Take back our commode

It may be time to take back our commode.


[The toilet is my signature symbol, according to my wife. I’d like to thank my little cousins for inspiring me to add the little stick figures.]

Black Friday and Green Tea at the Coffee Shop

While Ann was getting a massage, I parked myself at a nearby coffee shop and started outlining some of the features in my temporary view shed. After a couple of days of heavy holiday meals, it felt good to sip on something simple and only slightly sweetened. Ah, green tea at the coffee shop on Black Friday with almost an hour to spare.


Time flew. Suddenly, Ann appeared in front of me. We were both energized.

What follows is the same drawing de-colorized by My Sketch, an iPad photo editing app.


So that’s an outline of the outline?

Tilting at Insectoturbines

We’re staying with relatives in Chicago, and last night, when I woke up in a strange bed in the wee hours but without a stylus handy, I whipped out my finger and rendered this one. I’m a huge Don Quijote fan. I’ve read it in Spanish with professorial guidance at three different universities. One professor admitted that he viewed his own life in two simple stages, before reading Don Quijote and after. I agree; and I’d add that it’s true each time I reread it.

At any rate, one of Cervantes many universal themes hinges on the relationship between the ways in which things seem to be and the way they actually are…and everything in between.


Smoke and Mirrors

Hold on to the smoke for a moment, and consider how mirrors are revolving doors between complementary sides.  A professor of biblical spirituality once parenthetically stated in a class I was taking that we’d all be much better off approaching sacred texts not so much like answer-providing crystal balls but rather as question-provoking mirrors. Rumi asked: “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”

OK, you can exhale now.  I toy with mirrors from time to time.  This morning I decided to play around with this artifact in Fifty Three Paper.


It’s all practice.  I’m not sure what it means if it means anything at all, but it was a study in a new technique and an opportunity to play with the familiar image even though I usually have two mirrors facing one another partially.  The colored outlines on the mirror frame were my attempt to loosen it up after the fact; I find the drawing tighter than necessary, and I hope to relax over time. I started with the cigarette because it was the first related image that came to mind. I was searching for an image that could stick out the same way it would stick “in,” you know, kinda’ like a two-handed saw.  I went with a cigarette instead. I tried to capitalize on the notion of inside vs outside smoke.  Then the ashtray happened; and here’s where I tried something new with the lighting and reflection and variegated coloring, something unusual for me and my black & white, stick-figure imagination.

I’ve done some mirrors in the past. In the above drawing, because of the iPad drawing app and the corresponding techniques at my disposal, I deviated from what had almost become an irreversible pattern, as depicted in these examples:

IMG_1934 Snapshot 2008-11-28 17-04-40 Snapshot 2008-11-28 17-50-26 Snapshot 2008-11-28 17-58-11 Snapshot 2008-11-28 18-08-45 Snapshot 2008-11-28 19-01-28

You exhaled, right?

Extraordinary Carts and The Holy Spigot

This evening the image of an ordinary spigot came to mind, and I thought It woulld be fun to try drawing one. I searched Google images and found a blue-handled one. I changed the color of the wheel handle from blue to red to correspond to the spigot that I had initially imagined. There is nothing extraordinary about a spigot, except the name, which I’ve always liked for some reason, even before I watched the nervous and newly ordained Fr. Gerald, played by Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr. Bean, in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), utter a blessing in the “Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spigot.” Still, in the end, there is nothing extraordinary about a spigot no matter what color its handle is.


I’m drawn to ordinary things. Recently, I drew the cart used by residents of Whiteline Lofts in Des Moines, Iowa. That there is only this one cart makes it extraordinary in some ways, ways that call my attention; and if I’m not entranced by, let’s say, a spigot or something, then, I offer my undivided attention.


Is there an anthropologist in the house?

Here I am in the Firestone waiting room again, and it’s an expensive wait. I brought my iPad and just started drawing one the ideas that I have listed on my Evernote list of drawing ideas. The item on the list was this: an anthropologist saying, I’d like to talk to you about your familiarity. The great Gary Larson has done some funny cartoons about anthropologists in tribal contexts. So, I knew I wanted to underscore the relative absurdity by using a contemporary, family, living room setting.

Half way through the drawing my stylus had a flat. This is, as they say, a whole nother story, this topic of styluses. I’m using some pretty basic styluses, nothing battery operated or fancy. They’re built in such a way that the tip isn’t really a tip; it’s a bulbus nubby kind of tip-ish sort of thing made of some sort of special material and meant to impersonate the finger…a small finger. At any rate, my rounded, bulb of a nub kinda went flat.

Now I know I need to carry a back up, especially when I’m in a waiting room.

Behind the scenes here is the notion of “familiarity.” I’m not knocking anthropologists. Familiarity is a tricky concept. There is something to be said of the unique role that anthropologists play in facilitating the familiarization of familiarity, not unlike the role of a midwife in some respects.

This time, because of the flat stylus, I spent very little digital attention on the faces. I kinda’ like that effect. I’ll try that again on purpose.


More theologoumena, this one on the recent gov’t shutdown

A few weeks ago, when many parts of the government came to an avoidable halt from Oct. 1 through Oct. 16, 2013, it occurred to me that there was no way of knowing just how far up the food chain the residual effects would climb.  And so I envisioned this:


I’ve just added this drawing to the Gallery, Random Theologoumenal Renderings on this page.

A Shoe Theme Has Emerged: Men’s Shoes Can Be Loud Too

We wear shoes.  Some of us would have a harder time sneaking up on others because of the sounds our shoes make.  One of those sounds prompted me to produce this clip:

That little clip was based on something similar I had already tried a couple of weeks ago (see below), I used the following two images in iMovie, did some editing, and added some sound tracks. These are the two drawings done in Fifty Three Paper, the iPad drawing app.


Fifty Three lets you duplicate a drawing. I did so, erased the hammers, and added bunny slippers.  Wishful thinking?


BULLETIN:  This just in from the Des Moines Register: Police: Dispute comes to head with hammers

The following short clip, entitled Airport Security or TSA, is the prototype I referred to.

The two drawings use in Airport Security or TSA: