Say Hello to Travel | Free book! | The Question of Values
I am physically going away yet tele-artistically ever-present.
It’s probably already clear but I am having a ton of fun writing the Medieval HOA series with. It feels great to be serious about being silly.
Thanks to all who read this stuff, share it with friends, and a big-time thanks to those of you who support me by becoming paid subscribers. It means a lot.
This week I leave on a multi-week family travel saga with The World’s Greatest Wife and my stepdaughter, The Worlds Greatest Stepdaughter. As such, this will become a comedy travel substork for most of the summer (in addition to the Medieval HOA stuff as long as Jan still wants to write that).
To celebrate finally being able to travel again I’ve made the kindle version of my book How To Mount Aconcagua temporarily free on Amazon (May 23rd). I also have free audible codes for the US market if you prefer to do your reading with your sound-nostrils. Email if you want ‘em: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also reduced the prices on kindle versions of my Ozel the Wizard series: Apprentice Quest (first in series), Journeyman’s Trial, and Wizard’s Resolve. If you want Audible codes, just email me. I got ‘em.
Our family has much to celebrate. WGW graduated grad school and is now doing science at a furious pace. She also just had a birthday of undisclosed value. WGS celebrated her 16th year and has such good grades she didn’t have to take exams. I had no idea that was a thing.
As for my accomplishments, I have recently contracted an upper respiratory infection (for which I got a shot in the buttock), a sinus infection (for which I was prescribed pills so big they required multiple bites), and developed an allergic reaction to sources unknown. I asked my nurse practitioner if I should become a bubble boy and she said, “I am unsure.”
Kudos all round.
My goals for this trip are a baker’s triple:
Ride bikes in places that actually have cycling infrastructure
Look at works of art, particularly the works of my favorite painter, Édouard Manet
Get better at drawing & values.
Don’t embarrass myself or the people who raised me
What day is that book available again? Allow me to refer to this chart which I have drawn on a gesso-slathered 2x4 block which I happen to have close to hand because reasons.
The Question of Values
If there is any upside to getting older it is recognizing that rather than saying, “Jeez I wish I knew how to do that,” you can just start doing that thing. Why not?
My drawing has always sucked. This is a problem because I want to be a good painter. And the painters I admire most demonstrate just how excellent and precise their drafting is by being imprecise in the perfect way.
So, for the last year I’ve been working on both. It’s a really weird and fun problem because it’s basically re-learning how to see. Of course, I waited to take this seriously until a point in my life when my eyes don’t focus as well as they used to. So that was a great choice.
See if you can guess which of these was done by the great master Édouard Manet near the end of his career and life in 1882, and which was done by me following a youtube tutorial in 2023.
So, yeah, I have plenty of work to do. Which is good news because it’s a relaxing and joyful thing to work on.
Later on this year I want to start taking some in-person classes but for now I have been taking tutorials via Patreon with The Paint Coach, a.k.a. Chris Fornataro. It has been great, and I’ve learned a lot. Occasionally, following his paint-along videos to the letter, I get some okay results.
But of course, following a paint-along and knowing how to do something yourself are not the same. In his critiques of my versions, Chris mentions that I need to work on values, so, one of my goals for the coming trip is to draw a lot and use only greyscale.
Here I should have been more careful with the values in the foreground. Son of a monkey.
Some Books I Recommend
Totally unrelated and especially for my fellow artists out there let me recommend William Deresiewicz’s “The Death of the Artist.” I heard about it in Doctorow & Giblin’s “Chokepoint Capitalism.”
A word of warning: neither are particularly uplifting reads for people like us, we few, we band of.. people who were probably in bands at some point. But, like a man going to the doctor with an arrow to the knee, at least we get that feeling of someone pointing and saying, “Well, that could be part of the problem.”
Any more than absolutely necessary.