Indifferent Art

Today’s drawing was a disappointment. Again, it was one of those fairly simple drawing projects, and I didn’t anticipate too many problems. I was drawing apples on a tree, you see.

Inktober 8 - Apple Tree (2)
Apples on the Tree – Ink Drawing by Judith Kraus

Apples were one of the first things I was able to draw successfully. In those earliest days of learning to draw, I joked how an apple a day was just what the doctor ordered for my artwork, and when I first started this blog, the very first drawing I shared was a bowl of apples I’d drawn in colored pencil. I think it was probably one of the best drawings I’d done at that point. Yes, I recently drew a bunch of bad apples, but all the same, I felt confident about today’s Inktober drawing.

It wouldn’t be too difficult, I thought, but I certainly didn’t want it to be too easy, either. So, I browsed through possible reference photos and finally chose one with specific reasons in mind.

  • I’ve noticed I have problems with overlapping object. There are actually three apples hanging from this branch, and I wanted to see if I could communicate that clearly. I didn’t.
  • I wanted to practice on the lights and shadows of the leaves and try to capture some sense of how they twist and turn as they grow. Again, I wasn’t able to get the results I wanted.
  • I wanted to try creating a hazy, indistinct background. I decided to use powdered graphite and blend it into the paper. It didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, and all I ended up with was a rather messy, streaky-looking background.

In a lot of ways, today’s drawing is very similar to yesterday’s — both are drawings of fruit on the tree. Actually, in some ways, I like today’s drawing of apples better than yesterday’s drawing of oranges, so instead of being disappointed, I should just move on, perhaps. Tomorrow will be another day, another drawing, and I did my best with this one.

As I worked on this drawing, I wondered how the prompt words — rock, crooked, star, frail tree — led me to apples. I recalled that it had been one of the more difficult searches. I’d had to browse through a lot of links to find a tree I could use.

Once I finished the drawing and felt that sense of disappointment, I came back to the notes Cheeky Monkey Mind and I had made about the search. I hadn’t copied the URL, but I had made a note that the apple tree idea came from “Our Indifferent Universe.”

I don’t believe that our universe is indifferent to us, but this morning’s drawing experience left me feeling that way — just a bit. It hasn’t been a good morning, you see. I’ve lost my best and favorite eraser, my ink dipping practice this morning was even more frustrating than usual, and I just had a general sense of ennui. Nothing was wrong, but nothing was going quite right either. By the time I’d put my dip pens away and cleaned up the mess a bit, I really wasn’t in the mood for Inktober.

I did it anyway, and I think there’s something to say for that. We won’t always be in the mood to create, nor will we always feel inspired. As often as not, sitting down and getting to work anyway will bring the inspiration we need and improve our mood. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t happen, and today was one of those times.

So, I was feeling indifferent, and I ended up with a very indifferent piece of art. Not good. Not bad. Not much of anything, really.

As for the prompt words and Our Indifferent Universe…? It’s a book of over 900 poems by a man who writes under the pen name Surazeus Astaria. The specific poem that mentions apple trees is titled Infinite Sky of Joy. What I found amazing was that the poem also includes all the other prompt words: rock, crooked, frail, and star. Can you believe that?

Here is just a short bit from the lengthy poem:

“Wind rises from valley of flowing stream

Springing from cracked bones of people long dead

And dances on blind mountain of lost rainbow

Then whispers her soul on apple tree leaves”


What does it mean? I don’t know. Yes, it leaves me feeling a bit indifferent. Surely tomorrow will be a better day. Until then, Cheeky and I will be just hanging around. 



  • Broken
  • Screech
  • Precious
  • Swing
  • Tree

Come “swing along” with us… and no, that’s not a hint. You’ll have to visit tomorrow to see what tree we’ve found.




  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself although it is frustrating when it doesn’t go as you had planned. You drew though. I like your apples. I can see the third one peeking out in between the front two and I can see all the different shapes in the leaves and their texture.

    Liked by 1 person

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