- April Gavin
Hang In There
Greetings, Is everyone feeling like Opossum these days? Upside down, hanging on by your tail, with an "Oh Dear!" look on your face. A lot has happened, is still happening, and feels like it will happen forever and that's just the 2020 Presidential scene.
Opossum is part of my mentorship with Jane Dunnewold. In this mentorship, I've decided to tell four North American myths that I heard along the way. Jane and I are still talking about composition, size, color - pretty much everything that makes art. Jane has been beyond generous with her time and comments and I am so grateful that she took on this project with me.
I won't torture you with my preliminary sketches, but I will share with you a practice portrait I did of Turkey Vulture. Towards the end of this myth, Turkey Vulture decides she will make mountains. She's having a great time and has made A LOT of mountains. Opossum shows up to stop her so that we can still have flat land to walk on. Hence, the "Oh Dear" look on Opossum's face above (and y'all thought she was reading the news).
I'll share these one at a time with a full telling of the myth as I complete the series.
In mid-October, I got to visit my friends in Groveland. It's a spinning retreat organized by my friend Anne Mendenhall. Thirty or so women get together and sit at their spinning wheels for a long weekend and make yarn. We also eat, talk, catch up with each other,make new friends, and vie like barracudas for raffle prizes. It's a lovely mountain setting and I'm grateful that they invite me along.
I did bring my drop spindle for some spinning during the evenings. The weather was pleasant during the day so I spent some time drawing. The blue oaks were dropping acorns so the acorn woodpeckers were out. One stopped long enough so I could draw her portrait. It reminded me of a story I heard along the way so I gave her a setting in a preliminary sketch of the myth. (April, I thought you said that you weren't going to torture us with your preliminary drawings.)
I'm an adherent of Betty Edwards and her book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Drawing has made me more confident as a person. I recently had an experience where I took on some bookkeeping work that didn't go well. Even during the interview, my right brain was flagging up some triggers for me. My left brain said, "Aww, shut up! You need another client." They offered me the work and for the whole 15 or so hours I worked for them, my right brain was consistently sending me flags that this was not a good fit. My left brain went into overdrive and was an absolute bastard. You should have heard some of the things it said. The right side of my brain made a deal with the left side of my brain and the left brain fell for it. All this is to say, get in touch with the right side of your brain. It has some great things to say. Send it a smile and blame Betty Edwards if it tells you something you need to know. You can see what all this drawing has done to my brain, but check out what's it done to my favorite pencil.
In touch soon with news of Etsy shop and the first myth to be finished.