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Monday, April 18, 2011

Waiting for Spring

The crocus is usually the first flower of spring where I live. Small, unassuming, low to the ground, hardy, and on the first warm day, vibrant. All the promise of summer is held on these tiny flowers.

Sometimes a sketch is like a crocus. It may be something you dashed off on the back of a napkin, or doodled in the margins on a newspaper, or even fingered in the condensation on the window while waiting for the light to change. It may not seem like much, but somehow you just know it is important. There is something in it...a line, a place where two lines intersect, a shading, a shape, something that is in your personal shorthand which only you can read.

I have a special box where I keep these important sketches. I write notes about them...where I was, what I was doing, time, how I came to draw it. And most importantly, what I think it might be useful for in the future.

When I embark on a major project, I line the walls of my studio with these notes and the sketches. I make sketches of sketches. I elaborate, I simplify. I expand, I condense.

And in the end, if I am reallllly lucky, the finished product will have the initial enthusiasm and joy of the sketch. Because the sketch, is, after all, like the crocus, the promise of good things to come.