Three thoughts

 A work in progress, with big eyes. 

A work in progress, with big eyes. 


I am finding that I make the same mistakes when I draw people. I elongate the face, especially the space between the nose and chin, and I enlarge the eyes.

I noticed that part of that problem is how I sketch in these features. I’m sort of cartoonishly outlining the shape of the eyes and then filling them in. The outlines are large (because I sketch with a broad, flat, tool usually), and so the final form becomes larger and then they’re all wrong. And huge.

Secondly, I struggle to find a balance between mapping, planning, and sculpting a drawing and just diving in and piling on value, color, and detail. I need to slow down and measure and see. Speed will come with practice.

Drawing tech

I listen to the Good Point podcast with Rafael Rozendaal and Jeremy Bailey. I am an unapologetic fan of Rafael Rozendaal so I took it on the chin a bit when they sort of mocked iPad as an art tool. Well not really. They were discussing how painting and drawing become symbols of creative work and how products like the Microsoft Surface and the Apple Pencil are marketed to hypothetical artists in, perhaps, a cynical way to push technology they’ve developed into a market.

I love drawing on an iPad so I took some offense to this…but I see their point. But I think they have the cause and effect backwards. I don’t believe that Apple would have developed their Pencil if there wasn’t demand, or a pre-existing addressable market. Ditto for Microsoft. I also think they failed to ask the question “why is drawing emblematic of creativity?” I think the answer to that question is the answer to why every new technology platform has a painting tool.

Tiny little blogs

I created a account because I needed one more place to post things on the internets. It’s hosted at

It is a distraction from posting on my “proper” blog but it’s also so frictionless and easy that it’s more fun and almost automatic. I also find that it works well as a front-end to Twitter. I can post things that appear on Twitter, without having to ever look at Twitter. This is a plus.

I like the idea a lot and I like that the platform integrates with many other blogging systems (but not Squarespace, unfortunately). I also can get behind the idea of individuals taking back the open web from the clowns in Silicon Valley. I’m hoping that writing there will fertilize more writing here.

Do you have a pool?


“Do you have a pool?” is a web painting of an infinite Motel 6. I’ve painted this Motel 6 before. When I say “this Motel 6” I really mean every Motel 6 because they’re all alike. They might even all be literally the same Motel 6.

When I was making this piece I thought about that feeling at arriving at this American classic and walking by all the doors in the hot sun until I arrived at my door. There’s something comforting and democratic about how they’re all the same, but also unnerving. Each door is anonymous. Each door is closed against the sun. What’s going on in there? Anything? Is anyone even alive here?

Technical notes

I created the imagery in Procreate with an Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro. I exported the painting as a layered image file and broke it up into repeating sections. The three-dimensional effect of the parking lot is accomplished with CSS 3D transformations. The parallax effect of the railing is a simple layer animated slightly faster than the layer behind it. One of the accidental effects I love is that on smaller windows, the scene passes by more slowly. It’s fun to scrunch up the browser window so the effect of the infinite is exaggerated by scale.


Life drawing returns


The life-drawing session I attend has returned from an extended hiatus over the holidays. The people organizing models needed a break and it took a while to get going again. But now it’s back.

I missed these drawing sessions a lot. Having one night a week where I get to turn off my brain and draw is relaxing and restorative. I was worried that these sessions might not pick up again. There aren’t a lot of options in Tacoma. I found an online resource for artist’s photographic references and bought a few sets of poses in case I needed some reference material.

What a strange thing. There are lots of photos of naked people on the internet, but these photos aren’t for that. Art model reference photos are all well lit, set in a white room, and are deeply un-erotic. They’re almost clinical. And now this site sends me marketing emails with photos of naked people I might like to buy.