In memory of Jason Polan

I never knew Jason Polan personally but through his work - online and in this book - he became an important part of my drawing world.

I opened up my phone to the news of his passing yesterday and it took me some time to put this into words: he was a huge inspiration for me. Because of how much he enjoyed the everyday stuff, how hard he looked at things and how much he paid attention. And because of how much he worked and respected the process, the connection that drawing something creates, that fleeting moment when you reflect what you see on the paper through the pen and eye. 

He still is an inspiration of course because here is his book (and here are places where the bookmarks were when I last looked through it). They will be there when I need to believe in the world and myself again, when I will need to be humbled or kicked. I am sad because the world and his family lost Jason but I am glad we all had him. 

The 2 minute rule from Getting Things Done system.

The famous book "Getting things done" by David Allen has lots of good advice and they all can be converted into advice for people who want to make sketching parts of their life. For example:
If it takes less than two minutes - do it now. Which I translate as "if you are stuck/waiting/unsure what to do next 2 minutes - get your hand moving - start sketching. Here are two examples from the last week and today:

Upcoming Workshop: Draw From History. June 10, 11, and 12, 2020 Virginia City, NV

I will be teaching a workshop with Suhita Shirodkar and Gay Kraeger again!

Sketching Trio presents: 
Draw From History
June 10, 11, and 12, 2020 
Virginia City, NV

Virginia City is a small historical town packed with unique colors, textures, amazing nature and filled with history. 

We are bringing all the materials to make your sketchbook and fill it with people, nature, and notes. 

We will work with ink, watercolor, and gouache. 

Gay, Suhita and I will be teaching in the morning and afternoon. There will be instruction and work side-by-side, train rides, mine and graveyard visits, people sketching and sharing of tips and tricks to keep your joy of sketching going long after the class is over.

More details and registration are here:

Please note: there is a discount if you register before April 15th. 

Conversation: the nature of practice.

I had a great time talking to a bunch of sketching friends the other day about the nature of the practice. We talked and worked at the same time. I wrote down some thoughts here for myself to remember:
- practice for me is a way to be seen. I draw and I know: I lived.
- you would always know - in your heart - if you did a good job or not. You don't need anyone to tell you that. You just need to do it and need to point to what worked or what did not.
- the practice is there to keep my craft going. If I keep it up - I am a happier person in everyday life and I know that if I need it - the craft is there for me.
- I don't do it for joy. I like aspects of it. This is not something I do for fun. But I am a happier person if I do it.
- I was told: if you don't do it regularly, every day - it is not your real passion. It riled me. So I found a way to do it every day, taught all around me that this is part of me.
- I am not going to make plans in any projects and numbers but the intentions and hours I will spend on working this year. And I will try to be honest with myself and adjust the course when needed.

Overlapping of seasons.

It's January.
There is a decorative pear tree near my home.
I found some beautiful leaves on the ground the other day and sketched them. Then I looked up and saw that bare branches of the tree are covered with the buds bursting with flowers. Sketched them too - one spread of the sketchbook depicting overlapping seasons in California.

Sketching birds at their morning routine.

Beautifully sunny and clear morning to ride a bike! I sketched a bunch of birds sitting on the half-submerged pipe. All the birds were pruning though I did not catch the angle of the blue heron's head so he is pretty static in my drawing.
 Here is a little collage of the process and details.