Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Georgia On My Mind

Georgia On My Mind
8.5" x 11"

Often, while I watch tv, I sketch. Sometimes I just start doodling and see what happens. Sometimes, I have a thought or memory that I want to record. Other times, something on tv inspires me to draw. There may be times when I draw my reaction to a program or the news, or I may even get an idea for an editorial cartoon.

I also like to draw girls when I doodle, and sometimes I put them into a scene or a story type of setting. I may also just be interested in a mood, a hairstyle, or fashion.

Last week, as I heard the news from the country of Georgia, it was hard to believe. I watched images of explosions, tanks and soldiers rushing about, the president of Georgia speaking, and the reactions of our own president and others. Tv pictures of destroyed buildings and fires, with ladies walking along, some with a small bag, saying they had lost everything and didn't know where to go or where they would sleep that night. Old men pleading for help for their country. And even a sweet little black and white cat, crawling from under a pile of broken concrete.

I thought that, sometimes, we talk things to death, while people suffer and die, property and even little animals are lost. We should have the power to make things right and just go do it.
Simplistic, I guess.

I wished that I could reach out and pull all those in harms way to safety. Let the men who can't agree, just go to it and fight it out, and let the rest of us go on with our daily lives in safety. Again, simplistic, probably.

As I sketched, one of "my girls" came out on the paper, in a wistful, somewhat pained, thoughtful mood. The song, "Georgia On My Mind" occured to me and I thought of our own U.S. state of Georgia, famous for peaches.

So, I sketched my girl, leaning against a peach tree, thinking of the song and the country, and of those across the ocean, who are in danger and who are losing so much. Her thoughts reach across the sea, although there isn't much that she can do, but hope and pray.

I remembered the peach tree in my great-aunt's back yard that was loaded with blossoms in the spring and, by hot weather, was loaded with sweet, juicy peaches. She had a man put a board with ropes on it to make a swing in the peach tree. I loved to spend time swinging and pointing my toes up to the leaves of the peach tree and the blue sky beyond. And, on hot days, when the peaches were ripe, I would get a treat to eat out on the back steps in the afternoon-fresh, homemade peach ice cream. Some afternoons, she would have milk and Oreo cookies to play with and dunk, or even a cold glass of Ginger Ale, sometimes with a scoop of peach ice cream in it.

I thought of the ladies I saw on tv from the country of Georgia, one in particular with a flowered summer dress on, so distressed and frightened, not knowing what to do, as buildings burned behind her. All she had was a small suitcase. I wondered what kind of home she had lost, and if she had special things that she did there with her family. Maybe they had cold ice cream, or cookies and milk, and enjoyed the shade and fruit from their own trees in summer. I wondered about their family pictures and papers, and stories, that now are probably lost.

After working with our family pictures and stories, I don't think I could bear to lose any of it. And, certainly, the pets would have to go too, along with family members and my art supplies!

I left the lower part of the drawing blank, thinking that it should be filled in as a painting, later, or just left as a suggestion for the viewer's eye to complete. At this point, I think that it allows some contrast between the texture and darkness of the tree, and the lightness of her hair and the figure. Detail in her face conveys her mood.
Notes indicate the haunting music, while the curving lines among the lettering hint at a gentle breeze blowing from the sea, carrying music and thoughts of Georgia, war and peace, bombs and peaches, youth and age, memories and uncertainty, power and helplessness.
Speaking of sketching, I just got the dates for the 20th World Wide Sketch Crawl. Mark your calendar for Saturday October 25. I have links to their website in my sidebar. Just click on the Sketch Crawl logo, and that should take you to their web page.
If you are in this area, I hope that you will join me in Sketching the Brazos Valley on the big Sketch Crawl Day.
If you are in another area, you can find a group there to join with or you can work on your own. If you are just learning about the site, look for someone in your area who might have registered, or you can register yourself. That way, you can post pictures of your results following the Sketch Crawl, or you can find others in your area who would like to get together to draw and paint.

And, remember, it's FREE!
I hope that Tropical Storm, Fay, quickly spins off to the sea, leaving behind some much needed rain in the drought areas, and little or no damage. We're getting a little rain this afternoon, but it has just made the grass grow and the Crepe Myrtles have blossomed beautifully today.

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