Point of Exquisite Suspension

Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

05 October 2015

The Waiting Imagination

Ink sketch on color paper with white color pencil highlights and some later shading in Photoshop.
© O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
Sometimes an image will appear in my mind and I'll try to make a sketch based on that image.

The above sketch, that I made in 2011, is of an image that also came with the words "The Waiting Imagination". I can't remember what was going on in my life at the time. But in the back of my consciousness I could sense this, for lack of a better word, entity. Silent, intelligent, amused it was watching and waiting for me to call it into activity.

Maybe I was feeling tired of my day-to-day routine. Maybe I was wanting an excuse to unleash my creativity. in any case, I feel that this image and drawing was my mind's way of saying, "Your creativity is here. It's ready when you are. Your imagination is on hand to help you in your life."

Notice there are mushrooms in the picture. Since I've never used any hallucinogenics of any kind, i think the mushrooms are symbols to me of ideas and solutions that spring up when one is not looking. It's like the way that mushrooms often grow while we're sleeping, overnight; in the dark.

Have you ever had a problem or puzzle that was unsolvable as you think and think to solve it. Then you tell your self, "l'll just sleep on it." Or, "l'll just put it on the back burner". Then later the solution comes to you with little or no effort?

That is the power of the waiting imagination.

01 October 2015

Wet Blanket Disclaimer

Original caption: "This is to no one in particular. I sometimes just get tired of social media glibness.
© O. Douglas Jennings
I posted the above photo on my Instagram because, as I stated, the glibness and snarkiness of so many social media posts --across all platforms-- was wearing on me. That is to say, I was suffering from "Snark Overload".

But, in the interests of not being a "wet blanket", I have to admit I enjoy snappy comebacks and wisecracks in general. I love Groucho Marx, Don Rickles, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain and all the clever geniuses of the snarky remark. But, to butcher the maxim (Lord, forgive me), "Man does not live by Snark alone..."

Every now and then I tire of "gotcha" moments, witty attacks and jabs which, if we're honest, are too often just an excuse to show off one's wit at the expense of another.

I just realize that I need to balance my diet of snark with plenty of helpings of honest conversation, perceptiveness and good will.

22 September 2015

Sketch Studies: Human Dimorphism

Cartoon Sketches of male and female figures. © O. Douglas Jennings
The human form holds for me a non-ending fascination. A particular aspect of my intrigue is that of humanity's gender dimorphism. The differences between male and female humans is much more apparent than many creatures. Bone structure, muscle mass, proportions are all unique to each respective gender.

Sometime you should Google Image search "SETI plaque" to see the illustration of human forms we sent into space to show this unique feature of our species.

Male and female face sketches. © O. Douglas Jennings

15 September 2015


© O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
Feeling nostalgic for my childhood fascination with a small slate chalkboard (hours of drawing play), I picked up this slate placecard holder and soapstone chalk pencil at Crate and Barrel.

The little slate "pad" is a bit smaller than my iPhone 5s. And the chalk pencil has a simple, almost primal elegance. In these high-tech days of smart devices and social connectivity overload, I relish the tools that made use of my brain as the smart device of choice.

07 September 2015

Vivid Dream Images

I've been awake too long to remember my entire dream from last night. But the one image from it that sticks in my mind is of a red car, a convertible, passing me as I drove down the highway. The car was filled, in fact tightly packed, with dogs in the front and back seats. I couldn't even see the driver, there were so many dogs. They were all dark, if not black, and of the greyhound breed. Their thin snouts, legs, tails and feet were sticking out all over. There was more of a narrative to the dream and other things going on but I can't remember them now.

A few years ago I sketched some pictures of dream imagery that I include in this post. They are self explanatory. As I couldn't recall the entire dreams at those times either. But I'm glad I made sketches of those images. Otherwise I probably would have forgotten them. They might provide fodder for stories or comics in the future.

© O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
© O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.

31 August 2015

The Joys of Creativity

Artie's Pad Comic Strip on the Joys of Creativity 
Don't you hate it when something interrupts your creative flow? But if you like doing art as much as I do, you won't be sidelined for long.

Years ago, I created a little comic strip series I called "Arthur's Pad" (Later I renamed it "Artie's Pad") about a young artist and his imaginary connection to his drawings. Take a look at a sampling of those comic strips HERE.

24 July 2015

Little Tho'ts on Ant-Man

Quick sketch of the diminutive dude on a Post-it note using pen and color pencil. © O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
Caught the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe flick, Ant-Man the other day. Terrifically entertaining movie experience overall. It inspired me to do the sketch, above. Although I'm not going to do a full analysis of the movie here, I will mention how it provoked some thoughts and observations. No spoilers.

It seems to me that the concept of Ant-Man is a version of the age-old wish-fulfillment fantasy of having the power of invisibility. In some of the archival film footage of the original Ant-Man shown in the movie, it appears that an unseen force is beating up enemy soldiers. It's not until the camera zooms in on a tiny figure that the entity is seen to be Ant-Man. Yet to the soldiers who engage the character in battle, it seems like an invisible foe.

Being literally able to fly "under the radar" of perception is a basic feature of the Ant-Man's powers and it was fun for me to vicariously live out that ability as I watched the movie.

The added power of commanding all ants is a bonus. It's ironic that the ants, who from ancient times have been noted for carrying out their duties with no leader (see the Biblical verse, Proverbs 6:6) are being harnessed to fulfill the wishes of Ant-Man. This facet of the character has come under some ridicule --much like Aquaman's ability to communicate with fish. But the Ant-Man film makes good use of his skill over the tiny legions of social insects. I can see how the pseudo-scientific aspects of the use of ants might incite a host of Science Fair projects about ants across the country.

The movie was as well-crafted as I have come to expect from Marvel/Disney films. Themes of super-powers entangled with the military arms race were repeated. I enjoyed the performance of the actors in general. Michael Douglas as Hank Pym was totally engaged in the character and did a great deal to carry the film. I give it two antennae up!