Author: Athenic

The Cold Valley

The Cold Valley

My mother passed away on Mother’s Day May 8, 2022. 

Since that day, I’ve been taking some time to retreat and gather my thoughts. 

The day my mother passed away, I knew things would be different afterwards, but I didn’t know how.

It’s been a hard time. It’s been a lonely time. It’s been a heartbreaking time.

I’ve gained a new appreciation for people, for friends, for life in general, and for not missing opportunities when they present themselves.

For those that have been supportive and encouraging and just been there… thank you.

The Hands That Raised Me

These are the hands that raised me.

These hands are filled with compassion, wisdom and patience, but they also carry the burdens of pain, sorrow and illness. They’ve looked different over the years, sometimes delicate and tender, and other times stubborn and demanding. This was how they looked days before they finally found peace.

These hands took on the incredible task of turning a child into an adult. For years, they loved me, taught me, molded me, and in times when I wasn’t looking, reached out for me. They’ve shown me the value of love and the cost of pride—lessons that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.

These hands lifted me up when I was down, and when I was up, pushed me to new heights. I’ve known these hands my entire life, but in their final days, it also became clear I’ll never know all they’ve been through.

These are the hands that raised me.

I love you mama.

A New Movie Every Day for 2022

Movies are my favorite entertainment.

I’ve seen so many movies in my life. My IMDb ratings is currently just over 1,500 titles, but those are the ones I’ve taken the time to rate. In over 40 years, I’m sure it’s far beyond that.

It was different when you could only see movies in a theater. Once cable came around, it made classics and obscure titles a possibility. Now with all the streaming services, it all feels like too much.
So I have to be choosy now.

I’m going to watch one new movie a day. Something I’ve never seen before, something I should have seen a long time ago or maybe something random I’ve never heard of. No rewatches, no walkouts, no incompletes.

There are so many good series I also want to keep up with, and sometimes a good old favorite is comforting, but those are going to come second now.

The idea is I’ll have seen 365 new movies with new stories, new characters and new worlds I’ve never experienced before.

Quite a challenge, but here we go…

Inktober 2021 Highlights

Inktober 2021 Highlights

I successfully managed to hit every day of the month for Inktober this year.

Like I talked about on a recent episode of Sketch and Release, I think the regular practice of drawing something new every day has helped a lot. I especially tried to work in more tones and textures with markers this time around.

Here are some of my favorites!

Posted in Art
Sketchtember 2021 highlights

Sketchtember 2021 highlights

I didn’t follow any prompts for this year’s #Sketchtember because honestly it just this year that I discovered it was actually a thing

Regardless, I took it upon myself to draw something new almost every day of the month. It was doing this in September 2019 that really helped me get back into drawing and creating new art. 

These aren’t about creating highly finished pieces but just exploring and experimenting with all kinds of style and topics, and here are some of my favorites.

The Subject

After six months of producing my podcast Sketch and Release, I’ve been feeling more like the subject than the artist. Every episode I look at what I’ve learned throughout my career, but it’s also let me reflect on life experiences in general.

With everything I’ve been dealing with since January, the podcast has been a safe space for my state of mind. I’ve discovered more about myself and how much I can handle, including the anxiety of putting myself out there for the whole world. Thank you for listening.

Some behind the scenes stats so far

Most downloaded episode: #8 Mentors – almost three times the listens of every other episode. Shout outs to those I mention in it!

Hardest episode to produce: #12 Freedom – not only because I tried recording with two cameras, but some real emotions were hitting in that one.

Favorite episode sketch: #5 Collaboration – I’ve gone back to that one and starting coloring it out. Maybe I’ll post that one someday soon.