Howdy Traipsee Aboutee!


It's Junuary around here, but winter ain't over yet. At least your favorite disadvantaged dinosaur makes an appearance further down, his fail inspired by everyone’s least favorite cold weather activity.

I’ve stuck to my nightly musician portrait and can say with 100% certainty that my shading is now better than when I was nine. #winning
It’s a satisfying routine, though I risk alienating my friend that I trade drawings with. C'MON, I'm not only drawing old dead guys!
I'm aiming for that point Ryan Holiday describes in The Stillness is the Key.
"Routine, done for long enough and done sincerely enough, becomes more than routine. It becomes ritual, santified and holy."


Ritualing About, Edition 92 features:

-Finding the right side of the brain

-A lion standing on a hill of bones, anyone?
-Musician portraits, round 2


BTW, if you have no idea what portraits I'm referring to, here's last week's post.

Sneaking in a January mountain bike ride. Perfect inspiration for the bikepacking trips I'm currently scheming!

Rediscovering our 10 YO selves

(read it on the blog)

As part of my quest to not only draw stick figures forever, I’m reading the classic book Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain. The section on brain development in children as expressed through art is fascinating.

When we’re infants, our brain hemispheres are not clearly specialized for different functions. That “lateralization” for left and ride brain doesn’t complete until age nine or ten.

This coincides with when kids start obsessing about “getting it right” and become sharply critical of their earlier drawings. They start regarding failure as anything less than perfect realism. I HATE THIS HORSE!!! *paper crumpling*

“Discontented with their own accomplishments and anxious to please others with their art, they tend to give up original creation and personal expression. Further development of visualizing powers and even capacity for original thought may be blocked at this point. It is a crucial stage beyond which many adults have not advanced.”

Miriam Lindstrom, Children's Art

Not surprisingly, many kids abandon art completely at this age. When adults are asked to draw many years later, they often generate work at a 9-10 year old level.

This is SO sad. How many blossoming Picassos and little Mikey d’Angelos have stopped making art because they couldn’t draw a perfect horse? Perhaps even worth, how many billions of people curtailed personal creativity at that age and never returned?

Read the scintillating conclusion on the blog, which features a drawing I did when I was four. Spoiler: I wasn't the Mozart of drawing.

Speaking of drawings, here's my take on Brazilian bossa nova musician Tom Jobim. (Ok, fine, he's an old dead guy.)

Are these photos real?


I KNOW, I know, I keep sharing best of 2021 photos. That’s because there are so many incredible shots!

This series from My Modern Met featured a few so cool they felt almost fake. C’mon, a lion standing on a hill of bones? I fact checked it and it’s legit...

Portraits, week 2


I know it was tough to wait an entire week to see which dead composer I'd draw next, but your tortured wait ends now. Portrait party time. Three of them are even alive today!
I still haven't made the time to actually study how to draw portraits. I'm just diving in. However, I'm finding that my eye for proportion is developing from just 30 minutes a night.

My focus this week was shading and blending. If I say so myself, there's some improvement happening. (Any art professors or critics in the audience, please withhold commentary.)
Check out
this week's set of portraits on the blog.

Who needs the middle of the windshield anyway?

Thanks for perusing the 92nd edition of Traipsing About.

This week's unsolicited advice: try to return to those days before your 10-YO perfectionist self started seeking perfection.

P.S. I've had this modern piano song (which has 29 million listens on Spotify) basically on repeat since I heard it two days ago. Although I wrote this newsletter listening to the always-fun Pink Martini radio...

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson. He's a) very alive and b) absolutely amazing at interpreting songs. Check out his take on Bach's Prelude in G Major.
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