Words and Pictures

frogI love blogs that tell stories AND make pictures. 

Like Maira Kalman and this guy. (You really must go and look at these blogs — Maira Kalman is a genius.  And the ode to coffee on the second link is really terrific.  It is an inspiration to see what truly creative people can do with a blog post.) 

Sometimes I wonder why I can’t draw.  About five years ago, in an effort to overcome that deficiency, I decided that, at the very least, I could at least learn to draw things that could best be described as symbols of objects, rather than representations of the objects.  I did it with the help of Ed Emberley.  In no time, following carefully his directions, I was producing very attractive, sketchy things that could definitely be identified as:  Lawn Mowers!  Barns!  Typewriters!  It was wonderful.   

The only trouble is that I can never remember how to draw these things unless I have an Ed Emberley book with me.  I learned this when I was visiting my friend Debbie, who is a fabulous artist, and I discovered I couldn’t produce an umbrella in a game of Pictionary.  It was deeply embarrassing.

I think I will go back to Ed Emberly and try again.  Isn’t that what summer is for — learning new skills?


8 thoughts on “Words and Pictures

  1. I always wished that I could draw, but I’m a total loss once I have pencil & paper in front of me. I can envision what I want, but can’t draw it in any manner resembling what I imagine. That said, as I type this, I sit in a room with a beautiful watercolor done by a friend of my mom’s — when he was 87. He didn’t start to draw or paint until he was in his 80’s.

  2. I can draw, but only very simple things. And yes, Maira K. is a genius. So talented. So interesting. So prolific. I hate her. (Not really). A few years ago a friend gave me one of her books and I was so inspired because she takes things she sees in everyday life and transforms them into her own visions filled with color and whimsy. I’ve always loved how she depicts animals, filled with personality and character.

  3. Debbie, He can! Thank you for the link.

    Mari, Oh, if only talented people we admire just inspired us to do well, rather than bummed us out! (I have this problem too, which is why I read mostly long dead writers…)

  4. I can’t draw but I can doodle. Especially in meetings. My agendas always come out looking like a child’s version of a Miro sketchbook. What I really want to do is to be able to draw cruel and accurate caricatures. Perhaps thankfully for my careers prospects, I can’t.

  5. My husband has taken up drawing and painting as a hobby recently. He’s in his 40s, and he says the reason it is fun for him is that he doesn’t invest his ego in it at all. I’m threatening to take up art, too 🙂

    I love Maira Kalman, and Ed Emberly too. I have the book that helps you to make all kinds of drawings out of thumbprints, and my kids and I do it together occasionally. It’s always entertaining!

  6. Oh U-Dad — to be able to draw cruel and accurate caricatures — that would be wonderful. But YOU can do that with words. And those can be equally bad for your career, so you’re in luck!

    Hello Ms. GentleReader — If you do, please tell me! I love that thumbprint book, by the way.

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