Sunday, June 6, 2021

"Science, Fiction"

Below is an example of what my digital notes look like on Iphone or Ipad. Together with my sketchbook it seems like I'll never run out of ideas - there are pages and pages and pages of random ideas everywhere. That's what it looks like when I don't even have time to doodle anything out, so I just gotta get the absolute bare bones down using only words before I forget. That's why I'm not a stand-up comedian, more of a sit-down I guess. Might be a little slow on my feet, but boy oh boy just a whiz when I get behind a piece of paper.

I was trying to explain to someone how stressed out I became last weekend on account of all the ideas leaking out of my mind all over the place, on little scraps of paper, Bristol board, sketchbooks, on the computer. If they sit around inside my head too long they all go grey and dusty in a corner, until a couple martinis, or a long drive in the country, will sweep 'em out. But what a problem to have - I'm not complaining. In fact that's probably the one and only area where I can't relate at all to many folks starting out in art. Every once in a long while usually in a Beginning class I'll hear the excuse "I don't know what to draw." I always answer that by starting to point at everything within eyesight. And for me that's what will trigger the cavalcade of concepts, and like an outnumbered bear in a stream facing down an oncoming run of obsessed and horny salmon, ready to mate and die. 

I also want to take a minute here with this particular panel to again extol the many wonderful talents that are assembled within the pages of our local paper. I'm always pleased to share a page in the Sundays section with AK Dept. of Fish & Game Biologist/Education Specialist Mark Ross’ feature “Outdoor Almanac.” This page from a couple weeks back was extra-timely on account of our first season here at the cabin finally attracting a small herd of Grosbeaks to our feeders - so I can really appreciate Mark’s usage of color after studying their details through binoculars. Together w/Ned Rozell’s “Alaska Science Forum” piece on Northern shrikes, that particular issue was literally one for the birds. Bonus: Shout-out to the folks in the print room that really make us look good!


  1. After a long enough time generating ideas more or less nonstop, that in itself has a paralyzing effect as you don't know which to draw, rather than not knowing what to draw. And I wonder if some of the beginners are actually having the latter problem but have not learned to identify it as such.

    1. I've said it before, especially to some students: wish all my problems were that awesome (re: what to choose)