Drawing From Life

I feel certain it’s not only my wife that wonders what the heck I’m doing, doodling on my own stuff when I am supposed to be doing what Others think to be a better use of my time.

I can only say that the (likely temporary) diversion into the visual over and above photography is a way to expand my vision.

I also find that, when I’m immersed in the lines and colors of a “drawing” on the iPad, other thoughts come to me. It’s sort of like classical music for the eyes.

Or maybe I’m just lazy like she says. Dunno.

Come spring, I’ll carry this into “the field” and sketch from real life. Maybe by then, I will have more mastery of my brushes and pens. If not, it still seems worthwhile. To me.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I adore watching snails, with their “antennae” expanding and shortening. I kept my 7th graders fascinated on schoolyard excursions with watching them, too. It appears that the iPad art tools are lots of fun to work with. Tell me which app you are using, and maybe I’ll get me or my husband trying it, too.

  2. Fred, Upon seeing your “drawing”, I smiled, a big happy smile! I read a post this week and you seemed “down” and now this little whimsical drawing pops up. Excellent. Not lazy at all, but creative. I believe you were stuck in the rut of words and photography. Not that that is ever a negative. It is wonderful, especially yours. Yet, obviously your soul was aching to expand. May I say I believe I understand what you meant about being “immersed in your drawing and having other thoughts come to you”. I love color chips and brochures from the paint stores and Home Depot. I have a entire file of even outdated colors that I keep. It is not the color per se, but what it does to the flow of creativity. Whatever works! Oh yes, I am sure you are aware that others who are not gifted the same way will never understand us when we are gliding along our creative path. Happy drawings and please continue to share all your drawings. Hmm, the thought just came to me that perhaps another book, after the one you are working on, is in the works already in your head. A book with your whimsical drawings and words. One of those charming, little books that are so often called, “stocking stuffers” because of their small size. Delightful little books giving the reader countless smiles. Save those drawings!