Friday, January 16, 2009
Morning Becomes Electric
A few months after starting this blog, I realized that much of my artwork concerns the capture of 'moments in time' and this one was certainly fleeting. It was 6:29 AM on Wednesday January 14th 2009, a view from my car of Woodbine Avenue, at the corner of 16th Avenue in Markham (border of Toronto) Ontario. A rising sun illustrates the swiftness of time and it's inevitable passing in the most undeniable way. The colours, as such, changed moment by moment. In the case of the colours I had to rely on my memory (I don't carry about a full art-kit), but I had the opportunity to sketch this in pencil in my miniature doodle diary (more on that later, I'll get around to it, promise).
You make ask, what on earth were you doing in your car, sketching, at that precise hour? Here's your answer:
I have a part-time job that brings me into the city two days a week. Regular hours allow me, with minor inconvenience, to carpool with my husband who works in the same vicinity, but the timing is off by one hour. That means, two days a week, my car becomes my office/breakfast nook for the space of one hour while I wait for doors to unlock. In spring, summer, and fall this is a cozy arrangement. Most winter days are just fine, as I wrap up in layers of clothing, and cradle a fresh coffee. However, last Wednesday the temperature plummetted to -19 Celsius; a temperature that even I lack the fortitude to withstand at rest (no problem with skiis on). So a change in plans was necessary, and it involved a visit to Tim Hortons. I parked in their lot and while I was finishing my first coffee I was regaled with a brilliant vista. It was -19C at the time, and the city was steaming in technicolour. I absolutely had to sketch it in, and memorize the colours for later. It reminded me that natural beauty can be found almost everywhere and it is a worthy endeavor to find it. I've been in this parking lot before, and have seen goldfinches and baltimore orioles flit through the pines. Squirrels inhabit a 3-D grid of wires and branches that cross rivers of cars. The flat blankness of the rooftops provide perches for doves, and neglected office gardens become nests for Canada Geese. We are often upset at the intrusions of wild things into what we believe to be our domain, as if there if there is some invisible barrier transgressed by their presence. Their presence, however, is but a reminder that we are not alone on this planet, and the space therein is to be shared by all.
Look for beauty everywhere, and appreciate it where ever you find it.
PS. The title is a play on words. Mourning Becomes Electra being some boring 20th Century version of a Greek Tragedy about a girl who sleeps with her father and then gets upset about it. It was a school trip and my first trip to a real professional theatre. All the actors were dressed in grey fleece sacks (athletic fleece, such as the kind used to make track pants) and I was hugely disappointed. I suppose the designers were successful in making an indelible impression, but it was not a good one.
Image: coloured pencil on black canson paper, approx. 9" x 6". Pencil sketches from my doodle diary (apprx. 2x3)