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This is depressing as fuck.


But anyway. Things I hope I learn; Pick a single focus or else figure out some way to introduce movement, because this is just awkward. Pencils are magical things that can go DARK  or delicate.  Use this knowledge. Ack. The proportions are better than they’ve been. The cockatiel bookend looks sorta like what it looks like. Oh, yeah. Straight lines; you might want to try them sometime.

Maybe it’s because I’m not just waiting for a really good one to post that I think I suck, but this is really bringing me down. Not sure if I’ll keep posting. I work most of the rest of the week, so being tired might affect things a bit.

In better news, Katniss has strangely become an actual cat, rather than a cat-shaped fat shedding bundle of nerves. She played today! She’s pooping pretty much where she’s supposed to – an incredible relief. My christmas cactus is blooming, as is my dwarf cyclamen. And it was warm today. I went out for a walk, and unzipped my jacket. Because it was a holiday, the town was quiet. Because it is January, the sky was blue.

I have issues.


I was peevish when I did this page, but you never would have guessed, would you? Also, “Draw hands” for a prompt? That’s the best you could do? I was monkeying around with ideas, but I didn’t do well. The bottom left is merely awful. There were two other pages, all at least this bad. I’m trying to move on.


Day 12; peevishness returns. “Draw what you had for dinner.” Hello? I already ate it. (Ravioli and butternut squash. Really pretty good. In a nice sauce. Not bad for frozen.) So, I was on the verge of drawing a circle for the bowl with some circles for the ravioli, but then I happened to start shading, and the graphite felt nice and smooth, and it wouldn’t be so much trouble to add shading, . . . Dark blue bowl, by the way. I wasn’t being petty about that.


Day 13. I’m discovering that if I hold the paper kind of off to one side, and maybe lean a little too far to the left, I can really really skew perspective. Oops. Too bad. The left side was okay.

But I realized that a certain amount of my problem is that I dislike this sketchbook intensely. It’s not wire-bound, but the pages lie pretty flat. It’s got this cool magnetic clasp! which means you have to contend with a flapping thing trying to get in your way. I’m considering taking a scissors or something to it, and replacing it with a big rubber band. I’m not comfortable with pen sketching (see the hands? Pen), but I like the graphite pencil a lot, and I like  my Wolff’s BB drawing pencil even more. I might go find another sketchbook, but I am going to keep up, even if I’m peevish.

On the plus side, I’ve been prototyping a 3D pendant design. I pinned the pieces in place after flooding one piece with solder and turned the torch up high. By gosh, it actually worked. I need to look at it again tomorrow and see if this version is worth more work. If not, I have other ideas.

In other news, it’s January. I forget every year how much I love this month, with the cyan blue skies, and all the different colors of light.


Uck. And smeary. Part of the lens is good. I’m crabby about this one.

Part of the problem is I get tired of working on an image, and walk away. I also dance back and forth between line and rendering, and between seeing and thinking.

I called Duffy’s office today, and was told that in the staff meeting today, the representative made a big point of telling the staff that while there might be a vote to repeal, by the actual end date there would be a new plan in place.  The woman who answers the phone is nice, and I make a point to be nice also. Dialogue!


“Draw your bed.” So I did a quick 30-second sketch of my bed, the one where I’d taken a nap and kinda tossed the covers back, the one where I have five pillows and three blankets and no bedspread, in the room where I don’t turn the overhead light on after dark, and realized that might be too much. So I did one corner with two pillows and a blanket all tumbled, and while I failed in so many ways, parts of the top left pillow are good. And I remembered how great it is to draw folds in cloth. I’m glad I’m doing this. I had forgotten how great it is to sit and draw.

In good citizenship, I called my representative in Washington and left a message explaining that cutting people’s salary to $1/day was petty and vindictive for the party that won. I think I’m averaging a call a day. No going gently into this particular abyss.


Ack. I hate honesty.

The one on top is more true, and is also the second one. I get the feeling if I’d done a third, it would have been all right.

I’m glad I’m doing this. Obvs, this particular skill has rusted. I just read an article on creating elipses, and that helped. I had also just watched a youtube that said to not draw hard lines, but sketch in little short lines, till you get to the shape you want. In the second sketch I came closer to starting with the darks and progressing to the lights like a good girl. Of course in the second sketch I also had so many mistakes fresh in my head, and was able to skip some of them. We just won’t talk about the three light sources, rendering shadows chaotic. Or the pen that leaked all over my hand, which I then smeared across the paper.

More honesty: in scanning and prepping these, I’m pumping in contrast and skewing the levels. I’m noticing that you can’t see the guidelines I used.

In the real world, I called Wisconsin Senator Johnson, mentioning that gutting ACA would kill me. We’ll see.

EDM Challenges

Day 1: Shoe



I think I’ll find an actual 2B pencil for tomorrow.


They’re between 3 and four inches across. The top one has already found a home.

Maybe I should use it for something.


Scenes from Chequamegon Bay, Friday afternoon.

George Saunders, writing about people he’s met at Trump rallies.

I’m sorry, I can’t summarize it. I mean, there’s some great take-away lines in it; the bit about the castle is pretty amazing. But if you only read that bit, you won’t see the people – all the people, young and old, witty and dull. It’s brilliant writing, no matter where you are.


Summer kitchen.

“We have to be as big as the values that define America. And we are a big-hearted, fair-minded country. We teach our children that this is one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Not just for people who look a certain way or worship a certain way or love a certain way. For all. Indivisible.”

– Hillary Rodham Clinton