The Everyday Matters online group started by Danny Gregory has been a gift to me. Through that group I've made virtual connections with other artists, had an opportunity to see how other they interpreted a weekly challenge, and it prompted me to look at my home and my life as source material for art. Often seeing other people's work inspired me, and just as often it humbled me. At first I wanted to do all the prompts (draw your shoe, draw dinner, draw some organized chaos in your life), but filling notebooks with ideas for sketches and writing chosen by other people eventually became a chore - certainly not the goal of doing illustrated journaling. Every day matters, and it's my job to find subjects that interest, delight, or concern me. Now I cherry pick ideas, looking for subjects to share with others that they may also have tackled, but ignoring the ones that leave me staring stupidly into space. I used to try to draw every day, put I've modified that. Now I try to draw, or paint, or cut and paste, or take a good photograph every day.
Yes I can.
At any rate, the leaf idea is an old one, but it's fall, and leaves have been an issue here. We live on a lot in an old established part of town, full of maples, walnuts and oaks. I call it squirrel heaven. We built our deck around a maple, which I now know is a romantic but not practical thing to do. In the spring its red blossoms and helicopter seeds, in the fall it's wet leaves. So I drew one.
Here's an autumn poem from the Wisconsin Poets Calendar I won by answering the Midday Quiz on our local public radio station. Actually, it might inspire a good collage.
A Visit to Lands End
by Liz Hammond Rhodebeck
The rich colors of an autumn catalog
warm my eyes on a darkening afternoon;
plum and chocolate,
the words roll in my mouth
like edible stones.
I can almost feel the sureness
of the herringbone and tweed
in tones of memories,
and the deep hum of the earth,
relish the sound of houndstooth in
its sturdy complexity of olive and rose.
What else but a camel plaid
can set the world right
and promise the peaceful glow
of a scarlet wood cardigan,
knowing the storms of life are no match for wide-wale
corduroy and a bulwark navy turtleneck.