I’m considering the kind promise “I will reinvent whimsically.” The shape that speaks to me of whimsy is the spiral and, looking for animals that incorporate that shape, I discovered the chameleon. The chameleon reinvents itself as well, rearranging the crystal structure of its skin in order to change color (and therefore become more attractive or fearsome.)
I was in the mood for some color, so I decided to draw this chameleon using pastels. This drawing did not come easily to me. I had a day of mis-starts. That happens sometimes, and I want to shake it off and start again. This is part of reinvention: to allow for those times things don’t go my way and try again.
Another day, things went more smoothly. This little guy looks worried – a function of the placement of his eyeball. Gazing straight out (as in the photograph) he looks intense. With his eyeball slightly above the center of his eye, he looks a bit afraid. Maybe the artist draws what’s in her soul? I wasn’t consciously worried, but I consider pastels more of a serious artist’s tool than watercolor pencils. Perhaps I put more pressure on myself when I’m using pastels.
After I scanned the drawing, I thought about cropping it more tightly, but I decided I liked the edges – where the drawing meets not-drawing. For one thing, it shows the work – kind of like showing each step of a mathematical equation. Showing the edge echoes all those places in our lives where we balance between doing and not doing. We humans are attracted to edges… Water and shore, river and gorge…
Honestly, I didn’t enjoy the process of drawing this creature. I did enjoy the change of perspective after I finished. Looking out at the park in front of my apartment, I “caught myself” noticing the shadows on the tree trunks and thinking about how I would draw them. That’s what I love about drawing: looking at the world through artist’s eyes!