Brown Eyes Blue, Some Musings On Life

Color has always been important to me. Even as a small child, the aesthetic of color was something I paid attention to. Growing up, we were one of the last families that I know of to get a color TV. After constant pleas to get one, my father finally asked me why it was such a big deal to me. I looked at him and said, ‘real life is in color daddy’. I was four. I guess I was precocious. The reason I remember this exchange, is because my dad found it funny, and would repeat the story to whoever would listen. We still didn’t get a color TV.

I have brown eyes. Occasionally throughout my life, I have wondered how different my life would have been if they had been blue. We all know that blue eyed people have more fun. That’s not to say that for most of my life I ever really wished for that. At least not until recently in my waning years, and being alone so much due to covid19, and ruminating in my own mind about “what could have been”. For most of my life I actually found blue eyes, especially really light ones, creepy, almost devilish. Heheheh. I know, I know, how dumb that is. It may have come about from something I may have heard when I was young, who knows? It did seem that a lot of people that seemed insincere had blue eyes, and often actors with light blue eyes played the “bad guy”. It occurs to me that this is how unreasonable attitudes can arise. I definitely don’t want to add to that shite show. For a long time the only people that I personally knew with blue eyes were my grandmother on my Mom’s side and her second husband who I knew as Grandpa, and I never felt that way about them, so weird.

Here’s my theory on this, as I grew older, it became very obvious that people with blue eyes had the world on a string. Just like blondes, blue eyed people seemed to get away with a lot that the rest of us schmucks couldn’t. And I get it, now. (Watch Republic of Doyle, you’ll see what I mean). So here’s my theory on “spoiled” blue eyed people; people can be very superficial, particularly here in the US. Historically blue eyes have been revered. Songs that played on our heartstrings. Movies and how those blue eyed ones are treated, usually being chosen for the main protagonist, even if not the best actor for the part. I suppose that in this case, the lack of a color TV did me a favor. I know many may disagree, but as I grew up, it was obvious to me that kids at school got treated better, often learning very young to play the cloyingly adorable golden child. Then regarding songs, there are a few that I can think of, that highlight or praise brown eyes, one is Crystal Gayle’s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”, which is a beautiful song, and another is “Beautiful Brown Eyes” by Rosemary Clooney. But for the most part, it’s those blue eyes people sing of. Oddly enough, I don’t have a lot of portraits that I’ve done, where the subject has blue eyes. I don’t think that that is a conscious thing.

I did have a childhood neighbor, who had blue eyes, and she was the typical middle class princess. I wasn’t allowed to touch anything in her room, and everything was precious, and dolls were it for her. I played with dolls, but I also liked climbing trees, drawing, building forts, and riding horses. Also she only had to bat those blue eyes to get what she wanted, while, I only had to do nothing to suddenly be in trouble. Go figure. I know this is bordering on whining about things that can’t be changed, but it is, to me, one of those things that just seemed to happen a lot. That’s not to say I thought about it much, or even at all. I was a naturally happy kid, and things always seemed to roll off my back. And even as a small kid, I knew that I preferred things the way they were for me. Somewhere in my kid brain, I knew that I was good with the status quo, and just got bored with her. I was what people called back in the day, a “tom-boy”. I wore that like a badge of honor, completely clueless that they didn’t necessarily mean that in a good way. I think that there was only one time that it brought me to tears. I had an older cousin, and he saw that I was upset. I remember to this day what he said to me. He knelt down to my level, and said, “don’t worry, tom boys make the best women.” Then he winked at me. And he was right, heheheh.

Then there are those with green eyes. They always seemed more mysterious and just didn’t have that same shallow vibe. My kids have eyes that change from green to hazel to almost yellow/gold depending on the light. And it’s awesome, I may be a bit biased. Funny how our different experiences in life can “color” the way we think. and By the time we did get a color TV in my childhood home, life had hit us pretty hard, and it just didn’t seem as important.

As an artist, I bounce back and forth between sketching, black and white inking, and vibrant color, and enjoy using all of these styles of art. But I also know my four year old self was right, life is definitely better in color.

Thank you for joining me, and I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

Inktober In Review; Week Two, “Sixty’s Style, Giants and Legends”.

For those of you who are following along, I won’t go into the whole description of Inktober again. I will just mention for those who don’t know about it, to please visit my last two blog posts, or head on over to Inktober on Twitter. So I’ll jump right in here about my first ink drawing for week two. The prompt word for the day, was “frail”. As I do, I didn’t want to go with anything cliche’, and unfortunately this led me to procrastinate until I basically had no time, energy or desire to draw anything. But not wanting to skip a day, I did a very quick drawing of earth. Yes, I know it is not accurate in any way, which further on in this post, you’ll see was humorously pointed out to me. However I do feel it gives an OK representation. My idea here was to point out the fragility of our one and only earth. I hoped that people would pick up on that, otherwise, my “frail” image, is mostly a “fail”. Ah well, such is the exciting and dangerous world of art.

For day nine of our little adventure, the prompt word is “Swing”. Thinking out of the box and into the dark of Halloween, I thought an image of a child in a red cape, (wink), who decided to swing her lantern into the dark of night in search of, ahem, her grandmother as a large unfriendly, (though he came out looking more wise then “bad”) wolf followed her would be appropriate. I had a little more time to play with this, and I was happy with the shadowing, and how the composition generally came out.

Day ten, the prompt was “pattern”. I wanted to get an elephant or two into the mix this week, so playing around a bit, while also watching TV and “chill”, this is what I came up with. This whole thing was just an exercise in doodling. But it’s not too bad. My older brother, pointed out that it reminded him of 1960’s art. So there you go. This was a much better reaction than his about my “earth” drawing, where-in he inquired as to if “Australia, (where he mostly resides), was in the mix?”

The prompt word for day eleven, is “snow”. I decided to go with an image I had from a ride “up the road” out of our little college town, to a Christmas tree farm. The day we went it was bitterly cold, but very beautiful. There had been a fresh coat of fallen snow, and the trees and fields through the woods, were pristine, and just wonderfully quiet.

Finding that day twelve was “Dragon”, was fun. For a few years, in between jobs, I took a part time position at what was known as a “head shop”. It was actually two separate stores owned by one person. I worked on the side that sold a lot of hippie style clothing, rings, incense and things along that line. The owner also graciously “allowed” me to sell some of my hand made crochet bags, and other things I made, for the low low price of 40% ! (I have never since, worked with anyone who expected to make more than 10% off of my work. and neither should you.) Anyway, for some reason I got into drawing dragons, (I may have had it in mind to do a kid’s book.) In any case, it brought back some funny and sometimes odd memories (perhaps a story for another day), as I worked on this drawing.

I have to confess that I was actually at work when I did this quick sketch for the day 13 prompt, “Ash”. So I was interrupted a lot, and tried to get it done as fast as I could. This is why it may not be the best for a number of reasons. (I won’t point them out, as I learned a long time ago, with one’s looks, and art, it’s best not to point out what you perceive as problem areas, because most of the time no one notices anyway.) Where was I, oh, yes, I think depicting Ash from “Ash vs Evil Dead” probably fits the prompt and the whole Halloween vibe perfectly.

This last little drawing is for both the day fourteen and fifteen prompts; “Overgrown” and “Legend”. I pictured a story about a young boy, completely overgrown to giant proportions, who was the object of ridicule by his peers, until one day a great tsunami hit their seaside village. He saved them all, and was then a hero. I literally wrote a sort of sing song-y story to draw this picture for, which turns out, was for me anyway, a good way to make the picture evolve. So there you have it, week two of Inktober in review. I hope you enjoyed this post, and have maybe been inspired to try an art challenge. Thank you for reading my blog! see you next time!

From The Sketchbook; Idea File

Day tripping

Hey guys! Here where I live, we have had, yet again another week of mostly rain. In light of that, (or lack there of light), when we do get the odd sunny day, and it also happens to be my day off, well, if I have a chance to go somewhere, I go for it. Today’s adventure was to take a day trip over hither and yon, through the lovely Catskills. So we grabbed our water bottles and hightailed it to the mountains. And other than one town being a place better left unmentioned, and a twenty minute detour through the hills of “Deliverance”, it was a beautiful day. Also, due to this impromptu diversion, I’m a bit late with this post. But here it is, and this “From The Sketch Book” is a little different. I thought that maybe you would be interested in a little insight into how the mind of an artist works, or at least this artist. So this blog is just that.

“Q and A a Day”

Some time ago I happened upon an interesting sketchbook of prompts. It’s a thick book with four blocks per page and one prompt per page. It’s set up so that the artist can return to a block from each page, over the course of four years. This struck me as a very cool idea. And the best part is, although originally a seventeen dollar, (nineteen dollar book in Canada), it was at a dollar store! That’s right guys, a dollar! So without further adieu, I give you sketches from “Q & A a day” , A Dollar Store Score. (I should also mention that these sketches usually took under a half hour, some only minutes, so are by no means, “master pieces”, and are in no particular order.)

“Sunflowers”

Apparently I was “feeling sunflowers on this day”. I have no idea why. But I thought this would be a good one to start with, as most of today was very “sun flowery”. (Except later in the afternoon when surprise, it rained. Which is OK because we were home by then.)

“Hamlet”.

This one’s simple, the only Shakespearean thing I could think of was “Hamlet”.

”Dandy Lion”

I guess this is my idea of a “pattern in nature”, or maybe I just felt like drawing a dandelion.

“The Tramp and The Kid”

Somewhere in “editing”, the note I had written about this little drawing got waylayed. I actually did this while at the “other” job, (don’t tell 😉 For some reason there was a book about Charley Chaplin on the shelf. This is my rendition of a scene from that book.

Self Portrait. (I think I need some lotion.)

“Balloon Kid” forever!

Still looking for a “Balloon Kid” so I can be nostalgic. There were only a few games I liked and was actually able to play; this, Sonic, and the game all parents liked, Tetras. (I do like “Kingdom Hearts” now, but rarely have time to play), ah, well.

“Ladie’s”

If you’re a woman, this needs no explanation.

“Here Be Dragons”

Although this isn’t my best dragon drawing, I liked the idea of this because of one of my favorite quotes; “Here Be Dragons” meaning “dangerous, or unexplained territories”, a quote often used on ancient maps. Which pretty much sums up my life experiences.

“Solace”

A cup of tea and some chocolate is usually a good antidote to the “dragons” in my life.

“Target”

Target practice for those dragons.

“Umbrella”

This one just said to “draw an umbrella”, which are always fun to draw.

“Pop”

…not sure if I’ll ever get this kernel completely popped.

“?”

Can you guess my sign?

Too obvious?

“Dog day”

My puppers had her back to me… humm, did I offend her?

“Life of a Tree”

Again, I’m not sure that this tree will ever “grow to maturity”, but it will be fun if I actually do it.

“Wand”

Come on, “Genie’s lamps”, aren’t real.

I hope you enjoyed this, and maybe when I do this again, I’ll have a bit larger piece of popcorn, and an oak sapling. See you next time!