Friday, May 14, 2021

52 Fridays - Acorn Head - Ibibio

 It's week twenty of this fifty-two Fridays drawing project and this week's subject is an African mask from Nigeria of the Ibibio people. Another wonderful image harvested from the seemingly endless treasures to be found on Instagram. Sidebar - I'm no fan of Zuckerberg and don't like that Facebook (also don't like Facebook) now owns Instagram, but it's tough to find a better place to look at such a wide variety of different kinds of art easily. Maybe Pinterest? (What's your favorite site to browse art?) I'm constantly adding new images to a saved collection in my IG account, so there's always several things ready to draw.

I found this Ibibio mask on "afrikaria" and it is the third image in a collection of masks depicting disease and deformities. I will likely draw the other two masks sometime in the future as I find them all to be fascinating. My immediate response to this mask was "Acorn Head" and I intentionally exaggerated the shape of the top of the head to convey this. It also reminded me of a series of tiny carvings I worked on for a time called the "Lo-Fi Gods" that were carved from Hickory Nut Husks. Maybe I'll do a drawing from one of those next.

I've mentioned in the past that I sometimes struggle with my inner critic as I draw, but this week I tricked it by telling myself this was just going to be a "warm-up" drawing before I started the real thing. The critic was silent and I did my work. Truly, all art is just "practice"; a ritual of creation that exercises the soul. That inner critic is also the voice that tries to talk me out of going for a run or eating healthier food. This voice is not my friend.

See you next week.


Friday, May 07, 2021

52 Fridays - Chokwe Mask


Another Friday already. This year is flying by, unlike last year, which seemed to last for ten years. Now that I am all vaxxed up (get your shots you swine you!) I'm beginning to get back out into the world and it's good. I'm returning to a more normal rhythm of life, so the pace is picking up. Starting to look forward to going to the movies again and hanging out in restaurants and pubs. 

So what does that have to do with this week's drawing? Absolutely nothing at all!

This week's drawing is a Chokwe Mask, an image I found on the Instagram feed of johngrahamtribalart. A quick bit of research shows me that the Chokwe people live in south central Africa where the Congo, Angola and Zambia are today. I chose this image because of the tight framing that fills the space, for the big, alien-like eyes and the expressive mouth lined with the sharp teeth. I used an ordinary black ballpoint pen. As is often the case, I began doubting what I was drawing, resisted the urge to abandon it, but fought through and kept with it and like the final result. I don't know why I make the drawing process so difficult. 

Did you make anything this week? If not, get your ass in gear, time is a wasting.

See you next week,


Friday, April 30, 2021

52 Fridays - Nosferatu


Welcome to week eighteen of my "52 Fridays" drawing project. This week's drawing is "Nosferatu", which I drew from memory. It was inspired by an Instagram post by "instahorror" which is an image from the TV adaptation of Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" (1979). In that story he is referred to as "The Master" and scared the crap out of me when I saw it as a child; still creeps me out. There are of course many other versions of Nosferatu on the screen, the most famous being the first one from 1922, directed by F.W. Murnau's version. The German actor Max Schreck portrayed the creature in that film and his strange, expressionist style continues to be an influence to this day. I'll be doing some drawings of his version at some point for sure. Today's version is quite different than the "Salem's Lot" inspiration, which is fine as I purposefully chose to work from memory because I wanted to see how different my version would be and what I changed. The shape of the nose, addition of big eyebrows and larger eyes seem to be the biggest changes. Maybe next week I'll draw from the photo.

Have a good week!


Friday, April 23, 2021

52 Fridays - Happy Earth Day


Happy Earth Day! It was a chilly, but sunny day in RVA yesterday. I got out for a five mile walk, then sat down and drew this lovely, little cabbage head. She was inspired by an image I found on the Instagram account of "fernandin_jones". There is no description, but it looks like a carved piece of jade, a bead from a necklace. I'm guessing it could be from Central America? I always prefer to credit the culture I am drawing from out of respect, but also to provide a node point to connect fellow seekers. I pushed the green color in my interpretation just because it is my favorite color. 

This is week seventeen of the 52 Fridays project. So what is your favorite drawing so far? Any requests?

See ya next week,


Friday, April 16, 2021

52 Fridays - Revenge of the Nose


Yes, I did have acne as a teenager. Funny how that shit still comes out when I made this drawing. I didn't even realize it until I started writing. We are the sum of all the good and bad in our lives after all.

Happy Friday! This week I decided to riff on last week's subject, but this time only work from memory and give myself free rein to play. This profile is so captivating to me that I could just draw it again and again for the rest of the year...that's an idea! I made a lot of changes, primarily making the ear larger and adding the rings, covering the skin with strange tattoos or maybe lesions, and enhancing the lips. It is also rendered in black and white ballpoint pen in a more comic book style. I loved the magazine "Heavy Metal" when I was a teen and there are echoes of that here too.

See you next week.


Friday, April 09, 2021

52 Fridays - The Nose Knows


I love this guy's nose, reminds my of Sammy Davis Junior's nose. Color again this week, this time no ballpoint ink under drawing, just some pencil to lay it out. I amped up the yellow and slate grey background for contrast. I wasn't able to play with the subtle textures like I normally like to do mostly because I am out of practice with drawing in color. 

This image came from the Instagram account of "lesboisquimurmurent" and is a "Bateba Lobi" or wooden carved figure made by the Lobi tribe of the Burkina Faso region of West Africa. 

When I see my drawing next to the original, I want to draw this again, but next time in black and white and focus on the form. I think I lost that with my the muddy use of color. Always better to try and fail than not try at all, or just watch TV, right?