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1.1.11: Going Analog* in 2011

New Years Day Still Life #1
New Years Day Still Life #1

All those 1’s in today’s date: 1 a good number for beginnings. So even though I’m still under the weather, it felt important to focus on my goals for the new year, the accomplishments of the past year, and to start the year right with a little sketching.

I grabbed some of my new best friends to pose for me: tissues, Vitamin C, Sudafed and my Neti pot with which I have a love/hate relationship. It really helps, but it’s weird (leaning over the sink you pour salty water in one nostril and it flows out the other).

New Years Still Life #2
New Years Still Life #2
New Years Still Life #3
New Years Still Life #3
New Years Still Life #4
New Years Still Life #4

I’m very grateful to have finished the year with a clear understanding of where I want to go with my art, how to get there, and a feeling that it is a reachable destination. A couple of months ago that seemed impossible but thanks to the advice and encouragement of our wonderful community of online (and in person) artists who have supported me through my questioning, frustration, and struggles I seem to have found my way.

2011 Goals
2011 Goals

I wrote in my journal about the year past (not shown), and more or less doodled my goals for the new year, appropriate since they’re all about being more playful and in the moment. Being in that doodling, right-brained place, I wrote “goles” and thought wait, that’s wrong, tried golse, wrong, is it golze? No! Oh yeah, GOALS! Sheesh! I used to be a champion speller.

I want to be a more analog* person in 2011, less digital*. I want to move my body, not my mouse; I want to draw and paint with intention, a sense of adventure, and playfulness; I will spend less time on the computer. I want to slow down and appreciate each moment instead of rushing because “there’s not enough time.”

I want to experience the feeling of abundance that comes from “enough-ness” which you get by wanting what you have and not wanting what you don’t have. And I will practice being gentle: to myself, the earth, and others.

*Analog vs. digital makes sense to me, but technically really doesn’t in this context:

Analog describes a continuous system like a clock in which the hands move continuously around the face. Such a clock is capable of indicating every possible time of day. In general, humans experience the world analogically. Vision is an analog experience because we perceive infinitely smooth gradations of shapes and colors.

In contrast, a digital clock is capable of representing only a finite number of times (every tenth of a second, for example).  Computers are digital because they consist of discrete units, a series of zeroes and ones, called bits that are either on or off. (from Webopedia).

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I Found a Bee

I Found a (dead) Bee, watercolor & rubber stamps
I Found a (dead) Bee, watercolor & rubber stamps

I found this pretty bumblebee in a parking lot yesterday. It was quite dead so I picked it up and carefully brought it home in a napkin to draw.  I set it on a few hydrangea blossoms under my magnifying lamp, trying to see all the details but it was really hard to differentiate all the various black fuzzy things. I guess a larger magnifier is needed.

I was thinking about saving it to study it some more, but when I researched preserving insect specimens I got a little creeped out. First you’re supposed to put it in a “relaxing chamber” if they have rigor mortis (ick, just typing that gives me the heebie jeebies) to soften them up a bit so you can spread them out and pin them on a board and then you have to keep them warm and dry (so they don’t get moldy I suppose).

For now I’ll put him (or is it a her?) back in its little jar and think some more about whether I’m really cut out for entomology vs. etymology which I love and is much less messy and gruesome.

  • Entomology: study of insects (from Greek entomos cut up) + logia “study of’” from logos “speech, oration, discourse, word”
  • Etymology: study of the history and origins of words (from Greek etumo “true sense” + logia (see above)

Yep, I guess I’d rather “cut up” words than insects! But if you have experience or knowledge about preserving dead bugs for drawing purposes, I’d love to hear your advice.

Cartoon art Definitions Illustration Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages

Word Play: Hubris Meets Hirsute; Labial goes Labile

Hubris, Hirsuit: Excess Pride, Excess Hair, ink & watercolor, 7x6"
Hubris Meets Hirsute, ink & watercolor, 7x6"

Lying on the table, stuck full of needles in a room painted soft peach, with monks softly chanting in the background, my mind wandered to the acupuncturist’s use of the word “labile” in our pre-treatment conversation and the realization that labile and labial were not the same word. While the needles worked (or didn’t) their magic,  I pondered two other odd words I like to ponder: Hirsute and Hubris.

I’d finally looked those two up in the dictionary a few years ago. Hirsute, which  so perfectly sounds like “Hair Suit;” is defined as “excessive hair.” While the definition of Hubris is “excessive pride,” Hubris always makes me picture ancient Egyptian gods and hieroglyphics. Maybe a Horus/Osiris/Hubris connection?

As soon as I got home I grabbed my sketchbook and introduced the two (above). Then I looked up Labile and Labial to see which was the right word when describing fluctuating energy level or emotions.

Labile Labial, ink & watercolor
Labial Goes Labile, ink & watercolor

I was delighted to discover that Labial refers to Lips while Labile refers to Slips! (see the actual definition below).

Definition of Labile

Labile: Unstable, unsteady, not fixed. Labile comes from the Latin labilis, meaning liable to slip.

Definition of Labial

Labial: Pertaining to the lip. A sound requiring the participation of one or both lips is a labial (labium in Latin means lip) sound or, simply, a labial. All labials are consonants.

The word “lip” can be traced back to the Indo-European “leb” which also produced the Latin “labium” from which came the French “levre.” The German “lippe” is just a slip from the English “lip.”

I love words just as much as I love pictures!