And now it would appear that I haven’t had any thoughts in nearly 3 years. Not true! I apologize for my erratic posting. But I have made a vow to post here at least once a week.
I am taking an online art class with an artist I admire–Carla Sonheim. I own two of her books and have previously taken two of her short classes. This one is a year-long class, titled “Y Is For Yellow.” The stated goal for us in the class is to create a body of work. Lessons appear online every two weeks and each one focuses on a letter of the alphabet. Carla emphasizes non-judgmental drawing and teaches some interesting and fun mixed media techniques. But there is the body of work. She has asked us not to think about that just yet, but of course I perseverate on it.
At first and right away, I thought my body of work would be pen and ink drawings of dogs, to go into my upcoming book of dog poems. This seemed very timely. Then, during D week, ducks began to appeal. Ducks in boots, wearing hats, carrying umbrellas, going about their quotidian existence in a duckily human way. Then, during E week, elephants! I love elephants! Who doesn’t love elephants?
I am an indecisive person by nature. I have many ideas and plans, and I tend to get very excited about one thing or another, at least briefly. But essentially I am indecisive. Right now Carla has asked us to rest and not bother about the body of work. She says that during a rest period, often comes the “aha!” moment. So last week a friend stopped me in the street to give me a red felted wool hat that she’d made for my Jizo. A Jizo is a Buddhist Bodhisattva who serves as guardian of children and travelers, including those who are traveling from this world to the next. They are often pictured wearing red caps or bibs, though we (my friend and I) cannot find out why the color red. You can Google images of Jizo and find many wonderful photos. My own Jizo is one that I found in a shop in Berkeley CA and I bought it because I loved its sweet face. And at one time I had considered making a series of Jizos.
Aha! My friend shows up at just this moment in time with a reminder of my earlier plan. This seems providential, does it not? I need a body of work and here comes Jizo once again. Well, for a few days I did feel that this was my aha. But then. What about dogs? Or elephants? Or . . . ?
I’ll keep you posted.