlikely they’ll remember anything from that trip. Fast forward six years and it’s a Sunday and we are doing yard work. I come inside to cool off and get a drink and my younger son yells that he sees that he sees an eagle (as he’s looking out of the bonus room.) My initial reaction was to dismiss it as if was no different then seeing Loch Ness. ‘He’s probably seeing A bird but just saying it’s an eagle.’ Just then I remembered taking the above picture three years prior and said that it very well could be possible. I couldn’t find my camera but I did grab my phone. This time it was all over the place. We first saw it fly in the a circle with other birds but the sheer size made it stand out. Then it kept fly from roof tops and trees.
Last year, I was leaving the house with the kids in the car and once again my younger one yells out he sees an eagle. I saw it too. It was pirched on an oak branch not even five feet above a sidewalk I use when I go running.
I was talking with a Dear Friend the other day. I shared my drawing and some of my stories. Reminiscing I thought it would be a great post to write. Then yesterday after we were home for less then five minutes. I get out of the car, hear a bird, look up and say my goodness that’s a big bird then of course my younger son says it’s an eagle.
It’s exciting to think that they are literally in my backyard and nieghborhood. Out of curiosity I looked up if it’s possible to know where eagle nests are and the answer is yes.
Visit this website, eagle locator, for the unlitmate bird watching.
thank you for joining me.
AS always, remeber to
Better yOurself everY Day
There’s No state of emergency?
No reason to panic?
An equinox happens cyclically?
What is an equinox?
Is it lox sweetened with “equal”?
Close! So, close.
No. Not really.
What’s in a name (or title)?
That title was part of a goofy sing-song that my dad would sing. Now, as unfortunate as it my be, I have firmly grasped that paton and am running with it, metaphorically of course, as being the goofy Dad.
“Spring has spring,
Fall has fell,
Summer is here and it’s hotter then...”
Hell-o, how are you all doing today?
I don’t know about the rest of the country/ northern hemisphere but Florida had an exceptionally warm summer this year. It’s definitely a warm (cool) welcome to see cooler temperatures in the near future. To read further about heatwaves, tied records, and in general how exceptionally warm 2018 was go to:
According to the farmers almanac,
https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-seasons, the first day of Fall or Autumn was yesterday at 21:54, or 9/22 at 9:54.
I’m not an expert on space, atronomy and the like but I am fascinated by it. So, if the summer solstice is the longest day of the year (And by golly!! Was it the longest day this year, or what.) and the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, then the equinoxes are in the exact middle of both.
By breaking down the word in its original Latin, it actually means equi-, equal, nox-night. And if the the night is equal that means the day is equal as well. Since we are headed towards the winter solstice that means the daytime will gradually get shorter, days will get cooler, and the nights longer.
This drawing I did, just like the post I made yesterday, was the result if not knowing what to draw but wanting to draw something. Having a bonus room in Florida seems to be a pretty common thing and in ours is a pool table. I enjoy playing pool but by no means am I a pool shark.
Once again, large paper clipped to an artist clipboard on the floor with my box of Rembrandt soft pastels and a basic set of graphite pencils.
I look around seeing if there’s anything here that will get my attention. Then, I got it—a leg of the pool table. I outline the basic shape with a medium grade graphite pencil. Before I ever thought about the focal point being about the sun, I was just simply drawing the leg, capturing the curves and the redwood color.
Maybe the claw is holding something. A sphere. A sun?
I made the sphere yellow with sunspots and turned it sideways. I the added solar flare loops to solidify that I wanted it to be a star and not just some random yellow glowing sphere.
Seen and unseen
What I like best about this one has to do with the electromagnetic spectrum. The idea that what we actually see with our naked eyes, known as visible light, is just a mere fraction of what actually Is. forces acting upon the sun/ the sun having an even great impact on the (not so empty) space. You know, an influence of about two light years in all directions.
Is the drawing, an arm representing gravity ‘holding’ it in place? Is the sun moving so fast that it, in the drawing, is causing a wake behind it?
Without a doubt we can see the sun but can not see unaided and overlapped the whole picture. The unseen forces at play on a day-to-day basis.
John R. Boyd
Remember to always,
Better yOurself everY Day.
Yesterday I wrote a post entitled, “haha: a funny little anecdote.” The image I used is poabably one of my favorite drawings I’ve done.
I called it “Juxtaposed.” I thought about calling it ’the theater faces’ but opted for the latter.
Everything about it is opposites so I think the name fits.
What really gets me about this one, I wanted to draw something but I had no clear vision/ image that I wanted to see come to fruition. I grabbed a large sheet of paper and my Rembrandt pastels (chalk). For this one I was on the floor. I drew a line down the middle and every stroke led the next.
It was a very neat experience and those are what I try to find. Almost serenditous-like.
Better yOurself everY Day
I go into work around mid morning. After I arrived I went to the store. I said “hi” to an employee I recognize and know. She says hi back and asks, “how is your day so far?”
i couldn’t help myself.
I responded, “thank you for asking. I’ve had a great day so far but now I’m at work.”
she laughed and the people she was helping also laughed.
An unforeseen outcome,
yet ascetic pleasing,
where pictures take on a whole new life
all of their own.
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.
Hello and welcome to
Originally, a name concocted from an amalgamation of my surname, Boyd, and the idea of creating Art. However, as time went by and the more I thought about the name after I created it, such a name has an implied deeper meaning. ‘Creates,’ is a broad umbrella term. It dawned on me that I was creating more than just art.
I saw a meme a while back that said, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘I’m sad, but not sad enough to start drawing.’ Something happened; pushed me to the edge, painted me into a corner (...of a canvas.) Trust me it’s a slow drying paint, (...like oils.) I used to draw and paint but as life became more demanding that hobby took a back burner until I was left pursuing happiness.
I wanted something I did that could be my escape, my minds reboot. Even if not everyday, then at least once a week. I would draw something and then add it to a pile of the rest of my Artwork and repeat.
But I found it funny, that all I’m doing is drawing...for myself. Givens its purpose is to escape with an enjoyable hobby, then mission accomplished.
Even though I set time aside each week to draw/ paint/create, that means I’m still spending 62+ hours at work working. I know, that’s what I’m there to do. But once I felt the bug again, felt good about what I was doing I wanted to share.
My employment is in hospitality. Really it’s just a fancy word for customer service but that means I interact with the public on a regular basis. My real clientele you get to know personally. Then one day it clicked in my head...
Show yourself off.
Be proud of what you can do.
If you don’t, then who will?
A customer asked a question. It could’ve been how are you? What have you been up to? What’s new? Etc but I ran to get my phone. What a great feeling to see the awe and surprise of on their faces when they see that I drew what they are seeing.
From then on, I’ve had people eager to see what I’ve drawn lately. Each seems to be a unique story to be told.
The next epiphany I had...
Why limit sharing with just face to face interactions when there’s something called
The World Wide Web and social media.
I created a website using the same name as this one once before. I I knew I needed a website. I looked up the various things I could do,I wanted to do, and I wanted to do it all...now. At the time that is. Feeling overwhelmed and adversely as a side effect shuttering and backing off was actually the reason for canceling the website. It felt good to see a steady stream of not just visitors but unique visitors as well. But in the end I was still toying with technology like it was a slinky. You know doing the simple things like holding each end in a hand and having it wave as it goes back and forth instead of learning to really get good with it and build a sophisticated ladder and have the slinky ‘walk’ down.
So I am back. Ready to be more committed, more dedicated. More knowledgeable and experienced.
Join me and be prepared to
John R. Boyd.