Thursday, August 13, 2009

My dad sometimes said, "Quit your crying or I'll really give you something to cry about."

That never made much sense to me.

He also said, "Don't tell me about what you can't do. Show me what you can do."

That made some sense to me, and I said those words to myself today when I whined that I couldn't draw because I didn't have enough time. Wah, wah.

My whining started when I spotted an amazing pink flower. I wanted to draw it nice and slow, to look at each petal and try to render it's color and shape on paper. But I had no time for that.

After stomping my foot and pouting, "I can't stay here long enough to draw, wah," I pulled out a couple of sharp pencils and my Moleskine to see what I could do with what time I had.

My drawing is not a great piece of art, but making it was a great way to spend five minutes. After putting my pencil to the paper and my mind on the flower, I forgot my feelings of time deprivation and instead realized that a quick sketch in a notebook is better than a big bunch of nothing. It's better than a sharp stick in the eye, too.

My dad's sharp words and quick phrases, from way back when, stay with me long after he's been gone.


  1. It's so true, parents say the strangest things to their children. A particular favourite of mine was 'I'll take the back of my hand off your face'! Made no sense, but you cowered in fear anyway as you knew exactly what it meant. Another favourite was 'do you want me to take my belt to you? Yes of course I want that!'

    Your drawing is beautiful, especially for five or so minutes. It's amazing what you can do in that time. You really do lose all sense of space and time.

  2. Yes, it's that losing space and time feeling that is so wonderful, and hearing my dad's voice in my head was wonderful too....made me laugh and be glad he was such a memorable character.

  3. Very nice. It is nice that you have memories of your Dad... the second saying... "Don't tell me what you can't do. Show me what you can do." is a great encouraging saying. I take my camera with me wherever I go so I can take pictures of what I want to draw... that way if I do not have time to finish a drawing I can look at the photo and finish it later. But you did a great job with the time you had.

  4. another beautiful flower and thank you so much for leaving a comment on my page. I am the true beginner in this case because your work doesn't seem like amateur stuff either and there's just so much details to gawk at :)

  5. Great 5 minute sketch! I had to laugh at your father's sayings - my father used to threaten to knock us into the middle of next week ... sometimes that didn't sound so bad - quick exit from a really uncomfortable place! lol nancy

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog and the kind comments. I really enjoyed your sketches. I like how you have the outlined ones with the colored ones. I have been thinking of starting a Nature Journal because my garden produced well this summer but wasn't sure and put it off. I am now remotivated and inspired by your site. Thanks

  7. I really lose myself when I'm painting, more than I do when I'm drawing. I think possibly because I'm a very expressionistic painter but it's a wonderful meditation.

    I saw on another of your pages about the EDM group. What a great site! I've now joined it :D

    @nanke's stuff: My dad used to say that about knocking us into the middle of next week. I'd totally forgotten that expression! Lol.