it is full-on summer and most of my days begin and end on the porch. as i type out this missive to you i am in front of a window that opens onto the porch. in another hour or so i’ll be out there scanning the trees, the hills, listening to neighborhood sounds, beginning a new journal entry, eating a bowl of sugar kiss melon, or drinking something cold.
i’m enjoying the procreate app on my ipad pro. it is terribly fun to trace photos and color them. i also use it to draw freehand without tracing. 2 of the portraits above are freehand. i bet you can tell which ones. one can learn a great deal by using the ipad as a light box and tracing images. never to replace paper and ink of course, but a terribly fun, creative toy. it’s also what i use to made the 4-picture grids above. now that my old-school photoshop has been disabled as i’ve updated my operating system on my mac, i’m left without a way to grid photos, write on them, or alter images. bummer. i don’t want to pay for a photoshop subscription service which i would use infrequently, but i’m discovering the ipad pro comes to the rescue quite nicely. the more i play around with it, the more i see how it can replace photoshop.
the hibiscus in my garden love being under the oak canopy. especially brown sugar who is still blooming up a storm.
i’ve been back to the huntington for walks a few times since it reopened. i set my alarm for noon on tuesdays when the online box office opens for reservations. i’m also back at descanso gardens for morning jaunts under the oak canopy.
i continue to accrue miles on my camino de santiago virtual mission. i’m approaching the town of najera. i log my exercise miles from my apple watch. so far i’m on mile 124.2. i’m able to walk further and faster than ever before. this brings a certain amount of exhilaration, as i increase my stamina.
it’s a real thing and i’m grateful to be able to experience it, especially since a knee issue last summer made walking difficult for a very long time.
i’ve been making blurb books like crazy these last few weeks. i have thousands of photos on my computer going back to 2006 so i decided to curate them into photo books i can keep in my bookcases. how nice it will be to have out of the dungeon of my computer’s hard drive and into the light of day. a book i can pick up and flip through whenever i want. a library of memories.
i wait until blurb has a sale, which they do on a very regular basis, then i order my books. if you decide to make one, don’t pay full price, wait for the sale!
once upon a time time, when air travel from the usa to europe was allowed, i flew to norway. this is what i saw out of the plane window. someday i will return to scandinavia. in the meantime, my travels are limited to california. i’m headed to mendocino in a few weeks. have mask, will travel. when one prefers solitude, social distancing poses no great difficulty. during the pandemic, i have a handful of familiar locations where i can return to, until it is safer to venture further from home.
live teaching has been sidelined indefinitely. in mid-august virtual school will resume with a brand new class. not ideal for the students or parents or even teachers who are parents of school-age children, but everyone will make do and eventually this too shall pass. life will return to some semblance of normal.
my sister, carol, who is on the front lines of the pandemic wrote a good update about what’s happening in her busy kansas city hospital. you can read it HERE.
i try and stay away from the televised news. i only have a certain tolerance towards dumbasses doing and saying dumbass things. they’re out in force these days, perhaps emboldened by the divisive political climate. the united states is an enormous country with perhaps more dumbasses per capita than other places. i don’t know, but i’m pretty sure the majority of people getting in fights over masks live right here in our country. too much rugged individualism is not always a good thing – it’s like a gateway drug to conspiracy theories and just a general loss of common sense.
stay safe out there friends. let me know how you’re doing and what sort of pandemic adventures you’re having. i’ll just be up here on my porch keeping company with the squirrels, cats, and birds.
on my bookshelf
I hope none of you undertook to read one of my recent book recommendations, lawrence wright’s THE END OF OCTOBER. i had just begun it in my last dispatch and had high hopes, but it turned out to be a poorly written bunch of rubbish. the reviewers from NPR and NYT must’ve been drunk to give it such high marks.
i merely report what i am currently reading. as such i can tell you i finished and enjoyed WEATHER, and have started and am presently loving SK’s latest short story collection. i’ve been forced to turn to winston graham’s 8 POLDARK novels in audio form due to finishing the series on amazon prime. this first book in the series is most excellent and full of gorgeous descriptions. i’m besotted and thrilled to bask in the details not present in the series.
sharing is caring
rare as hens’ teeth, a delicious new blog for me to devour
new ambiant music for me to listen to while i labor away in my art room writing or sketching or thinking.
austin kleon is an endless source of wonder and delight. i am going to start thinking of a guardian spirit for my new journal.