Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Quandary

Ink and watercolor on moleskine (comic books for sale)

Great Art Thoughts about ink and watercolor:

I ink therefore I am.

I still live, I still ink: I still have to live, for I still have to ink.

He who learns but does not ink, is lost! He who inks but does not learn is in great danger.

watercolor, drybrush, in large moleskine

But should I ink?

To ink, or not to ink, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous line,
Or to take arms against a sea of scribbles
And by opposing end them.

It occurs to me that even if you have read many of my posts, you do not really know me.  So an example from my life is in order.  Step, then, if you will into my bedroom..

My wife is stripping the bed.  When she unfurls the sheet, a tv remote tumbles onto the floor. 

She is looking around just as I enter the room.

"Where's the clicker?" she asks.

At first I am confused.  I am wondering why she is in the bedroom asking for the garage door opener.  She holds up the tv remote and then asks again: "Where's the other clicker?"

Then I realize.  She is asking about the second tv remote.  We call both the garage door openers and the tv remotes "clickers."  (In the name of progress, our cable company Comcast now requires that we use two tv remotes, and one is missing. My great-grandchild will have 10 remotes.  And god forbid one of them is misplaced.)

So we search and we search.  It has to be in the bedroom because that's where I last used it.

Suddenly my wife stands stock still.  She has had a sudden epiphany.  She strides to my end table without hesitation, opens the drawer and plucks out the clicker!

I am astounded.  I had put it there, certainly, but I don't remember doing it.  It doesn't belong there, and I never put it there.

"How did you know?" I ask.

"I know how you think," she says, and leaves the room.

I have an excuse, though, an excuse for my distraction - and here, dear reader, is the key to who I am:  I am always busy thinking GREAT ART THOUGHTS.

So there.


  1. It's good to have a life partner that knows you... it frees you to ink and paint and think about ink and paint... without cluttering your mind with life details like where are my keys... and what happened to the clicker. Great sketches Dan and insightful blog post.

  2. Thanks so much for the "put a smile on my face" post today.

    Nice sketches, too.


  3. That is what happens in marriage. And it's a good thing too! I really like both of these. You are so skilled at capturing those subtle expressions and poses that give so much life to your figures. With and without ink :-)

  4. Nice excuse and drawing to go along with it!

  5. Ink or no ink, both sketches are good.
    Time to start worrying when you find the clicker in the fridge!

  6. I just love both sketches, sorry Dan for not chosing !
    Don't worry, it took ME some time before I understood what a "clicker" is (though I had a guess) !!

  7. And those Great Art Thoughts really pay off. Love the ink and watercolor sketches. I can see you also love to write and I am a great admirer of writers. Your musings are fun and insightful. We can all relate to your clicker story.

  8. To ink or not to ink is a great question; both these drawings are wonderful. The one without ink looks more "painterly"--whatever that means.

    I'm happy to hear that you suffer from GREAT ART THOUGHTS and not the dreaded aging problem of CRS.

  9. Love the post and the drawings/inkings. My husband and I always call out clicker a doo flip much to our childrens annoyance

  10. Dan, thanks for the laugh! You have now provided me with a good excuse next time my scatter-brained self does something scatter-brained. Great art thoughts, exactly!

    And you ink well both in images and in words.

  11. I think a lot of creative people are off in their own big art thoughts a lot. My son once told me that although the family doesn't understand what I say very well, he figured my art pals would! I think that was a double-sided comment but at least he was getting the clue that art is a large segment of my world.

    I'll bet your wife figures that too! By the way, Amazon (and I'm sure many other places too) sell programmable remotes so you can have all the remotes in your house on just one remote.

    Love your sketch by the way. It fits the post quite well.

  12. Both sketches . . . VERY beautiful, VERY creative! How blessed are you that your creative mind is wedded to another creative (and clairvoyant) mind!?! Wonderful, wonderful post!!!

  13. Hello Dan,
    Blimey...this is a tricky one and not half. I like both. I think with the ink there is a lot of you, a lot of noticeable style. But what is that saying...there are no lines, only places where spaces join (ok, I may have made that up or was it a dream~~~~?).
    The drybrush makes for quite dense colour (yes colour with a 'u' crazy Brits eh?).
    I know...use BOTH as it doesn't matter - it will always be a special piece coming from your talent.
    P.S. Cathy...doesn't everyone keep their clicker in the fridge? Your worrying me now. I wouldn't like to think I was strange or anything.

  14. My day is much brighter after reading your clicking column. Great Art Thoughts (GAT)is now my excuse for all my flubs.

  15. Delightful post as usual. I always know I'm in for a treat when visiting your site.

    I must be an oddball...I've never misplaced our remotes! Big shock, eh? Maybe that's proof of a very unartful mind? Dunno.

    I love both the artworks...the one with ink is very "Dan" but the other is very good too, I like the mood you've captured with the non-inked painting.

  16. I have spent years trying to get down to a single remote. It's impossible. The TV room will soon resemble a pilot's cockpit.

    Haven't been here in a while - LOVED the current profile pic.

    Oh, and the ink of course. Great perspective in the restaurant (?) drawing.

  17. Love both these sketches....and, of course, the story you've written. I kind of think of you as "our" Dave Barry because.... 1. You live in Fla 2. You are funny...very funny.
    I had to wonder if you actually stood in the comic store sketching? did you? I imagine you did, I can picture you standing in the corner scribbling away! The 2nd sketch has wonderful "recession" showing us the people farthest away.
    Clicker is a fun word to say, maybe that is why you use the word on all things that click.

  18. Both works are marvelous Dan!
    I am not a bit surprised that you think "Great Art Thoughts".

    Your better half is very wise indeed!

    Now then, I'm clicking onto more blogs and look forward to clicking back here soon.

  19. Of course! And as I spend a lot of time having them, too, and enjoying the results of yours by reading your blog regularly, I won't argue with you! Very impressed by your wife's insight, though...
    Great drawings - the effects and colors in the second one are beautiful, they feel warm and velvety!

  20. ^^ Teehee... I've only been married for less than 2 years, but I tend to read my wife's mind a lot. I try not to "know" how her mind works, but the engineer side of my always want to know that...hahahaha, it creates a lot of fun to be able to anticipate her thoughts and moves, but when she does things out of my anticipation, it's so much more interesting, almost like a breakthrough. As always Dan, lovely drawings, and love the read!

  21. I had to attach my remote to a red box so I could find it. I even tied one to a red ball once. I have bad habits. Anyway...I always admire ink artists. I love that look, either with color or without. But I like your two ladies talking too, so who knows! Either way, MORE!!!

  22. When one of my kids misplaces their phone I can call them and they can find the misplaced item by following their ears. I often wish that everything had a remote 'call' button. Wouldn't life be so much easier?

    I love your Art Thoughts almost as much as your Artwork. Keep 'em all coming...


  23. Enjoyed this post, and love the drybrush painting.

  24. HHHaaa! This is too funny! My husband does the same thing to me! Unfortunately I haven't the same skill for him, maybe because I'm always thinking great art thoughts! Love it! Both of these are wonderful. I don't think you are capable of doing anything bad!

  25. Well, I've pretty much been an ungrateful wretch. Not ungrateful, though, truly grateful for your comments, just a little late in saying so. In truth, I believe that you all keep me going - and keep me going artwise at a pace that is beneficial for me, so thank you.

    Thank you also for enjoying my stories (and my writing - which I also consider to be a form of art). I am glad you relate to them. So many of you also have Great Art Thoughts!! I could tell. :)

    Elaine - Sometimes it is good that my life partner knows me; sometimes it seems not so good. lol.

    And Betty - Re my wife being clairvoyant, yes she is. Please refer to my note to Elaine.

    Ann - Thank you - I am trying to get more expression in both the faces and the poses. There is a limit to how many times you can draw people sitting with their mouths closed! I glad my effort is showing results.

    Celeste - Dave Barry of our little art world?! I'll take that compliment gladly. I've seen him in public speaking several times. He is sooo funny.

    kazummi - I'm glad you recognize my Great Art Mind. I can only say it takes one to know one.

    Raena - I am sure you do have Great Art Thoughts too. I am sure that is true. Sure.

    Thanks all!

  26. Burst out laughing at your post, Dan ! Love your humour ... and watercolors, whether be ink or not ! Lovely charming and "cheerful" teapot too (august 2011).