Danny Gregory and I Discuss Visual Journaling From May 2008: Part one of a two-part podcast. Danny Gregory, author of "An Illustrated Life," talks to me about journaling, art media, and materials…The second part is in the same location. Be sure to check out the great interviews he does with other artists included in his book!
Finding Bits of Time Ricë Freeman-Zachery, author of "Creative Time and Space," talks to me about finding time to be creative. (Taped October 23, 2009.)
(I also enjoyed this series and while I thought Scott Bakula was great in it and continues to be fun to watch ["Men of a Certain Age"] I have long been a Dean Stockwell fan. My favorite episode happens to provide details of Admiral Al's character—"The Leap Home [Parts 1 and 2]" from season 3—I can't say more or I'll spoil it.)
Left: Boston Terrier sketch (from dog park sketches as reference), made with the Pentel Aquash brush which comes with light black ink (waterproof if that matters to you). Click on the image to view an enlargement. (9 x 12 inch page from my Venezia studio journal.)
It has started. There are men on the roof. Everyone told me when the roofers came I'd have to leave, and in truth I'm ready to bug out of here, get out on my bike and work on my new ukulele song: "You Can't be a Stunt Woman Past 50." It came to me yesterday when I was dodging folks on the greenway and an 80-year-old woman with sun-tanned skin like wrinkled leather, a spine as stiff as my headmistress', and a shocking crown of pure white hair, peddled towards me. My mind works that way. There is a nifty chorus about osteopenia, but it needs some work as all I'm coming up with are slant rhymes.
And no, I haven't purchased a ukulele yet, but we did go to the guitar store so I could smell them. (I'm allergic to many woods and all varnishes [unless aged].) There are several possibilities.
But the most important news I have for you this morning is that the Aquash brush pen with light black ink is now empty. (There is a slight stream still coming out but no sloshing noise and no extra ink when you squeeze it so I doubt I'll get even another full sketch out of it.) It lasted about 3 weeks of daily sketching. I got over 80 large sketches or complex page spreads out of it. So for slightly less than $10 that pen seems to me to have more than delivered on FUN (yes, all caps). I'll see about getting a replacement cartridge because I want to see how long the brush tip holds up (it's still doing well after a lot of abuse). But I already feel I have got my money's worth.
I'll have other images made with that brush pen to post as the days go by. But now I'll be using some other pens more again. (I do have a second Aquash brush pen that I can start using as well.)
There you have it. I am into my tights and out of here!
Above: Cockatoo sketch using Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and watercolors on a journal handmade with Stonehenge paper. (Journal is approx. 7.5 x 7.5 inches.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Saturdays are days I allow myself to check out some ukulele music on the internet. Really we have to keep a cap on this obsession. The other day I wrote 4 songs, one of which, "I Used To Be a Valley Girl" makes me giggle (which I don't ever do; and no I will never sing it for you, some things are too personal). Then I came up with a couple album titles, of course. So we all know where this is going—and I don't even have a ukulele yet (though we are going to look at some tonight)—I'm going to be making fake album covers just as I enjoy making fake book covers! I have to fill my spare time some how.
In the meantime I thought I would share a little movie scene I wish would find its way into a movie:
Sir Sean walks into a subway and down the platform, and as he walks we hear it, the little picky tones and strumming of the busker playing on his uke. Sir Sean tosses a couple bills into the gig case and keeps walking.
Once you fall in love with ukuleles you can't help imagining them being used EVERYWHERE!
Left: Detail from the cockatoo sketch so you can see how the watercolor works on the paper, and see the little bit of white gouache added in the orbital ring. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
So what's with the cockatoo sketch for today?
1. I'm still working on my State Fair scans.
2. I'm making two artists books (one an edition of 6 and the other an edition of 30) based on the State Fair scans and the deadlines are perilously close.
3. Despite the heartfelt encouragement of other ukulele fans who've written in to me, I doubt that I will ever sketch a uke (mine or someone else's) so I had to come up with something to illustrate this post.
4. Haven't you caught on by now that 99.9 percent of my bird portraits are self-portraits and that this one, even though it pre-dates the creation of the song is exactly what I would look like if I were to sing, "I Used To Be a Valley Girl." I thought you could enjoy it this way. (Actually I lived in San Jose, but I can do a good Valley Girl if I have to—just don't ask me under which circumstances such a portrayal might be necessary; my life is complicated.)
Oh, and the fortune that's stuck to the featured page spread reads: "The difficulty is not on [sic] coming up [with] new ideas, but to undo the old one."
If the first few minutes of the documentary "The Mighty Uke" don't fill you full of joy and the next several minutes don't make you want to jump up, rush out, and learn the ukulele, then go to the doctor because there's something seriously wrong with you.
I found this delightful short film a couple weeks ago while channel flipping (I think it was on IFC or Sundance).
No, I'm not going to go out and learn the ukulele. I have to focus! But I did have to take several calming breaths to prevent myselve from seeking lessons.
Watching this film made me smile harder than I have in weeks, or months. And it also made me feel even more certain that we need to do everything we can to support music education in the schools.
So please check out the clips on their website, rent or buy the full documentary, and let a little joy into your life. (And if you take up the ukulele, drop me a line.)