I’ve been experimenting with drawing more cartoons. That process led me to a small drawing continuing with the theme of dreams that I began in my first cartoon. After having done a number of works that felt too controlled, I made a loose unplanned sketch that felt freer to me. Afterwards, I added colour to the line drawing with pigment markers and some water soluble crayons. I think I’ll work on this theme further. I hear my unfinished linocut on Leonard Cohen’s Sisters of Mercy calling me. Why have you left me and when will you return? I haven’t answered yet, but, meanwhile, here’s the 2 recent drawings.
To see works in my etsy shop, go to: artsofmay.etsy.com.
Recently, I decided I’d like to draw some cartoons. I’ve started with a dream I had several years ago that captivated me for its strangeness. I’ve done a lot of imagining and writing since then on the Care of Latent Kittens Course. Perhaps you’ll see some of that here. I keep going over the writing and thinking it’s either fine or it’s terrible!
However, I had fun with the naive look of the cartoon and have been working on several others. If any of them work out, I’ll also post them here. I did the drawing with Faber Castell Pitt markers. I like them because they’re waterproof and non-toxic, so I don’t pass out from the fumes while working. I also love the array of colours and sizes to choose from.
Here’s what I originally wrote in this post:
Several years ago, I had a dream that made a great impression on me. In it, I was at a retreat in the countryside on a grassy lawn with a forest at its edge. There I heard about a course being offered called The Care of Latent Kittens. I planned to sign up for the course because I had always wanted to learn to work with animals.
A few months after the dream, I decided to write about this course and its mysterious animals. I wound up spending many months creating a story set in the future about an endangered species and efforts to save them and humanity from environmental catastrophe. Recently I looked at some of that writing again and decided to enlarge the work to include images. I’ll be printing the drawings and text soon, but also wanted to put the work out in digital form on the blog. This is the first chapter in a series I’ll be developing with some of the 14 scratchboard drawings I’ve made to go with the words. The drawings are not so much illustrations as attempts to reflect the atmosphere of the story.
However, I began further editing the writing yesterday (Feb. 25). During the process, I decided to remove all the writing that originally followed in this post while I work on it. So, here’s what’s left–a few of the drawings from the time of Latent Kittens.
I’ve been enjoying working on a series of scratchboard drawings to go with writing I did a few years ago. I hit upon scratchboard drawings because they can bear some resemblance to lino and woodcuts which I love but gave up making because of repetitive strain from carving. I made the three papier mache masks shown here in the 1990s. They’re the latest subjects of the drawings. When I’ve completed the project, I’ll show it to you.
Last week while looking through the sketchbook in which I found the artwork for my previous post, I came upon a drawing I had forgotten. A few years ago I used the drawing as a starting point for an oil painting. The painting was, in its style, unlike other work I had done. In the painting, the little bird in the tree has disappeared and the animal on the ground is now walking alone.
A phrase just came to mind: Alone and the road before me. I knew I had heard it before somewhere. Then I remembered the magnificent poetry of Ghassan Zaqtan. One of his poems is Alone and the River Before Me, translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah in Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me. That line had morphed into the one that I thought of.
Here’s the drawing and the painting.
We are walking in a garden
we are blind to
though it bears our names.
And the suffering,
the suffering is great,
but the unveiling of the heart
© 2015 Lily S. May
Yesterday, while waiting in line for rush tickets at Koerner Hall in Toronto, I whiled away the hour by drawing. I used to take crossword or sudoku puzzles to places where I’d have to wait in line or for an appointment. Then it dawned on me that a small sketch book and pens would offer me something much more enjoyable.