IF’s theme this week is Envy. This is a much better theme than last week– too good, in fact. I’ve had the opposite problem from last week, when I had trouble coming up with something worth drawing. Now there’s too many ideas. This is a theme I’ve dealt with before in previous paintings, so I tried to avoid using elements from earlier solutions.


When I draw, I watch my hand & the pencil making their movements in realtime, correcting and adjusting constantly. For me, it’s the typical creative process, to watch something becoming, and to push that becoming towards something recognizeable. I control the pace, though I don’t really know where I’m going till I get there– sometimes not for quite a while after that.

I’m learning to play the guitar, and there’s something markedly different here; with a pencil, I can be deliberate and slow, and a drawing may still be coherent. But if I slow down so my unaccustomed fingers can shape the chords correctly, the music I play becomes incoherent. It comes down to control of time. When drawing, I can control time– slowing it down til it nearly stops, to capture the nuance I’m looking for– but when playing music, the time controls me. I’m unable to slow down, unless I break the continuity of what I’m creating. I’m a slave to my own time-traveling limitations.

It’s very frustrating– like having your car stolen– it used to be you could go to all these places easily, with little effort. Now they all seem so far away.

Illustration Friday

Ever hear of it? It’s here. Their welcome describes it better than I want to. It’s something I’ve been doing to keep ahold of my illustration skills– not my “make pretty pictures” skills, but rather the “make pretty pictures that illuminate a topic” ones. I haven’t posted my solutions there for a few reasons. I haven’t wanted to attract attention to my derelict of a website, for one. There’s a very wide range of technical skill displayed at IF, but a narrower range of solutions…

I prefer illustrations that bring something new to the table– that are not simply pictures of a noun, like a diagram in a dictionary. A good illustration should help the viewer see a side of the topic that was previously hidden to them– it should illuminate. You’ll find fewer of these at IF, probably because a good number of the participants are amateurs– just drawing for fun. I’m not knocking them and their pictures; more power to them, in fact. They’re just working at a different part of the curve.

There are some excellent participants as well– but only a handful of them. Denis Goulet, par example, has an excellent sense of humor.

The great thing about IF is that you get a hundred or more people presenting their solution– and my goal is to be different from all of them. From this POV it’s an excellent exercise.

Here’s links to my previous IF solutions:

Ack. Pfthht!

So I’m enjoying the no-pro lifestyle I’ve assumed. It’s great! I like working without a deadline, and not having to lobotomize my artwork in order to get paid. This is much better. But it’s really easy to slip into complete complacency, and not draw or paint anymore. Not only that, but some kind folks have expressed interest in what sort of work I’ve been doing and not showing to anyone. Well, I’d best get around to rebuilding this website– and here’s the first change. I’ve gotta come up with a new name, and get my recent stuff digitized and postable. I’ll get to that. I’m still raising a family, and have new hobbies and time-bandits about, so be patient. But it’ll happen. Someday.