all my wonderful friends and family, new and old, near or far, in real life or digital, or for anyone else who visits this
blog, i hope you're having a great holiday season and i wish you all the best in the new year!
this year my wife and i checked out the "parade of lights" in casco bay, an event we've always wanted to see. we watched along the shoreline as several boats all decked out in holiday lights cruised the bay, a few even shooting off fireworks. it was a wonderful start to the holiday season although next time i might bring a heavier coat...and maybe some coffee...and maybe some alan's coffee brandy....and maybe a tripod.
like a lot of people, i enjoy taking pictures. being an architect the majority of my digital camera roll usually consists of buildings or other structures, but occasionally something else finds its way into my viewfinder... people.
during my thanksgiving trip back to kansas, my sister asked me to take pictures of her family, a request i was more than happy to do. not only is it a hobby i enjoy, but it gave me a chance to spend some quality time with my niece who is growing up far too fast and too far away for this uncle. with the help of my parents and wife, who were behind me making noises and actions, we were able to get a few shots of her looking at the camera, just perfect for a frame. however several of the "outtakes" were too precious to delete. below are a few select pics, i hope you enjoy looking at them as much as i had taking them.
i've always been more of an "absence makes the heart grow fonder," kind of guy than an "out of sight out of mind," guy. with it being almost a year since i had visited kansas, my heart had grown full of fond.
thanksgiving really is a wonderful time to go back to someplace you enjoy and visit people you love. it may be the whole "feeling thankful for everything aura" that surrounds the holiday, but whatever it is, i just know it pairs perfectly with returning home to family and friends.
i had a long list of activities to do during my trip back home but the most important was spending time with my niece who is now 14 months old. although she wasn't a huge fan of me i was a huge fan her and enjoyed watching her roam around the house. a close second on the list was spending time with family, which was accomplished with lots of conversation, board games, drinks and food.
other items on list included checking out a few my old favorite spots, checking out all the new construction in wichita, finally getting some decent bbq, and spending time with old friends. the fact that i can do all this with my wife by my side made it even better.
a trip like that really makes you feel thankful for a lot of things in your life, and older i get, the more i'm thankful for things that can't be wrapped up in boxes and placed under trees.
3:15 bus to boston to catch our flight
my niece loving bacon
espresso to go-gp
armando minjarez mural
new construction in downtown
inside the new downtown library
three meat dinner (including burnt ends) at delano bbq
week four found me a little sad this exercise was almost over. after nearly a month, i had become accustomed to thinking about what i would sketch during the day, then taking 30 to 45 minutes a night just to do something creative. it was calming. it was relaxing. i enjoyed it.
i started this whole experiment thinking it would improve my sketching, in all honesty, i think it simply improved my mood. having just a few moments to be creative for no specific reason was incredibly therapeutic. much like on my honeymoon when i was relaxed and had time to sketch, or my mom and her group painting classes. in certain personalty types, there's just something about creating something beautiful where once there was nothing.
now, i'm not saying all my sketches were beautiful (need i mention that bay window from week two) but there really is a rhythm to life. we spend a lot of time "taking in", movies, music, news, meetings, emails, all sorts of digital information... sometimes it's good to "put something out" into this world too.
by week three i had settled into a bit of a rhythm, sketching and shading with the ink pen, then using a beige or grey marker for a little bit of color. i found my new found rhythm to be a positive and a negative. on one side, i felt the whole month long experiment was so i could get just ever so slightly better at sketching. sketching in the same style, while trying to make slight improvements allowed me to do this, but on the other hand, i felt like i was being less experimental as i had been when the month started.
this week found me purposely making my drawings "sketchier" in the hopes they wouldn't look as "cartoon-y" as the first week. in general i was pleased with the outcome, but i've noticed that even with a sketchy look it still extremely important to get the perspective lines correct. without the right lines everything just looks wobbly. everything seemed to come together really well on my "pragmatic" sketch, which featured a barn from the flint hills region of kansas.