after a run day.

I’ve been playing with a deliberately loose style, and I’m discovering that it’s a fine line between messy and interesting.

My writing here does not usually mention that on some days of the week when I’m not trying to be an artist, I’m trying to be a runner. It also doesn’t really mention that I’ve been struggling with that latter goal for about seven months after a knee injury.

On the other hand, things have been improving and today I went for a pleasant winter training run with my friends.

I have also been recording some video for a little series that I’m putting together, and between shots another friend of mine nabbed my camera and suggested that she take some video of me “for a change.” Sadly, she didn’t quite figure it out and instead took a few still photos…. but photos of anything but stillness. She held the camera behind her back and snapped a couple seconds of failed-video but successful pictures.

loose and fast

Trying to capture motion is a tricky thing. When I drew cartoons, I could easily emphasize motion by a few little woosh-lines behind the character. But when sketching, I've been playing with the idea of quick and simple drawings, fast squiggly sketches that ignore certainty in their lines and definition in their shape. I painted this simple drawing with a big brush and sloppy edges and a broad dynamic range of colour depth, trying to blur the edges in a way that a camera might, and in fact did in this photo, to suggest the subject was moving too fast to capture more accurately. I think it's a skill I need to keep working on.

After I downloaded my camera I discovered her mistake (and my gain) in the form of a trio of blurry photos of myself running down a suburban street and another friend making faces to the camera beside me.

Subject matter for a sketch journal should not be boring, static scenes, but instead capture the fluidity of everyday life. I plan to let this picture fully dry and then do some writing around the edges to fill out the page, just like have for a dozen pages before it.

And I think the subject of being able to run again is very appropriate… and just like the painting, a little messy around the edges.