A Casting of Stones

companion site for the web-sketchbook of David-Glen Smith




Sunday, October 24, 2010

moment 17: thinking of crows 02



Cannot stop thinking of the motioning of crows. As words across a page. Expressions, blurring notions of thought. Crows as Blackbirds as Ravens as Grackles. Mediators between God and Elijah in the desert. Messengers for Odin. And too, on the visual level, ink smears across the page; highly textured lines. Want to navigate my drawing style closer to a expressionistic attitude, abstraction of reality on one level—yet, heightening the realism on another. Merge of oppositions.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

moment 16: thinking of crows




A hasty sketch—self with abstracted scratches. Wanted to find the energy of crows in flight, rather than a scientific, detailed drawing of the birds themselves. Over the course of the next few days I plan to experiment with more symbolic abstractions, similar to Leonard Baskin’s etchings, but in my case the pen will be a milkweed wand cut and trimmed to resemble a pen-nib. Hopefully the sketches will contain the scratching textures of quills and early reed pens—a rough energy that mimics the notions of blackbirds and grackles collectively.

Pens: Prismcolor 005, 05, BR

Sunday, August 22, 2010

moment 15: 17 syllables




After a long summer of teaching college-level English courses, I found an afternoon hour to sketch— and to rediscover myself.

Spent most of my last few weeks grading papers, creating lectures, researching new opinions—


Pens: Prismcolor 01, 03, 05, BR

Monday, May 31, 2010

moment 14 || two stones and one blossom




Now is the time for gathering stones. My father and I scraped these up from the side of his garage a few days ago. A crate's worth of rubble, various sizes. Each one a heavy weight in the the hands.











At one point, we even found a large chunk of a fossilized shell, a fractured ammonite, Jurrasic life transferred to stone.

Pens: Micron 005, BR; Staedtler 03; Prismacolor 03, Cool Grey 30%, Cool Grey 70%

Monday, May 24, 2010

moment 13 || roadside sign




Last few weeks have been a blur of mundane academic activity: grade papers, grade final projects, create exams, grade exams, post grades, turn in end-of-term-paperwork, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I failed to post this drawing from earlier in the month. Despite this oversight I plan to take time over this week to catch up with myself.


Pens: Micron 005, BR; Faber-Castell 01, 03

Saturday, May 1, 2010

moment 12 || planner with unfinished sketch


What to add? Another self portrait, a human figure, a tree?
The emptiness begs to be filled with something.


Not very decisive today.

Ironically, this afternoon I plan to watch a modern version of the Shakesperean drama Hamlet and watch him squirm with indecisiveness: "To be. Or not to be."

Pens: Micron 005; Faber-Castell 01

Thursday, April 22, 2010

from the past || 2005


A rare idle moment: revisiting older images posted on my website: A Gathering of Stones.

from the past || 2005

A rare idle moment: revisiting older images posted on my website: A Gathering of Stones.

In the backyard we placed a statuary figure of Saint Francis holding a green mirror ball. Back in 2005 we scattered wild flower seeds behind him to attract butterflies and small birds. Oftentimes the resulting yellow and white blossoms resulted in the effect of a divine aura, a sense of a natural expression of holiness attributed to a garden icon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

moment 11 || empty interior

For an hour I waited at a local coffee house while the opticians finalized repairing my glasses in the same block of stores—and I was caught without my sketchbook and without my camera—resorted sketching the empty cafe, on paper within my planner, with colored markers.

My intentions were to find people, but instead was greeted by lonely chairs. Most of the clientele sat outdoors in full sun. Their voices mumbled through the store glass front where I sat in the shade, still in my casual work clothes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

moment 10 || self as book


Another self portrait-sketch, another book. In this case, the image follows my damaged sketch book: broken spine, missing folios of pages, the glue-binding cracking. The book becomes a symbol of my personal drawing process—

The theme approaches the notion of identity, the realization of the creative potential; the flower represents the Ideal, the self portrait showing a sense of Actuality, of Reality viewing the Ideal.

I love considering such abstractions of meaning in art and poetry. It only makes sense: the process of discovering another artist’s intentions helps me gather stronger insights into my own work and offers new concepts to emulate.
Pens: Micron 005, 01, 03; Faber-Castell BR

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Points of departure

A new article was posted by the Van Gogh museum regarding The Bedroom. The author, Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho, offers more details about Vincent Van Gogh's intentions with the work, showing examples from his letters and sketches from 1888:  Points of departure.



I greatly admire this ink sketch. Small hints of the artist's personality exist within the domestic scene: his hat and jacket resting beside the bed in the background, two paintings on the far wall leaning forward, the table set for a still-life. All of these elements alter or are removed from the final painted version—here they offer a strong sense of stability, cohesion for the full room.

One can easily step into the sketch, become a part of the whole image.

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, April 3, 2010

moment 09 || Student Poetry Slam


Recently, students performed a Poetry Slam at Lone Star College-CyFair campus, where I teach. This is the first time I sketched from a constantly changing room of diverse people and diverse moods. In life-drawing classes, the change of a model's pose is expected and predictable—here, movements were erratic and sudden. Without warning a poet would finish their piece and a new voice would be called to perform.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

moment 08 || falling into sleep


The actual sensation of falling into sleep puzzles me; the fact we willingly suspend conscious thought, that we are required to slow down the body’s functions in order to remain healthy and active in the waking-world, on the surface, this specification seems impractical. The last few nights in fact I have attempted to capture the exact moment when the mind lies in a midpoint: half in a state of awareness, half in the dream-world—all in order so I can later capture it in more creative terms. Perhaps in the end, recording this exact moment is an exercise in futility.

Of course it can only be accurately described in creative terms; the sensation is the same as pulling on a heavy, long, winter coat; one slips the body into layers of clothing just as slipping into warm waters: one arm, then a shoulder, then the other arm, wrapping up the body into another definition of self.


This all started after discovering an artist’s web log from Denmark: Ea Ejersbo. Others may find this obvious, but I never thought to treat my sketchbook from the standpoint that the double page spread is one sheet for drawing; I always maintained the individual sheets with the perimeters defined by the book’s gutter. If you look at her Flickr portfolio, she uses this technique frequently, with advantageous results.

 The illustration posted this week follows the same logic and shows the concept of falling into sleep. That partial limbo when the mind shifts into a new definition. A new territory.

Pens: Micron 005, 01, 02, BR; Faber-Castell BR

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The bedroom is sorely missed

Restoration of the Vincent Van Gogh painting "The Bedroom" began recently at the Van Gogh Museum  in Amsterdam. The adminstrators made it possible to view progress and see the technology behind restorations. Many blogs have begun as well discussing the importance of the piece and public opinon.

 The bedroom is sorely missed 


Posted using ShareThis

Full details can be seen through the museum itself:
http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/blog/slaapkamergeheimen/en/.

Monday, March 8, 2010

moment 06 || swallowing down the landscape


After three hours of lectures this morning, I took time out to catch up with my drawings, and relax for a short while before falling back into grading.

And, yes, I will return to the book motif in the near future; however, today I wanted to establish a horizontal landscape with a sense of layered clouds and my persistent crescent moon low on the horizon.

Pens: Micron 005, 01, 03, BR

Friday, February 26, 2010

moment 05 || choice A or choice B

A. Horizontal

When I first sketched out this illustration I intended the view to be orientated as an 'ironic' horizontal view, to emphasize the broken binding in the book. After scanning it, and a moment of reflection, I now wonder if it should be presented like this instead:


B. Vertical

—so the vertical slant of the figure gains focus rather than the book itself...

Pens: Micron 005, 01, 02, BR

Sunday, February 21, 2010

moment 04 || thinking of spring


 A moment meditating on another season. On the other hand, when I first sketched this out in pencil I felt as if bodily I moved into a sense of slumber—the time chimed after eleven at night, so of course the mind will wander into slight realms of fancy.

A far contrast from this morning when the layers of ink were applied—the stereo blared latin jazz: Eddie Palmieri to be exact, his album El Rmbero del Piano. Something caffeinated to force a sense of rhythm in my hand—keeping the pen strokes even when creating textures. In fact, the music helped motivate the theme of one's self merging with the background landscape of grass, merging with the inner shadows of the crease of the book—a concept illustrating a transformation of energy: spiritual and creative.

Pens: Micron 005, 01, 02, BR

Friday, February 12, 2010

moment 03 || my life as a book: self portrait


A continuation of my book theme. While building the initial pencil sketch last night, a cold front moved across Houston. Darker clouds rose up across my neighbors' houses and slowly covered our own lawn. In a manner of speaking, this influenced the intial concept, but with a contrasting notion: showing myself outside in early autumn months, meditating on cloudscapes.

Inking in the pages always presents a fun challenge. I want the picture to capture a sense of the bulk of the paper, just like the older hand-stitched volumes found in the rare antique book shops. With this in mind, I purposely did not link up the bottom lines with the left and right hand sides of the book. This offers a highlight across the corners—and enables heavier, textured lines.

Pens: Micron 005, 01, 02, 03, BR

Saturday, February 6, 2010

moment 02 || thinking of magritte

—in a manner of speaking that is. I always admired RenĂ© Magritte's intentions behind the infamous painting: "Ceci n'est pas une pomme"— Google the keywords "magritte, apple" and various versions of this painting will appear.  The main theme of the piece is reality versus image. That is, a painting is a replication of reality, an illusion of reality—but the painting of an apple is not a physical apple; nor is the photograph of an apple in reality a true apple, it is a representation of the specific fruit itself.

My recent drawing "image || reality" is a brief nod to the painter's original discussion of "what is realty?"  In this case what we have is a representation of a real apple next to the obvious representation of an apple in a book represented on a web log. Circles within cirles within circles.


I used my standard Micron pens, utilizing a new journal I purchased last year, but never opened until recently. The book is a Moleskine product, a slender 5" x 8" variety. The paper responds well to both ink and graphite. I can see why the company has been around for a number of years. Supposedly Van Gogh and Picasso themselves owned these type of sketchbooks for their quick experiments. 

—and yes, I do have a notebook fetish. I collect blank books and horde them in my supply closet for months on end until the need for a fresh perspective. In an odd manner, each sketchbook produces a different mode of drawing, creates a different mood and thought process for my hands. Due to the horizontal layout of the pages for the Moleskine, I hope to shift my 'boxed' portrait style to a wider landscape approach, allowing for a cinematic detailing. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

moment 01 || thinking out loud

Since 2005 I made a conscious effort to sketch an idea out on paper at least once a week, barring any interruptions from family, relocation, school lectures, hurricane winds, and personal reading assignments. Understandably, consequences and circumstances play into the equation in more ways than I care to admit.

Since 2010 however, I re-committed myself to the idea—specially after last year's non-productive period of only five images—and the realization in order to keep my sanity, sketching and writing act as cornerstones of relaxing and de-stressful energies.



This latest image shows a new exploration of elements appearing in my journal: drawings of books. Not the average paperback mind you, rather the heavy, dusty, leather-bound tome which is vanishing from the concepts of our culture. As these become more rare in society I am more apt to use them as icons or symbols to express what is shifting in our (sub)conscious thoughts.

Dream logic will always appear in my work, from small doodles to larger full-scale projects; this is my style: utilizing the psychological notions from the everyday, waking experience.

The next step: increase the production. Advance the chain of pages. Explore the possibilities and various potentials. Motion forward