Happy New Year!

It’s frosty here in the mornings–40s or 50s at the warmest point of the day. It’s “winter,” and yet it feels like spring to me, as I have not forgotten–nor am I likely ever to forget–the true winters of the Midwest where I grew up. Frost, some flurries? Rain and cold mud? That’s more like March, not January. That said, I’ve become one of those winter wimps: now acclimated to Northern California, I’m not sure I could stand below-zero commutes over icy roads anymore.

So here I sit in the cozy studio, with the last of today’s coffee in a Kliban cat mug (the tabby sits on a little wooden stool and plays his six-string and sings, “Love to eat them mousies; mousies what I love to eat! Bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet!”) and look at what’s going on as we head into 2016. Three book projects are in the works: an anthology with fifteen stories, a likely Lovecraft-inspired book in the next month or two, and one more project that will be announced in March. I will be re-enrolling at the local art co-op the first week of January, and have vowed to work on my figure drawing, which needs work!

Last evening I attended one of the life drawing sessions–here are two quick studies, done in 10 minutes or less:



I’ve let myself get way too far out of practice drawing figures from life…working last night, I noted that I must remind myself to work over the entire figure–the underlying gesture and weight, the foundation of basic solid forms and shadow shapes–before addressing finer shifts in value or overlapping forms. It was great fun getting back to drawing this way, though, and sticking with a regular life drawing practice will improve my work in general.

Working on painting is also exciting. I’ve experimented with oil paint before, but haven’t been confident with the medium. I’d like to be able to take different approaches, depending on the project at hand: both the traditional grisaille underpainting-to-color technique, as well as a more spontaneous alla prima method, appeal to me. Here’s a detail of an oil study of an evil clown, and one of a work in progress using a sepia underpainting:

Man, that’s ugly…he ain’t right!

Memories, dreams, and time all mixed up in my head…

That’s what’s going on here at the moment…I’m hibernating and working, and very happy with that cycle for now. Raising my coffee mug: here’s hoping that this year brings the world more peace, happiness, and good health; more understanding and grace. So may it be. Take care, fellow travelers, and Happy New Year!






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