Tag: wellbeing

Yakisoba and Face Study

"Yakisoba Dinner" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Yakisoba Dinner” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight Mariko made a huge portion of yakisoba for the family. Our younger son (13) eats a lot these days, but he’s still so skinny. I think he had maybe 4 servings!

We have a really awesome electric hotplate, which has a number of different pans, including a yakiniku grill. It also has a water pan underneath so that things don’t get too messy. But tonight (and two nights ago) we just used the flat pan. It’s so nice to be able to cook right at the table! 😀

After dinner I sketched a bit while we watched the Dodger game. I wasn’t too happy with the previous night’s drawing. It looks really weird and the proportions and spacing are unnatural looking:

"Ugh" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Ugh” Cedar Park, 2017

The arrows indicate where things should move… but even after I did that digitally, it still looked wrong. Very stiff. So… I decided to look at the sketches of my favorite digital artist Ilya Kuvshinov to see how it should be done.

"Better" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO3200
“Better” Cedar Park, 2017

I used one of his drawings as a reference to figure out the proportions and spacing, and I think I learned a lot. What is surprising to me is that I would have never drawn the face shape like Ilya does. So this is a real eye-opener! It’s so interesting to see where the curves of the cheek change direction. I need to take note of that. The shape I have been using in my sketches looks like a boring almond. But the face that I copied has a much more interesting shape, doesn’t it?

I also used a ruler to keep things level and centered, and also used a circle stencil to draw the irises. I think it makes a huge difference… especially the circles.

Tomorrow I would like to continue with this sketch and later try to replicate it without looking at a reference drawing and see if I can remember the proportions and face shape.

I’m really enjoying sketching, especially faces. It’s so fun! There’s a lot to take note of and remember when I look at drawings that I like. It’s difficult but really interesting and challenging to see the spatial relationships between different elements.

And learning new things makes me feel pretty good. I’m not sure why that is exactly, but I want to keep doing it.

To see all the sketches I've been working on, you can check out the Flickr album "My Sketching Journey", or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.  

I hope you had a nice Tuesday.

おやすみ

Have Fun Along the Way

"Traveler's Notebook and Fountain Pens" Austin, 2017

Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/40 sec, ISO64
“Traveler’s Notebook and Fountain Pens” Austin, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

At my work, we have 6 core values, and my favorite one is “Have Fun Along the Way”. It’s actually a great value to live by, isn’t it? Anyway, whenever I pick up a new hobby, I tend to get obsessed with it and do so much research, watch videos about it, spend lots of money, etc. I’m sure I’m not alone in this! But what I am trying to do with my current watercolor/stationery hobby is to slow down, take it easy, and not go overboard. I want to make sure I don’t burn-out over it. And by going slowly, I make sure that I maximize the time that I am having fun along the way!

As I grow older (I am 48 as I type this), I start to think about making things last for the rest of my life. For instance, the things I buy like bags, penswatches, or sandals… will these last me (and will I want to keep them) for the rest of my life? That now goes into my purchasing decision.

And then I think about the things I do… will the new things I learn add anything to my life? I know that interests change, and that’s fine, but as the years go by it seems to be more important to focus on things that have real importance. When I was debating on whether or not to get the regular tickets or VIP tickets to see the band Scandal, my friend asked me, “When you are on your deathbed, are you going to be happier that you met the band or happier that you saved $50?” Of course, I bought the VIP tickets.

I think about that a lot when I have to choose things in daily life… “On my deathbed, will I be happier that I binge-watched another episode of Parks and Rec, or that I worked on a painting?”

When I was in high school and college, I loved creating things. And in my career, I’ve always had a job that involved creativity. I haven’t really given it too much thought to be honest. But it’s something that I can be proud of, and happy that I lived my life this way. So, my “new” hobby of watercolor painting is something I can fully enjoy, without any guilt. And it certainly fits the “Have Fun Along the Way” value!

"Color the Trees" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Color the Trees” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

Soreness

"Running Shoes" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/7 sec, ISO3200
“Running Shoes” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I started running again, and today I ran for the third time in a week and a half. I hadn’t run for a year or so, so my legs were so sore!

But it’s a good soreness… not painful, but the type of soreness that shows that you made a good effort.

Usually, when I start running again, I can begin increasing my distance after about 3 or 4 runs and recovery, so I anticipate getting back on track this week. But, since I am almost 50, it’s only natural that it could take longer. (I can’t believe I am getting close to 50!)

If you are on Strava, let’s connect so we can see each other’s exercise activity! My Strava is here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/2721791

I hope you had a nice day!

Simple Camera

"Camera Love" Cedar Park, 2017

Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/15 sec, ISO3200
“Camera Love” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは!How’s it going? Are you staying warm this winter? The temperatures will drop below freezing here tonight, but we’ll be warm and cozy in our beds!

Today’s photo is of my camera, the Fujifilm X100T which I have blogged about before. I’m still loving it – definitely my favorite camera I’ve ever owned. It’s not the fastest, doesn’t have the highest resolution or specs, but it has a certain charm in its body design and the image quality that the jpeg processing produces. That combination is why so many people love their X100 cameras, and Fujifilm cameras in general.

This camera has changed the way I think about making photos. Having multiple lenses that cover the ultra-wide to the super-telephoto range isn’t that important to me anymore. Simplicity has become much more valued to me now. The single focal length simplifies so much. Decision-making is easier. In fact, a lot of decisions have been eliminated… and I love it! It’s truly liberating.

Of course, I value the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from owning and using many different cameras and lenses, and it still comes into play with the photographic duties I sometimes take on at work, but for my personal photography, the X100T is all I need.

I guess this simplification is part of a trend in my life… getting rid of things I don’t need or use. Do I need all the apps on my phone? No, I only need a few. Having less keeps my phone light and fast.

Do I need to keep all the books I have already read? No. I donate or sell them, and free up physical space and clear the clutter. Seeing books that I’ll probably never read again just gives me a feeling of incompleteness. Get rid of them and close that chapter for good. (I made a pun!) Closure feels nice.

There are so many opportunities to simplify!

Focusing on just a few quality items seems to be a path that makes sense to me now. It gets me excited to think about jettisoning the things I don’t need anymore.

I hope you had a great day!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

End of the Trip

"End of the Trip" Long Beach, 2016

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/8000 sec, ISO6400
“End of the Trip” Long Beach, 2016

こんばんは!How’s it going?

We have returned to Texas from our week and a half trip to Southern California. It was a wonderful trip to see my parents, brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. I actually most enjoyed just relaxing at the house watching tv, eating good food, drinking whiskey, wine, and cocktails, and our nightly mahjong games. It went by so fast!

But I am glad to come back to our Texas home. I never really realized it, but the life in California is a lot different from life here in Texas. I don’t mean geographically or culturally, but more personally the way I live my life and spend time in each location is very different. I’m still trying to process those differences, and maybe I will write about what I figure out, but I think it’s all good. The things I can learn about myself from these experiences can help me grow in a positive way!

I hope you had a great day!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

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