Sunday, December 23, 2012

Excuses for not posting (and Moleskine sketches)

Excuse #1:  I have a new home studio!  Yes, finally, and in time for the new year.  Figuring out how to arrange it has been difficult.  

First the drafting table was facing west with the easel facing northeast.  

Then the drafting table was facing east, with the easel facing, well, northeast.  No one in the family liked that one.  

Then the drafting table was facing southeast with the easel facing northeast.  My wife hated that one!  It was visceral.  

Finally, as of last night, the drafting table is facing south towards the easel that is facing northeast!  Voila!!  Feng Shui!  Nirvana!  

There.  That’s done.  Where are the brushes?

Excuse #2:  For my new space I ordered a new computer.  (My wife has suddenly become awfully possessive about the one we shared.)  So the computer arrived and I plugged it in but it fell asleep and never woke up. 

Several calls to 24-hour customer support and there was nothing left to do but to return the lazy box back to the online dealer.  Fingers tapping.

Excuse #3:  The dealer told me (well, chatted to me) that I had to replace the laggard with the exact same computer.  They’re kidding, right?   No.  

Didn’t you read the fine print in the ad? they asked.

Squint – “ah, yes, there it is,” I acknowledged.  

Painters should always squint, I am told, that way you can determine the actual value of a thing.  

So true. 

Then when it finally arrived, I plugged in the new computer, turned it on, and the monitor stayed completely dark!

So I called them with my paw pointed forward, my painter’s eyes squinted, my teeth bared and my tail upright, ready for attack.  When I found out that it was all because I plugged both the blue cord and the white cord into the monitor and - shouldn’t I have known that I had to choose one or the other? - I slunk/slinked/slank away with my tail between my legs.  

They said something like this:  You choose the blue cord, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You choose the white cord, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.  

For the record, I chose the white cord.

Now the computer purrs like a kitten and follows every white rabbit down its hole.  Really.

Excuse #4:  So then was time to install all the stuff I need on the computer:  the browser, the bookmarks, the pictures to paint.  Not quite done with that yet.  I haven’t installed Photoshop (and the version I have may be too old for this computer).  My  scanner is hooked to the other computer, and my wife is standing there like a mamma bear at the mouth of her cave.  What do do?

Excuse #5:  I bought a new lamp for my drafting table but still need to buy the day bulb.  It’s dark in here.  Hey, do you notice that once you start buying cool studio stuff, it’s hard to stop?   My needs grow by the day.  Shoulda chosen the blue cord.

So there you are.  Five good reasons for not posting.  There are more, but I don’t want to disturb you more than necessary.

I am ready to leave the dark year of 2012 behind:  to carry the losses in my heart and mind, but move forward as well, beyond the barrier of the new year.  I am poised in my studio, ready for action.  Brush in one hand, pen in the other.  Both held upright as though ready for a meal.  And I’m famished. 

Thinking about it, there's something else customer service said to me: 

I'm trying to free your mind, Dzan. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.

So true.

And how about you?  Are you ready for the new year?


  1. Well you've more than made up for not blogging with your usual terrific paintings. Happy new studio. They are difficult to arrange that's for sure. I'm still trying to figure what works best in mine. At least you have your drafting board in your space. Mine is still two floors up with no one strong enough to maneuver that cumbersome thing down, so I use the bar in the finished room with a slant board for drawing and small paper work. You're a lucky man Dan. Rejoice in the season for rejoicing. A new year is coming and it's going to be as good as we make it--God willing and the creek don't rise.

  2. Great sketches Dan, can I use excuse # 4 too?
    I hope you enjoy your studio, happy 2013!

  3. I predict Feng Shui will lose out to piles of art supplies, thus the Chi will be unable to circulate. I think that's the problem in my studio.

    Congratulations on getting A Room of Your Own; it is so important.

    I love the top painting--a woman of substance and a Beaty. This entry was worth the wait. Walk through that door to 2013; I plan to do the same.

  4. Great post Dan..happy new year to you too!

  5. Well, big congratulations to finally have the studio up and running just the way you wanted it (with the wifes stamp of approval of course : ) And yes, it is hard to stop getting new stuff for the space (at least here it is, my husband just rolls his eyes).

    Great drawings, I like the first one and the last one. Two so very different when it comes to the mood of them, very interesting. For the new year, I just hope it wont be as bumpu as last one was and enjoy the new every minute of it with my kids and family.

    Happy Christmas Dan & all the best for the new year

  6. Yay for a new studio space! I have been taking over a room in our little house, a little bit at a time, and of course this is taking years to accomplish without the Professor and Kiddo getting wise to my plan :-) Someday it may actually resemble a studio! I loved catching up here and seeing your sketches and paintings. Wishing you a happy Christmas and productive New Year!

  7. Ah, the pain of a new computer. I've had my new laptop for 4 months and still don't have my files transfered from my old laptop. Photoshop is sitting there ready to be installed. You are not alone. I agree with hw, art stuff will win out in the end and take over your space but it's all for the lofty goal of making ART. Enjoy all the newness in the New Year!

  8. Congratulations on the studio Dan... I have all... strike that ... most of my art supplies in the den... except I never paint down there... I always end up on my computer desk... cramped though it is.... but I'm hoping to get things organized down in the den, so maybe I'll actually go down there and throw some paint on paper. Merry Christmas my friend, glad you got the cords connected and your very own computer humming along. My husband and I ... use google chat to text each other, as we sit in the same room on separate computers... I cannot even imagine 'sharing' a computer with anyone... I think he feels the same... it's a mixed marriage, he is a PC guy, I'm an Apple gal... LOL

  9. The sketches are great fun to look at. You capture a lot with a minimum of fuss...and I love how you add the watercolor. The color just sings. Oh, I am ready for the new year. I plan to make it a good one! I know you will do the same. I understand about putting off the work of making art in favor of changing furniture. It is called "resistance"...but soon you will have everything just so and you'll be able to work in a great environment. Can't wait to see what you produce in your new studio!

  10. lol what a great post, although I had to go back to look at the portraits as I missed them through reading your adventures.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  11. Congrats on the new space. At least while you awaited the white rabbit to did some great sketches

  12. Hi Dan,
    Congratulations on getting a studio and new computer.
    I've gone backwards - I used to have a nice little studio but moved house and now no room. Strangely - I do more work in the crammped corner of our bedroom than I did in my studio.
    Love the sketches - I think in the new year I might post some of my tiny sketchbook pics.
    Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year Dan!

  13. Oh, the agonies of being an artist! Having just suffered the loss of our computer I thoroughly understand the frustration of updating the replacement. That is why your posts are so relevant. You touch a cord in all of us. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a creative new year.

  14. Oh my gosh, I love the post, and the pics that go along with it. Such a creative way to look at a AGGGGGGGGGGGG Well, congrats on your new studio (And yes, I am still buying stuff for mine, I just realized it needs a better HEATER!)BRRRRRRRrrrrrrr... Can't wait to see the stuff that will come out of it. Merry Christmas my new friend and have a happy holiday.

  15. Neo, uh, I mean, Dan--always love your art and your prose. Happy Holidays!

  16. Dear Dan,
    Congrats on your studio. Your uploaded sketches are nice! Dan, I do it in a very simple way. If I want do it, just do it ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. I'm ready for a New Year! Pile of new watercolour papers and paint(form bargain!). Already I've started some work.
    Thank you for kind cheers all through the year. Your posts and drawings are always lovely. Wish you Merry Christmas and very happy New Year!
    Best wishes, Sadami

  17. Hi Dan, Congrats on the new studio! Funny how the layout and feel of the studio can be so important. I do hope it is just the creative environment you desire! I enjoyed looking at your sketches and reading about your adventures with Customer Support...lucky you! I hope you have a great year. 2012 was a trial, wasn't it? Best wishes!

  18. Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments! I feel for you all and your studio and computer woes! And I am glad you found this post relevant. Between the holidays and everything I am late to respond and am not doing so individually this time - what d'ya do? I appreciate each and every comment even so. And Renaissance Woman - congrats for identifying the Matrix references! Gotta fly..

  19. Great facial expressions! I really like these :)
    I think your excuses are way more valid than mine. The only legit ones for me are probably Thanksgiving and Christmas with family, spending too much time playing with cat(I count this as legit because I miss her), and stomach flu which I contracted after Thanksgiving. I blame Call of Duty for stealing all my time from sketching. :p