Saturday, November 09, 2019

Travel Sketches And More

November 9, 2019

When I was a kid I could only imagine what the world of 2020 was going to look like. When you're ten years old and it's 1974, you imagine a future filled with the stuff of science fiction. I expected starships and flying cars, androids and world peace. Okay, maybe not world peace, but definitely a futuristic place. The imaginary future of that ten year old has yet to come.

Today we have awesome computers, cell phones and the Internet, all working together to democratize information. Medical advances mean people can live longer, healthier lives. For the first time in history, we can have a live video chat with someone half a world away or up on the International Space Station. We have some of the greatest minds working together to plan a trip to Mars.

We live in some pretty amazing times and yet the sweetest things in life have little to do with technology. The love of family, friends, meaningful work and the opportunity to travel and experience new things is the stuff of a life well-lived. I am thankful for these things and mindful of their blessings in my own life.

Here are some of the sketches and photos from recent travels and some just for fun.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Summer 2019

August 9, 2019

Watercolor paintings and sketches are some of my favorite ways to practice art. This spring and summer I've been busy doing just that. The drawings below are a selection of some of the work in my sketchbooks. I've been trying hard to sketch and paint a little more loosely. I think when I tighten up my work, it never really achieves the level of photorealism, because deep down I think that you might as well just take a picture.

To get good sketches, I like to get out and about. Traveling the back roads and urban side streets can provide subject matter. I like barns, especially old barns, so I sketch and paint them. Here are a few of my recent sketches.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Looking Back At 2018

December 23, 2018

The year will end in just a few more days, and like most years as I get older, it passed too quickly. This year my son began his final year of middle school, my Dad got cancer, I started a new job, discovered the joy of motorcycling with my wife and I took an extended break from YouTube. Okay, so a lot more happened this past year, the most significant being my fathers illness. He's receiving treatment and doing better now and my family is very thankful for that.

When someone close to you becomes ill, you start to gain a certain perspective about life, mortality and how you want to spend your time.

Most significant for those of you who follow my YouTube channel is my long absence. I had to give it up for a while. It was taking over my life, demanding more and more effort and there are so many other new YouTube channels doing Art Supply reviews. With all the demands of family and work, I just lost my motivation for the day-in, day-out grind of producing videos.

Like any other platform that provides content, there's the good, bad and the ugly.

I desperately need to reinvent my channel, but I guess I really don't know how to do that. I enjoyed giving straightforward, honest reviews of art materials. I was never in it for the money so that's not a motivator for me. I was never in it to become a YouTube, "celebrity", whatever that is. So when the joy left it, I just lost interest. The joy hasn't come back...yet.

Despite my lack of investment in YouTube, I have had some time to sketch. Here is some of my latest work from my sketchbook.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

The Road Less Traveled

August 8, 2018

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." ~ Robert Frost

Sometimes in life it's a good idea to take a left turn on a dirt road. This summer has passed by quickly and I often need to remind myself to take those dusty roads, both physically and metaphorically.

This summer, the roads have taken me many places, mostly beautiful, but always interesting.

When you travel by motorcycle you experience things that you can never experience in a car or train or plane. On a bike, you feel the road and the wind and you smell the fresh cut grass, raw pine and pastures.

On my motorcycle I am always keenly aware of my surroundings, both for necessity and because I want to see everything. An Artist is almost always interested in the subtleties and details of things. Artists notice the shapes of clouds and the shadows on a face. They notice the nuanced tones of brick brick building or wooden table or piece of fruit.

Artists notice colors and wonder if they can capture it with a paint. They wonder if colors are complimentary or if the composition of what they are looking at would make any sense on a canvas.

When I'm on my bike I look for places and things to draw and paint. For me, the combination of motorcycling and art is as close to nirvana as one can get, legally.

This summer I've ridden many miles, sometimes to paint and sketch and sometimes for the sheer joy of riding. Most of the time I ride with my companion and best friend, my wife. She enjoys riding as much as I do and we find that our time together on the bikes (she has her own), is some of the best time we can spend as a couple.
We've taken rides across Minnesota and Wisconsin, into the woods and bluff country, to the open prairies and winding forest roads. None of our rides have been anything less than awesome. We always found something we hadn't expected.

So this summer has been spent working hard at my job, with many long hours. When I'm free from work though, we get on our bikes and ride. On the other days, I sketch and paint with friends and do the many things that life requires of us.

Here are some of the artifacts of my adventures.