In a complicated world, experienced by a complicated mind (mine, to wit), it is well from time to time to simplify. What could be simpler than pencil on paper? And it's so much fun, the pencil. Here are colored pencils in action at the Audubon Gallery at the North Carolina Museum of Art. I usually find taxidermy distressing and depressing, but the birds at NCMA are lovely. Their spirit remains.
I commend to you, in addition to the Audubon Gallery at NCMA, the Iris restaurant where, along with bright and tasty food and polite fellow diners, you get to rub shoulders with one of Patrick Dougherty's sublime site-specific branch and twig wall sculptures. Pencil with a bit of added wash happened here.
Why do I like blue pencil so much? I have no idea, but there we are. At a workshop I went to last weekend, I blue penciled my fellow attendees. And on blue-lined paper, too. I sense a theme evolving here.
On the other hand, we have non-blue pencils and here is one very dandy example ... I used a multi-colored, swirled-together leaded pencil for a quick drawing I made of my daughter Kate on her birthday. Those multi-colored pencils are delightful... they're rainbows in pencil form.
And here's a nude guy from a figure drawing session I went to, drawn on 18" x 24" paper. Brown pencil here, I don't remember which kind.
People and countries behave badly often, but pencils... they're low-key, they're steady, they're workhorses. On the cusp of July as we are, with its heat and its relative quiet (Northern Hemispherically speaking) and in the midst of global troubles, it's worthwhile to consider pausing with a pencil or two. That's what I'm doing.