Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Think ink -- it's Inktober

Yesterday I realized that today would be Inktober. Inktober is this art challenge that demands that you do an ink drawing every day in October. It can be anything! It can just be your cup of coffee. Just do it.

Then ideally you post it on Instagram and slug it #Inktober.

I did Inktober last year. I never imagined how it would change my life. The first day, I went out in the evening, and I drew one of the doors at the Buffalo Zoo which is pretty much across the street. Then I went home with it and took a brush to it and tried to ink in the shadows I had seen. Then I sat there at the dining room table and looked at it.

I loved it!

I still like this drawing, the drawing of the zoo door. Actually I did two, on facing pages. The one on the left was the one I brushed up and the one on the right was there because ... You know what, I forgot why I did two. But it is still something I do a lot, do one drawing and then another of the same thing, right away. You flip the page and start over. On account of you never know.

They give you prompts for Inktober but the prompts are optional, and though I thought about using them -- I wanted to use them -- I could not get it down to a good system. The first prompt was "Poisonous," and I was going to draw the Five Venoms Tattoo studio over on Hertel Avenue. But the plans hit a hurdle. I think it was raining or something, or I could not get a good vantage point on Five Venoms. It was a great idea but alas. All of a sudden you miss that day and it is the next day with a new prompt and you are behind.

So I adopted a theme of my neighborhood. Everything I drew had to be within walking distance, or a very quick bike ride. My neighborhood is amazing for Inktober's inky themes. I am unbelievably set up. I mean, within walking distance I have a Victorian zoo; the Hertel Avenue strip; and a world-class historic cemetery (Forest Lawn) complete with the grave of a U.S. president (Millard Fillmore).

What else? I can walk easily to statues of Mozart, Lincoln, the Indian Scout, and the Centaur. The History Museum is practically down the street. And the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, including whatever wacky sculptures they choose to plunk down in their front yard. I can walk to the old Pierce-Arrow motor car company factory, and various other ancient industrial sites, things I love drawing more than anything. We have the greatest water towers, the best old factories, atmospheric old alleys -- I ever drew Kmart and found it terrific material.

Which makes me think: I do believe I will continue to explore my neighborhood this year.

I did a lot of drawing on Elmwood today because the owners of Neo Gift Studio, the beautiful gift shop on Elmwood that I am honored to say carries my note cards, requested an Elmwood set. And I love drawing on Elmwood, love it. There is so much life and the buildings are so quirky. Elmwood would give me a lot of material this year I did not explore last year. And there are other options even closer to my doorstep. Such as: The Gates To Nowhere, the Monster House, and the Secret Staircase. Those are all ideas that occurred to me as Inktober approached. As I said, I live in a great neighborhood in a great city.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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