Saturday, 19 January 2008

Tulip in crayon

Cheap Crayola pencil crayon, actually.

Yeah, it shows... but I don't work in crayon enough to justify buying myself a decent set of proper sketching crayons.

Unless I find a really, really good sale sometime. Then I'd find a way to convince myself that I might work in crayon more if I only had some good equipment...

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Aqueous Humour

1. When you stop to think about it,
watching fish swim in a tank is a pretty stupid way to spend your time.
It's not like the fish will figure out how to use tools
or move into and actually defend the ornamental castle...
No matter how hard you stare at them, the fish will continue to swim
aimlessly back and forth
and forth and back again
all freaking day
looking just as clueless as they looked
when you started watching.

The most excitement you're going to get
from that particular pastime
is if you start taking bets on how long it will take
before all the plastic plants are uprooted by the inhabitants
or how many days the new charcoal filter
will continue to cloud up their otherwise pristine
fake environment.

I know for a fact that fish in tanks
are incredibly boring.

I know this from experience
because I watched them
for nearly an hour last night.

2. Fish eye lenses,
and I'm not talking cameras here,
are round little balls;
or at least the one in my Grade Ten biology lab was.
We weren't supposed to be dissecting the eye, but I was curious
and sliced open the sunken saucer when the teacher wasn't looking.
I wasn't expecting to find that plasticky-looking orb
hanging about in a dead perch
and was fascinated enough to sneak it into a paper towel to take it home.
I'd planned to show my mother, for some reason,
but thought better and threw it out a day later.
I sort of wonder now
if she might have been pleasantly surprised to learn that her
very neurotic daughter
had finally found something in life to
be squeamish about.

3. There is something about water dwellers
that calls to the water in us.
We are still water,
as far as we've tried to take ourselves away.

Sea water courses through our veins
and bathes our organs;
you may find us in deserts or on mountains
but without the oceans within we wouldn't even see the dry.

The water is us
as it is everything in this world,
and maybe that explains this need
for fish in tanks.

Maybe this world of artificial habitat
with its decorative rocks and carefully controlled tides
is just the water reminding us that it was,
in our history,


and as separate as we think we are
our cells will never forget
that for the largest part of our past
we were bathed in belonging.


An odd mood resulting in a bit of a prose poem. Nothing terribly earth shattering here. The title's a pretty awful pun (and for those who aren't familiar with the real term: aqueous humour), and the dissection story in the second section is, weirdly enough, true. It sort of marked the beginning of my interest in comparative anatomy.

One zoology degree later, I'm still interested in it.

Come to think of it, that lens was a fairly valuable discovery.

And yes, I was a pathetically squeamish child. Funny that I ended up in the business that I'm in now, really.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Tulips in graphite

Not much to say about these, except that as usual you can tell which part of the subject I was interested in. The flowers themselves are decent, and the stems... not so much. I was "done" already, so I didn't bother fleshing them out.

I've got to work on the attention span.

Sunday, 6 January 2008


the opening
when the one who'd always drawn in lines
woke up once
to find the world
and filled with


POV II because, obviously, I'd written another poem called POV. It's part of a larger poem, though, and I don't feel like typing the whole thing out today. It's a bit pretentious anyway.

This one? Is short.

That's about all I have to say, yes.

Saturday, 5 January 2008


The strung wire shrieks its tension to the rocks and foam below
as bloodied fingers scrabble up dripping stones;
the clothes whipped by fire-fed winds
from torches they've made to light the spectacle.
It's never successes they seek --
the graceful conquering of fear and gravity,
followed by reluctant applause --
Oh no,
they pray miscalculation:
a single step that takes a body from the line
and drops it to the hurling water;
limbs splintering on outcrops,
hands reaching vainly for nothing.
That's the real show,
and the audience leaves
with a smug grasp of satisfied horror.

I've seen the falls:
water thrusting through faults,
tearing new channels from the bedrock,
rushing to the precipice and shouting its way over.
I've seen them string that wire from crag to crag;
nothing below but fractured rock and thunder
and waterlogged bone.
I've seen men hunger for that height...
watched them climb
heard that scream above the torrent
and imagined the struggle beneath...

I have never dreamed to fly.

My hands will not fit those cracks in the wet cliff
but they will goad me to ascend
like the rest...
I will forget.
I will lose my faith in solid ground
and ache for colder air above the river...
I will force myself to walk the wire
aim for more attention than I wanted
lose my way at the last
and add my salt to the falls...

And they will gasp

and wait for the next one.


Hey, it's a ginormous metaphor!

Yeah, you can all roll your eyes now.

Briefly, it's ambition, lack of same, and humanity's seemingly inborn desire to gloat at others' failures. I'd say more, but I don't think I need to spell this one out.

Interesting that German has a word for it, though.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Tulip in watercolour pencil

I debated on whether to post any of these old tulip doodles because they're hanging on my wall and I was too lazy to take them down (erm... see the previous post, where I said pretty much the same thing). Ah well. I suppose you can put up with distortion and reflected flash.

This particular doodle is also faded as well as distorted. It was done a few years ago and it's been in full sun since.

Like I think I've said before, when I get in the mood to draw flowers I'll often buy a bouquet or a plant and sketch it in various states of decay (well, not so much if I buy a plant. They usually last a while). By this time tin the tulip bouquet's existence it was showing its age and the flowers were past perfection.

I don't mind that. Dying flowers still make interesting subjects, as far as I'm concerned.

I should have done this sketch on darker paper, though. It would have been nice to suggest the white edges by actually using white rather than faking them with grey wash. I'll remember that another time.
Related Posts with Thumbnails