And yesterday evening, I:
made a huge lentil and cauliflower biriyani;
and a huge bowlful of sliced and lightly-sugared strawberries;
ate some and put the rest in the fridge for another night;
put on some cheerful music to sew to;
realised after mending one shoulder strap that I simply couldn't sew to this particular music (the Warsaw Village Band) as it was far too energising;
and set up my easel with a sheet of A4 cartridge paper and spent an hour drawing like a maniac, working from some of my orchestra sketches from the autumn, getting covered in charcoal till I looked like a comedy coal miner...
I drew my favourite Maestro. I know, I know, crushes are the mark of a feeble mind. Tough; it's a good drawing. Yes, I did actually say that. I'm quite pleased with it, and I don't say that often; this morning I woke up to find the figure on my drawing board staring across the room at me, which is spooky but very satisfying. It means the drawing has "got" him, at least a bit.
Tonight I'm off to "Idomeneo" at the ENO, so won't be able to get back to the drawing until Thursday. I hope that when I get in at midnight or so tonight, I will still see him watching me (a girl can dream!...).
When I work in a large scale in charcoal I tend to overlay drawing upon drawing, so that part of the interest comes from the interaction between multiple layers of images. I discovered years ago at college that this process worked with images of buildings, especially interiors; and have since learnt it is also very effective with portraits. So at the moment my image of the Maestro has five arms and two layers of head; he looks like Shiva in a black velvet jacket.
It was interesting to realise that the Warsaw Village Band is absolutely not music to sew to. They're terrific; slightly mad stuff, a wildly trippy fusion of traditional Polish folk music and psychadelic trance, hypnotic and driving. As "get up and dance" - or "get up and draw", in my case - music, they're hard to beat. I sewed to Sibelius (Violin Concerto) and Rachmaninov (Symphonic Dances) yesterday; fabulous music, but music I could sew to.
Different energies, different rhythms, and different responses to them. Neither is less than the other; but they are not the same. No, different magics altogether.
Long live all the many and various magics of this world! - including the magic (for it certainly is one) of charcoal.