Stumbling towards a drawing practice

I’ve been aware for some time that improving my drawing skills would probably have a big impact on all parts of my artistic practice. I did a short course based on Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain a few years ago that helped, but I’ve lacked a real practice around it.

I came across a post on Medium last week about six drawing exercises, two for dexterity and four for “seeing”. As a first exercise I converted them to a drawing in Paper so I could easily refer to them in my sketchbook.

A visual guide to beginner's drawing exercises.
A visual guide to beginner’s drawing exercises.

A Return to Status Blogging

Facebook does that thing where it reminds you of what you posted on a given day. Sometimes I get to be reminded of a period from roughly 2007-2010, what I think of as the golden age of status blogging. I was a heavy identi.ca user, cross-posting to Twitter and Facebook — after all, I’m one person, not several — and engaging in conversations, community, and snark.

I backed the Micro.blog Kickstarter largely out of nostalgia for that period. Yes, I often overshared, and can’t believe some of the crap I posted, but it felt like I was part of a community in a way Twitter never has. Since Manton started rolling out invitations to the hosted service, I’ve been slowly exploring it, uncertain if I’d really re-commit to status blogging. What I’m discovering, though, is that this isn’t just about nostalgia. Instead it’s prompted me to think about what I’m sharing out to the world, where it lives, and how much say I have in where it goes.

The Micro.Blog interface is pretty stripped down, but at the core you have the features you’d expect: post, profile, timeline, discover. What makes it different is that it’s also a communication hub: you can configure it to cross-post to Twitter or Facebook from within the profile. Shortly after I started experimenting with it, I also set up IFTTT to pull my posts via RSS and publish them to my personal blog. I’m not sure this is something I want, but it’s an experiment.

My Status Blog Setup

More interesting than the cross posting to Twitter, though, are the features that make Micro.blog more of a hub than a publisher. Instead of syndicating from Micro.blog to my personal blog, I can configure Micro.blog to consume an RSS feed, making it a network hub. This brings my status posts from my personal site to the budding Micro.blog community and from there to Twitter. The IndieWeb community has branded this POSSE: Publish on your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.

Exploring the work the IndieWeb community is doing reminds me of my time at Creative Commons, when we were trying to leverage the distributed nature of the web as a feature of our work.

I loved my time on Identi.ca, and there’s probably more self-reflection to be done about why I stopped posting. (I logged in as I wrote this and see some of my former colleagues are still active, although it still feels like a ghost town to me.) And I’m enjoying exploring Micro.blog, thinking about the tradeoffs between different approaches, and basically taking things much less seriously than I used to.

Work in progress from the studio this weekend, homage to Matisse’s “Seated Pink Nude”. Reduction linocut print with selective inking. Hoping to get it finished this week!
Loving the Van Dyke Brown in the background and Rubinius Red; a little Payne’s Gray and we’ll have all my faves.
#wip #linocut #printmaking #relief #matisse #color #layering