Wilhelm Kempff’s magisterial performance of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” remains my favorite.
Monday, April 20, 2020
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
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
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
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
Thursday, April 09, 2020
Tuesday, April 07, 2020
Monday, April 06, 2020
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
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
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.
Using manual processes to write in this digital age might appear odd or anachronistic — perhaps even an affectation. But I don’t care. I us...