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Snack Time with an Art Geek

daily sketching drawing ink and watercolor miscellaneous sketchbook watercolor May 09, 2020

Snack Time 2014

Directions:  Slice up one apple and a few veggies:  Preparation time 1 hour and 35 minutes. (Notice the clock on the wall.)

While searching my hard drives for the Flexagon and Polyhedra videos I've made, dating back to 2014, I came upon this ridiculous video that's a spoof on my more serious ??? series of Cooking with Chris Carter videos.  In the series, I demonstrate how I make many of my vegan, vegetarian and Raw Food delicious dishes. 

sketch created for the Sketchbook Skool challenge - How to slice an apple

If I remember correctly, this video was inspired by two events, a Sketchbook Skool challenge  to illustrate instructions on how to do something, and about a dozen emails in my inbox one morning, all asking me two questions ... the same two questions I'm asked more than any others, "Where do you find your inspiration?" and "How do you manage to draw and paint every single day?"

My typical response to the first question is that I wake up every morning, open my eyes and just about everything within my field of vision sparks inspiration.  My attention is captured by different shapes, values and colors that I automatically manipulate in my mind, playing with the possible patterns that can be created by the shapes.  I don't really see things or objects, I see shapes.  The shapes are like building blocks with which I construct new forms and patterns.  

The answer to the second question is that I'm a total geek when it comes to creating art.  I simply can't help myself.  I'm addicted to exploring the world, whether at home or abroad, with pen and brush. 

How did those two events morph into this ridiculous video?  The events triggered a memory from 1977.  I was living with the kids' father ... not yet my husband and not yet a father.  We met rock climbing in Colorado.  He came from a traditional Russian Orthodox family ... the woman cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, etc.  Michael would arrive home from work at 4:30 and promptly take a nap, resting before the dinner that he expected to be prepared and ready by 5 pm or 5:30 at the latest.  (I never did succeed as a good Russian Orthodox wife.)

On the evening that I became aware of my obsession to capture the life happening around me in a sketchbook, he arrived home to find me sitting at the kitchen table making itsy-bitsy dots with a rapidograph pen.  On a small plate beside my sketchbook lay a fish head, tail and spine.  A frying pan sat cold on the stove and assorted veggies strewn about on the counter, some chopped, some not.  He gave me a questioning look, walked past me, lay on the couch and closed his eyes.  Half an hour later, he awoke to find the pan still cold on the stove, veggies still strewn about and me still making tiny dots on the paper in my sketchbook.  A fish head had begun to appear on the page.  Stippling was a new technique to me at the time and I was mesmerized by the process. 


Jumping forward to 2014, the filming equipment was still set up in the kitchen from  the evening before when I'd filmed an episode of Cooking With Chris Carter.  I grabbed my apron, moved the camera into position and filmed this silly video.  Until last night, I'd completely forgotten about it.  

It's fortunate for Tom, to whom I'm currently married, that he enjoys cooking, and ... since we prefer very different types of food, he cooks for himself.  

......   oops.  ... it happened again.  I took a break from writing this post.  I was famished.  A bit early for lunch, but I was too hungry to concentrate on making sense of this story.  Grabbing the Baby Hakurei Turnips along with the turnip and radish tops in the fridge, I began to prepare them.  As soon as I sliced the turnips in half, the meal preparation stopped.  I grabbed a sketchbook and my paints.  Such lovely shapes.

It all worked out well.  By the time I finished my sketch, steaming the greens and sautéed them with the baby turnips, a bit of olive oil, seasoned with salt and paper, it was an acceptable time for lunch.

There are definitely other ways to developing a daily sketching habit.  Starting the day with Morning Scribbles works much better for most people, especially those with a family to feed.

There are many demos of both sketching while cooking AND the normal Cooking With Chris Carter series on my youtube channel.


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