"Sparkly" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO2000
“Sparkly” Austin, 2018
"Fireworks" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/3.2, 1/8 sec, ISO800
“Fireworks” Austin, 2018
"Sparklers" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO3200
“Sparklers” Austin, 2018
"Little One" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/110 sec, ISO3200
“Little One” Austin, 2018
"Tacos and Hashi" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.2, 1/110 sec, ISO3200
“Tacos and Hashi” Austin, 2018
"Refreshments" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.2, 1/160 sec, ISO2500
“Refreshments” Austin, 2018
"Soccer Shochu" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Soccer Shochu” Austin, 2018
"Enjoying Outside" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Enjoying Outside” Austin, 2018

Slow Monday

"Fresh Bread" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/75 sec, ISO3200
“Fresh Bread” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

It’s a holiday week here in the States as we celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday. Because of that, a lot of people are taking vacation, and the office is very quiet. Not only are there fewer people here, but the overall mood is laid back since those of us still here are looking forward to a relaxing Wednesday. It’s a good feeling!

Honestly, I can’t get very excited about this year’s Independence Day, as I truly despise our current government administration. I don’t believe it reflects the values that the forefathers envisioned. On that note, here’s an excellent podcast episode that succinctly summarizes the state of the country, and my feelings about it. It’s Sarah Kendzior as the guest on The Rob Burgess Show. She’s one of the people that I trust and is always a compassionate voice of reason in this time of lies and cruelty.

I didn’t intend this blog post to be political, but I believe our government has shifted from a flawed but functioning democracy towards an authoritarian state, where our system of checks and balances has been compromised. But we can still vote and protest, and while the First Amendment still exists in the Constitution, I will write about it.


Today’s photo speaks for itself. But I wish you all could smell the wonderful aroma of freshly-baked bread that has filled the house! ❤🍞


Sunday Run

"No Fire" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/640 sec, ISO50
“No Fire” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This morning I decided to go running for the first time in a few months. I tend to go in cycles with my running, which is kind of odd because I enjoy it so much. I guess I just fill my day up with other stuff. But for some reason, I just decided I should go. So I laced up my running shoes (actually my On Cloud shoes don’t have laces) and headed out. I surprised myself because I had a lot of energy and my legs didn’t get tired when I expected they would, but I didn’t push it and walked about a third of the way. Maybe it’s because I do squats ever day? I don’t know, but I felt really good!

The Texas heat is coming on strong, though, and when I passed by the small park, I saw the barbeque grills were off-limits as you can see in the photo. It looks like it’s going to be a sweltering summer.

By the way, I use Strava to track my running. If you are on Strava too, let’s connect!

I hope you had a good Sunday!


Dinner and a Movie

"French Theme" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“French Theme” Cedar Park, 2018

Tonight a friend came over for dinner and a movie so I guess you could call it a small dinner party, which has a nice ring to it. 😄 The theme was French, and we enjoyed French wine, paté, nice grilled fish, cheeses, etc. And then after that we watched Amélie, which is one of my favorite movies. It’s amazing that the movie is now 17 years old! It’s still fantastic and timeless in its charm. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it already.

After the movie, we relaxed with a nice drink outside on our deck where a soft breeze kept us cool and comfortable. It was a good Saturday. 😌



Process Adjustments

"Evening Sketch" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Evening Sketch” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening I worked on this sketch, which was based on a photo I found on Flickr. The first sketch I did was not very good, so I got a little bit discouraged and went straight into Illustrator to trace over the photo. I know that eventually, this will become a digital drawing, so I thought “Why not cheat a bit and get the proportions perfect?” But, the lines I drew looked even worse than the pencil sketch! 😭

So I went back to my original sketch and used my favorite tool, the mighty eraser. 😄 After drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing, etc. I finally finished with what you see in the photo above. I know it will need more adjustment in Illustrator, but I’m pleased that I have a good base to work with.

A came up with a couple of takeaways from this simple experience.

First, when I get stuck on a sketch, I should not be afraid to erase and redo certain parts. In my mind, it has always seemed like a waste in that I spent effort on the first attempt, and that erasing it would remove it forever. But if I think objectively, then why shouldn’t I erase/delete the parts that are not good enough? It’s all part of the longer process to get to a better place. I should really keep that in mind. The eraser is my friend!

I also learned that the pencil sketch is necessary for any new project of mine. It’s fast, and feedback is immediate. The “shortcut” straight to digital is not a shortcut at all (for me at least). It was good to give it a try, though, and see how awful it turned out for me. I know other people can go straight to the computer, but it’s not something I can do. Good to know!

Finally, the experience reinforced the idea that it’s necessary to step back from a sketch, take a little breather, and then continue with some fresh eyes. And also, looking at the same sketch from a different perspective, angle, or even distance/size can help pinpoint problem areas. For instance, I took a photo of the sketch when I thought it was done, but then looking on the small camera display, it didn’t look right. So I worked on it some more until it was good enough for this step in the process.

Anyways, I am planning to work on this some more on the computer this weekend, but I think I have a good basis to start!

To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/albums/72157684772726464″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>”My Sketching Journey”</a>, or my Instagram account <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/barron.sketches/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>barron.sketches</a> which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.

I hope you had a nice Friday!



The Return of (Good) Dinner

"Fresh Bread" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“Fresh Bread” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today the house was filled with the smell of fresh-baked bread. 😊 As you can see in the photo above, the bread that Mariko made came out looking perfect, but I haven’t had a chance to taste it yet. 🍞 While she was away, I’ve missed the yummy bread that she usually makes.

The next photo is of a paella dinner which Koa requested. “I want seafood… that dish we had in Spain,” is what he said. 🦑🦐 As you might have noticed, the rice is not the typical color. Mariko decided to use a squid-ink broth to cook the rice in. A fun spin on paella for sure, and our lips and teeth turned an interesting tint of grey. 😱

"Paella Dinner" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Paella Dinner” Cedar Park, 2018

I think both Koa and I were tired of the “bachelor food” we’ve been eating for the past couple weeks. Pizza, burgers, etc. can get tiresome really quick when you are used to home-cooking. Never underestimate how much a home-cooked meal can do for your wellbeing! 😀


Three at Home

"Salt Collection" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Salt Collection” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。So, Mariko returned from Europe on Monday, Koa is back from band/orchestra camp, so now there are three at home! It’s nice to have a fuller house, and yay that yummy home-cooking has returned as well. This evening we had a spicy dry curry and it was soooo delicious!

"Dry Curry" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Dry Curry” Cedar Park, 2018

Mariko brought back a lot of culinary goodies from Europe, and she now has a pretty sizeable collection of salt. Yes, salt! I don’t know if we have any of the plain iodized salt in our house, but we have plenty of exotics all the way down to simple sea salt and kosher salt. Today’s photo shows several kinds, although that’s not all of them. 😀

I hope you had a nice day!