art for all

57. Playing with myself

May 02, 2022 Sketchbook Skool Season 3 Episode 57
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Jack is off this week so Danny fills the void by reading a few essays.  You can get a fresh essay each week by signing up (free) at

Um, hi there and welcome to art for all the sketchbook school podcast I am Danny Gregory I am the founder of sketchbook skool. And I'm an author and an artist and a guy who who has a podcast with his friend John Muir laws however this week I add one more ah set of adjectives to describe myself I am alone I'm alone because. Jack is off on a vacation with his family now I decided at the last minute that that it bothered me having a hole in the schedule. Let me tell you a bit about how we record this podcast is generally. We're actually. Episode that we share with you is often one that we've recorded two weeks earlier than when you hear it and that's to give us some time some leeway some padding just in case we need it to finish production to do all the various things. However, um. I have a disease that is called precrastination procrastination is the I don't know it's like it's like the opposite of procrastination procrastination procrastination means that you have to do things long before they. Do I don't know this with everything but I've done this with a lot of things in my life and it served me reasonably well. But what it means is I don't have last minute anxiety or at least I hope not to so I try to get things done in advance. Maybe you experience this or maybe you're saying what the hell's wrong with this guy who has this problem I do um and what that has meant in terms of art for all is that we always have a couple of episodes thinking that if we miss 1 We'll still have ah. But of padding but it bugs me to not have two weeks of padding all right? So this is my problem and I'm going to try and make up for the fact that we don't have 2 in the can a few weeks ago I was away. And we did skip a week and I don't know that bothered me too. So I'm going to try and make up for it by creating an episode of of a sort on my own which is it's not impossible honestly for the first 2 seasons of art for all. Basically.

That's what I did I created stuff on my own so I'm gonna kind of go back to that and just do that for 1 episode but don't worry Jack will be back next week we will continue with the usual format and the usual plaver and give and take so time for a bit of t. So um, what I was thinking is I would just share with you some of the essays that I've been writing for the last few years. Um I've presented these essays in a few different forms. For a long time I used to write a blog a long time I started it in 2003 writing a blog intermittently. There were occasional periods where I did it every day and then there were occasional periods where I didn't do it at all for long stretches. But um. I gave up writing in that way some time ago and instead what I started doing was writing a newsletter which was basically an email I would write an email every Friday and then more recently it's become something I do on tuesdays. And on Fridays. So hopefully you know all that and you subscribe to it if you haven't you can subscribe to it at http://danny' and I'll also send you a little book that I made which has a collection of some of the essays. But I thought I would just read you some essays some of which might be um, you know. Earlier essays that you haven't heard or some maybe essays I've never actually read so which isn't to imply that after I write them I don't read them myself but I actually that is by large what happens a lot of these I haven't looked at since I wrote them. So that'll be interesting to me as well to go back and revisit some of them. So these essays tend to be about I don't know my life as a creative person creative issues things I've discovered things I've read stuff to kind of help you to um you know. Feel more comfortable with your creativity. Sometimes it's about suggestions on how your creative process could be tuned up and work better. Sometimes it's about obstacles that we all experience as creative people. They're different different topics. But I've found no end of. Ah, things to explore over these years it does seem like there are many challenges that we face and they are an endless source of information for me and and interest because I experience most of them myself I also am a creative person.

And I have an inner critic I have creative blocks I have problems with the process. But I also am interested in different kinds of tools that we can use I'm interested in being reasonably productive I'm interested in procrastination I'm interested in where ideas come from. Um, and I'm also interested in drawing and writing and some of the so the technical aspects of that process. So I explore some of those things too. So I'm going to go through my repository of files and just pull up ones more or less at random I haven't actually gone through and. Picked some out so I'm sorry if that if it's it'll it'll look like I'm kind of floundering around looking for stuff but I figure that way it will be fresh. That's always a good excuse right? Okay, here's 1 um, clear the old. Mechanism and get into it. Um, this one is called my name is Danny and I am a miser. My name is Danny and I'm a miser I've been like this for as long as I can remember. Maybe it's hereditary. My grandparents were misers. They'd hoard cans of food in a locked pantry shelves and shelves of beans and corn oysters and vienna sausages drawers full of crumpled grocery bags and rubber bands closets full of bottles with one inch of liquid crusting in the bottom of each one because well you never know when they could come in handy when they were both finally dead. We needed an economy-sized dumpster to haul away their priceless collections of rusting cans and dead light bulbs. My wife will ask me. Why I'm holding onto socks with holes sweaters with holes even shoes with holes and I'll say what they're they're still perfectly. Wearable aren't they and she'll just give me a look a look full of holes. Maybe it's the pandemic. Maybe it's crossing some birthday threshold. But. All of a sudden I'm starting to reform and I'm starting with art supplies I have so many cigar boxes full of stiffened watercolor tubes shelves full of empty too. Good to use sketchbooks and unopened bottles of ink drawers. Full of unsharpened pencils and dried-up pens. So so many dried-up pens and now suddenly at this advanced age I have a studio begging to be used. So I've started to spread out all that stock of materials.

And long lines and deep clusters across a couple of big tables covered with brown paper like some lavish 24 hour Las Vegas buffet I perch there in the midst like Midas or old King Cole inks to the left of me brushes to the right. I am flanked by 2 carts each bristling with open boxes of colored pencils and jars full of markers I have 7 count em 7 sketchbooks and pads within arm's reach each day I waddle in early in the morning or late at night and take the plunge. Some of these materials are old friends others I'm growing acquainted with as we dance together across the page new colors, new feelings new flavors, new interactions, new adventures together I've been drawing cats of late scratching my way. Through page after feline page slathering on Gue and india ink ballpoint pens line over pools of barely dry watercolor I grab marker after marker and then fling them aside barely pausing to recap them before I grab 4 bottles of colored ink in one fist. And then vigorously sharpen a clutch of pencils into a China cup I have become a juicyly lipped sibarite nashing on gobs of vermilion and as you're gulping down bottles and crunching down graphite like pretzel sticks I slow down only to wipe panes gray from my chin. And prize open my chops to bite down on a fresh pad of watercolor paper. My grandparents are no doubt turning in their cheap coffins. But I am pure appetite gorging at the teat of Blick Mindlessly buying Jeff Bezos 1 more rocketship life. Is short and my art supply list is deliciously long your pal danny well that was fun I don't even remember when I wrote that but I did and that was one of my essays. Um, and you. Get them too. Don't forget so let me see here's another one. This one is called the insult of talent just note down where this is. Okay, um, how do you get good at something you work really hard for ages until you can do it well enough for other people to notice at which point they think it's miraculous because.

They hadn't noticed you doing all that work in obscurity and they label it talent because they couldn't imagine doing all that work themselves and so they assume you didn't either. Nope you were born with a silver pan in your mouth. Being called talented is actually a put down. It's saying you didn't earn this. You were bequeathed it. You won the genetic lottery you scored birthrights are bull the flip side of racism sexism classism. Just. Pigeonholing in order to limit people more destructively talent is also an excuse for not bothering freeing you to not put in the work because you're starting with this unfair disadvantage that. No amount of practice will overcome. The fact is that if talent does exist in your case, it's meaningless if you have it then? Great. You have the motivation to practice and stumble and sweat and fail and advance and perform miracles because. You've been told you will succeed and all that pain will be worth it and if you don't the same basically applies. But at the end you'll have the added reward of confounding expectations. The only talent you need is the ability to work. So get to it. What do you think? do you agree with any of this if you want to take issue with anything I'm saying or resoundingly applaud me, you can write to me and Jack at podcast at and we will. Forward to hearing from you. Um.

This one is called from to do to done deal I frequently risk being the prisoner of my ambition I dream big and often then. Wake up exhausted with a long to do list and a sense of dread. How will I get it all done. How will I climb this mountain I've built I sit at its base exhausted by the possibilities wrapped in a sense of failure. Before I begin that sense threatens to keep me from the first step and the longer I wait to begin the further away the summit will stretch not doing can easily become a reflex like a hoarder. Newspapers to the rafters like a £700 man trapped in bed like a refugee clutching a trash bag of possessions in a child's hand it can all seem too big to tackle submission to failure and the monkey. Can seem the only possible recourse but doing like failure can be incendiary I start by taking on 1 challenge. Maybe the easiest teeniest one on the pile when I've surmounted it 1 checkmark on the epic list I feel. Flicker of hope I pull the next task toward me and the flicker starts to smolder I make the bed I go to the store I do a drawing I write a blog post I arrange a Zoom meeting I write a chapter and soon the flames are roaring wheels are turning. We are halfway up the peak not doing can easily become a reflex wait I already said that then I sift through the list I discard the pointless the distracting the indulgent I break the most overwhelming obstacles. Into a small series of to-doable tasks I beaver on soon. The list is a scaffolding a set of pythons leading me hand over hand to the top have you ever seen the martian it's a good movie based on an even better book. And it deals with an impossible challenge surviving on mars with rescue years away. The solution is increments tackling 1 small problem and then the next and so on the more bite size the problem the easier, the whales.

Is to digest dream Big start small. It was cold from to do to done deal or this is a quite ridiculous one.

Um, I'm not sure if this has anything to do with art but it was fun to write. It's called my heroin addiction. When I was 13 they showed a movie in morning assembly that messed me up we had moved to America less than a year before and I was clueless about virtually everything that wasn't to be found. On the shelves of my grandfather's library in Lahore I knew about hunting ocelots, excising neck tumors and the pretenders to the romanian throne but nothing about rock and roll heroine or afropics. And this movie taught me about all 3 it was a black and white sixteen Millimeter faux documentary about a young Puerto rican boy's short and tragic life the movie opened in an alley as chico and his homies. Squattered on an abandoned car passing a joint in the next scene this gateway led chiko to a party where he and older pals sniffed white powder while a portable record player blasted a screeching guitar solo soon. Chico was snorting skin popping then mainlining junk dopes smackkag and horse various other madcap adventures ensued leadinging to the final scene in which chico o d's in a shower the film closed with a slow Iris down. Centering on chico's lifeless eyeball that night I knocked on the door of my mother's bedroom. My second stepfather opened it looking bleary and irritated I told him I couldn't sleep because I was afraid I was a heroin addict what he said. And pushed me up against the wall where are you getting the stuff give me names my mother joined us and my stepfather told her I was a dope fiend names. He hissed again who's your dealer I don't know I wind I don't know where I get it I don't remember anything I told him about the movie and how insidious heroin addiction could be. I think I'm such a junkie I can't remember anything about it. It's like I must be leading a parallel life or something seriously they looked at each other eyes rolling jesus go back to bed my stepfather groaned and turned on his heel the door slammed the film had a long-term effect on me.

It was very effective in deterring me from being an actual heroin addict forty years later I'm still clean. It also left me with a lifetime aversion to whaling guitar. So solos unlike all my normal friends who would air guitar to Zeppelin. Loved heavy metal and hair metal and death metal and Metallica and mega death and motorhead and Maiden and sabbath and priest metal freaks me out that first whining shriek still seizes my bowels like Malcolm Mcdowell making me anxious and tense and waiting for hell to break loose. It's the thin edge of the wedge man a couple of Motley crew tracks and next thing you know it's mainlining and toe injecting and selling my butt in the street I have no particular aesthetic reason not to like heavy metal I love punk after all which is far more nihilistic and loud. Like abstraction I like the blues I even like spandex on men I can attribute this aversion only to a pavlovian response wired into me back in the dark of the assembly hall in 73 a reprogramming of my limbic system. Still holds sway I have other long-seed childhood aversions that I still trip over sweet and sour pork shredded wet paper towels bittersweet chocolate trigonometry cilantro in my never ending quest from mild self-improvement. Ah, begun to question these knee-jerk Repulsions and I'm working on reprogramming myself I refuse any longer to be haunted by these ancient specters. Especially the one whose origins I know origins that are absurd to be enslaved by when you are a man of my age and dwindling hair. So. I am watching Diane Weistt movies eating fillazo fish even drawing with a soft pencil and blasting Metallica's master of puppets round the clock I am stronger than my weaknesses and I shall prevail. I should go and try and getting you know some gigs as a motivational speaker. You know like kids just say no to say no to cilantro. Um. This one is called how to make blockbuster drawings.

I have a friend who is smart and funny and interesting and perceptive and whenever we watch a movie together I want to kill him the titles start and he'll hiss I can't believe they use that typeface. That's so David ventured ten years ago hero's best friends shows up, he'll mutter oh not that actor I can't stand him. Omg he'll go on to point out tenny dialogue and bad continuity and 10 minutes into the buildup of the plot. He'll blurt out. Well obviously that guy did it. This is ridiculous, just watch yeah matter I'm trying to when I watch a movie I want to get lost I want to get swept away by the story to go with events as they unfold to enjoy the ride I love the suspense the adventure the immersion in another world. I'm not interested in zipping head to the conclusion I don't want it to end very occasionally if a movie still sticks with me days later then then I'll start analyzing it I'll keep thinking about it breaking it down the distance gives me perspective and eventually I'll call it my brilliant friend and we'll have a great discussion but most of the time. Just forget the movies I see I eat them like popcorn and the next day they're gone I feel the same way with making a drawing I want to lose myself in the process. Enjoy it and then I'm done I don't look it over and break it down I just draw. And move on I know from bitter experience that if I try to exert too much control over the experience too much analyzing and second -guessing my instincts I quickly sour on drawing altogether if I sit down to draw something and I keep finding myself distracted analytical bored. It's just time to stop thinking and find someone else to look at the world has more things to draw than netflix has korean rom-coms try watching yourself drawing to see what happens can you turn down your inner critic your chatty vitriolic friend. And let something else inside of you come out and explore something happy and curious something playful and worry-free explore an object play with an idea. Let your lines give it voice engage with the world and your sketchbook. Like a 5 year old at the movies ignore the critics and grab that big box of eminems that was fun actually god I miss going to the movies. Don't you I have not gone to a movie theater in a very long time.

Not eaten overpriced candy in the dark I yes, all right time to lubricate the mechanism with a sip of tea excuse me. I can already hear my inner critic by the way myner critic is saying? Yeah yeah, you're reading old stuff that you wrote ages ago. You're not doing anything new and people who tuned in to hear you and John Muir laws have a conversation are listening to you. Be this dusty old stuff. You should stop now you have recorded 24 minutes and 57 seconds of this crap move on and I say here's my next essay. It's called be conscious, not self-conscious. 1 of the biggest creative blocks comes from self-consciousness you overthink everything you do afraid. It's not going to be good enough. You can't even begin terrified by the sight of a simple blank piece of paper. You can't draw the first line write. The first word. So sure are you that it will suck and hard at every step of the way you look at what you've done and hate and fear it. You can't finish what you started so sure that just 1 more polish. 1 more brushstroke will make it. Okay, you can't post it or share it or put it in a gallery or send it to a publisher so concerned that you'll look like an idiot opposer a talentless amateur stop the madness stop worrying about what others think. The fact is you really have no idea so don't worry about it before you even begin here's some things to think about instead. First off make stuff for you an audience of 1 make stuff that you will like. And work toward that goal second know that when you start the journey. You don't need to know where you'll end up. In fact, it's better not to just take the first step which will lead to the next The journey is the goal. Not some final perfect solution. So. Stopping to analyze each step is as futile as constantly checking your shoelaces. It'll probably only trip you up. Third screwing up is normal. It's good is part of every decent creative process. It's what makes it better if you aren't screwing up.

You aren't taking risks so give yourself permission not to worry about it and just keep going next remember that you are not the project. It may be bad but you aren't even if this particular project sucks. The fact that you're making something anything is making you better at what you want to do. But if you don't make it if you don't even try. You'll be forever stuck where you are until you start sliding backwards. Every project is just. Another rung on the ladder you're climbing play around monkey about throw stuff at the wall experiment tell yourself that all you're doing is playing no need to evaluate it and that will take the pressure off and finally build a wall. The door in it between 2 parts of yourself the maker and the judge close the door and make stuff and then when you have a whole bunch of it made open the door and show the judge. What you got only then worst case, it's all just junk in which case. Close the door and go back to playing be bold, be free and contribute to the wealth of all of us by being as creative as you can and sharing it as broadly as possible. Even if at some point you think it just sucks at the very least. It will inspire or at least warn someone else's creation. It's good to be conscious. It's good to be self-aware but being self-conscious is of no use to your creativity. Yeah, you see that. That's that essay is an example of. Giving pretty good advice but not taking it myself necessarily.

Um, this one is called getting a tattoo like every twenty first Century Critter I am surrounded by exciting possibilities that latch onto the throat of my life and suck out my plasma. Every second is so jam crammed with diversions 500 channels 10000000000 websites a zillion blogs and podcasts and subscription services and magazines and art supply stores and people to chat with and Zoom with and lunch with and ah Gak life is Instagram famous. As our culture dangles. The carrot of success and adoration at every street corner and browser window. Everyone is getting their fifteen megabytes of fame we keep inventing more and more entertainment and interactivity and yet my watch silony manages to tick off 24 hours each day. And my calendar only offers seven days each week I'm a child who's lost in the candy store so long he is exhausted from hyperglycemic sugar fits. My cheeks are stained by tears and smeared with corn syrup. My tongue aches my taste buds refuse to respond. I'm slumped in the corner after a glut of trying to podcast and video stream and become a serious artist and promote my books and answer every piece of friendly email and delete all the spam and plan my next email essay and I'm lonely from breaking Zoom appointments with friends because i'm. Dull and spent and just want to put up my feet and watch the british baking show but most of all I'm sick of what's happened to my drawing between work and books and illustrations and design projects and draw with means I forgot what the hell I'm doing I've lost touch. With a most important thing to me my life as I live it now my life as it is ornamented and sugar-c crusted but the plain old eatum cereal smell the tube roses watch the dogs sun-bath life that I actually lead the life that isn't destined for some other purpose or audience or analysis. But just is the authentic life that starts each day with an emptying bladder and ramps it up with a stretch of floss. It's not just me. It's easy for anyone to get caught up with the enthusiasm for this drawing stuff. To get overly involved in drawing prompts and posting to Instagram to shopping for art supplies taking classes and planning sketch sketch crawls and to forget the most important thing the true purpose of it all to draw what you live so you will live it more deeply.

Life without drawing is bad and drawing without life is bad too. I'm going to go out and have that tattooed on me somewhere prominent. But first let me do some research into tattooing pick a typeface plan out a color palette. Comparison shop painkillers.

Um, a few days ago this is called the freaky Thursday yeah Espn of art a few days ago I woke up in a parallel universe. It took me a while to realize. I was in a new dimension because my bedroom my bathroom my puppy and my wife all looked pretty much the same but the back page of the Arizona republic poking out of my neighbor's mailbox clued me in headlines screened ye dominates open over a picture. Of some some ceramic sculptures. The captions went on to explain that artist lului's work was all the range at the bushwick open studios I rift through the rest riffle through the rest of the paper. Where I expected to see hockey scores and an update on the cardinal's quest for a linebacker I found reviews of 2 shows at the new whitney a long essay on Robert Motherwell's legacy and a table charting the top 20 seniors at risy and their expected prospects. At art basil in Miami I walked back into the house and hit the remote a flashy logo for Espn. The exhibition sculpture and painting network swept across the screen. 2 talking heads were discussing Gerhard Richter's decision to switch to a brand new brand of paint thinner and then rumors about Damen Hurst's wrist injury. The economics of a trade of 3 Rachel whitebread sculptures between the Guggenheim and and a huge new museum in Dallas. And Matthew Barney's newly trimmed beard in this alternate world art schools recruited the talented third graders galleries poached art school freshmen and major corporations viciously competed to sponsor retrospectives at the Guggenheim. There were hundreds of extraordinary new artists I'd never heard of before they now had the chance to show their work were supported and encouraged to push boundaries and create new dimensions in art school art programs were lavishly supported and even the most provincial colleges had big sunswept studios subsidized art supply stores. And deep pockets most athletic programs. Alas had meagr support and sparse attendance every city built stadiums to present pussy riot performance pieces and screened Tom Mccarthy videos teenage girls mooned over half-naked pinups of Richard prince.

Marna Abramovvi had her own cable network every street tough wore Bosciont dreadlocks and paint-spattered shoes. Kids coveted jackets festooned with Liquetex and groomacher logos parents named their babies Windsor and newton art students lived in many mansions. And drove escalades to Starbucks where star quarterbacks made them pumpkin lattes exhilarated and exhausted by my first day in this wonderland I drank too much absinthe and passed out when I woke up this morning. It was the sound of reality 2 truck drivers. Across the street arguing over how the sun's star center strained knee would impact their season. Our funding was still in crisis parents still worry about their creative kids prospects museums catered to the lowest common denominator and our education system and our culture were still ruled. By sports and money. Oh well, if I figure out how to get back to the other side would you want to come with me.

Ah, that was the freaky Thursday yeah espn of art.

Let me just flip through my files here and find another one. Um.

You know I think this I actually wanted to read you an old essay that was kind of fun and it was about when I first moved to California I haven't looked at this essay in a long time. But it's called welcome to America it doesn't really have anything to do with art. But so I hope you'll tolerate it anyway and I wrote it when I first moved to Los Angeles and away from New York city welcome to America when I was 12 I took a ship across the Atlantic and after weeks at Sea. Finally saw the arm of the statue of liberty poking through the early morning mist upon descending the gangpl plank I bought my first ever can of Coca-cola from a subret stand on the pier. It tasted like America and for the next four decades that's where I thought I was living now. After traveling three thousand more miles I've realized I was never actually in America I was in a completely different country called New York and now finally I'm in the us of a it tastes quite different in New York if you need groceries you go across the street to the corner deli. In a cramped room. You'll find a fridge full of beer. Some shrink-wrapped fig newtons a lottery ticket machine and way behind the counter a recent immigrant who will barely acknowledge you as he takes your money in America there are enormous buildings called Costco in New York such a building would be called. Madison square garden but here it's filled with pallets of merchandise stacked to the distant rafters and what merchandise many of the brand names are familiar but the products themselves seem to have been manufactured for giants £25 bags of jerky 72 rolls of. Brawny paper towels and a bundle the size of an East Village duplex need some double a batteries here's a foot locker full of 500 a bucket of vitaminc tablets an entire side of beef marinated and shrinkrapped I felt like gulliver amidst the brobdenegans I staggered around for an hour and walked out with a box of hangers in New York if you need to get somewhere. You walk there if it's far you go down the subway or you hail a camp in America you drive your own car everywhere to Costco so you can haul home your plunder to the gym so you can walk on a treadmill to the mailbox. So you can collect your Costco coupons now I know cars and I know how to drive I got my license at 25 so I'd have a proper id but when we arrived at lax with several big suitcases Jenny went to hertz and rented a Ford explorer which is essentially an 18 wheel truck with cup holders.

Every day I have her been chauffeuring her to her new office and then I've spent the day setting up our house unpacking boxes filling the pantry going to home depot and Ikea Oi and building my new studio I'll tell you more about that next time all of my chores. Have had me glued to my never losts Gps device and dragging up and down the four 5 which is like the nile the yangtze and the Amazon only covered with asphalt amphetamine addle truckers and mexicans in pickup trucks delivering lawnmowers. Everyone slalums back and forth across lanes while I squeeze my fingertips deep into the explorer's leather steering-w wheel I'm in an advanced yoga class of some kind 1 ear cranes toward the clipped orders of the neverlast lady the other twitches at every honk and siren one eyes on the swarming lanes ahead of me. The other darts back and forth between the various mirrors and monitors arrayed around the vast landscape of my car's interior sweat courses down my ribs my right foot dribbles back and forth across the pedals now lunging toward the accelerator then jerking to the brake on one horrific trick back from Ikea. Somewhere near Mexico I realized that I've ordered and paid for a gigantic stack of lumber that they laughingly called a shelving unit and in my frenzy and disorientation I've managed to leave it behind at the store. The neverlast lady suddenly sullenly tells me she is recalculating. As I exit the freeway only to be ordered to do a yeah u-turn and head back to the distant blue store over the horizon in New York incidentally you had to rent a car and then travel to another state or borough to get to an Ikea here in my new american city. There are 5 different ones. All crammed with those 3 d jigsaw puzzles with made-up swedish names in New York you're never more than seven feet away from another human being literally above below or on one side of you. There is always somebody. Somebody who is blasting the radio or calling the cops or getting drunk or clog dancing in America you can sit in your home and hear nothing. You can walk down the street and see no one. My dogs are so confused by the silence they sit in the backyard with cocked heads and looks. Utter disbelief in New York you put on your coat and your scarf and your hat and a sweater or a coat and a harness and maybe a muzzle and rubber booties on your dog take a stack of newspapers and bundle them into the elevator travel down to the lobby through several sets of doors and finally onto the sidewalk.

Then he drag them away from chicken bones abandon big macs broken glass pitbulls and sleeping homeless people and when he's finally ready to relieve himself you scoop up the offering in the paper under your arm and drop it in the corner garbage can and then you head back hoping you have your keys in America. Just open the back door. Your dog runs out onto your gigantic lawn at peas while you stand in the drawerway in your underwear holding a mug of coffee in New York you sprout an avocado pit and put it in a mayo jar on the windowsill in America you have lawnmowers you can ride and lemon trees and orange trees and Mandarin trees. All groaning with fruit. And yours for the taking because they're growing in your own yard two nights ago Joe and Tim our dogs walked across our neighbor's front yard and Jenny said what's that weird sound they're making sort of swishing crunching sound as they walked across the impossibly perfectly manure manicured grass. Bent down to feel it astroturf in New York if your clothes are dirty. You put them in a bag and you take them to the laundromat on the corner where a lady shrinks and mangles them for you for ten bucks in America you interrupt your writing for 2 minutes walk to the laundry room take them out of the dryer. Fold them and go back to your blog post so far I find America lovely and exhausting I have to rethink so many basic things walking eating slices of pizza I began to see a single pizzeria in America. Even though I visited l a many times living here is a whole new kettle of balls of wax and fish and so so many things I thought were basically made up or exaggerated in the movies and on Tv are all around me all the time Jenny who grew up in Arizona and lived for nearly a decade in la is quite used to America. And she rolls her eyes at my epiphanies and at my apparently dreadful driving with all the new experiences I've had exploring America this week I haven't made a single piece of art. But next week I can't wait to begin my travel journal in earnest. Okay I have to stop now is tonight we're going to the movies. And America they have movie theaters in which they bring you dinner and beers while you're in your sea watching the film this I got to see yes and now I live here in America all the time here in Phoenix Arizona boy oh boy.

Um, I'll reado one last one in tribute to my friend Jack Muro Wasz who is not here today but who I'm thinking of In fact, I'm thinking and because I also just used his wonderful book which is called the laws. Guide to nature journaling drawing nature. The law's guide to nature drawing and journaling I used it to get some advice on drawing birds and trees I love that book and mine is dog-eared and actually dog bitten because my dog chewed on the corner of it. But anyway so this is. My final piece I'm gonna read you. It's a tribute to Jack. It's called monarchs it's about the fact that monarch butterflies fly through New York every September and they're they're just certain amazing experience. So. Monarchs wing pass my balcony each September on their epic road trip to central Mexico Three Thousand miles on paper-thin wings each day three hundred miles of America scrolls beneath them the orangeing maples of Vermont. Harbors of Maine the belching furnaces of Trenton and now the steel and glass of my hometown they fly 12 hours a day soaring high above the clouds powered only by flower nectar. And longing to cluster with their cousins in the branches of the oyamel furrs it takes 4 generations for them to complete the loop but the migrants heading south each fall are a special thsulin strain living 10 times longer than their forebearers enduring six months from canada. To Mexico Pigeons and grackles avoid them. They taste of milkweed foul and poisonous but they delight my eye with their leopard spots. Their grace their valiant will to persevere. Do they relish the trip living in the now or do they think. Only of collapsing in the branches of mitche mitchecon their travel tales untold all right Jack we miss you. We look forward to seeing you again. I've held down the fort for as long as my throat will allow so here we are 40 7 minutes into this monologue I hope you were okay with it. Okay, with the fact that I did this all of this time and if you have any complaints suggestions what questions whatever it is write to.

Me and and I look forward to seeing you again next time. Thanks for listening to art for all the sketchbook school podcast are. Are.

my name is Danny and I am a miser
the insult of talent
from to do to done deal
my heroin addiction
how to make blockbuster drawings
be conscious, not self-conscious
getting a tattoo
Freaky Thursday: Espn of art
welcome to America