Monday, March 26, 2007

Artist's Date & Illo Friday "I Spy"

I'm going for a twofer here. I spied the crocusses in my garden during the week, and made a point of sketching one for my artist's date.

Datebook 3-18 thru 25

Sorry, no quote for the 24th and 25th. I simply had other things to ponder. The weather was so beautiful that there were bike rides to complete. I also spent some time sitting in my garden having an "Artist's Date". The artist's date is a concept from the Walking in This World book, and I haven't held true to it every week.

The doorway is a sketch from memory. I was watching the movie Holiday, with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant—great movie and the third or fourth time I've seen it. Anyway, I caught a brief glimpse of the doorway of the house. I'm sure the details above the large globe are wrong, but I was having fun by the time I got to those details and just didn't want to stop.

The quote: "Eat a live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day." —Author unknown

Gee, as much as I'd like to get the worst stuff out of the way first thing in the morning, I'm going to have to take a pass on this.

The background on this spread is the worst one in the book so far. The doodles helped a little since they cover some of it.

In the way of "less is more", I really like this spread. The sunset was one I saw from the train on the way home weeks ago, and I did it via reflection since I was sitting with my back to the west. The quote is the end of the one from the previous spread—it was rather long.

H.D. Thoreau's journal entry 17-Mar-1852:
"I catch myself philosophizing most abstractedly when first returning to consciousness in the night or in the morning. I make the truest observations and distinctions then, when the will is yet wholly asleep and the mind works like a machine without friction. I am conscious of having, in my sleep, transcended the limits of the individual and made observations and carried on conversations which in my waking hours I can neither recall nor appreciate. As if in sleep our individual fell into the infinite mind, and at that moment of awakening we found ourselves on the confines of the latter. On awakening we resume our enterprise, take up our bodies and become limited mind again. We meet and converse with those bodies which we have previously animated. There is a moment in the dawn, when the darkness of the night is dissipated and before the exhalations of the day commence to rise, when we see things more truly than at any other time. The light is more trustworthy, since our senses are purer and the atmosphere is less gross. By afternoon all objects are seen in mirage."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Datebook 3-8 Thru 17

Sorry for the long delay in posting. I'm just getting over a bug that was going around. These won't quite get you up to date, but within spitting distance at least.

The quote: "There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read." —G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

How true, how true. I'm not a person who memorizes quotes very easily. They strike a chord of accuracy in me—or echo my own thoughts—and I note them down, but they don't often stick. This one sticks.

H.D. Thoreau's journal entry for 14-Mar-1860: "No sooner has the ice of Walden melted than the wind begins to play in dark ripples over the surface of the virgin water. It is affecting to see nature so tender, however old, and wearing none of the wrinkles of age. Ice dissolved is the next moment as perfect water as if it had been melted a million years. To see that which was lately so hard and immovable now so soft and impressible! What if our moods could dissolve thus completely? It is like a flush of life to a cheek that was dead."

A little note about how this journal is put together: The backgrounds are done in advance. In this particular case, Thoreau's entry and the background seemed to suit each other very well which is a result of coincidence instead of design.

I have a difficulty with one of the adjectives he used to describe the melted water—"impressible" doesn't seem accurate because it suggests that an impression will remain (which it certainly won't in water). Of course, "fluid" would be the logical substitute but also terribly obvious and less profound. I'll have to ponder it a bit more.

The quote: "In religion and politics, beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination." —Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Gotta love a little Twainism. You must have your beliefs and convictions, but it's necessary to revisit their basis every now and then and reassess them in the light of new evidence. Just my 2¢ worth.

The quote: "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." —Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)

I think I would still be impressed because that meant his mastery came to him very naturally—an enviable talent.

Now for a bit of cycling analysis. I'm waaay behind on my mileage for the year, and I'm rather disappointed that Saturday, March 10th was the day of my first outdoor ride. This was the first year in a long time that I didn't ride outside in January and February. I'll have to work that much harder for the rest of the year.

On the upside, the trainer work I've been doing, combined with the walking to and from the train station (and elsewhere), seems to be keeping me a bit more fit than I usually am this time of year. When I went outside for that 21 mile ride, it wasn't as difficult as it normally is this time of year.

Sunday the 11th was all about cycling too. I spent some quality time on the trainer. The weather was nice enough to ride outside, but I didn't feel like putting on lots o' layers. It's good to have options.

Sunday evening the Versus channel (formerly known as OLN) had coverage of the prologue of the Paris-Nice race.

The quote: "Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an aquaintance, or a stranger." —Franklin P. Jones

The drawing: my slippers. The measurements: a framing project I was working on. The Floyd Fairness Fund Art Sale & Fundraiser: an event I thought of attending but didn't.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

They Call Me...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Milady the Most Honourable Nan the Indecisive of Ofsted in the Bucket

I don't know how I feel about this, but I think you should stand when I enter the room. Tee hee.
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Illo Friday "Hide"

Just a quick little Illo Friday doodle in the datebook.

The quotes:

"He plants trees to benefit another generation." —Caecilius Statius (220 - 168 B.C.)

"Surburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them." —Bill Vaughan

Not unrelated concepts, and a sad testament to mankind's priorities. Kinda makes me want to stick my head in the sand too.

Datebook 3-4 and 5

The quote: "It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off." —Woody Allen

I'm not usually a Woody Allen fan, but this one tickled the ol' funny bone.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Over the weekend I found, squirreled away in the back of a cabinet, a box of pastels that I've had since high school. They are virtually brand new. Ah, the joy of found art supplies. I also rediscovered some charcoals, and I'm on the fencepost about whether or not to post the results—I started out strong, but faded at the end.

I had some rough pulp cardboard in the house that I'd set aside specifically for a canvas because of it's orange color and the marvelous chunks of pulp—more like handmade paper than plain brown cardboard. I started this piece by holding my fountain pen to the cardboard and letting the ink soak in spots. Added pastel highlights and shadows and a very loose background. Broke out the hole punch and some twine, and wove the twine to hang the piece on my door.

Just another little something.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Time Marches Into March... does the datebook.

The quote: "My great longing is to make those very incorrectnesses, those deviations, remodellings, changes in reality, so that they may become, yes, lies if you like—but truer than the literal truth." —Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Datebook the End of February

First, the quote: "Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn't original sin. He's born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. That he has to leave the nest, the security and go out to do battle. He has to lose everything that is lovely and fight for a new lovliness of his own making, and it's a tragedy. A lot of people don't have the courage to do it."
—Helen Hayes (1900-93)

The sketch on March 1st is a sketch of The Sketch of The Creation of Adam leading to the Sistine Chapel painting by none other than Michelangelo. From a trotting horse (as my mentor Sheldon would say) it doesn't look too bad. What an amazing testament to the master's ability that a sketch of his sketch can even begin to approach the actual form of man. It was as if his line was telling me, "this is the way man is assembled. I have studied the assembly of the creature, and you may rely on my accuracy."

I don't begin to claim it is anything but a shadow, but I'm very pleased with it nonetheless.

In the murk of the watercolor wash you might be able to see a sketch of my fellow train commuters. The quote:

"Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and spring. If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature,—if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you,—know that the morning and spring of your life are past. Thus you may feel your pulse." —H.D. Thoreau, journal entry 25-Feb-1959

I have to agree with this in sentiment. However, I'd stake my claim the human spirit lives for much more, so I'd not put my full convictions behind it. It is a hopeful sentiment though.

You got a teaser of the 24th and here's the final outcome. Didn't add much to it, but didn't have the time to do so—or the inspiration either (truth be told).