Three Happy Things

  1. Spending time with friends and spending time alone and the ability to feel good either way.
  2. Thinking about art.
  3. Fixing earrings that used to be my favorite.

This was inspired by my awesome friend, Sue.

Art Department Rules

  1. Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while.
  2. General duties of a student: pull everything out of your teacher, pull everything out of your fellow students.
  3. General duties of a teacher: pull everything out of your students.
  4. Consider everything an experiment.
  5. Be self-disciplined. This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
  6. Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make.
  7. The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.
  8. Don’t try to create and analyse at the same time. They’re different processes.
  9. Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.
  10. “We’re breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” – John Cage.

Helpful hints: Always be around. Come or go to everything always. Go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully often. Save everything, it might come in handy later.

This list was originally from

Things I’m Learning from Watching YouTube Painting Lessons

YouTube has lots of instructional art videos and now that they have an autoplay feature I’ve been seeing more than I ever thought possible. Many of these tips I’m learning from the videos although some I’ve learned from simple trial and error (mostly error):

  • Use a minimal sketch. The first impulse is to draw a very detailed sketch, but what works better is draw very basic outlines.
  • Use a soft lead pencil. Some pencil lines are okay, but mainly you want paint to be the stand out.
  • Use a minimal palette. Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Dark Blue, Light Blue, Orange, etc.
  • Spend extra on good brushes.
  • Same goes for good paper.
  • Use leftover mixed color for a prewash.
  • Use Payne Grey for deep woodsy trees and foliage.
  • Use the side of your brush for good tree effects.
  • Build from light to dark.
  • Keep an opaque white handy as cure for over-painting and highlights.

The Poutine Problem

Oh Poutine! Grab your forks

Being an expat Canadian it’s hard for me not to love the Canadian National Dish, Poutine. Simply put Poutine is french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. The result is a delicious, cheesy, fattening mess–did I mention it’s also delicious? Ignoring the fact that it’s hugely fattening, the problem with poutine is the gravy. If I could find a restaurant in DC that makes it, I also have to be wary of the animal the gravy comes from; I don’t eat red meat so the gravy either has to be chicken or vegetarian. Most chefs don’t take my needs into consideration so since DC is going through a pork craze there’s a lot of sausage gravy in the few places that have Poutine on the menu.

If Poutine takes off, as it should, in DC I know there’ll be a lot more variations. Right now it’s a delicious novelty and therefore has limited variety.

I wish I could recommend some places in DC to try this food from my homeland, but I haven’t tried any. I’ll update as I try different places as informed by Yelp.

Today’s Watchlist

Simplifying Your Life – I purged a lot when I moved in February, but I still have way too much stuff in my life.

Downsize Doctor is a consultancy that helps people unclutter their lives.

All this leads us to why we want to unclutter our lives in the first place and that’s to find focus to be happy and creative. Flow of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. The book Flow by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi is a good introduction to the psychology.

Industries Being Disrupted or In Need of Disruption

Its not enough publish a list like this and not add explanation, but right now this the beginning of a thought and there will be more coming.

Doctor Offices
Working for the Government
Postal Mail
Brands (and the question of what a brand is, i.e. it’s not a logo and a Pantone color)
Web Ads
TV News
Email (I’d rather receive a text than get an email if only the artificial 140 character limit was discarded)

Social Networks like Facebook are in need of disruption, but will probably die first in favor of new networks.