I usually have at least a couple of types of projects going on in my studio. And even if not, I often will take a break from whatever project I am working on to do some work that is more immediate. Above you will see I have made a little corner space to do some small drawings.
Drawing helps me to re-connect with what feels like the heart of the work that I make. And what subject matter could be more suited to that for me than animals, which whom I spend a lot of time (my other part of my life being the therapeutic work which I do with animals) and with whom I feel a very natural, deep and vital connection. I have an ongoing series of drawings with animals which most often are done using a combination of sumi ink, watercolor, gouache, and aquarelle pencils.
The animals who I work with (including my own, of course) from the shelter and privately touch my heart every day. One of the cats who I spent a lot of time with recently was named Pallino. He was at BARC shelter, where I volunteer. Animals arrive at the shelter in widely varying states of health. He came in with advanced kidney problems, and the shelter did all they could to help him remain as comfortable as they could, giving him a lot of love and care. However, it became clear a couple of weeks ago that he was nearing the end of his journey on this earth. I spent a lot of time with him, especially in his last days, sharing Reiki energy with him and sending him images of being surrounded with light and love. From him, I felt he was so soulful, so sweet, so accepting of his condition and filled with gratitude for any attention and love.
After he was let go, though I knew it was his time, I still felt so sad and felt his spirit all around me. I had a few photos of him, which I often use for inspiration. I felt I wanted to see what I could do to try and capture some of the spirit of this deep soul with whom I had shared these quiet moments. Looking into the eyes of the animal from the photographs that I have of them is often a way to access that connection if I am not feeling it already.
Most often, when I am able to connect with the feeling from the animal, the drawing makes itself. When this was done, it felt that he was inhabiting the drawing. When I can look at the drawing later and truly feel that the spirit of the animal comes through, I know that it is done. If I am unfocused and it doesn't feel right, I usually will just try again to get to that place in my mind and heart, where I know it will be possible for the drawing to come forth.
Thank you Pallino, much love to you. . . .