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Category: Arts and Aesthetics

All things creative. All things beautiful, profound, and moving.

UNFINISHED: When Dog Chose Man

A legend told by several Native American tribes goes something like this (both the picture and the words are my own interpretation): When the world was new and no one yet knew their place, God decided to divide Man from the other animals. He set Man on one side of a line and the rest of the animal kingdom on the other. Then he spoke and the line began to crack open. Soon it was a chasm, separating Man from all the rest. At the very last moment, just as the chasm was becoming impossibly wide, Dog made a rebel…

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Casinato: Innocent

I met an interesting man the other day. Electronics guy. Inventor. But also a singer-songwriter who goes by the mysterious handle Casinato. Although I’m not much of a music person, I was intrigued by the song samples on his website. I bought his album on Bandcamp. The album comes with a .pdf booklet of lyrics and chords. Very helpful. I think what drew me to these songs is the raw, folky quality of Casinato’s voice. Dulcet tones? Not on your life; nor does he aspire to producing anything near dulcet. His voice and style are reminiscent of the early folk-revival…

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Tuesday links

  • Closer to confirmation: mysteriously murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was indeed in contact with Wikileaks, and the emails “hacked by Russians” may have instead been leaked by him.
  • Leonardo da Vinci invented an odd musical instrument (on paper). A modern instrument maker has built it. (Use the “cc” option on the video to get English subtitles.)
  • The governmental stupid gets thicker and thicker in California. Now dumb law threatens small, independent booksellers — as if they weren’t already threatened enough. (H/T M)

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  • St. Guinefort, revisited

    St. Guinefort the Greyhound. Revisited. This is about 1,000 times better than the version I posted the other day. IMHO, this is another moment of hitting my stride. Only trouble is that “my stride” seems to involve one of the slowest, most blindingly tedious mediums in all artdom: colored pencil. Technically, this is mixed media, but mostly colored pencil, which means mostly hours spent scribbling layer upon layer to build up nuanced color and to fill spaces that a paintbrush could knock out in seconds. Most other artwork I’ve posted has taken two or three hours. This required the better…

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    St. Guinefort the Greyhound

    It was a rain day on the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project. No work. Sigh. Boy, the fits and starts of this thing. Supposed to rain tomorrow, too, so we shall see. That at least gave me the chance to get my rusty self back to the art table. I was going to draw a dog-as-pope. … although I thought this hound had more papal majesty. While looking for a good canine pontiff, I — for reasons unknown — found a doggie bantito mixed in with the pope images. Rather liked that guy. I suppose that image is politically…

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    Oh, it is so glorious when the light dawns!

    “Dark night of the soul” is too serious a term for this week’s mini-crisis. That’s an expression to reserve for the big bad moments (or years) in life. But this week fell at least into a momentary twilight of the creative soul. Then … light! —– Tuesday the Wandering Monk and I found all that awfulness as we began the Great House Foundation Project. Not unexpected. Dismal nevertheless. The Monk immediately began kludging together a plan for jacking up the house even with very little of the house left to jack. His plan was creative. And intelligent. And it removed…

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    Friday links

  • The anti-fascist fascists may have reached a new low. They used threats of violence successfully to cancel a long-time traditional parade in Portland, Oregon. Why? Because Republicans were participating. (H/T M)
  • And once again — as is the usual these days — police are doing nothing to stop mob rule. Just happened again in Berkeley. Mind you, I think it’s naive to expect cops to protect free speech; they’ve rarely ever been in favor of it. But as a general rule, cops have at least enjoyed whacking left-wing demonstrators over the head. Now they’re not even doing that.
  • Sigh. Only NASA could be running out of space suits while hardly putting anybody into space. What a sad commentary.… 15 Comments
  • Birthday Rottweiler

    Ooooh. Remind me never to try to draw a jowly dog again! Not unless I have a much better reference photo. I was in over my head and struggled with this one, start to finish. It’s my neighbor’s birthday tomorrow and my neighbor is a Rottweiler fan. Fortunately she’s also refreshingly frank. So when I give it to her with the request, “Tell me if it’s complete crap and you don’t want it,” she’ll do me the favor of being honest rather than painfully polite. If she says she likes it and wants it, she’ll mean it. (I like that…

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    Icon in pencil

    I’m pretty excited about taking that icon-painting workshop this summer. I’ve been looking at more icons in the last month or two than I’ve ever gazed upon in my whole life, marveling at how they can be so beautiful and so ugly at the same time. I’ve been doing a little reading, too. But not so much that I’ll go into the class thinking I Know A Lot of Stuff when I actually don’t. I’ve also avoided trying to paint an icon before learning how. But I ran into this beauty the other day and had to study it in…

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    When you don’t know what to do next, stop.

    This is a lesson I’m trying to learn. So far, without much success. I’m not talking about a life lesson. In life, it’s often “When you don’t know what to do next, fake it till you make it.” Works surprisingly well, that. Maybe not in nuclear physics or brain surgery. But in plenty of other things. Still, when I read that “STOP” advice in a how-to-do-art book, I laughed and knew it was aimed right at me. In art, my pattern when something’s not right and I don’t quite understand what to do about it is to try to fix…

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