A close friend commissioned me to make a drawing of every member of our dog walking group.
I’ve been stuck on Molly. I have many great photos from her Mom and friends, and I started a very different piece back in June (or was it July) of 2021.
That piece just wasn’t speaking to me. I’d started it in the style of another of the drawings I’d done, but it just didn’t suit Molly as well. So I dragged my feet…there was no joy in Whoville.
In the last month I decided to walk away from that drawing entirely, which was a first for me. It came with consequences in the form of self-doubt. Had I lost my mojo?
In the lead-up to walking away from that drawing I was also busy with my business, and I had not been sketching or collaging or doing anything creative outside of work. I felt a creative constipation of sorts.
The holiday break was good for me because I just started playing again. The value of play can not be overstated. As a creative, sometimes you need to make something really bad, or good, or somewhere in between with nothing riding on it. There’s no pressure, just “pure” creation. I use quotes because pure isn’t really the right word. It’s more about letting go of any preconception or intentional design and just seeing what happens.
All of Molly’s pictures are in an album and I would flip through them every now and then. Molly is very much her own dog. She was a stray that adopted her family, and she has ideas about when things should happen. She’s a private dog…preferring to go off trail a bit to take care of business. She doesn’t waste time with too much jumping around and wiggly butt greeting. She tolerates her pack mates and she is sometimes protective of the group. But she is an anchor to the group. She is a founding member, and she is solid and reliable Molly. Ever present but not overly affectionate to the group.
This means the photo I eventually picked is probably not her most flattering, but I does match my experience of her. Aware of me, comfortable with me, but ultimately not impressed by me. I’m also making progress on it, and this morning, the sunlight coming through my front door threw a rainbow on the endeavor. I must be on to something.
This is General Cuddles. He no longer has teeth, he does have cataracts in both eyes, and he does not walk steadily so he rides in a pram.
His ferocious demeanor upon meeting strangers remains intact. Meet him on the path and learn how he got his stars. Dogs in his own pack give him a wide berth. That may be because he no longer recognizes members of his pack so any dog brushing by—friend or foe—gets a good snarl.
Certain liberties were taken with his attire to suit his ferocity (the faux medal of valor) and clan affiliation (his snappy tartan).