Sunday, March 15, 2009

My First Blog Post - An Introduction

From my earliest days in school to my years in the working world, the margins of my papers and pads have always been filled with drawings. With pencil or pen in hand, a drawing would appear. The most natural thing. A dance of mind and hand, without provocation or thought.

So I've dabbled in art every now and then, but never seriously. There were obligations, first as a student (not in art), then as professional and as husband and father, and other interests and labors of love that would take my time. I think maybe I had a tendency to dismiss what came most easily as least important.

But recently I have made a conscious effort to cultivate this part of myself. At first it was like chipping away at ice. Now it is more like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky tap. Soon, I hope, the creativity will flow. There is also much learning to do.

I am an admirer of artists and writers - creative people of all types. The internet is often a window to their creativity. Generous professionals and amateurs alike share their work on websites and blogs. So I have browsed and admired and dreamed, and through Flickr I stumbled upon a blog a few years ago that I truly enjoyed, Janey's Journey. Here was a very creative self-trained artist using markers to express herself in a unique way. From there I discovered other blogs and sites.

Then one day, Janey mentioned in her blog that she would give a postcard with one of her drawings on it to anyone who would ask - for free! Greed reared its ugly little head, and I sent her an e-mail talking a little about how I've dabbled in art, and much about my admiration of her style. She sent me an e-mail back that was longer than her blog that day. What a wonderful thing! And in that e-mail she wrote matter-of-factly, "Do you have a blog? I'd love to see your drawings. And I'll take a look at the ones you mentioned."

Blog? I don't have a blog. Why would I have a blog?

Well, why not?

I expect that her comment was the seed from which "Dan's Canvas" is sprouting, although I still really don't know why. A few things I do know. I would love for you to follow along and to comment if you are ever so inclined. I also hope to make the virtual acquaintance of others of you with similar interests or blogs of your own. I would like to share blogs and sites that I find and like. Only a few are posted now. Others I'm sure will come with time.

The main goal for me, I guess, is to expand my art skills. The internet is a marvelous distraction, and I am going to have to remind myself that browsing, and even writing this blog, takes me away from my main objective. I have limited time. (Don't we all?) Maybe you can help me stay motivated, stay on track.

Nowadays, I am mostly drawing and sketching. I think of it as calisthenics. I have filled one large sketchbook, and have now taken to carrying around a small back-pocket Moleskine for furtive drawings of people. I am most fascinated with people, and my blog will probably reflect this, but a blank canvas, as you know, has many possibilities, and I am open to them.

As an introduction, I will be posting fairly recent drawings I have done before this first blog post, along with scattered drawings I do as they come.

To start this blog off, here are some drawings I made on a flight from Richmond, VA to Fort Lauderdale, FL. Drawing in planes is great if you have the right angle because your subjects cannot see you, for the most part they do not move much, and they are captive audiences. In other venues the challenge is that people move - what a bummer - so my drawings are less precise.

9" x 12 ", Pilot Precise V5 pen

Thank you for joining me.


  1. Hi Dan,
    I so enjoyed reading your intro. Your words are to me, an indication of your expressive nature and I'm pleased to be able to journey with you. Here's to wider margins...Ellyn

  2. Hi Dan, It's about time that you show the world who you really are. I think this is an awesome way to expand your horizons. I have always admired your work. Keep posting them............Irene

  3. Thank you both so much for your kind and encouraging comments! (My thanks have been delayed because of computer problems at home - but are no less heartfelt for the delay.)

  4. Hi Dan, thank you so much for mentioning me in your very first post. I look forward to seeing lots more of your drawings. One word of advise,be very, very careful. it's addictive.

  5. Awesome Blog Dan! I agree with Janey..about the drawing people are very brave! I love your sketches and look forward to reading your blog as months progress! Welcome to the world of art blogs!!!!!! Enjoy!