Saturday, December 02, 2023
Friday, December 01, 2023
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Here's the second Visitor jeep I've painted. The first I painted white to match the TV show, but this time around I decided to go with basic black for variety--and because black pigment is easier to work with. The results may be non-canonical, but I'm really quite pleased by the vibe of fascistic menace that's resulted. I even hand-painted the creepy Visitor logo onto the hood. It's not perfect, but to the naked eye it looks pretty good.
Starting tomorrow, it's the 2024 edition of Lego Advent Calendar Haiku! Get ready for your daily dose of holiday spirit, Lego, and bad poetry.
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Monday, November 27, 2023
Sunday, November 26, 2023
Saturday, November 25, 2023
I'm most pleased by the beard and mustache. With agonizing patience, I used my tiniest brush to paint in those details by hand, rather than attempting to drybrush them on. This way, you can actually see his lips between the mustache and beard, an effect I've never accomplished before this. Now that I know I can do it if I'm patient and careful enough, I'm going to attempt this technique more often.
Friday, November 24, 2023
Thursday, November 23, 2023
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Monday, November 20, 2023
Sunday, November 19, 2023
Saturday, November 18, 2023
Friday, November 17, 2023
As sometimes happens, I had a pretty lousy week (by the standards of my particular forms of privilege). I missed a day of work, the news was getting me down, I'd accidentally inconvenienced a couple of people, I wasn't getting much sleep, I had no drive to accomplish household tasks--the sorts of problems that really should be taken in stride. Instead, by Thursday I'd worked myself into a state of fierce self-loathing.
Today I felt much better, thanks almost entirely to simply cuddling with Sylvia through Thursday night. As we drove to pick up groceries today, I made light of my maudlin mood of the days prior, mocking myself by saying things like "Oh, I've been so mean to people over the years" and "I've been a complete idiot so much of my life" and "I've accomplished nothing." I said it in a tone that tried to suggest I knew such feelings were silly, but Sylvia saw through me, as usual. She admitted that she sometimes felt that way too, but then she said something that hit me like a bombshell:
"Why do our negative thoughts get all our internal attention and validation?"
I wonder what percentage of human beings validate their bad feelings about themselves, and what percentage enjoy a healthier, more balanced view--not narcissistic, but a view that accepts their good and bad qualities without feeling undue self-loathing or overweening pride. Furthermore, I wonder that genetic traits or environmental conditions make the difference between mental health and depression and other disorders.
I've written a few times about how much I loathed my first job after graduating from the University of Alberta: driving a truck full of automotive parts to different garages on the south and west sides of Edmonton. I had that job for three years, applying for other jobs all the while, and the longer I was there the more I began to believe that I'd never do better. (To give myself some credit, I recognized, even as an ignorant twentysomething, the inherent value of any job that in some way helped the community; I didn't feel as though I was "above" the job, just that it didn't suit my interests or skills.)
For several months of this three-year period, I was living with my parents and commuting to Edmonton with Dad. After one particularly rough day, I confessed to Dad that I thought there must be something wrong with me because even after years of trying, nobody wanted to hire me. (I'd gotten the truck driving job thanks to Dad.)
"Earl, that's bullshit," Dad said forcefully, startling me a little. "You're a very smart kid, but these are tough conditions. It won't be long before you find something much better suited to all the things you can do."
Dad's no-nonsense clarity helped quite a bit that day, and he was right; it wasn't long before I moved on to better things, though not without some amusing misadventures.
Sylvia's question today has helped me realize that I need to investigate why I've given so much weight to the ways I've failed other people, the ways I've failed to live up to my expectations of myself, the ways I've hurt others--almost always unintentionally--and yet, NOT always unintentionally, and when you hurt someone, what do your intentions matter anyway?
This is turning into a screed, so I'll conclude with this: If you've ever had feelings like mine, I hope you'll give yourself a break. Believe people when they say nice things about you; don't devalue their judgement or support. I'm going to do my best to take my own advice.
Thursday, November 16, 2023
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Monday, November 13, 2023
Sunday, November 12, 2023
Saturday, November 11, 2023
Friday, November 10, 2023
|Midnight Malcolm draws at sunrise.|
The Man in Black was the gunslinger, and none followed him. Here's a cowboy I painted in start black and white, with some brown bits and copper for the bullets and belt buckle.
Thursday, November 09, 2023
Wednesday, November 08, 2023