Sunday, January 9, 2011

(The Return of) The Humble Beaver

"Sure it's awe-inspiring, but think of how many dam logs it's gonna take"
First Maine drawing!

(more below the fold)

Got* a set of Derwent "Inktense"  ink pencils (I usually use their water-soluble sketching pencils for B&W washes on my originals) and experimented with them on some watercolor paper. First obvious error was in not letting the India ink dry overnight, so the washes got a wee bit muddy in some spots and the linework started bleeding out. No worries - that's the beginning drawing teacher raising his hand in the back of the mental critique. And after a nice glaze, the original sure looks spiffy, and I'm left with feeling I've created something more physically tangible than a purely digital piece. Probably the hardest thing is adapting to the "getting it right the first time" approach, as in not relying on the computer to crutch through mistakes, that'll take some definite getting used to. But as long as I maintain the playful attitude and keep an open mind about the process and the results (the good, bad and the ugly) it's all good.

Somewhat settled into the new digs: working sitting at a living room table is taking a toll on neck and shoulder muscles (closest thing to a sports injury cartoonists will ever get) and poking around with the g-friend's MacBook Pro requires a bit more deliberation than I'm used to. I still feel like a cat pawing around a litterbox with these funky trackpads - can't wait for the Magic Mouse to get here, and these little condensed keypads lend themselves to creative typos in amusing ways. Speaking of new gear, there's a 27" iMac (Snow Leopard OS) en route which'll get fully loaded with the latest Adobe Creative Suite, and then I'll be fully operational. Quite a step up from the last couple setups, not to mention hairy eyeball relief after staring at the iPod screen for the last couple weeks. 
*All courtesy of the fabulous patronage of my wonderful partner, without whom I'd still be crouching in an outhouse with a Sharpie. Guess who gets the original: thank you sweetie! Meanwhile, payback time back to brushing up the resume...

Ironic that in supposedly taking this turnaround, as far as the art goes, focusing more on the creation of physical originals, I'm simultaneously taking a quantum leap in technological advancement. Having accustomed myself to a level of patience with computer speeds (not to mention 24k dialup modem) this is all a bit overwhelming, like flushing the toilet or washing the dishes with running water for the first time in twenty years of cabin lifestyle. A metaphor, if you will.


  1. Ah, the joys of running water. I am still overwhelmed by the city standard of living (and I only logged 6 1/2 years in a dry cabin, not 20+ like some folks here).

  2. Highly overrated. Then again, I'm gettin' more hugs these days.
    Though nothing beats watching a weeks worth of water swirl down the tubes with just one flush. Or even worse: forgetting about such manual details.

    Good to hear a peep from ya!