Drawing, Drawing, Drawing, and Late Autumn Rhythms

Images of drawings Andrew Conti

Cool Air and cooler times, This now is the season of  active hearts.

This is very true for me. Throughout my life I have several times fallen in love with some activity, some place, or some person in the months of October and November. Something about the change of the light and the air, makes me light up inside, and brings the things around me into focus.
It was October when I had my first overwhelming childhood crush, when I first really learned to love to draw, when I first fell in love with New York, and when I first felt fully at home in Tokyo.
I’m in love again these days with drawing. The pure love of mark-making and the most direct form of thinking I know. That is the thinking that comes in moving pencils and pens in a kind of dance with your mind.
I have been filling multiple drawing pads lately. A small one that is with me at all times. I fill itwith all manner of thoughts and observations. Perhaps a sudden understanding of a composition, or a small object that captures my mind. Of course, I am always at my practice of collecting shapes for paintings as well.
Another pad of slickly smooth paper has become a repository for work based on masks and working out  images of gods and monsters, protectors and demons. This is a kind of dreamy drawing that I do often late in the evening. It’s not the kind of drawing that I often show anyone – unless of course something good happens. It’s my pure-form of experimenting, whatever has me intrigued ends up here, for better or worse, just to be seen and thought on.
Then there is deliberate drawing. The kind of deep meticulous drawing from nature. At once academic and meditative, there is often nothing more fun, and nothing that more readily quiets my mind.This is something I keep up on sort of like how I take vitamins. The kind of thing you do everyday, not because it is a goal in and of itself, but because it  helps build you up for all the things you want to do.
Lately for me this deliberate drawing has been all about portraits. I’ve been studying up on anatomical structure, and spending a good deal of time just staring into the mountains, forests, and open plains of my own and others’ features. I have no designs on pursuing portraiture, but as meditation and training it is fantastic.
Outside Autumn is in fool swing. The air smells richer somehow, and the wind carries with it the sounds of fallen leaves. Frost has made its first appearances, and the heater has finally turned itself on. Thankfully, food now tastes better, we can drink warm alcohol, and wrapping oneself in blankets to draw feels like the best thing one can do.
And of course there is always paint. A new box of tubes has just arrived, and the possibilities are high.
PS. I’m really big on all of Pentalic‘s sketchbooks and journals lately (especially the Traveler’s journal). Great paper, inexpensive, and well bound. They’ve become my go-to pad of late.