Monthly Archives: November 2019

Writing the Unthinkable Part II – Blind Contour Drawings

These were the first drawings we made in the Writing the Unthinkable Workshop with Lynda Barry on November 23, 2019 in Evansville, Wisconsin. We started by drawing a full breakfast table setting with bacon eggs, and a cup of coffee… with our eyes closed. I forget the time we had to do these drawings, around one or two minutes, I think. I first heard about doing blind contour drawings from Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book.

The next thing to draw is a giraffe.

Followed by a mermaid.

The Statue of Liberty.

A skeleton.

Drawing blind is a great way to free up the mind. We were drawing in $1.00 composition books, the kind with the marbled black covers, which Lynda explained is useful for drawing because they are so inexpensive you don’t worry at all about messing up something expensive and nice. If you mess up, you can keep going. The thing about drawing with your eyes closed is that there is absolutely no wrong way to do it. You just use your mind’s eye and go for it!

Journal Entry – Cemetery Deer

From today’s journal. Saw three deer this morning in the cemetery, having their breakfast. A momma and two juveniles. Since I was on my bike, they didn’t hear me approaching. I watched for half a minute before the mother noticed then she took off. The kids were like, whoah, where’d mom go? Then they saw us and bounded off too. Of course, Daisy wanted to chase them too. I always get a free ride on my bicycle when she tries to chase after deer.

Writing the Unthinkable Part 1 – Some Initial Drawings

For two months, I have been dreaming about attending Writing the Unthinkable with Lynda Barry. I wanted to attend the October edition, but I couldn’t make it work, so as soon as the November one was scheduled and announced, I signed up right away.

Well, November 23rd finally arrived last Saturday so I drove out to Wisconsin with my dog Daisy, and I attended that workshop. Below are the first drawings I made:

This is me in a spacesuit taking Daisy along too.

This is me turning into an elephant.

This is me turning into an onion.

And this is me walking Daisy in a Batman suit.

Stay tuned. There are more stories and drawings coming soon!

The South Room

This is just an experiment using After Effects to animate a childhood memory. Sleeping on a cot in the south room of my grandmother’s house, watching the Twilight Zone on a Saturday night while my grandparents & parents played cards. It was a special time because I was the oldest, I got my own room and got to stay up late watching television.

Tony Adams – Adventure Cyclist

Here is a mini-documentary I made along with the students in my digital literacy class. Everyone was to make a video 2-4 minutes long about someone who is interesting that you don’t know well. (Here is the official DS106 video assignment.) I found Tony pedaling his recumbent bike along my morning commute, so I stopped to see if he would visit with me. This is the result.

I wrote about some of the challenges of making video this in an earlier blog. Needless to say, the shorter the video, the harder you have to work at making it something worth watching. I probably spent over ten hours making this thing, but I like how it turned out.

Thomas Pandolfi Pianist

Last night Emily invited me to go along with her and her friend Haley to attend a piano concert at the Brown grand in concordia. The pianist was Thomas Pandolfi from Washington DC and he performed works by various composers from America in honor of the Veterans Day holiday.  He began and ended with Gershwin. I think he adores Gershwin. I would not know Gershwin except for the fact that we sang Gershwin’s summer time in high school chorus. I have to hand it to my public school music educators. They did exposes to some of the greats. New line

He began and ended with Gershwin. I think he adores Gershwin. I would not know Gershwin except for the fact that we sang Gershwin’s summer time in high school chorus. I have to hand it to my public school music educators. They did expose us to some of the greats. New line

He was very eloquent and theatrical. He strolled out onto the stage and mesmerized us with  his virtuosity. He had an error about him that he plan to bring culture to the backward people of the heartland. Emily giggled uncontrollably at first but I made her quit. She was making me laugh too.

These are some sketches I made.  I forgot to bring my usual small sketchbook along with me to this concert but I had a small folded piece of paper in my wallet to make the sketches on. It was the hunting license I had printed out just the day before. I can print another one.


Thomas Pandolfi in concert

Brown grand theater

Concordia Kansas

November 11, 2019

Ink Wash on Self Portrait Index Cards

Recently, I’ve been collecting self-portraits made on index cards. I’ve traveled to several different high school career fairs over the last few weeks, and borrowing this idea from Lynda Barry, I have begun asking the high school students to draw portraits of themselves for me on index cards.

I ordered myself an ink grinding stone and an Asian/Chinese calligraphy brush as described in Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons! book.

Although I ordered them separately and several weeks apart, my stone, brush & ink arrived on the exact same day that Lynda’s new book Making Comics arrived in the mail.

I was eager to get busy with my new brush and ink. Lynda suggested to just experiment with using it, so that’s what I did.

After getting the feel of grinding the ink and laying it down on paper for a while, it wasn’t long before I was experimenting with putting washes on some drawings made for me by students on index cards. Here are some examples that I just love:

Stryker Hake

Abigail Hodges

derek d

Destiny Black

I feel like I am still getting the hang of using the Chinese brush & ink, but I love using it and how much it adds to these already fabulous images.