Category: Art

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.

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.

For Challengers Only

Later this summer, I’ll be handing off my Dodge Challenger to my son. Like any young person, I’m sure the day will come when he’ll want a car of his own and he’ll trade it away.

The thought is a little heartbreaking considering how much I’ve enjoyed that car, and I wanted to keep it close to my heart and still represent the last decade that I’ve been rolling with Mopar.

I looked for some cool t-shirts, but but didn’t find much that really fit my taste, so of course I designed some of my own!

I’ve added these to my Threadless shop, available in multiple colors and fits.

Annnnndddd all t-shirts are $15 through June 27th!

If you or someone you know is a Challenger owner, maybe these are just what they’ve been looking for. 

The Binds of Life

This has been life for me lately. The state of the world, the state of my home, the state of my family—all of it seems so chaotic and delicate and imbalanced right now.

I used to believe that, with enough strength and determination, one could handle anything the world threw at them.

This week I had another in a recent series of reminders that, as much as I want to help others and handle things all around me, I can’t forget to take care of my own well-being. 

The past year has been a prolonged exercise in patience and resilience for us all, and just remember it’s okay to take time for yourself whenever possible.

Strangeness in the Proportion

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”

Francis Bacon

In August 2019, I set a goal of drawing and sharing something new everyday, and I ended up drawing more in five months than I had in the previous five years.

Whether it took me minutes or days or even years to complete, self-consciousness and doubt and fear have always been hard to overcome because I was aiming for excellence. The result is far less finished work with only slightly-improving quality. After more than 30 years of calling myself an artist, I really should have much more to show for it.

For so long, I thought art was a matter of crafting perfection, but making something that I’m happy with is more important than creating a masterpiece. An artist doesn’t have the power to deem their work good or bad or anything beyond that. That belongs to the viewer.

So this first drawing of the year represents the incredible vulnerability of sharing my personal art with the world and what 2019 taught me about embracing the discomfort that comes with it.

Today, my only concern is communicating what’s in my head (be it amusing, weird, fantastical or downright disturbing) and that I’ve done it to the degree I think is most appropriate — not the best, or the fastest, or even the clearest. Better to let it be rough or unusual or embarrassing instead of never letting it be at all.

Thank you to everyone that showed love and encouragement for what I’ve shared so far. Turns out I needed it so much more now than ever before. There’s much more to come in 2020, and I hope you’re down for the ride.