Step by Step

::: By Hand and On Foot :::

Author: Melissa (page 4 of 18)

Two Days in One

Ah yes– sometimes it’s hard to keep up with your planned schedule. This week is turning out to be a bit hectic – art fair! print show! classroom presentation! dentist! baseball game! taxes! – and while I’m keeping up with my drawings, the posting might fall a bit behind.

So here are my drawings for April 3 and April 4, together in one blog post.

April 3 was a late-night, just-before-sleep sketch of the handiest model, our cat Maggie. Miss Maggie is a bit of a wiggle-worm, so things like perspective and relative sizes of head parts got a bit wonky. Although if you cover one of her eyes at a time, it looks more like her.
Maggie's portrait

Maggie does not look pleased with the results.
Maggie eyes her portrait

April 4’s drawing was also an evening affair. Here I play with ink and wash and some of my water-soluble colored pencils. This was fun!
Abstract drawing

Plus, you should be keeping up with Deb’s poetry postings. Yesterday’s was a gem.
Blessings on Pharoah

Plastic Does not Belong in Whales

Today’s drawing was done first thing in the morning, while I was drinking coffee. I had read the news last night that huge amounts of plastic were found in the stomachs of the 13 sperm whales who beached themselves in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. And while the cause of death was actually their inability to find the calamari they feed on due to storms at sea, the existence of wads of human waste in their stomachs turned mine.

Whales swim through fields of plastic debris.

This is why I pester my young compatriots at work to recycle, recycle, recycle; it’s why, first thing in the morning, I take the copious amounts of plastic and glass out of the trash bins where people left it the night before and put it in the recycling bags. Because maybe my co-workers think it’s inconvenient to walk 3 feet to dispose of their plastic waste properly, but I bet it’s even more inconvenient for the animals with which we share the planet to suffer from eating that waste.

I’ve been meaning for a long time to do some prints about the Pacific gyre. It might be time.

A Drawing a Day in April

My friend Deb and I were talking the other day about creative work. She felt she wasn’t writing enough; I felt I wasn’t drawing enough. We agreed to challenge each other to do a poem or drawing a day (respectively) for the month of April.

You can read Deb’s poem here:

Here’s my drawing for today – a quick ink sketch of the calla lilies growing alongside our porch.
Calla lilies

I Used to Live Here

Last weekend I was up in the East Bay to attend the artists’ reception at Collector Art Shop in Berkeley, where I am in a group show (which will be on display through January 28, in case you’re inclined to check it out). I also had a few appointments, which left odd gaps of time in my days. So I took advantage of the situation and visited some of my favorite spots.

Friday morning I went to Brown Sugar Kitchen for my favorite fried chicken and waffles breakfast. This restaurant is right around the corner from where I used to live in West Oakland, and I miss having it near. Best chicken and waffles ever! Across the street there was a new set of murals on the recycling center.

New mural in Oakland

Nice textures when you’re close up.

Mural colors and textures

After which I went down to Middle Harbor Shorline Park down by the Port of Oakland, and had fun taking photos and watching the intricate dance of trucks, containers, and cranes.

A tall set of streetlights take on an alien aspect when seen through a fence.

Alien-looking light fixtures

Evil lurks. A small rusty sign on a fence.

Evil lurks

A rusty float just offshore.

A rusty float

Watch out for the soft mud! (Have I ever mentioned that I love hazard graphics? I think it would be a fun job to create them.)

Soft mud warning sign

A dredge at work.

A dredge at work

A goose among the cranes.

A goose and cranes

A study in contrasts: a rusty fence against a concrete wall.

A rusty fence in front of a concrete wall

The park butts right against the port, and gives a great opportunity to watch all the goings-on there. I couldn’t help but think of all that stuff coming in and out – a supreme example of rampant consumerism and capitalism in all its glory. How much of all this is really necessary???

A very busy place

Still, the port is a fascinating place with its own type of beauty.

Giant crane at the Port of Oakland

Martín Getsemany Sánchez García

¿Dónde está Martín Getsemany Sánchez García?

Martin Getsemany Sanchez Garcia

During a march in Chilpancingo, Martín’s relatives, from Zumpango, Guerrero, carried a large banner with a picture of his. “He is close, loved,” a relative says. “He is the fifth child in a family of eight. He is 20 years old. He is inquisitive, curious. He loves playing soccer and is a Cruz Azul supporter”.

He is also, as pointed out by her cousin, “a boy with a will to keep going forward. That’s why he enrolled in the teaching school”.

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