dog as muse

There is a lovely lack of structured time here in the studio this week with the kids off of school.  Everyone in the house is able to go about their business within the comforts of their own circadian rhythms – within reason, of course.  My 14 year old boy would gladly sleep all day and be up all night, which would make next week’s return to a normal school schedule excruciating.  I plan to get him up just after noon today.

I am always intrigued and somewhat enchanted by how much inspiration seems to head my way when I have the gift of unstructured time.  It is also amazing to me how much longer the days seems to last when they are not committed to the shackles of a regular schedule.  With the holidays finally calming down, I feel the deep need to get into the studio to work, but am a little rusty from lack of daily practice.  And so I turn to the nearest dog and draw.  Caskie is usually where I begin my artistic oiling (think Tin-Man in the Wizard of Oz).  He is basically a live scribble and really, really fun to draw – even when sleeping.

My friend Kim introduced me to a book called The Zen of Seeing: Seeing and Drawing as Meditation by Frederick Franck.  I love this notion of drawing as meditation.  Drawing requires a person to really observe something as the pen moves around the page.  How many people walk through the world each day, shackled to their daily schedules, not really seeing the world they live in?  It’s easy to do, and I am guilty of it myself at times when I have kids to take to school, jobs to do, errands to run.  The other night my husband and I went out to walk the dogs and he observed that the lit-up deer across the road actually move, ever so slowly, if one just watched for a bit.  The question then became, do all lit-up deer move?  Apparently not.  We’ve been watching.

My hope for the rest of this holiday break from routine is a continued awareness of myself in my surroundings.  Perhaps with the help of a daily dog, I can continue this sense of inspiration into the New Year.  Which reminds me, I need to get over to the office supply store for a new library date stamp.  2009 does not exist on my current one!

Happy New Year to everyone out there.  Go out for a walk, find something cool to look at and draw it.  It’s almost like yoga…

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