Category Archives: art

This wins Quote of the Month

From Michael Flynn:

Suppose you wrote a story about a poor struggling artist devoted to his late mother.  He becomes homeless, hungry on the streets of the big city, sleeping in shelters or under bridges, selling cityscape watercolors to small-time vendors.  He is a vegetarian and believes in animal rights.  He is vehemently anti-smoking. His homosexual tendencies come out when he is forced into close quarters with other men during a war and for the almost rest of his life he never marries. 

At what point do you realize that you are writing about Adolph Hitler?

The entire post is well worth a read.

-JM

books

Why do I like books? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle nails it pretty well:

I care not how humble your bookshelf may be, nor how lowly the room which it adorns. Close the door of that room behind you, shut off with it all the cares of the outer world, plunge back into the soothing company of the great dead, and then you are through the magic portal into that fair land whither worry and vexation can follow you no more. You have left all that is vulgar and all that is sordid behind you.

There stand your noble, silent comrades, waiting in their ranks. Pass your eye down their files. Choose your man. And then you have but to hold up your hand to him and away you go together into dreamland.

Surely there would be something eerie about a line of books were it not that familiarity has deadened our sense of it. Each is a mummified soul embalmed in cere-cloth and natron of leather and printer’s ink. Each cover of a true book enfolds the concentrated essence of a man. The personalities of the writers have faded into the thinnest shadows, as their bodies into impalpable dust, yet here are their very spirits at your command.

Via Passive Guy.

-JM

amateur hour

I needed a hobby.

Writing, unfortunately, doesn’t really count, at least not any more. I don’t want to be a full-time writer (it sounds like a horrid lifestyle), but I do want to write well enough to get paid when I do it. So while I enjoy writing, it tends to be Serious Business, which doesn’t lend itself well to unwinding.

So about six weeks ago, I took up sketching, instead. It’s actually rather relaxing, at least in comparison to the kind of things I usually do. I never realized this, but to draw, you have to wrench your mind into an entirely different mode of consciousness. It’s almost like a drug; the only comparable mental states I’ve had involve alcohol and long-distance running, and drawing isn’t nearly as hard on you as either of those (admittedly, sketching doesn’t burn nearly as many calories).

Tonight I finally felt up to tackling a human head.

(Well, strictly speaking, it was an elf’s head. More on that later.)

I…don’t completely hate it. The proportions of the eyes and the nose are just off, somehow. But it turned out reasonably well.

By comparison, here is the original:

In case you were wondering, yes, that is a character from “Dragon Age Origins”. I wanted to draw a profile, and “Dragon Age” has this habit of taking screenshots of the game and stashing them in your saved game directory. I saw it, thought “ah-ha!”, and off I went.

-JM