What now?

Four drawings done originally for Patreon.

November managed to slide away with no “Musings” post. The mode around the vessel of hope called HQ is still the low activity of aftermath. Nod’s Way, part two of my most intimate work, has gone as far into the world as I can send it. What happens now is up to chance and the oracle’s friends.

I made something wonderful, and Nod’s Way is one piece of it. Trying to sort out practical needs like categories and packaging, I realized that the sum of my activity, Habdvarsha, encompasses two different architectures. Obviously, they are related, but at the same time they are distinct. One is the cycle of fictions relaunched last year with Prelude to a Change of Mind, the Author’s Edition. The arc of that story depends on the Dvarsh, but it centers on the humans with whom they intersect. The other architecture, elaborated first in Dvarsh, An Introduction, digested in Dvarsh Workbook, and restated in Nod’s Way, turns the glass around to peer at the hidden folk.

Talking about the second architecture is difficult. Roots of it stretch as much into conceptual art as into literature. That makes discussion hard from the start, since critical vocabularies of the two spheres do not entirely overlap. Throw in elements of word puzzle and gaming to add spice to the mix. How best to describe it?

In other posts I have already talked too much about recipe and ingredients. As the saying goes, it isn’t funny if I have to explain it. Besides, the key overlooked so far hides in plain sight. When the figure and ground shift, and you finally see the tiger smiling behind the bush, I am going to whoop and laugh so hard. Until then, the laugh is on me. I am entirely at a loss for how to bring a wonder to the world’s notice. More of both architectures lurks in the future, in eventual forms not yet foreseeable.

While fruitless thoughts churned across November, an activity that so often helps to order foment kept me, at least, occupied. I draw when thinking of other things, especially when puzzling, much as I pick up a chordophone to jangle when I cannot see what next to draw. The past month helped recall skills grown rusty over a year of working in a different visual medium. Forsaking cursor for pen and pencil always feels like returning home.

Coming through the fast lane have been authentic recovery studies. A promise made to Patreon patrons calls for a new drawing every week as part of a recurring feature. What goes up with the feature has most often been more sketch than not, usually modified later. At the head of the page are the four images of November, mods included. All very cartoony, somewhat by design. Three were sketched under a constraint of one hour to compose the image. The fourth, at extreme left, is most satisfying, and, not coincidentally, the one begun after abandoning constraint for return to the rules that govern me best: Here are materials; here are tools; here is an expanse; time has departed.

One return is to the pencil & ink, “La Casa Encantada #2.” Almost out of control when I set it aside, changing technique to successive, very thin ink washes solved that issue. Detail builds slowly in deepening grays. There are no dramatic differences from one wash to the next. Magic creeps in almost unnoticed.