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  • Briana

Daily Drawing Feb 14

On my weekly walks through forest park and the arboretum, I pass through a grove of magnolias. The furry buds appeared on the sparse branches a couple weeks ago, and I had a moment of anticipation: spring is coming.

I’ve walked the same trail a couple times a week for the past few years and have seen the landscape through its ongoing seasonal transformation. It’s grounded me in these strange years of the pandemic, through loss, trauma and change. Seeing the land follow its natural rhythm, knowing that when things are sparse, you can see further through the trees… and that the buds will begin appearing after the darkest days.

I picked a bud on that day a couple weeks ago, and today it bloomed. Like a gift, and a harbinger for what is to come.

I started a practice of daily drawings about a year and a half ago. I was at a residency at Caldera, and finally able to have some space of my own after a year and a half of being quarantined with my family during the Covid pandemic.

I hadn’t had the space to attune to my own rhythm really since becoming a parent. Covid heightened this. So having days all to myself was incredibly healing and revealing. I started drawing every day. Just things I picked up along my walks in this beautiful place.

Drawing helped me see things as they are. The messy places were interesting to draw: the broken twigs, the gummy sticks, the withering petals.

And I was able to capture something fleeting. I remember the moment in time of each of these drawings. What they smelled like, what I was feeling, who I was with or if I was alone, what I was thinking about, what the textures felt like.

Much of life is elusive and these drawings anchor me. The act of drawing is a meditation; my mind is still and I am completely immersed in seeing.

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