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Sketchbook Madness...

First off, I finished The Goof Off Book completely back on the 18th. The last painting was a two-day coral reef from the Weekend Drawing Event last weekend, and I loved how it came out. So much so that I followed it with more coral in the A4 Moleskine Folio watercolor journal that arrived a few days before I was done. I'll post some more under an LJ cut. There's lots, even if I don't post anything but highlights!

On the 19th, I finished that page with a pen and wash heron in the Claudia Nice style. Lots of serious art. I'm not going to post everything I did in the past week, because I've been on a roll with the art journals and sketchbooks. Just a few highlights.

One of the two tiny Moleskine Volant notebooks, only 2 1/2" x 4", turned into "The Itty Bitty Book of Kitty." It's all pen drawings of my cat and other cats, with a little text captioning. Six pages in it so far, and doing pen stuff I'm using both sides of the pages. This is the latest.

The big A4 Moleskine Folio sketchbook that I got for mistake has very smooth cream paper. So that's been mostly getting pen drawings and the first page was just a lot of life sketches of my cat, spreading out and drawing him larger. The frontispiece is fun too, I did one with a statement of theme and above it, a cool little pen drawing of a snail.

So yesterday I went nuts and did 40 sketches or drawings. Granted, 24 of them are thumbnails all on one page in my old All-Media Book, but I'm not going to post them all anyway since there are just too many. Here's one for an example though, the right hand jellyfish painting on the latest page of Water Folio (the A4 Folio watercolor journal). All three paintings are from the current Weekend Drawing Event.

That brings me up to today's page. I'm doing Suzette Morrow's "Start a Sketchbook Habit" workshop on NING, part of Mixed Media Workshops, which has a lot of good free and low-cost workshops in many different mediums and styles. "Start a Sketchbook Habit" is a new free workshop with 21 days of different prompts and creativity exercises, because it takes 21 days to establish a habit.

So naturally I started it after randomly keeping up daily sketching for a bit over a month. Nothing like taking on easy challenges, right? But not all of hers have been easy for me. Some were and some weren't.

This one made me nervous -- "Synectics" exercise is to write a list of words, free-associating them, then go down the list drawing what they make you think of. That opens up dark doors in the past, free association is a good fast highway to Flashback City. Of course I dared to try it anyway, it had the feel of those fossil fears that pop into relief when faced. I mean, it's a bit silly to be afraid of lists?

The results staggered me. This could be a page in an underground comic. It's almost the inspiration to do one on the topic, right in the style of the great ones from the sixties and seventies.

For the record, my birth parents were not Nazis, though I had a German grandfather who joined the German-American Bund. He thought the USA should've gone in on the Axis side at the time. They just believed in eugenics and took that idea seriously, talking about it a lot around the dinner table.

The way I feel after drawing that and writing it can best be described as sticking my tongue into the hole where a big tooth abscess used to be. No tooth, no wound, no infection, no pain. Just a gap.

Yes, I'd have been healthier and better off and happier in a big way if I'd gotten medical treatment for what was really wrong with me. Instead, I got thrown through way too many years of psychiatric abuse for the depression of living in a Kafkaesque world where everything required was impossible and anything that could help was forbidden. Those were ugly times.

Things change. IEP means Individual Education Plan. Schools now have them in place for disabled kids. A kid who couldn't make it to the next class before the bell rang without breaking the rule against running in the halls won't get punished for tardiness with an IEP. I've known kids with learning disabilities who didn't get marked down for tardiness, if their symptoms slow them.

That's awesome. The tooth is gone but so is the pain. In a lot of ways, life's better. Burger King's cartoon kids group includes the wheelchair boy now. That means a whole lot to me, sappy as it is, taken for granted as it is by people half my age.

I reached the point of being able to write and draw that as it is today. That's a great relief. It's processed, healed, feels good. I could actually do an underground comic on the topic and it wouldn't just be all about me, not by a long shot. It'd have to include the epileptic boy that couldn't leave his house. Also the blind and hearing impaired kids who got locked up for life.

Those times were known for racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry too. What was "business as usual" then is actual crime today. Say, bosses blackmailing women for sex or they lose their job, that sort of thing. There's an Americans with Disabilities Act... if I wanted to work for other people I could push it and find a job where they'd have to put up with too many sick days and not dock me, make arrangements for my mobility and otherwise accept that my symptoms make me physically unreliable.

I'd rather be self employed doing books and drawing, so I'm not going that way. Still, it feels good to know that it's a choice now, not a necessity. That I'm pursuing an artistic career on pure intent to pursue an artistic career, not because it's the only way I could survive.

On the writing front, I haven't given up on Three Dead Punks and a Telepath. I worked on it again a few days ago, added a bit more to it, will keep it going at its pace. This nonfiction thing may actually become a project too, one to happen at its own pace as well.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!


2013 Nano Winner
Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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