My Melancholy Baby

My melancholy baby - thumbnail

Drawing of melancholy fish by Courtenay Bluebird.

In 2011, I was trying to draw every single day because I wanted to be able to draw well. It’s a vow I pick up for about twelve months at a time, and then put down suddenly for the next 36 months. For the entire 36 non-drawing months, I barely sketch a thing. Pretty much all-of-a-sudden I’ll get the throat-burning desire to draw again, at which point I will scramble back into a sketchbook and drink drawing down to the dregs for another twelve months

What I end up remembering when I add something complex into my schedule like drawing, is that there are only so many waking hours a day. (My mother’s been telling me this for years.) As I spend most of my day writing and revising or thinking about writing and revising, what work time I have left over is spent taking and editing digital photographs. (Yes, I’m shooting these things on my phone right now. I have a very, very nice SLR (a Leica)— but it’s not digital. I’m trying—and failing—to save up for a DSLR.)

Whatever personal time I have goes to my family and cleaning and eating and a little socializing with y’all. Sometimes, though, I have a moment and I draw something. Usually an illustration like the one you see here: a sketch that is not technically great on any level, but I try to make something coherent. And while I try to draw, my mind drifts over to a dream what my life might be like if there were another six hours in the day. I think I would draw more if I had a little more time to do it, but I’d probably work more. And that’s the truth.

If you had an extra handful of hours in the day, how would you spend it out? I worry that I’m too much like 30 Rock character Jack Donaghy:

    “I saw it, Lemon— my whole life passing before my eyes. Neil Patterson pitching me the rotating microwave tray. Me personally coining the phrase, ‘What’s the upside?’ Participating in Hands Across America. And all the time I’ve been on this earth I have only one regret— I should have worked more.”*

*Source: The website 30 Rock Quotes.

SKETCHES of THINGAMABOBS and PHOTOGRAPHS of WHATNOTS: Under Bluebird Blvd.’s art category, you can see some of the drawings I did in 2011. Also, if you’d like to see how I shoot on film, head over to Bluebird Blvd.’s photography category, and cruise back to around pages 7 through 11, where the print photography stuff is heaviest.

Everything Is a Continuum, You Know?



So, it has been quite a while since I’ve done any drawing at all. I cracked open a brand new sketchbook for our Alaska trip.

This rough drawing is the first time I’ve picked up a pencil in six months. My last drawing was probably “Vic improves his mind.”

This sketch also ties into Wednesday’s post about the rest of the Talkeetna portion of our trip!