Brown Paper Bag

I attended UVic in the Visual Arts department part time in the 80's as I had a son who kept me happily at home and otherwise occupied for a good portion of my days and nights. Drawing classes typically centered around a live model or a still life and in one class Don Harvey (taught drawing and painting and was head of the department as well at the time) brought in a crumpled paper bag as our subject for the day. This I will admit was looked upon with some disdain certainly by me as a crumpled bag has a great many facets and planes and of itself is not at first sight the most 'romantic' or 'scintillating' object - but at the end of the class we all took our brown paper bags and pinned them up in the foyer of the olde army hut we called home in those days...and it was a revelation to see so many different paper bags - everyone drew a different paper bag. Wow! How something so mundane and commonplace (especially in those days as brown paper bags were commonly used to pack lunches in) could end up being so remarkable when the individual parts were shown but unified together as a whole made a huge impact on me.

I like to draw in many different forms with a variety of mediums but I began 'cheating' in those days by drawing with a variant on cross-hatching - the like of which you see in how I have drawn this particular paper bag. It has come to my attention in the last few months that what I do with this is very similar to 'Zentangling' which is the use of drawing patterns combined together to create an image. Who knew I was a Zentangler?? Another revelation....and one that was great as I have created a Zentangle monster out of a friend of mine who is creative in her own way but who has never thought of herself as having any visual art I bought her a Zentangle how-to book and supplies and she has spent the last few months enjoying what you can do with pattern applied with ink and crayon on paper. Simple pleasures.

This piece is an ode to Don Harvey. He was an excellent teacher open to showing his successes and failures - but he didn't suffer fools lightly. I loved that about him. I haven't seen him in years but hope he is still in good health and creating.