strawberry night live
I had a bowl of strawberries last night. I was halfway through devouring them when I realized that I had a rare chance to indulge in that most classic of exercises: the bowl-of-fruit still life. Being too lazy to get up, I used only the materials available, which were an envelope containing my utilities bill, and a gel pen. (Sakura Gelly Roll, fine point, if you’re a pen geek.) I was hoping that I’d discover why drawing fruits was popular in the course of this exercise. I thought at first that perhaps fruits provided a nice (and eventually tasty) introduction to capturing the way light falls onto surfaces, but according to Wikipedia, ever since the days of the Egyptian pharoahs, people have prized pictures of food. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_life) Once again, I was over-thinking. People who photograph their food and then send photos via Instagram are merely part of a proud and ancient tradition. The Egyptian pharoahs thought that pictures of food in their tombs meant that they’d have food in their afterlife, and the Instagram users think that…I don’t know what the Instagram users are trying to accomplish, but I like how an innate human fondness for pictures of food really links our far past with our narcissistic present.
As an aside, drawing with ink is a wonderfully freeing exercise. When every shitty line you laid down continues to stare you in the face long after you’ve discovered the best line to capture the curves of a strawberry, you can’t help but be traumatized so often by your failure that you reach a mental breaking point. Then you stop worrying and start drawing.
I just reread that last paragraph. Wow, I hope I don’t ever become a mom.