Wednesday, March 04, 2009

In-between Things

Right now, I am in-between things. . .dappling in music, enrolled in a guitar and music theory class and applying diligently for opportunities to live and work in the mountains once again. Do what you can when you can do it. . .the only time is now. There is no later. My sketching has perhaps reverted back to scribbles on notebook paper, in books, on scraps, and random places. . .but the new and surprising difference I find now (after a good period of little focus on my drawing skills) is the relative ease, looseness, and freedom that comes when I put my pen to the paper. This may be because of many reasons including the fact that I am just doodling on scrap paper and am not sitting down to create a finished piece. . .but besides that possible fact, I am much more comfortable and intuitive, letting things flow as is the nature of fluidity in life. I know that I will sit down one day and create something finished, but right now that is not so important. I'm off to different vistas. . .and when I come down, art will be right there. It will always be there.

View of San Francisco mountains from Wutpaki Pueblo area, AZ/

Playing around. . .nothing in particular.

"The East-Going Heart"- December's Train Trip East

December 2008 was a month of train travel, car travel, bus travel, and plane travel, all to visit friends and a life that I left in the East coast 2 years ago. I consider myself so very fortunate- this past year, I was able to spend time with 99.9% of the people who have a great importance in my life. . .the people I deeply care about. So, the year ended appropriately with a visit to the East Coast.

Here are quick watercolors- really fun to do on the train. I tried a new poly pro paper I found in the art store that claimed it was good for "all watercolor techniques." It definitely is a slicker surface and allows for a lot of happy accidents in quick watercolor sketching.

*From Fullerton, CA I took the Coastal Starlight up to Seattle, WA:

Around San Luis Obispo

The Cuesta Grade (SLO)

Mt. Shasta Sunrise

Some peak in Oregon

Mt. Scott, OR (regular watercolor paper)

*From Seattle, WA to Chicago, IL, I took the Empire Builder through blizzards:
Glacier National Park, MT

My Reflection

*From Chicago, IL to New York, NY, I took the Lake Shore Limited:

Random sketches

"Getting Things Done for America"- the past year (2008)

Hello everyone. It's been a little while, but as promised, here's a catchup on visual work from the past year or so. An old coworker of mine had a great suggestion when I started the Watershed Stewards Project through AmeriCorps in 2008: why not document my year of service through a sketchbook journal? The idea had me very excited, tying together my visual art background with my new involvement with environmental work. . .and immediately I started to sketch the new things I learned from my placement site about salmon, steelhead, and their habitat. But of course, as this will show, I didn't have my nose buried in my sketchbook as much as I initially thought I would. . .there were many new things to explore and experience in the Redwood Curtain of Northern California. As time has passed (and you art nuts may cross your fingers in shame of what I may say), I have let go more and more of the idea of filling up a sketchbook that has been so ingrained in me from college. It's more important to experience life. . .and then the drawings will follow. . . you don't have to fill up a book a month. Heck, if you only fill up a half a tiny sketchbook in a year, you're still just as much as an artist as others. Life is not about quotas. You're not going to lose your skill and ability. . .the time will be right when the time is right. It's good to step away. Being an artist is being an artist of life. Why limit yourself to one aspect, the visual? Life has been so much more rewarding. . .2008 was a rough year, but I have grown much and am grateful for the good that I did experience. Here are the drawings and sketches:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

*the Newness*

Well, it's been a long time. . .I do agree. But there is newness in the air. . .freedom of the unknown. . .the paths of life have been interesting. . .a continuing adventure rooted in the mountains and rivers of California. I have a bit to update, but am currently in transition. . .ending an AmeriCorps program in Humboldt County and moving to who knows what and where! Check out my new website for now: . .and updates and scans of sketches from the past year to come soon.

Peas and carrots,


P.S. My art portfolio is still under construction. . .

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My website & other updates

My website and e-mail are currently not working. My domain name expired during my absence and someone has purchased it. This is dissapointing news. I have to figure out a new domain name, so that means my website address and e-mail will be different. For now, I am using as my current e-mail.

As far as the future is concerned, I have decided to work for the CCC a little bit longer and will be moving up to Fortuna in Humboldt County. This will allow me the opportunity to explore my other interest: environmental and ecological work. I have not given up art, but I feel I have dedicated a good lot of time to it and after my experience in the mountains, I feel the need to be outdoors. I plan on continuing doing art of some sort and will try my best to post here. I hope everyone is well and I wish you all the best. Thanks for checking out my blog.

From the mountains I am come

Hi everyone. I have come back from the mountains after having participated in the CCC/Americorps Backcountry Trails Program. For the past 5 months, I had the awesome opportunity to live and work in the wilderness. If you're 18 - 26, I highly reccomend checking out the program:
I was on the Stanislaus Crew- we started in Big Basin State Park along the ocean in the redwoods, and moved into Stanislaus NF (just north of Yosemite), working out of 3 camps. Our final camp was 14 miles in the backcountry next to Emigrant Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness. My heart will now always lie with the mountains. I miss the mountains, the people on my crew, and the work greatly. I tried my best to keep a sketchbook. Here's a selection of watercolors and sketches that I did throughout the season. On the weekends, we were able to go backpacking and explore other parts of the forest. This is when I had time to paint with my little pocket watercolor set. I hope you enjoy. If you'd like to view photographs from my experience, click here.
Watercolor done viewing Cherry Lake in Yosemite

Quick watercolor of view from Relief Resevoir

Tree near Relief Resevoir

View of the east side of the Sierras

Maxwell Lake with a view of Bigelow Peak

View of the face near our home during a stormy day.

View of Emigrant Meadow & Emigrant Lake- our home.

@ the end of Emigrant Lake

View from Snow Lake

<>View of Lake Vernon, Yosemite

Sketches of Peter Lewis @ orientation

Sketch of Convict Lake

Our Jungle Can

This was the design for the front of our t-shirt that I did which was never used. The ink was going to be white on a dark color.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

To The Wilderness Yonder

"To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in the undermining of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed." ---Theodore Roosevelt

And so I am off to spend 5 months in the backcountry doing trail maintanence and conservation work with the California Conservation Corps. I am bringing a sketchbook with me, so hopefully there'll be plenty to post when I get back! Take care everyone! Thanks for checking my blog.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Encinitas Sketches

When I get stir crazy I've been riding my bike to explore Encinitas. . .I usually end up at the beach. Here are some sketches.

^Reminder: don't paint with sunglasses on. . .the sun was so bright!

Playing Around & Practicing

Just playing around with this one (can you tell who I had on my mind?)

Practicing head drawing. . .I've done this portrait about 5 times. . .I think this one is the most successful though not entirely finished. It's of Vachel Lindsay. I wanted to practice on heads of people that inspire me.

SkOoL iS kOoL

This is the last week of school. . .the entire term flew by faster than lead snapping off the pencil you've been spending 10 minutes trying to sharpen. I am so glad to have found the atelier. . .I feel that I have grown a bit in the short time I've been taking classes. . .and this is such a great feeling compared the the stagnancy I felt prior to coming here. You got to keep moving in order to grow. . .moving forward that is. I'm glad I made the move here. . .though there are some developments I will share later.

Here are the drawings (all in various stages). Once again, thanks goes out to the teachers whose input is reflected in all of these drawings.

Life Drawings:

^ I was really happy with this one as it is one of the more complete drawings I have been able to do this semester.

Some 20-Minute Layins:

Figure Quicksketch:
^This page isn't designed nicely like the ones you see in the wall. . .but it's one of my earlier attempts at their style of quicksketch. On it is some feedback from Jeff and Doug.

Head Drawings:

^This was a bad drawing day. . .but what really helped me was Doug's suggestion to just have fun and experiment with rendering on a day like that. Usually frustration really gets me on a day like that. . .but turning it into an opportunity really helped. . .I'll try to keep that in mind each time a "bad drawing day" comes up.

Figure Invention:

This class has been so helpful. . .Erik really breaks down the difficult task of figure invention, making it seem more simple and manageable than I ever thought it was. We've been working on figures for one of our own illustrations. I don't know if I am going to finish this one through- I'm not sure how I want to do it and how I want it to look anymore. I've been looking at a lot of inspiration. I also don't feel that my character as far as design goes is where I want it to be. But it's the best I can do right now and I am pretty happy with it so far.