Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas compound lens

Got one of those bug eye lens toys in a Christmas cracker, put it over the lens of my cell phone camera and pointed it at the Christmas tree!

Jesus, the Ransomer of man,
Created ere the light began,
Didst from the sovereign Father spring,
His power and glory equaling.

The Father's Light and Splendor Thou,
Their endless hope to Thee that bow,
Accept the prayers and praise today
That through the world Thy servants pay.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2018

The great owl

Working on concepts for the upcoming Bovodar and the Bears graphic novel; I thought this owl looked really cool.

Friday, December 14, 2018


This is an art blog, but I do sometimes talk about the Catholic Faith. It being the truth of reality, I must recognize it in all I do and strive to express it in my art, toward the glory of God.

The Catholic Church is in turmoil presently. Revelations of the extent of sodomite activity in the clergy, the proliferation of the Kasperite heresy, and the continuation of the Modernist heresy are all scandalizing the faithful. Many contradictory statements made by putative Pope Francis, some of them heretical, do untold damage.

I am not here stating my opinion on the validity of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, but I am stating the following, which is a certainty:

If you believe Pope Benedict XVI's resignation to be valid, you should refer to him as Joseph Ratzinger.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

My favorite things

Here's an old drawing, done when I was three years of age:

My mother wrote what I told her.

Still fairly accurate. Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Like a lark who is learning to pray

Sophia Institute Press has come out with a new edition of Around the Year with the VonTrapp Family by Maria von Trapp, on whom The Sound of Music was based. It features design elements and cover illustration drawn by me!

I based that little house there on the main facade of the real Trapp estate.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Behold! Bovodar and the Bears in color

The color version of the group portrait of the heroes of the upcoming graphic novel Bovodar and the Bears by Jack Mikkelson, art by Mary MacArthur, based on the young adult fantasy novel of the same name.

Most comics these days are colored digitally; with very few exceptions I don't do digital, so with my other graphic novel project I'm doing pencils and inks and there will be a colorist, but with this, my visions from reading the book were such that I wanted control of the color too, so I determined to learn a traditional method that would produce fairly simple, flat colors that would reproduce well. So I went with gouache!

And to keep the blacks of the inking pure black, I did not paint on the same page that I inked, but traced the outlines onto another piece of paper and painted that, and combined the two digitally. I think it turned out well!

Bovodar and the Bears is a really amazing story, whimsical and heroic. I don't know when the graphic novel will be finished and released, but please look forward to it, and in the meantime you can get the novel here!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Behold! Bovodar and the Bears in black and white

Character group portrait for the upcoming Bovodar and the Bears graphic novel by Jack Mikkelson! Front and center is our hero, Bovodar Yarkery! Soon will come this picture in color, and I look forward to announcing when the comic itself will be approaching!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

T-Bird & Throttle mini-review

Art by Josh Howard
I just read Issue 1 of T-Bird & Throttle by Josh Howard, one of the many recent independent comic crowdfund efforts. This one caught my eye because of the clean, cartoonish style combined with violent and tragic subject matter -- read the first few pages here to see what I mean.

People often complain of comics, books, and shows being too dark, and they have a point, especially when the protagonist wallows in that darkness, being immoral and unlikeable themselves. But that's not the case here. I like stories dark as long the hero is fighting the darkness. Despite everything, Mitch Maddox, a.k.a. T-Bird, is striving with all his might to be a worthy hero and father. Awesome characters who are fathers are something there should be lots, lots more of.

I also really like "parasitically" super-powered heroes, the primary exemplar being the third Blue Beetle, my favorite superhero of all. The first issue already has a lot of dramatic threads going, present-day resonance without dated preaching, and character complexity. Really makes one want to know more!

The crowdfund stage is complete, but I think you can still get it with "InDemand," on Indiegogo.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Clockwork Dancer preview

Jon Del Arroz, author of the steampunk comic Clockwork Dancer on which I am working, posted this page as a preview, so I thought I'd show it off too!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Adventurers' Guild Episode One complete!

Image copyright Phillip MacArthur

If you've been waiting to read Adventurers' Guild because there wasn't much of it up yet, now is the time, as there's a complete episode posted. It's really fun!

Friday, November 9, 2018

A dress for Mother

For festivities surrounding my sister's wedding, my mother asked if I could make her a dress along the lines of one she'd loved for years:

This one from I Love Lucy. I was fortunate to find that paper doll version, as it suggested what structure to look for. I eventually found this pattern:

What took longer to find was a floral border print in a suitable size. After a long time, we found this on Etsy:

We bought six yards, all they had. It turned out to be just enough!

It was the first time I've ever made a garment from a commercial pattern, as well as my first time doing a roll collar or lining, so I did a muslin first to make sure I could do it right:

That went basically okay. Keeping my mistakes in mind, I moved on to the real thing:

And the finished result!:

She wore it to the bridal shower and present-opening party and got many compliments.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

As far as I got in Inktober

So, I only got through 8 in this year's Inktober, (and I skipped 6) but that's okay, as my goal was to practice with the ink-filled waterbrush. I found also, it made me faster with a regular pen too!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Last Aitkin Age column

I'm going to take the liberty of reproducing my last column for the Aitkin Independent Age in full, because the newspaper site doesn't work for Europeans, it's been a long time since it was printed, and because it is last in not just the sense of latest, but also final.
Aitkin-born 1930s movie star Warren William’s childhood home is up for sale! I won’t say which house it is for the sake of privacy of the current owner, (you can find out in the book Warren William: Magnificent Scoundrel of Pre-Code Hollywood by John Stangeland, available at the depot museum) but I hope whoever buys it knows what a treasure they’re getting!
It’s incredible how many deer there are. Seeing one used to be a rare occurrence. Until last year, I had never seen a buck. Now I see groups of deer, often including a spike buck, at least twice a day! Well, deer season is coming. The autumn coolness heralding it might be more enjoyable were it not so wet. Still, the fall mood reigns as leaves suffuse with red and football season is underway. It’s great that the Gobblers are undefeated as of my first draft … I’m leaving a space for once I know the results of the Stump game … and alas, we lost.
Football may be declining in popularity as you have, on one side, the NFL alienating many by political waffling; on another, growing opinion that injuries risked in school football cannot possibly be worth it. As culture becomes more utilitarian, it’s assumed that nothing is worth the risk of material suffering. But some practice of physical risk seems integral to development of healthy masculinity. A husband, a father needs to be ready to risk his life to protect his children.
On that note, concerning coming elections, I remind readers that not only does Tina Smith support abortion, she was vice president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion provider in the country, receives billions in federal funding and donates hundreds of thousands to Democrat politicians. They killed 323,999 unborn children in 2014 alone.
Non-Christian Leftists frequently demand how Christians can support President Trump because he calls people nasty names. Leaving aside the fact that Christians worship someone who called His enemies nasty names, the alternative is supporting the ripping apart of human infants. That is far more incompatible with Christianity than namecalling is.
I continue to be astounded by all Trump is accomplishing in the economy, regarding North Korea, against illegal immigration and human trafficking, and much more. I feel something I never before felt, never believed I would feel: loyalty to a government personage.
For years, Democrat politicians veered further into international socialism and support of public perversion, while Republican politicians did not veer the other way but instead tried to appease people who would never vote for them anyway. This didn’t stop the Left from calling them extreme and comparing them to Hitler. Now we have a leader who is actually implementing some nationalist, anti-socialist policies and in response, several on the Left call for and even descend into violence. But the familiar accusations of racist, sexist, homophobe are losing their teeth for those willing to risk material suffering by standing up for traditional Western Civilization.
By the way, this will be my last column for the Aitkin Independent Age. I’m departing to pursue my illustration career full-time. In a year or so, if you like comics, fantasy or steampunk, I hope you may remember to look for Clockwork Dancer by Jon Del Arroz and other graphic novels drawn by me that have yet to be announced!
To the Age staff and readers, my gratitude for the past and best wishes for the future. God bless America. Viva Christo Rey.
Unfortunately, the Senate seat did go to Tina Smith, and Minnesota is further disgraced by this woman with blood on her hands.

But on a lighter note! As stated, I am finally taking up art as my full-time career, as I have aspired to for nearly twenty years. I made the choice to quit the newspaper because I was not able to progress on my freelance projects at a satisfactory speed. I currently have in production:

Clockwork Dancer, a steampunk comic book written by no less than the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction, Jon Del Arroz;

A graphic novel adaptation of Bovodar and the Bears, a young adult fantasy novel by Jack Mikkelson;

Another graphic novel, yet to be announced, written by an author of popular Christian dystopian fiction;

A religious children's book, yet to be announced; and

Another very big, very exciting project born from a familiar work of mine, yet to be announced.

I'm just now starting getting into the swing of working on these full-time, and organizing my schedule. Once I get going, there will be lots to share! I'm raring to go tell some great stories!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Inktober 1-4

I'm doing Inktober all the way this year, and using the official prompts! Because I need practice with a waterbrush filled with India ink, for a graphic novel project! I also wanted to make them all at least a bit spooky, befitting Halloween.

I'll be posting these here four at a time; for daily postings of each one, see my Instagram.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Aitkin Age column and Throwback Thursday

Drew this in 2004, a symbolic rendition of a Sunfish, which goes with my column:
My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age tells some fish stories:

As corruption and contention fill or are revealed to have filled church, state, and entertainment with global degeneracy, let us cherish what is local, familial, and wholesome. Like fishing! Let’s tell fish stories.
I’m not a very serious fisherwoman but I go at least a couple times every year. Crappies and sunfish are the target, destined for frying. Once I was fishing off my grandparents’ dock on Cedar. I swung my rod back for a cast and let fly. The line felt heavier and thus flew further than normal. With a splash in the water out in front of the dock appeared a blaze orange baseball cap. I looked back; I had hooked the hat right off my grandfather’s head! Everyone was laughing as I reeled it in and he nonchalantly plopped it back on, still wet.
I’ve only been ice fishing twice; the latter time we caught nothing, the other time was back in the ’90s, in my grandfather’s home-built fish house plated with dented sheet metal and heated by wood stove. That time we encouraged the fish by – but I’ll get to that. Have you ever talked about ice fishing with people who have never been in the north? Amazingly, some of them don’t believe such an activity could exist.
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Bears and Bovodar

Bovodar and the Bears by Jack Mikkelson is fantasy adventure book chock full of amazing, quaint things that I loved. Animals both fearsome and cute but without any dumb quasi-mystical cant about them being superior to humans, lush descriptions of food and environments, a fantasy land that resembles the American landscape, heroic masculinity, fighting, chases, escapes, torture ... and bears! Lots of bears!

Speaking of, lots of bears is something I've been drawing lately. I wonder why that might be...

Saturday, September 8, 2018

An inkshed moment

I'm testing out a new tool: a waterbrush filled with India ink. I've used a waterbrush for years, but only with...water. Even though it says on the package you can fill it with ink, doing so never occurred to me until I saw this Instagram account.

I tried it out on a sketch of Vivian James that I had lying around: (plus Faber-Castell brushpens for color accents)

Verdict: this may be the solution to all of my problems.

Well, to a major problem of mine: drawing too slow. My process had been: sketch in pencil, do a preliminary inking with thin lines, erase the pencil, color, then go back and thicken the ink lines. This enables me to change to: sketch in pencil, ink, erase pencil, color. Much faster!

I'm not able to be really precise with it (yet) so some things involving fine detail will have to stick to the old method, but for lots of things (particularly animals and nature, of which I'll be drawing a lot soon... exciting announcement to come) it will be great.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

More bear sketches

Also some tree trunk textures:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Aitkin Age column - Evil in high places

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age was written when the scandal had just broken of Bishop Theodore McCarrick's rampant homosexuality; the Pennsylvania report was yet to be released. Remember, it is not a bad thing that this is coming to light. It is an evil, evil thing that it happened and is happening, but a very very good thing if it can be exposed and punished. 

Recently, every single Catholic bishop in Chile resigned after the extent of sexual abuse there and the apparent cover-up thereof was exposed. Here in America, the archbishop of Washington D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, has been accused of sexual misconduct going back decades: sexual harassment, coercion and assault of young men studying for the priesthood under his authority.
At the same time, shades of perversion haunt Hollywood. It appears likely that Harvey Weinstein wasn’t the only one and adult women were not the only victims. Actor Kevin Spacey and director Bryan Singer have been accused of sexually assaulting young men. Actor Corey Feldman has been claiming for years that Hollywood is rife with pedophiles, but he won’t name names. Still, information is beginning to come out.
Director James Gunn was fired from Disney after attention was drawn to a multitude of Tweets he made, going back several years, joking about himself sexually molesting children. Comedian Sarah Silverman has also come under scrutiny for Tweets joking about herself as a child molester. These “jokes” are not criminal or proof of crime. But what kind of person thinks about the idea of sexually abusing children, broadcasts those thoughts to the entire world, and thinks it’s funny?
As a young Catholic when the priest sex abuse scandals first broke at the turn of the century, I didn’t want to believe it was symptomatic of a larger phenomenon in the church; I thought it was just a few bad priests taking advantage of their station. Predators go where the prey is and instances of sexual abuse by priests are much lower in number than those committed by public school teachers.
While that remains true in principle, I can now see it is not just a few bad eggs. The extent of complicity and cover-ups suggests an organized infiltration. Going back decades, there are stories from the seminaries of students being required to watch homosexual pornography and being expelled for believing in traditional morality. After the wave of sex abuse scandals in the early 2000s, Pope Benedict XVI decreed that no man with deep-seated homosexual tendencies should be allowed into the priesthood. Now that idea has been waved away with the famous “Who I am to judge?” and there is a new wave of scandal.
Read the rest here.

Pray for the Church, that she be purified of corrupt, sacrilegious, sodomite clergy. St. Peter Damian, pray for us. St. Catherine of Sienna, pray for us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Adventurers' Guild comic begins!

Art by Phillip MacArthur

My brother Phillip, who recently published his first book, has just begun posting his webcomic, Adventurers' Guild!

It's a sprite comic, but with all-original sprites and pixel artwork that really make me nostalgic for playing games like Exile and the Mac version of Oregon Trail in the late nineties. The comic has a neat interface that also feel a lot like playing a game. (It works really well on mobile view!) The story's just beginning, but I can tell you, it will get epic!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Photos new and old

I'm really enjoying Instagram. It's renewed my enthusiasm for photography. Lately I've been not only taking more photos, but reorganizing the ones I have so that I can better use them as references for art. It adds a lot to the little variegations and details when you have a picture of real things to refer to. And when you use your own pictures instead of ones off the internet, you don't have to worry.

I also scanned a bunch of film photos of the lake; here are some of them:

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Instagram machine

As I'm gradually getting the hang of a smartphone, I now have an Instragram account! And my profile picture there is a sneak peek at the eponymous heroine of my upcoming webcomic, Paper Doll Veronika!

It looks to be a fun place to share both artwork and photos of nature round here and such. Feel free to follow me, and if you're thereon let me know!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Black and white training

I recently took over photo preparation at the newspaper where I work my day job. I use Photoshop to make the photos the right size and resolution, and adjust the contrast, color and sharpness so they look good in print. Every photo needs to be prepared in both color and black and white, so it can go on either type of page. The fun part is turning color photos black and white and adjusting the contrast. I’ve learned a lot more about light and value and what makes images clear and dynamic in black and white just from doing this.

This should serve me well as I embark on something I’ve been trying to do ever since I started my art career seven years ago — drawing comics. There are awesome people revolutionizing the independent comics scene right now, and I want to be a part of it. (My first offering will be Clockwork Dancer by Jon Del Arroz; a steampunk spectacular — please look forward to it!) It’s clear that I will generally not be wanted as a colorist, since I do not color digitally. So, I need to up my black and white game. 

I’ve been doing a lot of black and white since I started the Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book, and most of my work for Sophia Institute Press is black and white. But that’s coloring book style — just outlines. For American-style comics, I need to have black shapes and shadows.

So as training, I've taken some pages of the Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book and applying some black. Here's the St. John of the Cross page. More to come!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Prayer request for a mentally ill heretical art thief

A woman who calls herself Brother Andrew Blair as well as Brother Francis Clare has been taking my artwork without permission to use on posts attacking the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist. First, she made this post, citing my statements on the evil of Eucharistic sacrilege as an example of "stigma." Later, apparently under the impression I was unaware of this, she made the following comment on my post "The Eagle Doctor's Little Daughter":
Absolutely beautiful,
I am capturing some of this for my blog with the due credits harvard
To which I replied:
That is funny, since your earlier use of my work was to portray as “stigma” my statement that sacrilege against the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is wrong, and you did not see fit to inform me then.
After which, she edited her comment so that it changed to being anonymous. Then, she used my work again, without credit, on this post, which, though it is quite incoherent, seems to be attacking the idea of the Blessed Sacrament as the Source and Summit of the Christian life.

I have left a comment demanding the removal of my artwork due to copyright violation, and if she does not comply I will submit a DMCA notice to her web host. UPDATE: The artwork has been removed as requested. I have also made a request for a Mass to be offered for her. Alongside her attacks on the Eucharist, she is severely mentally ill, both unadmittedly, in that she claims to be a man, and admittedly, having "bipolar affective disorder with some psychotic episodes." So please pray for her.

To her, if she is reading, I say, Jesus loves you in the Blessed Sacrament, but He can only live in you if you stop lying, about Him and about yourself.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Aitkin Age column: Baseball, books and breaking barriers

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is plugging my brother's book!

My family spent many summer afternoons at Connie Lueck field, watching our cousins play baseball. Loads of fun, it was one of the inspirations for my brother Phillip MacArthur’s book, Summer, Broken, illustrated by my sister Anna. It’s a young adult story about a boy named Kenny who just wants to play baseball but gets embroiled in haunted houses, disguises and magic in a whimsical and nostalgic summer adventure. It can be found on by searching for the title and author name. [Or by going here.]
The homeschooled children of an English professor and an art teacher, my siblings and I have always been interested in creative storytelling.
Read the rest here.

I also refer to the statistically documented discrimination against males in science fiction publishing. The study I mean is this one, conducted by author Jon Del Arroz, for which they tried to silence him and sabotage his career.

Support indie and self publishing!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Eucharistic Lord, have mercy on us

First art I ever posted on this blog, a Corpus Christi oekaki

In deference to the feast of Corpus Christi, here is a re-post of what I think is one of my best theological rants, concerning the Kasperite heresy, the teaching that in some cases people in a state of recurring mortal sin that they have no intention of ceasing or repenting, should receive the Blessed Sacrament. Many dioceses now support this.
The Kasperite heresy, proposed by many bishops and supported by Pope Francis, is very, very wrong. Perhaps one of the worst things that people could be led to believe.
See, the premise is not: "Sexual relations in a 'marriage' after prior divorce is not a sin." What has been said is rather, "Let us allow sexually active remarried-after-divorce people to receive Communion." It has been framed as a "path" to... repentance? No, they don't say repentance. They're very vague about what it's a path to, but they never deny that they are proposing reception of the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. They just don't use that language, because it would hurt peoples' feelings.
Instead of hurting people's feelings, they opt to hurt, to kill, peoples' souls, and to kill Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Kill Christ? What?
I don't just mean how sins caused Christ to die on the Cross, I mean actual new actions of literally physically killing Him in time, now. How is this possible?

The Eucharist is the living Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, the entire His Own Self of Jesus Christ, God the Son. It's Him. Right there. In the ciborium, on your tongue, (please not in your hands...) stuck to the roof of your mouth, down your throat. Living. In you. Physically. Now, what if you're in a state of mortal sin? Well, my Baltimore catechism said about the state of mortal sin "Christ is dead in us." So, it logically follows that receiving the Blessed Sacrament in a state of mortal sin is, in the most direct way possible, killing Christ.

I know, He died once for all and He dies no more. And of course He yet lives, off in Heaven (must be a physical place somewhere because He still has His human Body) and as the Blessed Sacrament in all the tabernacles of the world, including people in a state of grace. But still, I think that the act of receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin can indeed be described this way, as taking Him in, and killing Him.

When the priest displays Him and says, "Behold the Lamb of God," it recalls not just John the Baptist, but also Pilate: "Behold the Man," displaying Him to the people and having them choose whether to kill Him or not. Letting them vote. Thus, when we are then invited to Communion, we are given that same choice. Let Him live in us or let Him die in us. Thus I think it may be argued that receiving the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin is one of the worst things one can possibly do.
In another essay, I compared a scene in a story where the hero shields his beloved from an explosion with his body to the reception of Holy Communion, the beloved being like the communicant and the hero being like Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. I would also like to point out that at that time in the story, said hero was also suffering great grief and betrayal, and that beloved girl was the only person able to bring him any comfort. This too can be analogous. While Our Lord is most likely being desecrated all over the world, let us make our communions acts of consoling Him.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Former Patreon beneficiaries

I had done posts on all the creators whom I supported on Patreon, but Patreon grew worse and worse with the kicking people off for political reasons. When they banned Faith Goldy for reporting on the Antifa violence towards her, the call went out to stop one's pledges and get off the platform. I have now done so.

I encourage creators to use Freestartr instead. It's what I'm going to do once I get publishing my upcoming webcomic, Paper Doll Veronika.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate my support for the artists to whom I had been contributing on Patreon. Their stuff is still great, and I look for other future ways to show my support!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Book! Summer, Broken by Phillip MacArthur

My brother Phillip has written a young adult book and it comes out today! It's really imaginative, nostalgic and very very funny. And it was illustrated by my sister Anna; you can see some previews of the illustrations here.
The story’s hero, Kenny, joins a baseball team for the summer, but soon becomes convinced that the opposing team is cheating by use of magic. No one else believes him except for one of his team mates who can’t speak English. Kenny is determined, though, and investigates occurrences of sorcery in the town. This leads him to a connection between the haunted house and the baseball field, and finds out that the witch living in the haunted house is connected to the opposing baseball team! Summer, Broken features magic, ghouls, investigation suspense, a deadly virus called the Cooties, an impossibly large fish, baseball, a great amount of running, and all sorts of summer fun. Kenny learns that doing the right thing is more important than becoming famous, and that although his parents’ rules might be strict, they just want to ensure his safety.
Buy it here!

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Eagle Doctor's little daughter

I had a dream where there was this country doctor who could turn into a bald eagle, and there was some problem with a trade union in the town, and the doctor's daughter had a cursed doll that caused her to die, and this trade unionist woman showed up to demand what the doctor was going to do for the trade union, and he was so angry and upset and he went out to meet her carrying the body of his little daughter.

And the scene was visually striking so I woke up inspired to draw it, and it served the purpose of: in the midst of illustration for hire, I need to be drawing something of my own now and then or I burn out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Two portrait sketches

Here's the sketch for my portrait of Mimi from Digimon.

And here's one for one that hasn't been finished yet:

Rebel from Alt☆Hero. As this is a training exercise, I tried to learn from the flaws in the Mimi one: Mimi's nose and mouth are of a smallness that can work for anime style but not this semi-realism. So with my second attempt, I took a lot of influence from Anthony VanArsdale. We'll see how it goes to color!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Iwo Jima sketch

Sketch for my ink drawing of the Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima photograph. It was fun to block out the shadows like that.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Aitkin Age column: Desire of the everlasting hills

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age, for Easter. It references another column that I didn't link here because I wasn't too satisfied with it, but you can find it on the site if you wish.
Last time, I wrote about the extreme nostalgia possessed by, or possessing, Millennials as shown in marketing directed at them and how it might be explained by the increasing instability of the family in the past few decades. Now I wish to write that this is but a particular instance of a universal longing.
For myself, the nostalgia for childhood is colored with memories of summers here in Aitkin, fun on Cedar Lake and in town at Ben Franklin, Butler’s, the bakery and the Rialto – only one of those businesses remains. My father is a professor, so we could spend almost the whole summer up here. There are many difficulties in the teaching profession, but one glorious perk is the continuance of summer vacation into adulthood. Those of us who aren’t teachers must make do with weekends and days off. Still, summer is something longed for and treasured, even more so because of long winters like this one. But I also now know that Aitkin isn’t the perfect paradise my 6-year-old eyes saw it as. Everywhere on earth has its troubles and disappointments. Still one feels a sort of homesickness for a place one has never been, a place to be truly happy.
G.K. Chesterton wrote that “the finest line in English literature” is, “Over the hills and far away."
Read the rest here.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Charizard won't obey!

I did an art challenge of my brother's invention with him, my sister, and a friend; in a limited time, we had to draw a combination of various descriptors from a table, selected by rolling dice. This one was "a fanart of a disgusted peasant dragon lying down" drawn in eight minutes. I liked it a lot, and the whole thing was fun!

Saturday, April 7, 2018


Ink rendering of the Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima photograph that I did as a birthday present for my sister's boyfriend.

It's been a while, but I'm working hard and hope to have much to share in the near future. Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mimi portrait

I need to get better at close-ups, so I'm doing semi-realistic portraits of various characters as a training exercise. Here's Mimi from Digimon.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Christmas in Lent?

I wish I'd gotten to posting this earlier, but... my sister has a grand plan for decorating the free-arching rafter beam in our cabin for holidays. This past Christmas she was able to realize much of the plan, including making a large fake gingerbread house.

We made it of salt dough, glue and acrylic paint, polymer clay, beads, and the thing that really makes it work is spackle, piped through a frosting tip.

Detail on the piped spackle on the eaves.

 We also made men and a cookie tree.

Merry Christmas, holy Lent!