Taking a Leap

One of my favorite tee shirts shouts “LEAP” in large cascading letters.

So I did, at the Naples Grape Festival, drawing the characters who responded to my signage: “Characters Wanted, Kit is ready to draw YOU.” 

For years, in my ever-present sketchbook, endless pencil sketch ran or snuck into the primary sketches for my primary work: large graphite drawings, which are often 18” X 42”.

Once the idea to draw characters surfaced, I started building a small ‘set’, a bright colored, vintage telephone bench, found at a non-profit resale store.  It did not take me long to create a plan, selecting 9” X 12” and 11” X 14” drawing tablets, coupled with a cascade of markers.

The Festival Committee gave me a spot and were enthusiastic about the concept: character drawings with all the proceeds to be given to three non-profits, local businesses.

On Saturday morning, September 21st, the last day of summer, all was lugged to the Memorial Town Hall and set up under a multicolored beach umbrella. And they came! From a 2-year old to a 90-year young woman in a wheelchair pushed by her son. 

Sitting four feet away, at eye level, the conversation began. The artist and ‘model’ greeted one another exchanging first names while Kit’s left hand took control of the visual.  An intimacy grew as the drawing began, which in retrospect, was never anticipated.

Laughter often erupted through stories shared.

The actual drawing, to my surprise, flowed much easier than expected.  The markers jumped in and out of their containers and the time flew. Most drawing took between 30 and 45 minutes. Requests for drawings with two people modeling on one page took longer. No one complained. Well, OK, the 2-year-old pink-cheeked cherub did not like me staring at her. Her Mom was there calming the tears and screams.

The pace of festival-goers was steady while crowds of onlookers often filled the space.  Wrapped and rolled, the character sketches were carried away. Participants, including the artist, were more than pleased. The 2 days flew by quickly.

Taking the “Leap” was a life-fulfilling experience…and my skills improved too.

Your turn!

Notes from an artist who loves to draw

From where do ideas originate and why they may create a problem?

A simple question, with ever-expanding answers.

From where is an idea born:  prompted by the sunrise; the discovery of a discarded candy bar wrapper; awakened the from a disturbing saga; surprised by a child’s laughter; the discovery of a new tool, or whatever invades the conscious, jetting me out of status quo and into the unknown. The spark, the idea, hangs ready to explore. The ‘why’ is addressed and the framework may grow into a solution or a masterpiece.

Here lies the RUB.  The new idea MUST go through your vetting process.

  • Do I have time for this?
  • Do I need to write or, research, or make a prototype?
  • How does this fit into my life and work?
  • What is the solution, masterpiece going to cost in time and money
  • Is the ‘spark’ a really good idea?

Maybe, it is time to revaluate in the morning sun, after a sleepless night, trashing the candy wrapper, and ignoring the new tool, and picking up my tattered sketchbook and trusty 2B pencil, watch the child disappear into the woods, with coffee nearby, sit down draw.  No problem.

Victim to the spirit

Drawing is a process of creating lines which evolve into visual expressions, from the simple to the very complex.

For me, drawing is my passion, a creative output of both physical and visual nature, sometimes dictated and pristine; sometimes carefree and surprising. 

It takes a few tools and often, on the fly, may be the stick in the mud or the spilled catchup on the table.  Opportunity is everywhere if the mind is open and play is an ingredient. 

In the studio, the pristine or the ‘right way’ to draw, often inhibits the creative genius of the spontaneous.

Add the plethora of pencils, pens, markers, pastels, and an array of papers or surfaces, creativity may fall victim to the spirit.