Author: Mary Gordon

Relation + Connexion

I’ve started a new series!! As you may have noticed by now, I tend to go through phases. The longer this blog is alive, the more categories will appear on the sidebar – I like to keep it fresh.

This new series is titled “Relation + Connexion“. So there’s a physical connection, a relation between one and another, but there’s more to it (it goes deeper than skin)! I already have a lot of ideas and drafts in progressย for this series that have a little less to do with physical contact. But for the kickoff, yes, they will mostly be focused on the physical side. Prepare yourselves. Love is in the air. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll be reposting theseย later (full size), along with the rest of the sketches that I’ve been working on, but here is a little sneak peak of the first four that got me started:

Hold My HandNever Let Me GoEnd Of The NightPalm to Palm

So this is the beginning of another journey! I’m excited to share my drawings with you as they come to me. I’ve received so many notes of encouragement and I just have to put out a big “THANK YOU” to all my loving and supportive family and friends!! I love you all so much and appreciate all you have to offer and say! Your lives are an inspiration to me and my art: you keep me growing whether it’s in your critique or your compliments. ๐Ÿ™‚

I do believe I am happy with this new start…

Jump for Joy

LET IT OUT!

When you feel something, whether good or bad, no matter what it is, I firmly believe you should show it. Feeling sad? Show it – give others the opportunity to comfort you. Feeling stressed? Show it – maybe you can share your burden. Feeling confused? Show it – someone has the answer, if you just ask the question. Feeling overjoyed? Show it – allow everyone to celebrate with you in this great feeling! Spread the love!

jump

This is my “jump for joy” sketch. I think it’s an incredible feat just to be able to do this (don’t try this at home kids!) but it expresses SO MUCH! I saw a shirt once that said “Happy People Dance”. How true. I mean, that’s not the extent of it, but I definitely believe that truly happy people will express themselves in some way, I think you should! Show your happiness, spread that joy, that energy! Let your life be a contagion of emotion.

Spread the love, people. You never know who’s watching and needs that affection.

I do believe I am HAPPY with this sketch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Turtle Wins The Race

I’ve been feeling very flexible as of late. In fact, I’m finding it difficult to really feel the basic poses anymore unless I go into class feeling sore to begin with! It’s pushing me to work harder, which is good.

My yoga instructor noticed the ease with which I took a backbend last week and gently encouraged me to take one of my feet off the mat. I appreciate these little tips since they help me put everything in perspective – I may be able to do step 1, but that’s just the beginning! Yoga is a constant growth process,ย there is no end goal. There are tiny goals to advance your practice along the way (this year I resolved to do a handstand, for instance), but once achieved you don’t stop there – you keep going. ๐Ÿ™‚

The backbend I took was Wheel, and I absolutely collapsed without being rooted by both feet. It was humbling for me, but I will continue to work on it. Here is what it would look like if I could do it perfectly:

Extended Wheel

…or something to that effect. As much as I encourage everyone to try something new and by all means to stretch as much as possible, I do not recommend just popping into wheel without warming up first. It is usually at the end of a hot class when your body is relaxed and nimble that we take our backbends and inversions. If you try this at home, please do some spinal warm-ups first!

In yoga, if something feels easy, we slow down. Slowing down and continuing to move with fluidity and grace is actually WAY HARDER than moving rapidly from pose to pose. Sometimes we need to slow down to feel it, so challenge yourself by moving with *intention* instead of powering through it, in some area of your life this week.

I do believe I am happy with this sketch.

With Passion and Verve

I met a ballerina last night – she was incredible: so flexible and nimble in the strongest but leanest of bodies, moving with the grace of the 15-year classically-trained ballerina that she is. It was an honor to be with her in the yoga class we both attended, and she will endlessly inspire me.

When I got home I started this sketch – it’s not of the dancer I met, but it’s inspired by her, by the passion I saw, the fire, and again, the grace.

DANCER

The power in the movement is contagious to me; my body hears the silent music and I must dance.

Can I say that this is my all-time-favorite of all the sketches I’ve done? I think so. I’m very proud of it, not in a boasting way (I can draw better than you) but simply because I see how far I’ve come and as the artist know exactly how much effort I put into it. Sure, it took longer than any of my others but it was so worth it!!

I do believe I am extremely happy with this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a Stretch

Inspired by the ballet photos I’ve been filing lately I decided to do one a little less danceย and more about the life behind the dancer. Everything I can think of takes practice – at least the things I admire. The ballerina can’t do the dance the routine without the endless hard work; the yogi can’t take scorpion without dedicated practice — everything takes time and effort. It’s a growth, a constant process.

So this is a glance at the stretching, the building, the patience that is developed behind that perfection.

Ballet stretch

 

And the prettiest thing to me in this sketch is that it is so imperfect. ๐Ÿ™‚ Every time I look at it I see another flaw – but I’m not fixing it. It’s a conscious decision to be satisfied. It’s accepting that my work is where it should be at this moment – if I draw it again, it will be different, it may be better in some areas, worse in others, but it’s the best of its kind right here and now.

Remember that every decision is a building block, accept it for what it is and work up from that foundation.ย 

I do believe I am happy with this one.

Where Is The Hip Hop?

โ€œAnd those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.โ€

-Nietzsche

This one is inspired by the hip-hop dancers, who I have aways greatly admired. So I LOVE ballet, and always have. I think hip-hop/street dancers combine that passion and a lot of the same moves but in a modern and free-spirited way, which is more my style. There is a perfection to ballet, and in it is beauty. But with hip-hop there’s so much freedom of movement and passion involved! I know both sides can be played as better, but for this sketch, I took the inspiration from the street-dancers. This girl is in baggy jeans and sneakers:

Hip Hop

A whirlwind of movement.

I do believe I am happy with this one.

A New Beginning

Alright we’re back in business!

I’ve decided I’ve had enough with the skeletons – at least for a little while. As I’ve developed my yoga practice and have focused more on fitness, I’ve rediscovered my love for dancing. I spent a few nights gathering inspirational photos for my next series, which will be dance/workout inspired.

I’m sticking with my imperfect sketchy quality – the darker and messier the better, in my opinion. This one here is not the first one I did, but it’s one of my favorites from the couple that I’ve been working on over the past few days. It is untitled as of now:

BackbentAlmost ballet-like in poise, but with the strength of a yogi, I love the grace and grit of it all. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh and as an aside, I have a lot of trouble with hands (real ones, with skin) so these may have an odd look about them. Hopefully I will get better with practice!

The next few are very similar so if you like this one, get excited! If it’s not your thing, I’m sorry, bear with me until this phase passes.

I do believe I am very, very happy with this new venture!!

Selfie

Well as I mentioned, I think I’m done with my yoga series. That was brought to a close with my last post which depicted Crow. Not bad, if I do say so myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I still haven’t really found my niche on the next subjectย – I have a few ideas that I’ve played around with, but they’re not finalized yet. More to come…

In the meantime, I dug around for some old material. This is actually a self portrait I did a while ago, working from an Instagram photo I took during the first snow of that year. Don’t remember which year…

My face, myselfI actually blew the photo up on my laptop and traced the outline of my face (cheating, I know!) since I wanted to work off of something I could count on as accurate. Hey, it worked! It took meย days to finish this, but I really like how it turned out. I played with a few different styles and techniques – you can see it was almost comic-book-esque with the cheekbones and some of the hair; the face is over-exposed and intricately accurate; the coat is sketchy and almost pen-like; I used a messy child-like coloring method on the hair, but kept the rest of the shading crosshatched; erased for highlights, as I was taught in art class so many years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

I wanted to give the impression of snow and wind since that was what the picture dictated, but it’s really hard when you’re drawing it! The hair that’s in front of my face is the obvious choice, so I tried to make it almost transparent, wispy, disappearing.

It does look a lot like me, so that’s a plus. The overall style isn’t my favorite, but it was fun and I like to look back and see where I came from as my style transitions.

Overall I do believe I am very happy with my first real self-portrait. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A bird without wings

There are lots of animal-inspired poses in yoga (i.e. Camel and Cow, Down Dog) and quite a few of them are birds: there’s Bird of Paradise, there’s Pigeon, and then there’s Crow. It always seems to me to be perched there, wingless, or at least with that impression.ย Here’s what it looks like:

crow

Heart shining forward, head creating a tripod with your hands, complete balance. You can take this up to a handstand, scorpion, or a whole bunch of other poses! At any rate, it’s a fun one, a balance pose is always a challenge. It has taken me some time to master this one – when I was younger my light weight made it easy to pop right up onto my elbows. Now that I’m older (and heavier) it’s not so easy. I had a fear of falling on my head for the longest time until my yoga instructor encouraged me to give it a shot again and spotted me as I tried. With guidance and security I was able to achieve Crow this year and feel very comfortable with it now! I’m so happy, it’s a major accomplishment and I hope it turns into a stepping stone to other great poses. It has opened the door to a plethora of new challenges and experiences!

I do believe I am happy with this.

What your shoulders can bear

I felt like doing more than usual tonight. I wanted to show Plow pose, but also the next step from there – Shoulder Stand. I personally love both of these poses, it’s sort of my test to new yoga studios. If they do Plow at the end of class, it’s got my thumbs up! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So the drawing on the left is what I started with, really small and simple, just trying to show what the idea is. The right shows full Shoulder Stand. Well, I think you’re actually supposed to support your back with your hands, so there isn’t so much pressure on your neck and shoulders. But I forgot that, so I drew it incorrectly – oh well!

As a side note, this type of pose is called an ‘inversion’ (for obvious reasons), and it’s really healthy! It’s good to reverse the blood flow, get things moving around, send some blood to the ol’ brain. It helps increase your circulation, too, so give it a shot.

Your Two Shoulders

As I’ve mentioned before, getting back to the sketchy-ness I once had, and so far I’m really happy with the way things are coming out! I love the darkness of it – there’s so much more to look at when your eye almost has to search for it. Adds character, too, I think. Question, if you care to answer: is it givingย new character to the skeleton, or is it my own character being imputed to the page?

So that’s it, Plow and Shoulder Stand. As a warning I think I’m going to bring this yoga series to a close soon. It’s a vast collection that is ever growing, but I don’t think I’ll get to finish all of the poses, at least not right now. I want to let my mind take me on its own track as I am inspired by the events in my life, rather than sticking with the yoga idea for longer than my attention span can take it. At some point I’m bound to get sloppy or careless, and I want to keep these drawings fresh and new! We’ll see what’s next…

I do believe I am happy with this set.