Saturday Chore Day Rolls Around Again

While I’m waiting for a photo to go from my phone to the cloud and come back to my iPad, I’ll write about my new chore schedule. It’s goes like this: I don’t do the laundry now. Instead, I do some cooking. Now that I’m feeding the dogs a whole food plant-based diet, my weekly chore is to cook up the week’s dog food. I’m lucky that the boys don’t eat much. A batch that’s big enough to feed a medium-sized 40-lb dog for one day will feed the two of them for a week. Over the last month I’ve cooked a black bean and sweet potato dish, a tofu and oatmeal mix, and today, a lentil, brown rice, and tofu dish. My guide is Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats (4th Edition).

What does cooking food for my dogs have to do with art and this blog. A lot, actually — I get to make the point that my life as an artist is not all about art. It’s also about Life. I estimate that my art activity is about 90 minutes a day. The rest of my day I do the things that keep everything going along just fine. But, I think about art continuously from the moment I open my eyes in the morning, to the time I close my eyes to fall asleep at night. I dream of drawing and painting. And cooking.

With time restrictions being tight, I find myself becoming disciplined about doing something with my book project every day. Working towards a goal steadily and methodically is something new to me. In the past I’ve done Inktober and other artificial projects (100-day and 365-projects), but I always end up thinking what’s the point in counting the days? I could just as well say that I breath every day, and post the number on my web site. Look at me, I’ve been breathing for 25,199 straight days.

15 minutes later… That photo showed up. I sketched this 2x3 inch notan while the dogs were sunning themselves and I was soaking up some vitamin D. This is the view I see from my backyard as I look East. Those distant mountains are the Siskiyous of Southern Oregon. The challenge is to show atmospheric perspective in a high-contrast black and white sketch. I’m sure I’ll be drawing this scene again…and again…and again.

Sketching time: 15 minutes. The original image is 2x3 inches. I’m signing this one “Dou”.