Unearthing creative possibilities: Trish Roque's website, personal blog, & portfolio

Drawing everyday is cathartic: day 27

Drawing everyday has not only been good for me but has also been quite a transformative experience. The changes are subtle but I’ve noticed how I’m starting to “see” differently. I’m starting to perceive the world in the language of drawing, that is, seeing form, shape, line, and depth. The last time I experienced this was the last time I drew almost everyday, back in college, which seems like a very long time ago.

It feels good to draw. I’m also looking forward to expanding my vocabulary of drawing to include color and texture. This will require that I move beyond my trusty and comfortable ball point pen and start experimenting with other tools.

In the meantime, here are several drawings with my trusty ball point pen on day 27:

This is Siwa, my 14 year-old dog, who has been fighting cancer for the past 2 years. Shes one of the sweetest souls Ive ever known. Jon laughed when I showed him this drawing. His response was, oh, just like the other 47 drawings of her in this pose. Yeah, this is pretty much her only state of being right now. But I still love her!

This is Siwa, my 14 year-old dog, who has been fighting cancer for the past 2 years. She's one of the sweetest souls I've ever known. Jon laughed when I showed him this drawing. His response was, oh, just like the other 47 drawings of her in this pose. Yeah, this is pretty much her only state of being right now. But I still love her!

My walks with Siwa right now goes like this: get in car, drive to park, walk 20 very slow paces, sniff trees, bushes, grass, other dogs, then plop down somewhere nice & shady, nose up in the air to catch the passing scent. I sit next to her, pull out my sketch book and draw. Life cant get any better than this.

My walks with Siwa right now goes like this: get in car, drive to park, walk 20 very slow paces while sniffing trees, bushes, grass, other dogs, then plop down somewhere nice & shady, nose up in the air to catch the passing scent. I sit next to her, pull out my sketch book and draw. Life can't get any better than this.

Essence of tree trunk.

Essence of tree trunk.

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Drawings: days 24-26

I will stop counting days once I’m past day 30. This was really my challenge – to get to the point where I could make a habit of drawing daily by drawing for 30 days.  I’ve really been enjoying this habit and I get incredibly antsy when I find that I have not made the time to draw during the course of my day. It’s been very good for me to do this.

Without further adieu, here are the drawings:

Day 26

Jon & Phobos lounging - technically, Jon was not posing for me. He was just watching TV and I just started drawing him. This worked out well considering he didnt feel the pressure to stay still & it kept me drawing quickly. The same held true for Phobos.
Jon & Phobos lounging – technically, Jon was not posing for me. He was just watching TV and I just started drawing him. This worked out well considering he didn’t feel the pressure to stay still & it kept me drawing quickly. The same held true for Phobos.

Day 25

Two poses of Diemos the cat.
Two poses of Diemos the cat.

Horses
Horses

Diemos & a pseudo-blind contour drawing of him
Diemos & a pseudo-blind contour drawing of him

One of these days I will make sketches of landscapes with splashes of color! Just wait & see!
One of these days I will make sketches of landscapes with splashes of color! Just wait & see!

Day 24

At the docs waiting room. In the past, I would not have drawn this because I would have felt this subject boring. Once I decided to drop my judgement, I surprisingly enjoyed myself!
At the doc’s waiting room. In the past, I would not have drawn this because I would have felt this subject boring. Once I decided to drop my judgement, I surprisingly enjoyed myself!

Random sketches

Random sketches

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Drawings: days 22 & 23

Wow, I’m actually posting these sooner than later. I’m so far on a roll with drawing everyday ~ I did miss yesterday but I made sure that I made time to draw today.

I also did a self-portrait for the first time in about a year. It turned out ok. I was a bit frustrated with the ball point pen because it was not making the marks I had anticipated. I think it’s time to invest in a good mechanical pencil. Anyone out there have a favorite they can recommend?

Day 23

My tool of choice for my journal is a papermate ball point pen. Im starting to feel its limitation, particularly when I need to make a mistake and need to rework a section. It gets messy and trying to redraw over erased pen marks smudges the ink. I think it may be time to find another tool.

My tool of choice for my journal is a papermate ball point pen. I'm starting to feel its limitation, particularly when I make a mistake and need to rework a section. It gets messy and trying to redraw over erased pen marks smudges the ink. I think it may be time to find another tool. On another note, Jon doesn't think this portrait looks like me. Oh well.

Day 22

Jons arm while on the phone & Jon watching TV. He looks a bit stiff in the TV watching mode, maybe because I kept chiding him about moving too much so he overcompensated ~ at least that was my interpretation.

Jon's arm while on the phone & Jon watching TV. He looks a bit stiff in the TV watching mode, maybe because I kept chiding him about moving too much so he overcompensated ~ at least that was my interpretation.

Jon reclining

Jon wasn't really posing because he was tired of posing for me so I had to draw him as quickly as I could in the amount of time he would give me.

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Doodles & Drawings: days 17-21

I’m starting to get bored with doodling so I’ve started to sketch my pets and hubby to contine with the mark-making.  That is really my purpose in this 30-day exercise.  I’ve also been copying
George Bridgman’s figure drawings
to improve my life drawing skills.

Here are the drawings from most recent to earliest:

Day 21

Jon reading a book & patiently posing

Jon reading a book & patiently posing

Diemos & Jon sleeping

Diemos & Jon sleeping

Day 20:

Sleeping Sammy

Sleeping Sammy

Sleeping cat

Sleeping cat

Day 19:

Veronique - life drawing

Veronique - life drawing

Montage of doodles & sketches

Montage of doodles & sketches

Day 18:

doodles & sketches

doodles & sketches

Day 17:

Copying from the master, George Bridgman

Copying from the master, George Bridgman

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Another Siwa update on her fight against canine melanoma

Siwas face became asymmetrical from the tumor that grew very quickly within a matter of days.

Siwa's face became asymmetrical from the tumor that grew very quickly within a matter of days.

A couple of weeks after my June post on Siwa’s progress, I noticed a lump in her mouth that grew very quickly ~ within a week, the lump had grown from marble size to a lump so large that it gave her face an asymmetrical look.  I already had a pre-scheduled visit to the vet which I immediately re-scheduled to be sooner than later.

The news was not good.  She was no longer responding to the vaccine that she had been on since January 2008.  My choices were now radiation which would require a visit every 2-3 weeks at a cost that was prohibitive to me, or chemo and antibiotics, which seemed less invasive and less stressful to Siwa, not to mention kinder to my wallet.

I took into consideration Siwa’s age, which at 13 1/2 is not young for a dog her size.  She is a golden retriever/chow mix weighing about 65 lbs. I did not want to put her under any stress nor diminish the quality of the days she had left.

It’s now been 3 months of chemo, taken in pill form once a day.  The drug is Leukaren and although this will not make the tumor disappear, it will slow down the growth of the tumor. I was actually amazed as to how quickly the lump decreased after the first few days on chemo. Her asymmetrical face returned to normal within days of being on Leukaren.

Siwas tumor has grown to the point of bulging out of her mouth when shes breathing.

Siwa's tumor has grown to the point of bulging out of her mouth when she's breathing.

Jump to today.  Siwa and I take life day by day. I watch her closely monitoring her breathing to see if she is having difficulties. I make her homemade dog food consisting of boiled chicken, rice, peas & carrots, and cottage cheese. It’s a mixture that she can slurp and swallow without having to chew too much.  This keeps her from accidentally biting down on her tumor causing her to bleed and get infections.  She is also on antibiotics 2x/day to keep the infections down, and Rimadyl 2x/day for her arthritis.  And of course, chemo once a day.

I have to admit I’ve been lately concerned that her tumor has grown so large that she is no longer comfortable. She is such a happy go lucky dog that even her tail wags at the vet so sometimes this indicator is not the best gauge for quality of life. She did not want to go outside this morning but she happily ate her food.

I know I will have to face a very tough day at some point but it won’t be today. She and I will go for a nice walk, stopping many times to smell the roses (or the bush or the rock or the tree). Her eyes will brighten and her tail will wag and she will want to play with another hiking dog who will be way more active and playful than she.

She will remind me that all the stress, all the noise, all the little things in life that I tend to worry about are not worth the wasted energy. She will say to me with her big beautiful brown eyes that life is too short. Enjoy it. Every minute of it.

Siwa and I on a recent moon-filled walk in the Oakland hills.

Siwa and me on a recent moon-filled walk in the Oakland hills.

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