A hundred hours

11 Jan 2011 satellite pictureWhat weather we are having! Have you seen the map?! Kris said today that if we didn’t have a boat, he’d start building one today. It thundered and bucketed down all night…our two dinghies were brimful of water, and only the foam chambers kept them from sinking to the bottom of the creek.

Hope everyone’s doing all right over Queensland way? The flooding has been quite terrible.

I doodled this in just a few minutes this morning, using my non-dominant (in my case, left,) hand—have you tried this? It works surprisingly well. There are even some popular books about drawing this way. It’s like your brain (i.e. the ego) tries to control what you’re doing, but because your non-dominant hand isn’t used to the task at all, it ignores the brain’s ideas of what the drawing should look like, and just draws what the eye can see. You have less expectations, drawing this way, too—hence you are more relaxed, more open to happy accidents, more accepting of your own work. Whenever I draw this way, I end up with a drawing that is less self-conscious, less what I think the subject looks like and more like the actual subject—it’s from a photo plus some pressed specimens of , I think, some wild Cineraria spp. that grew weed-like and vigorously at Silaga (El Nido, Palawan).

Also finished two more Allium journals, books 895 and 896, which I promptly uploaded to my etsy and madeit shops.

Book 895 is a bit pale, all soft and pastel-ey, at least in reality. The photos I took don’t do it justice—this dark, bruised-sky weather makes photographing things in ‘natural light’ a pain in the ass…so these flowers are probably still a touch over-saturated, the actual journal is softer, gentler.

Book 896 came out a bit better, taken today during a brief lull when a hole opened up in the clouds and some watery, thin sunlight came through. The colors on this one really do look like this: more saturated, the stencilled leaves are shades of bluey-green with hints of metallic paint, and the flowers look like lollipops.

I’m trying to get things set up so that it doesn’t take me a fortnight to make a couple of journals…but I don’t like cutting corners, either, so hmm, yes, in a bit of a dilemma. I’ll never manage to support myself at this rate! The embroidery is the bottleneck, I realize, but without the embroidery, they really aren’t Allium flowers at all. 😦 So until I find a solution that makes everybody mostly happy, I’ll stick to what I know…so back to the steely silence of the embroidery hoop in the corner!

When I was young, and in my prime,
You see how well I spent my time;
And by my stitches you may see
What care my parents took of me…


6 thoughts on “A hundred hours

  1. I hope your ok? journals and paper stuff kept in a nice dry place?

    Must be wild being in a boat in that kind of weather. Maybe it’ll soon be translated into a journal cover or a felt heart? 🙂

    Also, your left hand sketches are beyond accurate. bet you write letters with your left too? My left is better for massages or clay molding, unfortunately not for sketching – finger coordination is still a WIP


    1. We’re fine, Kat, thanks, all cozy and dry as fat cats!
      The problem with this life is that it’s not a novelty, it’s just life, and while the wildlife around us is pretty inspiring, and there are days when I seem to fill up with warm love for the life we live, I wouldn’t know how to depict it…it is too up-close to actually ‘see’. The closest I came to depicting wild boat life was that painting of Kehaar at night, on big waves, with nothing but stars looking on. When you sail out there without radio, GPS, emergency signal device, etcetera, you realize that you could disappear, that very moment, like a bubble on that vastness of water. Nobody would know, nobody would see, nobody would hear or remark upon the disappearance; you would just be…*gone*. It is an amazing feeling.


  2. Yowza, that’s a lot of cloud cover!! Yep, good thing you already have a boat. The flooding in Queensland (flooding in general, actually) gives me a serious case of the heebie jeebies.

    What a lovely drawing. Drawing is such a challenge for me; I’ll have to give a try to drawing with my non-dominant hand and see what happens.

    Gorgeous journals. The color of felt in that last picture is fabulous, and the floss colors you used against it really pop.


    1. The sat pics from the next day made this picture look like great weather to have a picnic on the esplanade! The situation has become very bad on the Queensland Coast…
      I never drew a thing until I was 24. I was hailed in my family as “the writer” and my borther was “the artist”, and we were encouraged to stick to our labels, and discouraged whenever we tried to do something that was considered the other child’s ‘forte’. It wasn’t until I left home and had been away a few years that the labels and expectations started to drop away, and I realized I could be whatever I fucking wanted, nobody had the right to tell me which things I was good at, and which, not. Twelve years later, I’m not a fabulous draughtsman or anything, but at least I don’t suffer anxiety whenever I pick up a pencil to draw, anymore.
      We are never any one thing (or even two things, or three things)…each and every person has the ability within herself to be all things, and the right to explore all things, and the right to be free of labels and classifications and limitations. Just push and shove your way in to the party and act like you were invited! 🙂


  3. Isn’t it fun to try something crazy like that sketch? Which turned out fab, by the way! Have you tried setting up a mirror and only sketching by looking at the mirror rather than your hand. Blows my mind every single time!

    The embroidery does make the Alliums, they’re lovely.


    1. Thank you! I might try that mirror drawing someday, if I can remember to buy a mirror (we don’t have one on the boat)…it sounds heaps more complicated than just using one’s non-dominant hand…intrigued
      Cheers for dropping by!


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