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This week I simply didn’t feel like writing an essay for the newsletter, and although my inner Virgo is sitting on my shoulder hissing “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG,” because I had committed to an essay a week, I reminded myself that this project and my “commitments” are a structure of my own making. Changing course is fine and good! A truth that is so easily obscured in my stubborn lizard brain!
Instead I offer this comic I made, inspired in style by Lynda Barry. And, as always, recommendations and a work recap at the end. Here is “A Bedtime Story.”
THE WEEK IN WORK
I’m moving on to week three of The Artist’s Way. Last week I continued morning pages (writing three pages of whatever, long hand, every day) and the artist’s date (more below). The second week of the book focuses on a few things, but what resonated with me was the part about addressing skepticism and practicing having an open mind.
I worked on this comic a lot this week! It took a long time and I learned a lot in the process, important things like “let the pen dry before trying to erase underlying pencil marks,” as well as subjective stuff about color pairs, background techniques, etc.
For my artist’s date this week I took an evening watercolor class, hosted by Studio Life Seattle with the painter Sara Simon. Supplies were mailed to attendees in advance so I had everything I needed on hand. It was super fun, I learned a lot about watercolor technique (I took one class seven years ago and have forgotten so much!) and I was impressed by how well it translated over Zoom.
Subscribing to Drawing Links by Edith Zimmerman. Edith used to be the editor for The Hairpin back in its heyday, and now she draws comics about her life. Her work inspires; this comic (which she published prior to starting her newsletter) about finding sobriety is beautiful. AND I participated in a recent invitation to send her a still life, which you can see in this issue (look for the still life with metronome, jar of poppy seed pods, and weeding knife).
Writing with these pens. With these freakin’ morning pages I’ve never done so much longhand writing IN MY LIFE. I hated all our pens, which we acquired haphazardly, and like a truly insane person I recalled a moment years ago of using a pen at Sadie’s parents’ house in LA that I loved. This is her dad’s preferred pen and it’s great - a gel roll that dries fast and feels good on the page. Talk about an entire family with impeccable taste! Love those Phillipses.
Reading this short story by Samantha Hunt, “Go, Team.” I love Samantha Hunt; She and other women writers (for example, Carmen Maria Machado) have a style of writing that I’m so into, a combination of totally contemporary and rooted in modern life, with a twist of science fiction or fantasy. Does this style have a name? Sci-fi lite? Do you know any other writers who write like this? Please tell me if so!
Listening to John Prine. I’m particularly loving “I Remember Everything” which makes me think about noticing and paying attention. Also “Taking a Walk”, a perfect quarantine song when sometimes the only time I get outside is for a morning walk. And finally, of course, “Angel from Montgomery.” RIP John.
Thanks for reading! If you have thoughts on changing course, pens, or bedtime, let me know by replying to this email. I would LOVE to hear from you!