Sunday, April 26, 2020

Moonlight Sonata

Wilhelm Kempff's magisterial performance of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" remains my favorite.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Student Portrait Project — First Nine

These are the first nine student portraits I've drawn for my annual student portrait project. My process is as follows:
I do a quick drawing with a couple of favorite black markers. I then scan it into Adobe Illustrator, vectorize it, clean it up, and add color. No sooner do I finish one portrait, than I move on to the next. I plan to draw portraits of all my students since I won't see them again this year. For those who want a copy, I'll send them the digital file.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Tim's Video from May 10, 2009

Freaking Me Out
In this video my brother, Tim Fasano, makes a preliminary excursion to Withlacoochee State Forest. This was one of the first videos my brother made.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Student Portrait Project #1 — Paige

Painting with brush attached to bamboo stick
At the end of the school year I do portraits of my students, in a different style each year. This year I'm going for an abstract look with flat colors and thick black lines. Inspired by Matisse, I tape a paint brush to the end of a bamboo stick.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

My Cow Pasture Backyard

This is what happens to a yard when you don't do anything to it for months. You don't mow it. You don't trim it. You don't even go out and look at it. You end up with a cow pasture. We do have some nice California poppies growing wild.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

My Smith-Corona Electra 210

This typewriter is an elite machine which types 12 characters per inch. It's a good, steady typer and I use it often.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Robert Lowell and Tom Fasano

The older I get the more I look like the poet Robert Lowell. If I could write poetry like Lowell, I'd be set.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Typing on a Smith-Corona Electra 210


This machine has a fine touch and doesn't require the pressing and punching of the keys that manuals demand. For general typing, this is one of the best.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Smith Corona Electra 210

This was one of the first typewriters I ever acquired — before I learned that Robert Caro types all his books on an Electra 210, a fact that turned me into a devotee of this old typer. Typing on this machine is a pure joy and makes me think that something important has gone out of the writing process in the digital world. This is not my opinion, but that of a few serious thinkers.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

My Famous Typewriter

An upcoming book about the history of typewriters and keyboards used a photo of my old Woodstock No. 5 typewriter. The author said he'd been unable to find a machine that still had the decals on it, which is rare for a typewriter manufactured in 1917. Whether it was owned at one time by the infamous spy Alger Hiss is another matter. The typewriter, by the way, works beautifully. How many of our digital gadgets will still be operational 100 years from now?

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

COVID-19 Diary #2

After teaching school all day online, I got out for my afternoon walk. For the first time this year, it felt like an actual spring day, temperature in the lower 70s and a cool breeze. It was a welcomed change from being cooped up all day teaching from home.