Monday, March 23, 2009

EDM Challenge # 215

Draw Your Thumb
Every Day Matters Challenge #215
8.5" x 11"
For a change of pace, I thought I would share a journal type of entry from my sketchbook. Each week, the Every Day Matters group issues a new challenge to draw something. Number 215 was to draw your thumb, and people could add what their thumb was on, etc. I probably should add a little color to this, but the drawing and note about it is done.
You should be able to click on the picture and enlarge it so that you can read what I wrote.
The practice of drawing your hand at different angles, and different times of your life, is a good exercise. I thought of collecting things like photos of the artists' hands as I meet them, beginning with the workshops of Harry Ahysen in Hearne.
Drawing my own hand is getting to be a big challenge because of all the jillions of patterns of wrinkles that are appearing. I think that would take a long, long while to draw! However, Myrna Waknov did some interesting work with wrinkled skin, using watercolors, by using tissue paper. I think it would be very interesting to take a workshop with her because of all the experimentation she does, and comes out with amazing portraits. I haven't tried the tissue paper approach, thinking that, if I am studying something, like my hand, I should examine every line, shape, and shadow!
I used a Pitt pen over pencil to do the above drawing.
This was something personal to record. Not a huge thing, but it did happen. My left thumb was giving me a lot of pain. At that time, I was seeing an Orthopedic surgeon about my knees. He wanted to do surgery. I didn't have the time, money, or the bravery to go through knee replacement, so I was getting shots every few months and taking Vioxx. That worked for me. I asked him about my hand and he did x-rays. He told me that I had arthritis in the joint and that there was not enough space between there to get a needle in for a shot. He suggested that he could fuse the bone, or remove it to relieve the pain.
Right then, I knew that I needed my thumb! I could imagine a useless thumb, either stiff as a board, or one that just dangled in the breeze, if he did surgery. I said no to that and said I would just take asprins, put heat on it, and massage it.
As I look at all the wrinkles appearing, I can also see that the joint in my thumb has sunk in. I can push on the joint and move it back in place, but it goes right back. It looks weird, to me. I think that the right thumb is beginning to do the same thing, but just a tiny bit, so far.
I know that people can get along without a thumb, a finger or two, a hand, arm, etc. But just think of all the things that you use your thumb for. You grip things, shuffle papers, type, tie, and all sorts of things. The first thing I thought of was shuffling through paper work at school and doing art work. Sculpture in clay especially. I used my thumbs a lot when I made clay heads. I thought that I might do those in wax, someday, if I ever got to the stage where I had arthritis in my hands, or became blind!
Drawing my thumb became a thoughtful exercise for me.
If you are in this area, be sure to go out to the Brazos Valley Art League Show at the Art Center in College Station, before it closes. Check out their website and the Arts Council of Brazos Valley site for more information. This one was judged.
Mary Ciani Saslow, from the Architecture Dept. at A&M, was getting ready for the Faculty Show at Stark Gallery in the MSC. Stark Gallery is online, as are the galleries in the MSC. And I have a link to them in my sidebar. I know that show will be interesting. So many creative people!
Of course, we are hoping for a big turnout for the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl on Saturday April 11. Hope that you will join us! We are trying to get groups started all over the Brazos Valley area, Bryan and Calvert, in particular. Click here for more information.