A couple of years ago we used to live in a house with lovely flowering shrubs all around. This is one spring Sunday morning when my mother-in-law and I were drinking tea in the front garden.
[We stood and admired nature in all it’s wonderful forms and breathtaking palettes. Breathed deeo the sweet smell of the madhabilata hedge in all its flowering spring. And later remembered Bridget Riley, whose birthday it is, and who said,
“I work with nature, although in completely new terms. For me, nature is not landscape but the dynamism of visual forces.”]
In the early days of being a mother I hardly had time or energy to draw. I went back to working full time when Orin was four months, and we had a nanny in the day time to look after him. Both the brown boy and I were lucky to have the choice to work flexible hours which is so important when you’re a new parent.
I started drawing again when Orin was about seven or eight months old and my drawing had of course suffered. Not only was my skill rusty but also lack of sleep had nearly killed my imagination – but I kept on drawing. The journals from those years were quite terrible, but I still needed to draw, to make sense of life unfolding. Here are a few scattered drawings from those years.
From the journal Brain cut wild, 2016
As I wrote the other day, The Only Story was thought-provoking, not least in the social mores that it strove to question, but also about the very banal nature of love.
I often draw in my sketchbook about the books I read, fodder for the drawing in a way. These pages were made while reading The Only Story.
Who can control how much they love? If you can control it, then it isn’t love. I don’t know what you call it instead, but it isn’t love.The Only Story by Julian Barnes
[Finished The Only Story the new book by Julian Barnes. A tale of such unequal love, and so much pain.]
Some time last year I read The only story by Julian Barnes. Like all other books by Julian Barnes, I found it thought-provoking and it stayed with me long after I was done. Here’s a drawing from while I was reading the book.
It’s a milestone indeed when one of your friends says something nice about your work. Here’s Nityan, artist and erstwhile potter, who is an inspiration with his beautiful sketchbooks and his prolific expression.
“The only difference between your sketchbooks and mine are that you draw so much better…”
Over the past few years, we’ve moved cities, homes, neighborhoods quite frequently. Every new house needs a new social life, but before we’ve been able to settle down to do that, we’ve moved again. Here are some drawings from a couple of years ago when we had just moved to yet another new house.
[It’s been so long since I made any friends that I’ve forgotten what one does with them…until I read this book with Orin yesterday: Let’s be enemies by Maurice Sendak. Friends do things together – like playing and birthday cakes and making sand castles.]
[I wonder what activities a solitary person like me will do with a friend? Work? Draw? Eat. Talk. Cook. Watch a movie? I need to do more things. I need to make new friends.]
“She always believes the solution lies outside herself. Tsk.”Anteater
As you know the brown boy is an animation filmmaker, and while he makes really lovely animated characters, I think in real life he is quite entertaining as well. Here’s a coffee date drawing where he was talking about sound and voiceover in films.
But Orin probably doesn’t think we are as entertaining! His parents’ all time favourite thing to do is drawing!
I’m lucky that some of my best friends are empathetic, inclusive, generous and kind human beings. They usually take a lot of pains to show that they are not, by the way, but sometimes their views on women are so illuminating to me simply because of their gender.
“Women and babies: They take all the opportunities (given to them) and squeeze everything they can out of them.”
“Probably they don’t feel as entitled as men,” qualified the brown boy.
But they are always, always, more intellectual, says Pacificleo, having tried to become one himself just for dates during his social butterfly youth.
Ladies, do you agree? Do you squeeze everything you can out of opportunities? Maybe we do it sub-consciously, I never feel like I do anything with opportunities! But I am clearly intellectual, at least!