I’m just sittin’ here, taking notes…

That’s all my artwork is. My hieroglyphic representation of “Whoa, look at that! No, zoom in. I mean it, REALLY look at that!”

First, a place to sit. Then slowly scan the area until the skip happens, when my glance stutters, and looks back. Something caught my little reptilian brain. Was it a sudden change in texture? Zoom in fast, is there danger?

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No, for now we are safe. What is that pop of color in a sea of gray? Need I be concerned?

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Ah. We are safe, and we are interested. And now we begin.

I open my sketchbook and start to draw with my fountain pen. Suddenly I realize I am looking at two things: the subject and the sketchbook. “Wow, this is twice as interesting! And those pen lines are really funky!”

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After a while the paints come out. And the water cup. (“Hope I don’t dump it on my shoe this time…”) Then the play begins.

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Wet, dry. Dark, light. Warm, cool. Loose, tight. So many things to balance all at once!

(Can you hear Khachaturian’s “Saber Dance”  yet?)

But here’s the difference.

When I hear that intensely suspenseful song, I smile. I relax. Because I know what I am doing. I am looking, I am seeing. I am taking notes.

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I used to fear dropping a sword, breaking a spinning plate, missing the mark. I swam in fear, as do many of my students. But now I am excited because I have discovered it was never really about the artwork, not for me. It was about my ability to notice things other people overlook. I may or may not be able to capture it in a rendering, but no matter.

I was there. There to witness what I was seeing, to show that rock, that leaf, that shadow the same attention I would show a dear friend. I know how to ‘trance’ myself, and I do so whenever I have time.

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Because being entranced is not far at all from falling in love.

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About Bobbie Herron

I sit here in my loft studio, surrounded by watercolor brushes and paints, fountain pens, sketchbooks, journals- wanting more than anything to write and paint at the same time. I am the fourth generation of journal-keeping women, starting in 1862, and I have read their words and between their lines. This blog was inevitable: thoughts on the unsung glory of women whose lives were recorded and transformed through their writing and art.
This entry was posted in Art-Making, Pen and Ink, Sketchbooks, Watercolor. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to I’m just sittin’ here, taking notes…

  1. Maggie Butler says:

    What a wonderful story of your process! Applicable to many creative endeavors!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Maggie! Slow-motion of thought processes tells others what is obvious to oneself. ☺️. When I have told some people “it is not about the art”, they often respond as if (1) I am showing false modesty or (2) I really don’t know my work is ‘good’. Hope this post clarified the real joy is all inside. 🤩🧐

      Like

  2. Jean Haley says:

    I find as I age, becoming entranced happens more often and I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are such a talented writer, as well as visual artist Bobbie. I’d like to quote some of your wisdom to my students. Just holding a pen in one’s hand helps the eyes to see.

    Liked by 1 person

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