Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Drumming group sign

Oil on panel, 24 inches in diameter.
I think I am done with this part, though there is a smaller, simpler sign to accompany it that I need to work on.

Friday, December 01, 2017

House Portrait


House portrait

House portrait, 8 x 12 inches, drawn mostly with sum ink and a dip pen.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Game Night with Friends

Last weekend I was finally able to play a few games of One Night Ultimate Werewolf. My older daughter and I got it as a joint Christmas gift last year, but we only played it once or twice as a family, and no one else wanted to play it some more. I'm not sure why neither of my daughters were very interested; it seems like the kind of thing they would enjoy, and perhaps they would if we all tried it again with friends.

On Friday I was able to play it at a gathering of old friends, and I really enjoyed it. None of them had played it, but most of them had played regular Werewolf. Because there is only one phase each of day and night in One Night Ultimate Werewolf, it took some mental adjustment. It was hard to realize what to look for and not just how to figure things out, but what it was we should even be trying to figure out. After the first couple of games it seemed like it got easier.

The first game was made even more screwy by the fact that both werewolf cards were still in the center; all seven players were villagers. That's not exactly the smoothest introduction to the game. In other games, we had little kids (spectating) blowing their parents' cover, other kids playing (and doing quite well, I thought, despite being unfamiliar with what an Insomniac is and having to read the rule book to figure out what they were), and all players in general trying to figure out how their roles affected their knowledge of what's going on with other players. It was chaotic, but I thought it was a lot of fun, and it seemed like everyone enjoyed it to varying degrees.

I also played a game of Dragonwood with friends' children, and not only was it a fun and pretty simple card game, but it was a lot of fun interacting with the kids. I don't see my friends often enough, and I see their sons and daughters even less, and when I see them there's not a lot of one-on-one interaction. These are all friends I have known since college. Now that I'm thinking about it, the opportunity to spend a little time getting to know their children seems golden.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thursday, November 09, 2017


I have been continuously delighted by the beauty of this autumn's trees. It's been good. I feel like it's better than average. We need that.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Monday, October 02, 2017

White Rabbit Pumpkin

For the Jack-o-lantern Spectacular, here's my first pumpkin, drawn a week ago but not yet carved.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fish Sauce

I've been wanting to make pad thai, and all the recipes I find call for fish sauce. I've never bought or used fish sauce, so I Googled to find recommended brands.

Then I went to Choi's Asian Market. I saw three brands. Two of them were poorly reviewed in an article I read, so I ended up buying the third.

However, the third brand-- Dynasty Premium Fish Sauce -- has virtually no reviews that can find, anywhere. No one mentions it anywhere, at least in English.

Since I have no experience with fish sauce, I have nothing to compare it to, so I won't really be able to review it myself. Not with any bases for comparison, anyway.

I feel like a pioneer. It's kind of scary.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Going painting

I am about to head out for some plein air painting today, and I am thinking about how that feels. I feel excited and nervous (just a little bit of each, but it's there.) I never ever really feel like I completely know what I am doing, which I guess is something most artists feel, regardless the medium. I feel like I spread myself too thin and that I lack focus. I feel like I never accomplish a plein air painting that is as good as a huge percentage of other artists I pay attention to on Instagram or find via Google, but that is probably a common feeling, and it's definitely a trap that people fall into -- that feeling of inferiority. But also, those other artists I see are very inspiring. I think, "I want to paint like that! I am learning just by looking at them. Really good paintings are within my grasp." So many of my paintings are failures. But not all of them, certainly, and I learn with each one. You just have to keep going back to what inspires you, and then keep acting on that inspiration.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Grey Tree Frog

There was a tree frog on the side of our house when we got home from a soccer game last night. I have been hearing them in our neighborhood for years, but this is the first one I have actually seen. It made me very happy.

I tried to catch him to get a better look, but he was pretty fast, and slippery. He disappeared into the Japanese yews by our front door.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Clue: The Great Museum Caper

We played a game of this tonight, with my younger daughter as the art thief. She nabbed three paintings and bolted before my other daughter and I even caught a glimpse of her. Good game.

Bumble bee on anise hyssop