I spotted the above quote at this site and it immediately resonated with me. Slowly but surely I am settling back into my comfort zone here in the studio. This morning I woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee and started drawing dogs. I feel desperately out of practice. But here is what I came up with…
One of the constant themes/ struggles in my work world is how to balance the things that make a living with the things that feed my artist soul. I am enjoying the chance to get back into the studio to work but am very aware that the work I do in the studio, as well as on my blog aren’t what keep me afloat financially. I have my ever patient and supportive spouse along with a multitude of part time jobs for that. How do I reconcile this? I am not certain. I just know that drawing is a centering process for me and is a good activity all around, like any exercise. I also know that I can’t afford to think too much about things or I wind up stuck in the muck of my own spinning wheels.
So I am drawing and spending time outside and with my family. Last night I visited the spot where I left the hawk in my woods. Ok, it might sound gross to some people, but I was interested to see how broken down the carcass might be and if any woodland creature had maybe carried it off. I was surprised to see that it was indeed still where I laid it and it has decayed quite a bit. In its own stark way, it is really beautiful and I took some photos. Perhaps this is the sort of abstract thing I should be trying to convey in wax. The shapes are vaguely familiar, but without knowing what you are looking at, it might be difficult to tell what it is (ribcage).
This is the stuff floating around in my head and on my sketchbook pages. I’m going back outside… then maybe to a movie. I hear Indiana Jones is back in theaters!
Having what might be described as a Jungian approach to both my art and life philosophy, I try to pay attention to images and themes that feel meaningful or might lead me down a tangential path to the discovery of something interesting or fruitful. Often, I don’t have to be paying attention, things just fall into my lap.
The other night I was in the process of running my kids to their various activities and running some errands in the process. I stopped at the grocery for some necessities. Our local IGA is a great place to stop for a gallon of milk or a last minute dinner item. The other nice thing is that for a small, neighborhood grocery, there is a substantial wine selection and I often browse the wine aisles for surprises. I found a $25 bottle of Dynamite Zinfandel on sale for $9 and decided to get it. A wine guy in Nashville once told me that only suckers buy wine because of the label, and I guess that makes me a sucker as I was really drawn to the hawk on this bottle of wine.
A little while later, on route to Jack’s band rehearsal, a red-tailed hawk and it’s squirrel prey fell to the ground not 50 feet in front of our car just up the street from our house. We slowly drove by feeling helpless as the hawk twitched it’s last live movements. On my way home, I noticed that the hawk (and squirrel) were still lying dead on the road. I ran home and got a piece of canvas and brought the hawk’s body home with the intent of placing it in my back woods for a more regal place to lie as it returned to the earth. The bird was about 18″ from tail to beak and had about a 2 foot wing span. As near as I can guess, it must have received a bit of a shock from the overhead wires as it went in for the kill of the squirrel walking the wire. I think the post-shock fall to the ground is what inevitably killed it.
My friend Lisa came over to see the bird and the help me make sense of what meaning there might be in this strange event. We looked up the traditional meaning of “hawk medicine” which can be summed up as having the broad vision to see the whole picture in one’s life. However, since the bird fell to the ground in front of me, maybe the reverse meaning might apply which is the notion of paying too close attention to details and forgetting the bigger picture. I suppose a lesson could be taken away from either idea and I have thought much about these and about the poor hawk now back in my woods, away from the road.
I took tons of photos and kept a feather from which I have already made some sketches. Even in death, it was a lovely creature. What an uncanny mayday.
Turns out that Zin wasn’t too bad either.