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                                                       Studio Journal


    Abelia Close


    Beauty and the Beast

    Created in Adobe Creative Cloud mobile apps.


    Beautiful Living Things

    "Art is the Flower - Life is the Green Leaf. Let every artist strive to make his flower a beautiful living thing, something that will convince the world that there may be, there are, things more precious more beautiful - more lasting than life itself... you must offer real, living - beautifully coloured flowers - flowers that grow from, but above, the green leaf – flowers that are not dead – are not dying – not artificial – real flowers springing from your own soul – not even cut flowers - You must offer the flowers of the art that is in you – the symbols of all that is noble – and beautiful – and inspiring - flowers that will often change a colourless leaf - into an established and thoughtful thing." ~ Charles Rennie Mackintosh


    Nodding Onions

    More iPad art sketched from a photograph by Howard Bjornson. There is such a fluid feeling about the lines of the wild Nodding Onion.  Combined with the unusual colors of the blossoms, this was a joy to draw and paint using the Sketch Club app on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil.   


    Sunflowers for the Kitchen





    I drew the sunflower used in the web site header on my iPad Pro with an application called Sketch Club. I enjoyed using Sketch Club for this illustration because the vector and pen tools were on point for what I hoped to create.  The detail possible with an Apple Pencil makes drawing on a tablet a true sensual pleasure. This image will be framed and most likely hung in my office studio or kitchen.  Lately I have taken a shine to having sunflowers in the kitchen, so I am leaning toward the kitchen.      

    By the way, I broke my right arm last summer and lost all use of my right hand for months. I was concerned that I would never be able to draw again with any precision. This is my first completed post-break work, and my gratitude for the doctor who performed the surgery and the healing I have experienced is profound.  I will remember this every time I see this image.     


    Retroactive Blessings

    C. S. Lewis wrote: “They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” (The Great Divorce, 1946).


    The Southern Physical World

    "There was the influence of the Southern physical world - itself a sort of cosmic conspiracy against reality in favor of romance.  The country is one of extravagant colors, of proliferating foliage and bloom, of flooding yellow sunlight, and above all perhaps, of haze….The dominant mood, the mood that lingers in the memory, is one of well-nigh drunken reverie - of a hush that seems all the deeper for the far-away mourning of the hounds and the far-away crying of the doves - of such sweet and inexorable opiates as the rich odors of hot earth and pinewood and the perfume of the magnolia in bloom - of soft languor creeping through the blood and mounting surely to the brain,,,,It is a mood, in sum, in which directed thinking is all but impossible, a mood in which the mind yields almost perforce to drift and in which nothing any more seems improbable save the puny inadequateness of fact, nothing incredible save the bareness of truth."

     ~ W. J. Cash from The Mind of the South (1941)



    Where Is The Feast?

    About three weeks ago the Summer Solstice occurred, and a full moon came along as an added benefit. And even cooler, this was the June Strawberry Full Moon (according to the monthly full moon naming custom of the Native American Algonquin Tribe). This was a very big deal because it is the first time we have had a Summer Solstice full moon since 1948 (according to National Geographic) or 1967/aka The Summer of Love (according to The Washington Post).  I tend to go with National Geographic on matters of this sort, so I considered this event to be something wonderful that had never happened before in my lifetime.  And since the next Summer Solstice Full Moon will happen in 2062, long after I am dead, I realized I had only one shot at this experience.  

    I headed outside with my camera for this once (literally) in a lifetime event, and waited, waited, waited for the moon to break from behind clouds.  While waiting I stood in the dark thinking that the street should be lined with people pointing, waiting, and gasping when the moon finally broke the prison of clouds.  But, alas, I was alone.

    Where are festivals these day?  

    My Summer Solstice Festival was observed alone and in my heart on a dark road.  But that was cool enough. I didn't miss out.  When the gigantic moon appeared I was just thrilled to be alive to see it and be a part of creation.  Even though I couldn't take a good photo, I have this little shot on my iPhone to remind me of the experience. Thomas Moore (A Religion Of One's Own) would heartily approve.


    Friedrich Poppl's Ruling Pen Minuscule 2

    This is a close up section of a rendering of the Latin phrase "verba docent, exempla trahunt" which means "words instruct, illustrations lead." 

    This illustration emulates the Ruling Pen Minuscule 2 script of German calligrapher Friedrich Poppl.  His font dates from the 1960s.  I am creating this work on an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil in the Adobe Draw app and opened in Photoshop to create texture and embossing.  This is a work in progrss, so I am not sure how it will conclude.  I envision a poster and in a different color.

    Apart from admiring Poppl's work, I admire his determination.  Here is a short piece on Poppl's challenging life as an amputee and prisoner of war.       


    Slow Poison

    "I am like a snake who has already bitten. I retreat from a direct battle while knowing the slow effect of the poison." ~ Anais Nin