This week we had our first theme selection by Maryann, which was to pick 5 things that were important to us and produce a still-life, or piece of art inspired by them. It was a very challenging theme this week – considering some physical difficulties on our end being in Japan. But let’s take a look!
Materials: Fineliner, coloured pencils
Most of the important artefacts in my life are aesthetically challenging to draw! Like a pair of flat head tweezers, my mobile, pens and pencils. That’s a lot of straight lines!
So I dug deeper and here are my 5 important artefacts.
1: Grandmother clock.
I don’t know if they’re actually called this, but it’s what ive called it for years. It goes “ding” on the hour and every half an hour. So you never know if it’s 1, 1.30 or 12.30 because it will ding once only. Plus at 10 to 12pm, the dings only happen during pivotal speech-driven parts in movies/shows.
One of the first things I bought with my own money after I started working. Totally impractical in shape but a beautifully crafted bag.
3: Skin Tone Promarker
My best friend bequeathed this to me among other colours, and I rinsed it out so quickly. I love these pens so much, there are no words!
4: Instax Polaroid
I received this as a leaving gift at my last job, bittersweet but cool as hell gift!
This is my mum’s watch. After my chunkier Fossil watch ran outta juice and we couldn’t find a battery to fit it, I started wearing my mum’s old watch. It’s hella dainty but it’s my favorite.
Materials: Fine liner, pencil
This week was a very hard week for me. The decision to choose 5 artifacts really made me realise that moving to Japan has changed my attitude towards my possessions. I left a lot of my life behind back in England, most notably the things that were precious to me for fear of them being lost or damaged in the move. That’s not to say I don’t have important things here- but there are indeed few of them and they were somewhat difficult to capture in a still life piece.
I opted to draw 5 things that are important to me from my memories of them. The 5 objects all relate to loved ones in my life and have a deep personal meaning that is purely lost in the image itself. I decided to draw with continuous line drawings – each object continually drawn onto the page from my memory as I thought as deeply as I could about the defining elements of them. I drew over the top later with a fine liner to solidify the clearer elements of the parts I remember.
I feel like what I gained most out of this piece was a personal realisation of my changing life – and isn’t that what art is all about?
Maryann says ‘Similarly to Vicki the theme this week made me realize that most of the things that I really deem sentimental or special are things I left home in America. Why did I leave them in America, I’m wondering? Unlike Vicki though, I can’t really think of what those things are. So are they really all that special anyway? Whether or not they are, I’ve had to look around me and decide what objects matter to me. So here’s what I came up with:
1. Money tree in a ceramic pot. This plant is the first plant I bought when I got here to Japan. I thought I had killed it the first winter I was here, so I stuck it outside on my balcony and forgot about it until much later while poking around outside I found it again. Alive and well, despite my long neglect. It’s been thriving ever since.
2. Large Gudetama plush toy. I’m not even a huge Gudetama fan, but this plush is so sweet to come home to sitting on the couch. He is large and shiny gold and makes me smile. He also reminds me of my best friend who’s recently fallen for him pretty hard and has started her own collection of Gudetama memorabilia.
3. Wedding ring. I won’t wax poetic about love and all that stuff. This ring is the one object I have worn every since day and night for three years running. I don’t think I’ve taken it off for more than an hour at a time. It really has become a part of me.
4. Ginko leaf metallic orange water bottle. This year marks my eleventh anniversary with this water bottle. I take it with me every where. It’s gone with me on all my camping trips, and all my trips abroad. I plan on traveling the world with this water bottle, and I really do think I’ll cry if a day ever comes when I lose it.
5. A fork. Honestly there’s nothing particularly fancy or special about this fork, but I’m using it as a symbol for all the things I use in my kitchen daily. I am really into cooking and enjoy making nice meals for people. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am incredibly passionate about food, and that’s what this fork is meant to represent.
That’s all of them! I actually like the way this drawing turned out, but if I could change one thing it would be the Gudetama plush toy. He ended up getting a little too dark and a bit muddy in my opinion, and I wish I could smooth him over, brighten him up a bit, and make him look a little more metallic. Lastly, I am sorry for my lack of participation in the past few weeks! I intend to draw more from here on out!!