This is a post about a digital image--not a window. It may become a window someday in some form, but for now, it is an idea for wallpaper.
I had this idea a while back (do I begin a lot of posts with that line? There's a reason for that...) The idea was to do a chopped down tree--possibly with the person chopping it down. They could look concerned...a look, perhaps that could say, "why yes, I did read Jared Diamond's book Collapse regarding how civilizations and societies which collapse often do so as the result of ecological pressure, you know, like climate change?? And I did take note of the part which stressed that deforestation is, well, a huge effing problem!"
I did some rudimentary sketches. Crappy stuff. Now (endless Covid summer) is a time when I am gathering and consolidating threads to see what going to be a project and what isn't. So I have this ephemeral "idea-thing", more like an urge, and I have a crappy sketch! Now what? Urges and crappy sketches do not a project make.
I commenced to try to figure out how to draw a fallen tree. Not so easy. I mean, what does a fallen tree even look like? A pile of chaos! I feel a lot more must happen before I touch glass, if that's what's going to happen.
It took a while, but knowing I wanted to be influenced by my own fine self, I worked with an old drawing and customized it into a facsimile of an oak tree. That took a long time--like maybe a few days working all day, trying to force/coax tree-ness out of an old sketch and magic fairy dust. I find that getting negative reinforcement on a project can feel dire and devastating. And at the same time, its kind of a tempest in a teapot, by which I mean, my own skull. I mean, why on earth do I expect to get a decent image the first few times around? When all my so-called best ideas are not clicking, I hear the siren's call. Time to rearrange the basement! Or clean the cat box. Or some such. Most of all, I want to change mymind and abandon ship. Sometimes this feeling is has an incredible gravitational pull. I know from teaching that this is a real moment for less experienced artists. It can be really awful.
This is when art making really becomes an act of faith. Not faith that I will succeed, whatever that means. That's a little too goal oriented. But faith that something interesting will happen if I persist enough. In fact, one thing that does happen a lot is that I find I create a lot of material I can't use in this project but can be tabled for anther day. And I also find that there are amazing things to be discovered if one persists and resists the urge to change their idea.
|what? I can't even see what it is I would have to render here.|
|This is the tree for me.|
|Maybe something like this? Or maybe NOT!|
But yeah, I read Collapse too.
|Sad, romantic, and totally remorseful lumberjack|
|Kinzua PA, my ancestral homeland, now under water. Thanks Allegheny River!|
So, I have developed what I call the "Henry Darger Drawing Method". Which was developed actually by Henry Darger. This link has a paragraph about it. I, too, use source images. Sadly, despite the vast infinity of the world wide web, most images of human bodies can be put into three lame categories; selfies, porn and icky stock photos. NONE of that is useful to me. Again, its cartoons and illustrations to the rescue.
So, with the lumberjacks, I found about 7 good sources--good poses--and I gave all the source images heads drawn by me. Then! I switched their legs! Then I draw them over in pencil No one will ever find my source images. Except I am kinda showing you here. But they are now entirely original. And I never once had to get someone to pose in historic costume with an axe. Yay!
|Can I just say? I really enjoyed drawing lumberjacks.|
Beyond that, my, isn't this looking a lot like a statement about deforestation and about the sociopolitical systems we have that depend on such unsustainable practices? (Please forgive me, ancestors!) And doesn't it also seem to be making a statement about (toxic) masculinity at the same time?
Oh yes, apropos masculinity, I also drew a stump. But....I had to chop off the roots in order to make the design work. Who's destroying the metaphorical environment NOW?? Oh the irony.
|emo tree stump|
|This is not the final--but a reasonable approximation. Gonna go for the ketchup color background to symbolize, ya know, blood and french fries.|