Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Here is a recent doodle using a Laban Mento fountain pen (M nib) with Noodler's Kiowa Pecan ink. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Smart Phone Fidgets

My smart phone has increased my fidget factor when I am out.  I'm not a big talker and love to have something to do with my hands when everyone is talking.  I don't play games, text, or check e-mail - I'm not that rude.  But I love to play with the camera.  I used to bring a sketchbook and sketch when I was out with people.  In my teens and twenties, that was cool and not only did it not offend anyone, my friends actually liked it.  But now at age 51, it is no longer cool and definitely viewed as rude.  So, now I bring my smart phone and take pictures at the table. Since everyone brings their phones everywhere now, I can get away with this. Ironically, I am one of the few people who refuses to answer his phone at meals, because that seems rude to me. Now if everyone would just bring sketchbooks and plop them on the table, I'd still prefer that, but I don't live in an art compound, so that's not going to happen.

When everyone is busily engaged in conversation, I snap a few photos of people, which always come out blurry because it is dark.  But then I can sneak out a few still life shots, like this one of the wine glass and silverware.  It is not a great shot but I like the stark contrast of the black and white image.  The photo was not processed in any way. This is it straight out of the camera (HTC Eris). I changed the settings on the camera to BW and was able to steady it well enough to get a decent low light picture.

Here's another way to get a clear low-light picture with a smart phone: The color photo of the parking garage was taken by pressing the phone against the window of the hotel room, which steadied it enough to make it a clear photo.  Not a great photo but I was bored.  How can cable have so many programs and still have nothing to watch?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tucson 1987

Re-post: I am visiting Tucson after 25 years, so thought I'd bring this post from April, 2008 back to the top.

I don't think these are the sort of images that Tucson, Arizona is most remembered for, but I was intrigued by the old abandoned buildings there and took several photos of them in the 1980s. The color image above is a small water color and gouache painting on pressboard. While the warehouse below is a B&W photo.

Note: Here I am in Tucson 25 years later and I was able to find the same building after some searching - the trees threw me off. But here is the same building at 6th and Ash in Tucson - March 2011. The Location of the Water Colour above is still a mystery

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Impulse Painting

While straightening up the garage yesterday, I ran across this painting. This is a detail of an "unfinished" painting that I painted some 20 years ago or more - so, apparently it is finished. I never even gave it a title.

Usually a painting is at least somewhat planned out before you begin painting but this one was a doodle-painting, where I just started painting and let the composition evolve. Some of my own work that I most enjoyed producing, and which seems most interesting to look at are doodle-works.

However, this one and another one are both 90% finished because there was no plan and I found it difficult to resolve the painting when I got to the end. Besides not having a plan, probably the more likely reason the paintings are unfinished is because I started to care about them. There comes this point when I stopped impulsively creating and thought, "Hey I like this. I want to paint a really excellent conclusion to it." And then I was suddenly stymied. Because the whole reason why the painting was going so well was because I wasn't overly concerned about it. It is the most allusive ability to tap into intentionally. But when it happens it is an absolute joy.