19 November 2016

Soda Pop

They say you can tell what region of the country you come from by what you call your carbonated beverage or soft drink. Is it a soda, a pop, or a Coke? (Or do you go old-school and call it a tonic?) There was actually a survey conducted on this at one point, and then two guys from East Central University in Oklahoma made a map, which I found interesting to look at in comparison to the political maps of the country we've been staring at for the past couple of months:

So why am I telling you all this? Well, for two reasons: The first is that it's National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day (yes, really), and the second is that the World Watercolor Group prompt for today was "soda pop," which made me think about my relatives in Virginia, whose variation was "You wanna sody?"

I was an enthusiastic consumer of soft drinks in my youth (I started every early morning in college by popping the top on a TAB and taking a swig), but the caffeine and sugar or, worse yet, the artificial sweeteners made me ban them from my life decades ago. Now, I enjoy an occasional root beer, or even more rarely go out of my way to buy a new-fangled soda with natural ingredients and flavors  more pleasing to the palette than Coke. Since root beer isn't as fun to paint, I chose an IZZE Sparking Blackberry as my subject matter. And no, there is no alcoholic content, even though the bottle is the tiniest bit tipsy! Just for comparison, here's a continuous line blind contour that I did of a similar bottle back a few years ago in Brenda Swenson's workshop.

LePen .03, and watercolor, in my Aquabee sketchbook.

Art = Sanity

I realized this morning that I haven't drawn or painted anything for weeks. I spent the week leading up to the election plagued by nerves, the week after it in shock and denial, and this past week alternately depressed and outraged. At first, every time I thought about drawing or painting, all I could dredge up was either "What's the point?" or "I have more important things to which I need to give my attention." But...that old adage about taking care of yourself first has merit, and one of the things that keeps me sane and on an even keel is making art. So, I pulled up World Watercolor Group's list of prompts for November and painted me some beets. I'm not a big fan of eating them, but the colors and shapes are appealing. I'm going to get myself back to a regular drawing and painting habit. Because if art doesn't matter, what does?

Le Pen and watercolors, in my Aquabee sketchbook.