Two weeks ago, an artist friend of mine posted a photo on his facebook profile of a delicate charcoal sketch, drawn earlier that day in his back yard. The drawing was of a tent his daughter set up, and he wrote of enjoying a spring day in Massachusetts, and the practice of drawing for the fun of it. Usually, he paints.
That brief note and photo got me going. First, I just wanted to get outside and enjoy our own spring-like weather, and second, do some drawing in the yard. I liked the tent idea too, but that could wait.
So many interesting viewpoints to tackle, the hardest part was deciding where to begin. I set up the table and folding chair, and moved it until I found a good, though not exactly level, spot. The first couple paintings were nothing special, but each a beginning. Before the ink was dry, I had a little painter at each elbow, wanting to do their own.
Unlike their mom, the kids crank their paintings out, running through the paper supply in a blink.
The best part of assisting the boys’ painting session was hearing their ideas about what they were painting. The black ink inspired them to think of night scenes, and because I painted the yard, garage, and house, so did they. My favorite was the nearly all black painting that was “our neighbor’s dog behind his fence barking at us.”
Just today I brought out white ink so my youngest artist could finish the dog, a black and white border collie. Here’s what he came up with:
The dog is a barker, art does imitate life. I had to laugh.
Three drawing sessions and lovely spring days later, I’ve done two ink drawings that please me. Not surprisingly, these drawings came about after I warmed up, and the kids had moved on to the swing set.
And the next, from another vantage…
And now I have a whole new appreciation for these swings!
This morning, unbeknown to me, someone was taking pictures of us as we painted together again (thanks, Paul!). I only wish I had a recording of the conversation too, as the barky dog was carefully rendered, a little white at a time.