10 Drawing ideas

  1. Make a book cover for your favorite classic novel
  2. Make an illustration for each month of the year
  3. Create a theater poster for a Shakespearean play
  4. Draw a caricature of your favorite movie star
  5. Paint a traditional still life
  6. Paint the same still life in your illustrative style
  7. Make an illustration for a postcard
  8. Illustrate a day in the life of a cat or a dog
  9. Make an album cover for your favorite band
  10. Illustrate a fortune from a fortune cookie

From some old notes. I don’t recall where they came from originally.

Thomas Bernhard – Mr Restless

“Once in Nathal I ask myself what I am doing here, and I ask myself the same question when I arrive in Vienna. Basically, like nine tenths of humanity, I always want to be somewhere else, in the place I have just fled from. In recent years, this condition has, if anything, become worse: I go to and from Vienna at diminishing intervals, and from Nathal I will often to to some other big city, to Venice or Rome and back, or to Prague and back. The truth is that I am happy only when I am sitting in the car, between the place I have just left and the place I am driving to. I am happy only when I am traveling; when I arrive, no matter where, I am suddenly the unhappiest person imaginable. Basically I am one of those people who cannot bear to be anywhere and are happy only between places.”

Bernhard, Thomas, Wittgenstein’s Nephew 

On the Enjoyment of Unpleasant Places, Robert Louis Stevenson

It is a difficult matter to make the most of any given place, and we have much in our own power. Things looked at patiently from one side after another generally end by showing a side that is beautiful. A few months ago some words were said in the Portfolio as to an “austere regimen in scenery”; and such a discipline was then recommended as “healthful and strengthening to the taste.” That is the text, so to speak, of the present essay. This discipline in scenery, it must be understood, is something more than a mere walk before breakfast to whet the appetite. For when we are put down in some unsightly neighborhood, and especially if we have come to be more or less dependent on what we see, we must set ourselves to hunt out beautiful things with all the ardour and patience of a botanist after a rare plant. Day by day we perfect ourselves in the art of seeing nature more favourably. We learn to live with her, as people learn to live with fretful or violent spouses: to dwell lovingly on what is good, and shut our eyes against all that is bleak or inharmonious. We learn, also, to come to each place in the right spirit. The traveller, as Brantôme quaintly tells us, “fait des discours en soi pour se soutenir en chemin“; and into these discourses he weaves something out of all that he sees and suffers by the way; they take their tone greatly from the varying character of the scene; a sharp ascent brings different thoughts from a level road; and the man’s fancies grow lighter as he comes out of the wood into a clearing. Nor does the scenery any more affect the thoughts than the thoughts affect the scenery. We see places through our humours as though differently colored glasses. We are ourselves a term in the equation, a note of the chord, and make discord or harmony almost at will. There is no fear for the result, if we can but surrender ourselves sufficiently to the country that surrounds and follows us, so that we are ever thinking suitable thoughts or telling ourselves some suitable sort of story as we go. We become thus, in some sense, a centre of beauty; we are provocative of beauty, much as a gentle and sincere character is provocative of sincerity and gentleness in others.

ESSAYS OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
SELECTED AND EDITED WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY WILLIAM LYON PHELPS, project gutenberg

A kinder, gentler philosophy of success | Alain de Botton

I’m drawn to a lovely quote by St. Augustine in “The City of God,” where he says, “It’s a sin to judge any man by his post.” In modern English that would mean it’s a sin to come to any view of who you should talk to, dependent on their business card. It’s not the post that should count. According to St. Augustine, only God can really put everybody in their place;

Kubrick’s Napoleon

Getting to work on the film in the mid-60s, after 2001 was released, he sent an assistant around the world to literally follow in Napoleon’s footsteps (“Wherever Napoleon went, I want you to go,” he told him), even getting him to bring back samples of earth from Waterloo so he could match them for the screen.

He read hundreds of books on the man and broke the information down into categories “on everything from his food tastes to the weather on the day of a specific battle.” He gathered together 15,000 location scouting photos and 17,000 slides of Napoleonic imagery.

Vice.

Robert Christgau, excerpts from Consumer Guide, November 21, 1989

MEAT PUPPETS: Monsters (SST) Supposedly a combination of their two 1988 albums (a mirage omelet, thanks a lot), this is really the guitar-god record Curt Kirkwood always had in him–on all but a couple of cuts the arena-rock bottom that’s an interview fantasy for those who haven’t caught them on a ZZ Top night powers his chunky riffs and psychedelic axemanship. What’ll keep them from turning into plutonium is the utterly unmacho vocals, brother harmonies making even “Party Till the World Obeys” and the one that begins “Tie me up/Get it right” seem like critiques of power, which is what they are–psychedelic in the nicest way yet again. A MINUS

MEKONS: Rock ‘n’ Roll (A&M) If you love rock and roll (which is possible even if you slum the spelling with apostrophes), but don’t think Rock and Roll (much less Rock ‘n’ Roll) a propitious title right now, you could love this album, which takes their love-hate relationship with America to the bank. Musically, it’s rock and roll despite the fiddles sawing louder than ever, almost as Clashlike as the promo claims, with Steve Goulding bashing away louder than ever too. Lyrically, in great song after great song, rock and roll is devil’s-breath perfume, capitalism’s “favourite boy child,” a commodity like sex, a log to throw on the fire, a “shining path back to reconquer Americay.” Are they implicated? Of course. Do they love it? Yes and no. A

EDDIE MURPHY: So Happy (Columbia) The failure of this wicked Prince rip to scale the charts reminds us once again how difficult it is for defiant outsiders to fracture pop stereotypes. Murphy will never be El DeBarge, but he’s perfect for cartoon funk, and over the years his wheedling croon has gotten serious. Maybe the problem is that his sexual urges still don’t emanate from very deep inside. Often, in fact, they’re inspired by his bathroom reading–he’s big on locations, spends an entire song convincing her to do it in a chair. Inspirational Dialogue: She: “Are you close?” He: “If I get any closer I be behind you.” B PLUS

PIXIES: Doolittle (4AD/Elektra) They’re in love and they don’t know why–with rock and roll, which is heartening in a time when so many college dropouts have lost touch with the verities. You can tell from the bruising riffs, the rousing choruses, the cute little bass melodies, the solid if changeable beat. But not from any words they sing. They’ll improve in direct relation to their improved contact with the outside world. Getting famous too fast could ruin them. B PLUS

Robert Christgau

The Raft of the Medusa

938px-JEAN_LOUIS_THÉODORE_GÉRICAULT_-_La_Balsa_de_la_Medusa_(Museo_del_Louvre,_1818-19)

The Raft of the Medusa is an oil painting of 1818–19 by the French Romantic painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault. Completed when the artist was 27, the work has become an icon of French Romanticism. At 491 cm × 716 cm (16′ 1″ × 23′ 6″), it is an over-life-size painting that depicts a moment from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval frigate Méduse, which ran aground off the coast of today’s Mauritania on 2 July 1816. On 5 July 1816, at least 147 people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation and dehydration and practised cannibalism. The event became an international scandal, in part because its cause was widely attributed to the incompetence of the French captain.

Géricault chose to depict this event in order to launch his career with a large-scale uncommissioned work on a subject that had already generated great public interest. The event fascinated him, and before he began work on the final painting, he undertook extensive research and produced many preparatory sketches. He interviewed two of the survivors and constructed a detailed scale model of the raft. He visited hospitals and morgues where he could view, first-hand, the colour and texture of the flesh of the dying and dead. As he had anticipated, the painting proved highly controversial at its first appearance in the 1819 Paris Salon, attracting passionate praise and condemnation in equal measure. However, it established his international reputation, and today is widely seen as seminal in the early history of the Romantic movement in French painting.
wikipedia

Oatmeal Cookie recipe, with honey

My take on  King Arthur Flour’s – SOFT AND CHEWY OATMEAL-RAISIN COOKIES

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups raisins

Mix. Bake in oven at 375 for 10 minutes.
Pro tips –
* let butter get to room temp first
* after mixing, refrigerate some then shape into cookies
* I think the honey is the secret ingredient for chewy-ness

Nancy Drew’s Moral Universe

From the “Series Bible” for Nancy Drew, a syndicated television program based on the Nancy Drew mystery novels. The show, which premiered this fall, is being produced by New Line Cinema, Nelvana Limited, and Marathon. The guide, which is used by the Nancy Drew staff, describes the show’s characters, themes, and tone; the section excerpted below is titled “Style.”

Nancy has a unique ability to make clear choices. She lives in a moral universe that is simple and straightforward. When we are in her world, those values will be reflected. It is something she cannot escape from, nor would she want to-it is her quintessential “Drewness.” This quality is expressed in her wardrobe. She chooses clear, saturated colors that reflect her moral certainty. When Nancy wears green, it’s not olive or sea foam or celadon. It’s green. And the design is always deceptively simple, regardless of how au courant the particular outfit may be.

Even at her young age, Nancy brings order to chaos. The objects in her apartment radiate a feeling of security; they have a timeless quality that is impossible to date. This creates a sense of heightened reality: a sofa is a sofa, not art deco or faux country or Seventies chrome and leather. It has a pure design that reflects a sofa’s essence, its truth. Visually, Nancy’s world will make sense.

The world outside her apartment will have a very different look. It is the world’ of unsolved mysteries, a place filled with cold, glaring light and turbulent disorder, where colors are always garish or muddy. It is a world expressed in harsh angles and exaggerated perspectives, because it is totally lacking in moral certainty. Basically, it can best be described as a world without Drewness.

HARPER’S MAGAZINE/NOVEMBER 1995, page 28

The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received (and Are Willing to Pass On) – The New York Times

“You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can control your reaction to them.” Kim Radich uses this advice daily. “For example, when a family member reacted negatively to a situation, I remembered I can’t control their behavior, and I let it roll off my back.”

“Greet people with their first names. They’re delighted.” That advice came from Gail Steele’s father, “a much loved and deeply respected dentist. I try to practice this wisdom day to day, in my work as an occupational therapist and among my friends and acquaintances.”

NY Times