drawing with sticks

Sumi Alone

My little studio in the orchard

Not a time to paint with black and white with all this riotous fall color going on, you might say.  And I would agree. . . with the exception of sumi ink, which prepares us resolutely for the upcoming season of dark dramas.

So along with my Muse friends I got out my sticks and sumi ink to doodle and explore lines and shapes and the beautiful warm gray tones you can get with sumi. This was the point when I stopped and did some writing. . .

A line takes a walk

It’s late afternoon and the light is dwindling

But it takes heart and sets off

No time to worry about direction

And the trees tip this way and that

but the line is still walking now

Emboldened by its very own blackness, brashness, ballsiness

Its I-don’t-care-what-you think-I’m-liking-this ness

Til the tiniest seed of doubt creeps in. . .

But does it need color?

And a great weariness takes over. . .

I manage to resist the color, yet contemplate further the doodle shapes. . .

    A skinny snake trying to digest an overly large mouthful?

    Some hearts drank too much at a convention?

    Rapunzel, just off the page, has let down her long hair?

And then, I almost load up a brush with a juicy load of red or yellow, but no! The purity of the sumi must not be tampered with. . .this time.


Palette Skins

Acrylic skins. There are so many ways to make them, by accident or on purpose, because acrylic paints and mediums are by their very nature plastic and malleable and peelable when dry. And you can cut them and punch holes in them and glue them on where you need them. Make skins with fluid acrylics or inks mixed with acrylic mediums. Pouring Medium is particularly fun. Make medallions or encase strips of music and glass beads in the medium as I’ve done here. Let it dry overnight on plastic sheet protectors and peel them off the next day or week or year!

This was the demo I did for Monday Muses.

fragranceacrylic skins, acrylics and ink line applied with a stick on 10 X 11″ w/c paper

Go out to your garden on a moonlit night and stand where you can see your shadow cast on what in daylight was familiar and now. . .take a deep breath and inhale. That’s the moon-nighted fragrance that blends with dreams and is always sweet scented with mystery.

Drawing with Sticks

The Monday Muse Group started a new session this week with ink play using sticks carved from drift wood I collected on the beach last week.

youarethetruthHiggens Black India and acrylic inks and gesso on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

You are the. . .bomb. the explosion, the fire and the flame

You are the river that quenches, the tide pools and eddies, the cascades and falls

You are the turns and bends, the back and forth.

Quit looking elsewhere. it’s all here.

You are the bearer of the truth in layers folded in one upon another

You burn and in the burning cool.


There is one spot open in the Monday Afternoon Muse Group if you would like to drop in and give it a try! Visit my website for more info and to email me.