I’ve been using a habit-tracker for the past month or so to log some daily activities. It’s kind of a combination reminder app and tracking app, but the intention is for you to create new habits. For instance, I added my daily sketching, simple stretching and exercises, and Japanese studying. I’d say it’s effective in that now I automatically do my hand exercises, neck stretches, and squats without having to give it much thought, and opening Anki to study Japanese is automatic too. Overall I’m happy with it.
There are a number of different habit trackers and the one I chose is called “Everyday”. I like the fact that I can use the same app on my iPad, my Motorola phone, and in Chrome. It’s super convenient! Not only can you access it via app or webpage, but you can add a Chrome extension so that when you open a new tab, it defaults to the Everyday screen. How easy is that for a reminder!
I’ve been wearing a green Zulu strap with my beloved Seiko SKX007 watch but decided to put the black Zulu strap back on. However, that strap has a kind of yucky smell although I’ve washed and scrubbed it before. Last night I put it in a jar filled with water and dishwashing soap, and let it soak overnight, and this morning it’s nice and clean-smelling. We’ll see if it stays that way. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try an Oxy-clean soak. Of course, I could just buy the same watch band again for $10, but where’s the fun in that?
Today I dropped Koa off at UT Austin for his third and final band camp of the summer. The dorm he is staying at is right next to the Blanton Museum of Art, so after Koa was squared away, I decided to check out the artwork. As a bonus, I bundled my ticket with parking so I saved a few bucks. 😁
As luck would have it, I bought my admission at about 3 pm, right when a free guided tour was starting. It was “Best of the Museum” and we stopped at nine pieces of art and had discussions about each one. It was very interesting and illuminating! I’ve been interested in art all my life, but I find it hard to understand the purpose of it. Some of the art we saw today from the early 20th century was clearly made to make a social statement, but other Italian art from the 1600s was more of a depiction of a typical everyday scene. They were very different, but both are “art”. I suppose the hangup I’ve always had in understanding art is that for some reason I thought art should have a singular purpose, but that is clearly not the case. Some art is meant as a protest against the status quo, some art is religious and devotional, portraits can simply be a likeness of the subject, etc. I guess the art is more about the artist’s vision, rather than the objects in the art themselves?
Listening to the museum docent describe what the artists may (or may not) have been trying to say opened my eyes as to what art might mean to me. I’m excited to think about it more, and maybe I can use my creativity to make some more meaningful art. The first step is figuring out what I want to say, which honestly could be a challenge.
It’s funny to think that although I’ve been interested in art since elementary school, took classes throughout high school, majored in Art Studio and minored in Art History, then interned at a museum, that finally at 50 years-old I am giving serious thought as to what art means to me. All this time I’ve just been making things just because I liked the aesthetic. But there can be so much more, right?
For the past week I’ve been wearing a wrist brace in order to let it heal properly. For several months now, I’ve been dealing with a nagging soreness when I flex my left wrist too far in either direction. I think I originally injured it lifting a suitcase in the summertime, and I have kept injuring it with regularity since then, so it never gets a good amount of time to heal. The pain is not too bad, but there are certain times when it hurts more, such as when I stretch for some keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop (like ctrl+t), reach back for the seatbelt, or play the ukulele.
The Vive wrist brace is sized pretty small, so I think anyone with larger hands will find it uncomfortable. My wrist is 6 3/4 in diameter, which is on the skinny side, and it’s pretty snug. The brace has three adjustment straps, and I like to leave it loose, which is comfortable but gives me adequate support and warning when I bend my wrist near the limit when it would begin to hurt.
Also, the brace is great for helping me play my Kala ukulele with better form. One of the reasons why my wrist has not healed is that I used to strain it almost every day due to my bad fretting form. But playing while wearing the brace keeps my wrist straight (and forces me to bend my fingers more) which is so great! In fact, the wrist brace might be a good idea for anyone who wants to improve their bad form.
Anyway, after a week of wearing the brace off-and-on, I can definitely tell that there’s less pain. Even when I don’t use the brace, I am more aware of my wrist position and more hesitant to use my left hand in situations that could potentially put excessive strain on it. It’s nice to be on the road to recovery! I’m not sure how long I will have to wear the brace, but I’m thankful that I don’t have to give up my ukulele hobby, which is a source of joy for me. 😀
こんばんは。How’s it going? I continue to enjoy sketching on the iPad, and the convenience and speed it provides. What is really nice is that I can work through mistakes a lot faster than with pencil and eraser. It lets me try new things without fear of wasting paper or actually needing to buy new stationery or art materials. Also, because there is no cleanup involved, I am more likely to start something completely new. If I simply want to push paint around, I can do that instantly. It’s not physical paint, of course, but I end up scanning the real-world watercolors and pencil sketches to share in the digital world anyway. I suppose drawing digitally, and on the iPad in particular, streamlines the process, and breaks down barriers that were standing in the way of creativity.
Digital drawing for me also goes hand-in-hand with decluttering. I feel like I can reduce the number of pens and paints I keep around. My sketchbooks have been “silent” lately, although I still use notebooks for daily journaling using my favorite fountain pens. But I don’t mind not using the sketchbooks because I don’t really like seeing them laying on the desk. It kind of made me feel guilty of not using them. So I put them away, and the desk is even more clutter-free, even though there’s still lots more that can go. It’s nice to know that I can have all my new artwork contained in the iPad and the cloud. Maybe it’s just a phase, but I am finding joy in NOT creating physical drawings.
Anyway, here’s the latest drawing. I keep getting closer to my own style, or at least I find myself gravitating to this style. A couple of things that are on my list are more body poses, and also male portraits. And the digital medium will help me in those efforts for sure!