Just before Christmas I received my newest spinning wheel – a Pocket Wheel.
These are made by hand by Jon McCoy in Oak Harbor, Washington, on Whidbey Island. The wheel is only 18 inches high and weighs a mere 6 pounds. I would never have thought it was possible to spin efficiently on such a small wheel until I tried out a friend’s Pocket Wheel. It spins smoothly and easily. In fact, I sit back a bit more than with my other wheels and it is quite comfortable. I put my name on the waiting list last January, and it was worth the long wait.
One can customize the wood for the wheel, the frame, and the treadles. I choose Maple for the frame and Quilted Maple for the wheel and treadles. While it won’t actually fit in my pocket, it does stow neatly into a zipped extra large tote bag and I can easily take it with me to spinning get-togethers.
For my daily drawings yesterday and today, I created self portraits. While they don’t look exactly like me, I enjoyed the process of creating the shadows and highlights of the face and capturing the details. Today I experimented with a more expressive style, using scribbling to build up the shadow areas. I was not feeling so despondent as the image appears! As I played with how I held the pencil I varied the amount pressure I applied. When I loosened up my grip I also relaxed my desire to control the outcome.
I am not sure that capturing an accurate likeness is very important to me. I much prefer the unique styles of artists like Pam Carriker, Misty Mawn, and Gillian Lee Smith. My greatest aspiration would be to develop my own style, like these amazing artists have done. The work of each is so distinctively their own. I think that is part of what this year of drawing every day is about for me.