The Last Piece Before I Die

Work-in-progress Thinking of calling this drawing "Materializing"

I am thinking of calling this drawing “Materializing”

This morning I dreamed that a friend of mine was struggling to breathe. Somehow he changed form – into a combination of a white butterfly and sakura (cherry blossom).  As I tried to follow his fluttering path with my eyes, his singular form became lost in the assembly of blossoming trees.  I figured he had died though I wasn’t quite sure.  But what a poetic way to go.

Which leads me to ask, what motivates an artist to start his or her next piece?  Is it a commission, an experimental work, a piece with which one hopes to meet market demand, maybe an entry for a competition?  Is it a protest, a comment on society or perhaps something very personal.   In my case, when I am wondering what to embark on next, I ask myself, “If I could only draw one more piece before I die, what would it be?”  In other words, I am asking my gut, “What matters most to me right now?”

I might not choose a subject which is pushing the boundaries (or I might).  Is it familiar subject matter?  Quite probably.  The most essential thing is that I feel a strong emotional connection – enough to want to commit hours and hours working on it.

The bliss I achieve from drawing something I love is so powerful that words can hardly express it.  I can only experience this holy state if I am drawing that ‘last’ picture, the one I want to do most of all.   It certainly doesn’t mean every one works out, but it keeps me honest.   So I will keep asking myself that question until it is time for me to transfigure into a piece of sakura, whenever that may be.

Recent ‘last’ drawings….from the present back to August 2014.

Passage small size

Interplay small size-2

Minamiza Lantern small_edited-1

Blue Pearl small size

Private Thoughts_small

Step by Step small size

Diamonds small size

Enfolded blog size

The Art of Elegance email size

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About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
Image | This entry was posted in art, coloured pencils and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Last Piece Before I Die

  1. It is an interesting question on what prompts us to draw what we do. My eye gets caught by everyday things, or I might see something and think I may be able to render it differently. The one thing that never leaves me is the desire to create things, no matter what the subject or medium. Karen

    • It is an interesting question and I hope other artists might comment on what prompts them to create as well. As you say, the desire to create is at the heart of it for us artists.

  2. kathansen9 says:

    I LOVE that question…wow…I’ve never thought of it that way! You can’t believe how that shifts things for me! Thanks!!

    • Kath, there is nothing I like better than to think that something I write here might be inspirational to somebody ‘out there’. So, I am so pleased you wrote to let me know that this one spoke to you.Thanks!

  3. Such an interesting question – I have never thought of the works I create as being potentially the last, or even striving for the best. Experimentation is what moves me, and the surprising journey from a germ of an idea to a completed piece. The more surprised I am by the end result, the happier I am. However, it is a luxury in a way to be able to go off freely in any particular direction. At the moment, for example, I am working on a series of collaborative books with other artists, so with each of these I am constrained by a theme, whether set by me or someone else, I am also working towards two (group) exhibitions of miniatures, so am again constrained by the limitations of size. Ideas come to me at random times, and follow through when I am consciously thinking about them, especially when walking, falling asleep or on long car journeys (when I’m not driving!) Anything can spark an idea, but generally one successful idea leads to a development of that, so there are always ideas bobbing around in the back of my mind, ready to come out and be developed further. Right now, there are jellyfish, portraits, broken shells and always flowers and plants in one form or another. But it does have to matter NOW, and have a strong emotional connection, which is why I don’t think I could ever do a commission. Thanks Julie – you have opened the floodgates!

    • Open floodgates – excellent. What you say about ideas bobbing around in the back of your mind, that is rather how it is regarding blog posts for me. In this one it was the dream which inspired it – though I had been abstractly thinking about this subject as a post for a while. The dream brought it to the front line. Also some of the comments by people about why they draw on Facebook inspired it.
      ps As I have toothache at the moment, I think I might die quite soon!

  4. Quite a profound post Julie. Thank you for this.

  5. I know exactly what you mean! You are so lucky to be able to live fully in the landscape of your “personal myth”, as Jung calls it. I miss that so much with this studying business…I feel like I am living in someone else’s landscape. Your Geisha are such exquisite symbols of the sacred.

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