30 August 2010

Lakeside Splash


And now a closer view of the splash:
Why yes, he rode his bike off the rampart at full speed to plunge into the lake.


3 years ago on TTaT: Falling behind

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29 August 2010

Sketchbook, page 44

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:
"Fish dream"


Get 15% off all mugs in my shop until August 30, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use coupon code: BTSRULE5MUGS

Two years ago on TTaT: A good day for Muppets

27 August 2010

Life of Art SitRep #29

A life of art: I work towards creating one for myself every week. This is the journey, full of zigs and zags that are collectively, thankfully, progress.

You can play along in the comments if you'd like with your own pursuits. (That's where the cheerleading happens.)
*******
This week, I
  • Shot 403 photos and 5 videos.
  • Tweeted, FB'd, blogged Zazzle's mug sale:
    15% off all mugs this week!
    Sale ends August 30, 2010 at 11:59pm PT.
    Use coupon code: BTSRULE5MUGS
  • Prepped and uploaded photograph Chairlift and Sky. Wrote copy, renamed it Ski Lift and Sky.
  • Created a variety of customizable Ski Lift and Sky products: prints/posters, cards, postcard, mugs, t-shirts, binders, tote bags, stickers, bumper sticker, keychain, magnets, buttons, mouse pad, apron, and stamps:
    One day when I was 7, my winter jacket got caught on the back of a chairlift as it arrived at the top of a snowy mountain. I couldn't get off. The chairlift started to lift up so it could flip over for its return down the slope. In a panic, I jumped. One of my skis flew off and slid downhill; my ski instructor chased after it. Miraculously, I kept my balance when I landed on the other ski, my momentum propelling me forward fifteen feet until I stumbled into the snow.

    The two empty chairs hanging from their lift cables in this photograph are much more peaceful. With no riders, the ski lift looks like a black linear diagram in front of an expansive view of blue sky and white puffy clouds. The upper right chair heads uphill and the lower left chair returns downhill, both without incident. However, the cumulus cloud at the top of the frame is mostly grey, a hint of a possible storm brewing.
  • Tweeted, FB'd Ski Lift and Sky folder link. Also blogged it.
  • Uploaded Ski Lift and Sky to redbubble. Marked media of all previous images as photograph (new feature). Had to edit some tags to meet new 10 tag max.
  • Finished 100 pix high header for Rocklawn Arts zazzle store. If you have a minute, take a look and tell me what you think.

    Later in the week, I made additional versions of the header taking out the grey, revising its color scheme and a bit of design. Used it to make a minutely tweaked header for the Rocklawn Arts blog. Also changed the link color.

    Important note to self: next time I think a 2 pixel difference in spacing is worth looking at on half of my design for comparison, resist! It's a hassle to change back when you notice the mismatched elements two hours later and realize the mistake crosses several file versions and needs to be corrected on two websites.
  • Noticed code hack to make new products folder disappear is working in the sidebar. Uploaded white block to make the folder icon invisible as well. Added easter egg text to it just in case someone clicks on it.
  • Changed "Shop" page link on ttat to "Rocklawn Arts Shop" for clarity. Fixed my Tweets page to account for my new twitter name: claireofRA.
  • Backed up Rocklawn Arts blog template. Made width adjustment to TTaT, backed it up.
  • Published 4 posts on my Rocklawn Arts blog.
  • Reconfigured twitterfeeds a bit and added subscription for Rocklawn Arts blog.
  • Offered some help on zazzle's forum.
  • Removed products links for products I don't offer on my 1st zazzle store. Set front page to show products instead of just featured products.

*******

What did you do to pursue the life you want this week?


A year ago on TTaT: Gettin' My Groove On... (vol. viii)

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26 August 2010

Hard workin' dog



Get 15% off all mugs in my shop until August 30, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use coupon code: BTSRULE5MUGS

Two years ago on TTaT: Free Rice is all new kinds of awesome

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24 August 2010

From my other related life

As alluded to on a few occasions over the life of the blog, at long last, here is my DP (director of photography) reel:

REMOVED

The amount of equipment, people, and resources that went into making these images is a bit mind-boggling to consider 10 years later. I do miss the gear. And a crew at my command was rather handy too.

If I were editing my reel now, I'd cut out 15-30 seconds of it to tighten it up. I'd also harass the director who never gave me my footage for it. Still, not bad considering this was digitized from a VHS tape and then compressed for the web. For me, watching my old reel is like flipping through a scrapbook of friends and experiences.

If you have any questions about any of the shots, please ask and I'll answer them in the comments.


Two years ago on TTaT: Random Scan Sunday 14: Olympic pins; 10 Meter Platform Diving is still my favorite

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23 August 2010

4-H

Heart, Hands, Health, and Head: the 4 h's of 4-H. Totally entertaining. I liked these photos best of the ones I took, but even the small fair I attended had a great deal more than is pictured here. There was live music, food, games, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, pigs, equestrian events, and a costumed livestock parade. Indoors there were exhibits of all types: vegetables, baked goods (some super fancy cakes!), flowers, photographs, art (Pteranodon, FTW!), jewelry, clothes, and textiles.

It's cool to see what the kids are up to, and the animals are fun to photograph.

Such a sweet face!

Mohawk sheep

Dreadlocked sheep

Pink ribbon, I must be dreaming!


I crouched down low for nearly all of my shooting which was worth it photographically, but my quadriceps are still burning two days later.

Photo tip: Getting to your subject's eye level often makes for more compelling photographs, but don't forget to stretch your legs before and after!


Get 15% off all mugs in my shop until August 30, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use coupon code: BTSRULE5MUGS

A year ago on TTaT: "A high tale of adventure"; Floppies: a handful out of many

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22 August 2010

Sketchbook, page 43

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:
p.47 Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands


Last day to get 40% off cool posters & prints in my photography shop. Sale runs until August 22, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use code: BTSRULEPRINT

A year ago on TTaT: The afternoon storm

20 August 2010

Life of Art SitRep #28

A life of art: I work towards creating one for myself every week. This is the journey, full of missteps, revisions, zigs and zags, that are collectively, thankfully, progress.

You can play along in the comments if you'd like with your own pursuits. (That's where the cheerleading happens.)
*******
This week, I
  • Shot 311 photos.
  • Changed my twitter handle to @claireofRA from claireofttat. Now you can tweet me with 2 more characters!

    RA is for Rocklawn Arts, naturally, but I like it because it sounds like Rah! and makes me think of Egyptology, a passion of mine.
  • Revised my twitter profile to include RocklawnArts.com as my site and mentioned it in my bio.
  • Tweeted, FB'd, blogged Zazzle's poster sale:
    Prints and Posters in my shop are 40% off until August 22, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use code: BTSRULEPRINT

  • Prepped & uploaded photograph Circle With Fire Escape to Rocklawn Arts zazzle store. Wrote copy.
  • Created a variety of customizable Circle With Fire Escape products: prints/posters, cards, postcard, mugs, t-shirts, binders, tote bags, stickers, keychain, magnets, buttons, mouse pad, and stamps:
    Circle With Fire Escape print
    Circle With Fire Escape by RocklawnArts
    Browse other posters on zazzle

    Several years ago during what I'm sure was an imaginary period of my life, I lived in a store front along the border of Nob Hill and Chinatown in San Francisco, California. Hypothetically, I often went on walkabout throughout the city, noting any structures I wanted to go back and photograph later.

    Descending into Chinatown, the large open circle cut into the photograph's foreground concrete wall always stopped me. With just the right angle of view through the circular window, the zigzag of the fire escape stairs of the next building becomes visible. A collection of mesmerizing geometry contained within and surrounding the circle: lines, angles, squares, rectangles, and triangles.

    Sunlight illuminates the background building, the square panes of its rectangular windows a mix of light and dark reflections. The shadowed foreground wall draws your eye through to the details.
    My friend Marc wrote: "I like this shot a lot! It has a strange MC Escher feel to it... but it's real!" I may have a proper series brewing yet. :)
  • Tweeted, FB'd, blogged Circle With Fire Escape folder link.
  • Submitted link to prints and posters in my shop to a thread.
  • Had 4 products promoted on a Back to School blog.
  • Changed default sort order of Rocklawn Arts zazzle store to A-Z.
  • Worked on a new header for my shop. Thunderstorm kept me from finishing.
  • Worked on Rocklawn Arts blog design, published 3 posts. Added statcounter. Made blog visible. Undecided about it though. If this week shows me anything, it's that maintaining another blog isn't on the forefront of my mind.
  • Went to a Gem, Mineral, Fossil Show.
  • Watched Iconoclasts with Stella McCartney and Ed Ruscha. So great. I want to be Ed while sporting a few of Stella's ensembles.

*******

What did you do to pursue the life you want this week?

3 years ago on TTaT: Knowing better doesn't always prompt appropriate action

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19 August 2010

Trillium


Trillium blooms hang down when they open, so this photo may be misleading, but it's not a cheat because I framed it up this way. Nothing says you have to obey gravity in your photographs.


This week, get 40% off cool posters & prints in my photography shop. Sale runs until August 22, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use code: BTSRULEPRINT

A year ago on TTaT: Skylines, Mind kinda blown

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18 August 2010

Lakeside


This week, get 40% off cool posters & prints in my photography shop. Sale runs until August 22, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use code: BTSRULEPRINT

A year ago on TTaT: Gettin' My Groove On... (vol. vii)

17 August 2010

Things, more of them. 19, in fact.

So I was reading Havi's Fewer than 33 things. That you might already know. But possibly not. About me. post yesterday when it occurred to me that it's been 4 years since I wrote my 33 Things. The Things haven't changed much or at all since then, but they are less apparent in the image-dominant form my blog is currently taking.

So, if you haven't been around TTaT since the early days (and even if you have), here are some tidbits you may not know about me.

In no particular order,

1. Typos and grammatical errors in books drive me crazy because I notice them without trying to in the least.
2. I was psyched that Prop 8 got overturned but am bummed that the decision has been stayed.
3. If it were up to me, I'd toss out the whole marriage thing for everyone. However, since it isn't, I think anyone who wants to get married should be able to regardless of their gender. Separation of church and state, yo.
4. When I was five, I announced that I was never getting married. In retrospect, this was an awesome thing to do since my parents have never hassled me about it.
5. Yes, I was engaged once when I was 21. So glad that didn't happen.
6. I'm back to thinking I'll never get married.
7. But I do have a wedding playlist. Ya know, just in case. Really making it was triggered by an appalling musical choice at a friend's wedding. "Why do fools fall in love?" for your first song? Really?! They didn't choose it, it was just what they got because they didn't have time to deal with reception music details. I did not want to end up in that situation. Until then, I'd never given any thought to what my unlikely nuptials would be like.

I love this as an entrance. No decision re: dress/tux/pajamas though. Except that if I did go with a dress, it would be RED, probably Narciso Rodriguez.
8. I like the ladies and the gents. Whoa, that looks weird even though I like the sound of it. Not because it isn't true; I'm bi, but it's rare that I meet anyone that I'm really into, and even rarer that she or he is available and also interested. Small sample size is probably the culprit.

Why mention it at all then? Because I'm on board with the idea that Visibility Matters. Equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual people won't happen if we're invisible.
9. I don't meet many people because I'm a hardcore introvert.
10. I wonder about all the people on the internet who call themselves introverts or misanthropes yet have large networks of people following them. Popular introvert/misanthrope seems like it should be an oxymoron.
11. "I'm sick and tired of you making assumptions about what I think about you! I don't think you're an idiot," I said to my student fellow in college.

He laughed and said, "That's great! I can tell that you're sick and you're tired."

I'm sure I rolled my eyes. Apparently I was very hard to read back then. I thought I was past that perception of aloofness, but perhaps I'm not. The idea that I may be perceived as unfriendly is upsetting to me.

If I seem quiet and unresponsive when you're talking to me, it's because I'm actually listening to you.
12. No desire to have/raise kids. This is only a sticking point when it comes to my just-turned-7 niece. If anything happens to both her parents, they want me to take her. My parents are all, "Nothing will happen. You just say, 'Yes,'" but that's not how I roll (by which I mean I endeavor not to casually agree to commitments I'm uncertain I can fulfill). In some respects, I am the best option, but that doesn't make it a good idea. Uf. Fingers crossed, it'll be moot.
13. I have an IMDb page. No, really. I've only seen 5 of these once they were completed. At a guess, 4/5 of the stuff I worked on while in LA isn't listed here. A lot of features/shorts never get finished or distributed.
14. My vision of how I would dress if money were no object is a cool, tailored look. Sort of Bette's work clothes in The L Word except that I don't like wearing sleeveless tops. Or what Stella McCartney was wearing from her own line in an episode of Iconoclasts I just saw. Not white though.

Without somewhere to dress up a bit though, I suspect I'd just continue to wear t-shirts and cargo shorts/carpenter jeans for the most part because they're comfortable.
15. I do not carry a purse, so deep functional pockets are a must. ∴ I wear men's pants. Makes for easier sizing.
16. Contrary to the current content on the blog, I used to write a lot. I go through phases or periods of inspiration with it. I may start re-sharing a few stories from the depths that not many people have seen.
17. My photography shop, Rocklawn Arts, uses "Arts" instead of "Photography" because I wanted to leave room for some of my other artistic interests in the future: writing, sculpture, lamps, and coffee tables.

Also, Claire Skinner Photography just didn't have the right ring. I considered going with just my name but due to the actress Claire Skinner (I), all the URLs of my name are taken.

Rocklawn Arts as a name has actually been in my head for years, so it seemed worth listening to. Rocklawn is a place special to me, where I became an artist at heart.
18. Some day I will put my old DP reel up here for kicks. Even though I know how I would edit it differently now.
19. And perhaps the song I wrote and recorded with a friend. Been too nervous/reluctant for over five years, so we'll see how that goes.


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Also this week, get 40% off cool posters & prints in my photography shop. Sale runs until August 22, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use code: BTSRULEPRINT


A year ago on TTaT: Random Scan Sunday 13: Turkish Olympics

16 August 2010

Here's lookin' at you, kid


If you liked this photograph, please share it using the buttons/links below.

Also this week, get 40% off cool posters & prints in my photography shop. Sale runs until August 22, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. Use code: BTSRULEPRINT

A year ago on TTaT: Gettin' My Groove On... (vol. vi)

15 August 2010

Sketchbook, page 42

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:
p.27 Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands


Two years ago on TTaT: Cruise Night, round 2

13 August 2010

Life of Art SitRep #27

Wherein I keep myself motivated by recounting what I did to create a life of art during the past week. (Damn, I was really aiming for a less formal tone. ;)

You can play too if you'd like. If you have any sort of goal you're pursuing, feel free to share your efforts of the past week in the comments.

*******
This week, I
*******

What did you do to pursue the life you want this week?


Two years ago on TTaT: The other thing about the Olympics

12 August 2010

Relative motion

In recent months, some of the photographs I've had the most fun shooting have been taken from within moving vehicles. Triggering the shutter at just the right moment to get the composition I want, it's a bit of a game. One I'm getting better at all the time.

It's counterintuitive shooting stills while moving. So much of photography is: be still when you take the shot! The key to avoiding blur is avoiding close foreground objects in your composition. The further away your subject is, the better because it reduces your relative motion.

And now? I'm going to head back outside to see if I can spot some more of the Perseids. Meteor shower FTW! Just hope it hasn't clouded over too much. Saw two earlier so s'all good. Tomorrow night is also supposed to be peak viewing, so check it out if you can.


Two years ago on TTaT: The other thing about the Olympics

09 August 2010

Northshire Bookstore: not to be missed!

I went to an awesome indie bookstore over the weekend: Northshire Bookstore. It reminded me of Powell's including the handwritten recommendations on cards hanging along the shelves, but is for a gratifying change on the East coast. Northshire isn't as all encompassing as Powell's but it is large, about the size of all the chain and indie bookstores where I live put together.

If you live in or around Manchester, Vermont, you really should check it out make it your new hangout. It's full of nooks and crannies, enough to give it a delightful maze feel, a place to lose yourself in with comfy spots hidden away to sit and test drive some pages. The variety of books they have really impressed me. The indie shops close to home don't have anywhere near the selection excluding local interest books.

If for some reason books aren't you're thing, there's also a cafe and lots of gift items: cards, wrapping paper, toys, clothes, jewelry, chocolate, tech gadgets, every size Moleskine you can imagine and many I'd never seen (who knew they had huge sketchbooks?).

You can even get your own book printed and bound as a trade paperback on this massive machine they have there. How cool!

Highly recommended.


3 years ago on TTaT: A family that oil paints together...

08 August 2010

Sketchbook, page 41

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:
p.21 Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands


4 years ago on TTaT: How many posts does it take to start a road trip?, The Last Day is just the Beginning (part 2)

07 August 2010

Land Lease


3 years ago on TTaT: Excellent

06 August 2010

Life of Art SitRep #26

A series to mark what I did to further my pursuit of a life sustained by my art each week. Committing to these posts is a commitment to action, because to have content for them, I have to do something. Every week. If you have any sort of goal you're pursuing, feel free to share your efforts of the past week in the comments. Or encouragement, that's good too.
*******
This week, I
  • Shot 510 photos.
  • Tweeted, FB'd (now blogged) t-shirt sale:
    15% off t-shirts in my shop until August 8, 2010 11:59pm PT. Shirts are available in a variety of styles and colors:
    http://www.zazzle.com/rocklawnarts*/tshirts
    Use code: BTSRULESHIRT
  • Prepped cropped and uncropped versions of Golden Fountain Water and started prepping Golden Fountain Water 2.
  • Created a variety of customizable Golden Fountain Water products: t-shirts, card, postcard, poster, binder, tie, men's low top Keds sneaker, women's slip on Keds shoe, magnet, stamps, buttons, stickers, bumper sticker, mug, bags, apron, and keychain:
    A simple vertical spray of water disrupts the water in the basin of the fountain. Aside from the rust-colored water return and small bit of pipe at the top right of the photograph, the image appears to be a Post-Impressionist painting, wavy lines of oil paint in various shades of gold, near blacks, and blues. If you could just stand a little further back, you know you would be able to discern what it is.

    There's that little bit of pipe again though, a reminder that you're actually looking at ripples of fountain water illuminated by late afternoon sun. But who else might have stared at light patterns on disturbed water? Studied them, been inspired by them? My mind conjures Vincent Van Gogh.

    Ever since I went to New Mexico and saw that the mountains are just like the multi-colored ones Georgia O'Keeffe painted, I've been on the lookout for clues. What inspired the artist to render his or her work in that particular way? What would I have to see, if I had no knowledge of the artist, to be inspired to create work of a similar style? When I find a possible answer, like the water in this photograph, I get excited.
  • Tweeted/FB'd Golden Fountain Water products link.
  • Reordered quick create checklist to order products seem to show up in every time.
  • Added Crane and Counterweight link to post A follow up of sorts in which the image appears.
  • Went to outdoor sculpture show.
  • Changed TTaT blog design. (Again.)
  • Read 2 more LIP 12 week challenge posts.
  • Renamed photo folders with simplified date and subject for better archiving. Same approach I use for negatives.
*******

What did you do to pursue the life you want this week?


A year ago on TTaT: Detective work

05 August 2010

I will learn how to ask for what I want yet

When your hairdresser tells the next person to walk in she'll be with him in five minutes when she hasn't even begun to cut your hair, it's a little disconcerting.

I did finally get the back of my hair cut up to where I wanted it on the first try. (Some hairdressers just really don't believe you even when you use gestures.) She was a bit overzealous with the rest unfortunately. My directions were pretty clear, but she was on a mission. She only had five minutes after all.

Also, I must remember that when someone asks, "Do you want it over the ears?" it could mean two things: 1. hair long enough to hang over one's ears, or 2. hair short enough it does not cover one's ears. I should have said, "I like to have it long enough so that I can pull it behind my ears."

I know I was perfectly clear about the front. Next time I must be more emphatic. She cut a bit off, held it up, and asked if it was the right amount. I knew it was too much but since she'd already started cutting, I felt on the hook, y'know? Next time I won't worry about having a shorter section in the mix.

I wonder how long it will take for my curls to reform on the sides. They are sort of cut in half at present, lying flat in places and winging out in others. Not enough, however, to make a pleasant-looking disarray. My curls have been amputated!

To add insult to injury, this was the first time in 20 years of having stray grey hairs that I looked at the locks plummeting onto the cape in front of me and thought, "Fuck, that's a lot of grey."

Ah well.

In a month or two, the front and sides should be how I like them. Then only the back will be too long. For now, at least it will keep me definition 1 cool.


A year ago on TTaT: Gettin' My Groove On... (vol. v)

04 August 2010

I'm not going to apologize

Dinner at Panera's was pretty quiet this evening. Well, our table was. I was eating with a husband and wife; she rarely lets anyone get a word in. Just a half hour previously, she was monopolizing the conversation as usual.

Without her streaming chatter, I realized just how quiet it could be. I asked the husband a couple of questions and he gave simple answers. I asked the wife a couple of things, but all I got were curt single word replies or nonverbal nods or head shakes.

I couldn't think of anything I'd done to offend her, so I thought, I wonder if her throat's sore. ... Maybe she's just really hungry?

I gave up on trying to maintain the conversation and decided to enjoy the silence for what it was, an unusual respite.

When we were back in the car, the banter picked up a bit, and I tried to ask a question for clarification.

"Don't speak for me, Claire," she said with a snotty inflection as we turned out of the lot.

So that's what this is about. I was dismayed because it meant she was angry with me and her quietness at dinner was some sort of sulking or intended punishment for me.

On the way to dinner, we'd been talking about portable phones. I asked, "Does it make a difference how far away from its base it is?" I was trying to troubleshoot a recent problem I'd had with the phone from the basement while I'd been using it on the second floor.

The husband said, "No, the only base that matters is the main one in the kitchen."

"We know that already," chastised the wife.

"I was just trying to clarify," he said.

The wife was saying something else, but I interrupted to say, "That is what I was asking. I didn't know that. Don't speak for me." My tone was not snotty, but I'm sure it sounded abrupt because I was trying to get a frakkin' word in. She did not seem in the least to notice that she had criticized him sharply over something trivial. I did not want to be lumped in with her in that instance.

As we continued the ride back, I discerned her other complaint. It really annoys her when I ask her to explain pieces of her stories. She has a habit of launching in without segue or context. At any moment, she could be relaying the plot of a novel, an article from the newspaper or CNN, or tales about individuals I may or may not know. Add to this her excessive use of unidentified pronouns and perhaps you understand my dilemma.

To make matters worse, sometimes I just don't clearly hear her first sentence. No matter how I ask her to repeat it, she says something different or launches into a lengthy explanation when all I want is to know 3 or 4 words I missed. That's probably frustrating for her in part because she may not recall what those initial words are.

What I've surmised at this point is that there are an awful lot of assumptions her husband must be making during her stories, if he's paying attention to them at all, because his hearing and listening skills are poor.

The irony is how often the wife goes on about her sister not listening to her or delivering monologues to her that cannot be interrupted. "She has in mind what she wanted to tell me, and it doesn't matter if I already know it."

Sigh. Pot, Kettle, Kettle, Pot.

Though it's counterintuitive, the solution seems to be: have less concern for understanding what she's saying. She does not appear to have any interest in dialogue anyway. Less questions, less details. More time for me to think about other things, I suppose.

Because I'm not going to apologize for standing up for my voice when it's attributed to words or actions I do not condone. And I'm not going to apologize for asking questions so that I can understand something better. Not going to happen.

It may be quiet for a while.


3 years ago on TTaT: It doesn't seem right, but it's true

03 August 2010

Nature's spotlight



A year ago on TTaT: "Nobody wears their hair like that."

01 August 2010

Sketchbook, page 40

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:
p.19 Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands


A year ago on TTaT: Summer, as seen by the bear