Sunday, June 21, 2020

9 Simple Rules You Don't Have to Follow Every Day

I guess I like making lists.  I take inspiration from artist Wendy MacNaughton, illustrator and list maker extraordinaire.

I made this one for myself as much as everyone else.  I need reminding occasionally that amidst all the chaos and abject ugliness, life can be a wondrous and amazing thing. Please feel free to share this if you want. It will be much appreciated.  I welcome feedback, as always.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Creating a Habit-Daily Sketch Practice

As I mentioned before, I am trying to make sketching a daily habit.  We've all heard the whole "it takes 21 days to make a habit" trope, and apparently that's just what it is.  A trope that isn't necessarily accurate.  According to an article at there are variables.  Basically, if you have done something every day for 3 weeks and it still hasn't become a habit, don't despair.  It might take longer.  Don't give up.

I would venture to guess that things become habits more smoothly if, well, you stop thinking "I'm going to make this a habit if it kills me." or something to that effect.  I'm guilty of this.  It's kind of like looking for happiness, or enlightenment, or some other lofty goal.  Don't overthink. Just remember what late comedian/philosopher Bill Hicks said.

Sorry, I guess I have a habit of going off on tangents...

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

(Not So) Daily Sketch Practice-17Jun2020

I am trying to get into the habit of working in the studio as close to every day as possible.  I'm trying to not be so hard on myself.  It's not supposed to be a struggle.  I berate myself for being lazy.  I find I am easily distracted by social media.

Then I tell myself I need to relax.  Despite what many misinformed people want to think, we are in the midst of a pandemic.  It's not something that is going to go away by just ignoring it, try as people might.  

So I am opting to just be grateful that I have food, shelter, the breath in my lungs, and the love of an amazing woman.  Shouldn't that be enough?  Okay, books and coffee.  I'm grateful for those things, too.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Daily Sketch Practice - 13 June 2020

I've said this before but I am determined to have a daily sketch practice, where, no matter how minor or small, I do a sketch of something.  I have succeeded in this 4 out of the last 5 days.  I'm not sure what happened Friday, I guess I was tired.  Anyway, so starting today I will be posting the scanned images from my sketchbook here.  I also post the drawing on my Instagram page.  I will try to go back and scan the previous pages also.

I hope you enjoy these sketches and writings.

If you enjoy my art and writing and would like to support my art habit, you can do so by buying me a virtual coffee at page or by clicking the Ko-fi button on the right side of the page.  Contributors will receive a token of my appreciation like a small drawing, a button, or stickers.

It's Cold Brew Coffee Season

Okay, perhaps this morning was still a hot coffee kind of morning.  The temperature when I woke up at 7:30 am (yes I am incapable of sleeping in on my days off) was around 58 degrees.  I biked to the co-op this morning and wished I had worn gloves.  It's unseasonably cool for mid-June and no, I'm not complaining.

However, it is soon going to be hot, with temperatures near 90 by Wednesday of next week.  I love coffee of all kinds (except instant, which is repulsive) but I am already looking forward to cold brew iced coffee.  

And it's painfully easy to make. There is no special equipment needed. I will say a Toddy Cold Brew System is a nice thing since it makes a fairly large quantity at once.  They can be a little pricey if you are on a budget. However, cold brew can be made in a quart Mason jar or a French Press (as demonstrated in the video above).

Why cold brew?  Cold brewing coffee makes a tasty brew that is lower acidity than regular brewed coffee, for starters. If you love coffee but it irritates your stomach, then cold brew might be the best thing.  The other factor is the cost.  You will pay $5-6 dollars at a Starbucks (if you still feel you need to patronize them) for a large cold brewed coffee.  And it's never sweetened.  Making it home costs a lot less.  It just takes a little more planning and forethought.

I love cold brewed iced coffee.  In fact, even though it's 5:30 in the evening, I think I'm going to have one out on the patio.

Stay caffeinated!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

My New Wheels - Sort of a Review

I have been saving up since last Autumn for a new e-bike.  My old one, an iZip, had served me well but I completely fell in love with this one.  It's a RadRunner made by Rad Power Bikes out of the Seattle WA area.  It is described as a utility e-bike, which is perfect for me.

Between the saving, selling my iZip and another bike, I was finally able to buy the bike about 2 weeks ago. Rad Power is a direct to consumer bike manufacturer so I was not able to buy it locally (and not able to test drive it).  However, I immersed myself in the countless YouTube videos of reviews of the bike.  That convinced me it was the bike for me.

It is definitely not a traditional bike.  The wheels are 20" for starters.  The tires are 3.5 inches across, almost as wide as a motorcycle tire.  That certainly makes for a smoother ride.

The main reason, other than a daily commute, that I wanted this particular bike is simple.  I am once again endeavoring to sketch and draw more outside.  Urban sketching. Although due to the Covid-19 pandemic I'm not really able to hang out in coffee houses, it is Spring and there are a LOT of outdoor destinations to sketch.  I will definitely be able to carry any sketching equipment to wherever I need to go.

If you have ever thought of buying an e-bike, check out Rad Power Bikes.  They are a wonderful company with great customer service.  There is some very basic assembly required such as installing the front wheel, but the company has very detailed instructional videos on their website.

I woke to a beautiful morning and decided to make a time-lapse video of my morning ride!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Hermit Time, Music for a Grey Afternoon

The sun was out this morning and it was beautiful.  Now the skies turn grey with the promise of rain, it's just beautiful in a different way.

This is a very appropriate album at this point in time.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do