Fading Out

Yesterday I mentioned re-writing your past in a way that lightens the darks and fades the shadows. Today I wanted to try to do the same thing visually.

Today was a day of too-saturated color, too much high dudgeon, too vivid emotions. Dramatic clients, fierce news, people shrilling for attention, credibility, everyone demanding to be heard and admired.

Poppies. Graphite, watercolor, pen on watercolor paper.

At the end of the day I was exhausted without having done any heavy lifting. So I decided to draw some cheerful flowers. Poppies are always cheerful, breezy. But the colors were too much, too bright, too assertive on my retina’s rods and cones. (Rods distinguish light; cones distinguish color. There are more rods, but they are not as sensitive as cones.)

In light of yesterday’s fading of memories, I did the equivalent with drawing. Using my new favorite Art Graf Stix, I drew the poppies, using shades of gray and black. I added very faint touches of red-orange and blue-red. Just a touch.

The final effect is light and airy without too much burden of color or detail. For right now, that suits me perfectly.

Quinn McDonald is an art journaler whose art makes meaning.


2 thoughts on “Fading Out

  1. This is totally off topic, but I followed the definition link for “dudgeon” and saw the word went from meaning some kind of wood used for the hilts of daggers to indignation. Must have involved indignation so intense that stabbing ensued. Extreme physical retaliation for speech has, in a few centuries, gone from commonplace to unusual enough to be surprising, and language changes to match.

    This made me think of Steven Pinker’s new book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”. Impressions left by ubiquitous media to the contrary, humans are getting less violent. This is also the observation of “Human Security Report 2009/2010” and “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics” by John Mearsheimer.

    It’s not clear exactly what’s going on, but here’s a thought: children learn (one hopes) to “use their words” instead of responding violently when they’re angry or frustrated. Thus simply *becoming more articulate* reduces violence. Writing is another way to become more articulate. So that means that in a small way, journaling helps advance world peace. Way to go.

    • I’m probably the last person to use the word “dudgeon” which is now only used with “high.’ I looked up the dagger story, too. Journaling has a lot of benefits, world peace is just one. The NIH published a series of research results several years ago that indicated that women who journaled regularly had a higher level of remission of breast cancer than those who did not journal.

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