Thursday Challenges

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Baby Byte

Baby Byte

Monday night, my lovely bride and I wandered out of Wal*mart with two new laptops.  This was just in time as her desktop crashed tonight.  It was the ‘puter that hosted our wireless network so there was a bit of cussing and discussing while I sorted that out.  Anyway, after I mowed the lawn and had dinner with my family, I worked on the network.  Then, I spent the next hour configuring the laptop so that I could work on the blogs with it.  Just the other night on Twitter, Lethe Bashar and I were lamenting the fact that so much of art is waiting.  There is always waiting for glue or paint to dry, film to process, pizzas to arrive, etc, or programs to install on a new computer system.

At least now I can address all the wonderful comments and do my online research without being separated from the family.  Or I could go to the coffee house!

Just a quiche update

Me on Bourbon Street

Me on Bourbon Street

 I am out on a sales call today for my day job.  On Thursday is when I would normally discuss what monthly challenges I am currently working on.  However, that is 750 miles away, and I am in New Orleans on Bourbon Street.  Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez (Let the Good Times Roll).  My lovely bride enjoyed this picture, btw.  She may not speak to me for a month for coming without her.  ;)

Do you ever get overwhelmed?

From left to right: Lighthouse for OKC CPSA, Virtual Sketch Date, Figure Drawing Group, Every Day Matters, Wet Canvas Colored Pencil Challenge, Personal Works, Family, and Day-to-Day Sketches

From left to right: Lighthouse for OKC CPSA, Virtual Sketch Date, Illustration Fridays, Figure Drawing Group, Every Day Matters, Wet Canvas Colored Pencil Challenge, Personal Works, Family, Day-to-Day Sketches, and two Blogs

Do you ever find that you have made too many commitments?  When you love every one of your commitiments, how do you tell which ones to give up?  Add to what’s pictured above my day job and some products I’m developing and you can see that my plate is too full.  Girl2 wants me to teach her to draw and play guitar.  While that may be the blind leading the blind, I believe that is going to take precedence over some of these other commitments.  Balance is the goal here, not feeding the OCD monster!

If you have any comments on how you achieve balance between work, art, family, etc.  I’d love to see ’em.

College Chapel

College Chapel

College Chapel

I had several long breaks today between the courthouse, the printer, and an old friend with a cool offer.  During one of those breaks I went down to The University of Science and Arts, a local college.  I sat in the shade behind the library over looking the chapel while I ate my sardines in hot sauce and drank my 8oz. Diet Dr. Pepper.  While sitting there, I broke out the mini sketch kit and played around a bit.  I like how this one turned out and am VERY eager to do more.  It’s like that.  When you do something that shows obvious improvement or that you think looks very good, you are inspired to do more and more.  One bad drawing can grind you to screaching stop if you let it.  But if you just keep plugging away, you can look back and see that your bad drawings today are still way better than your bad drawings, and even many of your GOOD drawings from yesterday.

My friend Danny, a preacher, made me an offer to use space in his church to give art classes.  We discussed it at length, and I think that we could come to some kind of arrangement.  I also think that it would be a blast to get to do so.  We both agreed, however, that his congregation might frown upon nude figure drawing.

Sketchbook cover

Sketchbook cover

I spend a lot of my time looking for just the right materials with which to draw, paint, sketch, whatever.  It always seems that what I’m looking for either isn’t available, is incredibly expensive, or is made in China.  I find the labor practices in some of those other countries to be incredibly offensive, so it just irritates me to no end that you can’t find anything made anywhere else.  Anyway, what I decided to do about it is gather some domestic materials and make my own.  A local printer friend is helping me out and soon I will have all the sketch books I want in the sizes I want.  WOOT!

EDM 121: Draw Something Shady

EDM 121: Draw Something Shady

EDM 121: Draw Something Shady

I know that I am supposed to be challenged and develop not only my awareness of the world around me and my draftsmanship, but also my creativity.  But I really find the vague challenges annoying.  “Draw something shady.”  “Draw something you like.”  These kind of challenges I know are designed to force me to decide.  But one of the things that drew me in to the Every Day Matters group to begin with was the specific list of items.  When I come to the end of a long day, it is nice to be able to look and see, “Draw a bowl.”  Then I know that I need to draw a bowl and I don’t have to think beyond which bowl, lighting, and composition.  It’s way more meditative that way.  That said, I am still pleased with the way this one turned out.

Colored Pencil Challenge

One of the May colored pencil challenges from Wet Canvas

One of the May colored pencil challenges from Wet Canvas

While I was perusing the online challenges this evening, I came across this one at Wet Canvas.  It is one of the photos for the May colored pencil challenge.  I love a close cropped still life.  I’m really tempted to just do this in ink.  I Think that I am going to take some time with this one and post my *WIPs as I go along.  Maybe I’ll even get it done by the end of the month deadline.

*Wip – Work In Progress

EDM 111: Draw something fresh

MMMM, Garlic.  We had spaghetti for dinner tonight.  We have all of these cloves of wonderful, fresh garlic laying around and I didn’t use any of it in the sauce.  I guess we’re saving it for when the vampires come around.  But I do love the smell of fresh garlic while it sizzles in the pan!