I got a couple of “Dreams of Things” pieces finished this week. I’ve been getting one a week done of them almost all year so it was covers 219 and 220 that I finished. That’s a lot of them all told. I got two of them done this week because I was sick for about a week and a half and got none done then. I wanted to “Catch up” despite the fact that I’m doing these for myself and there is no deadline for them. I just felt a little disappointed that I skipped a week.

I think having that cold/sinus infection changed my sense of color. I’ve gotten three covers done since my head clogged up and the first one was the most weird. I think I just wasn’t thinking as clearly as I usually do and was conservative in my color choices. Nothing bad but nothing about the color jumps out at me.

The second cover I got done was the complete opposite. I ending up using my brightest colors. I didn’t want to use any of my usual color schemes where I use bright and dull colors to move things forward and backward in space. I used all bright colors and nothing sits back in space. It’s one of the zanier covers that I’ve done.

In the third one the color is simple. It’s all blue in the background and green and orange in the foreground. I usually mix things up more than this but I guess after the crazy one monochrome parts would do. The sun in the background is blue though. That’s weird.

I think I might get fewer “Dreams of Things” covers done in 2024. I want to make other pieces. I’m just not sure what other pieces I want to do. I still have to finish my Great Gatsby illustrated edition that I’ve been working of two years now. I’m in no hurry to finish it, there is no deadline on it after all, but I still can’t seem to get those few pieces I need to wrap it up. I did get the cover done but I think I may go with another cover. It’s a piece I did for the inside but I also mocked it up as a cover and I think I like it. I’m going to have to give it some thought.

I only got one 24×36 inch painting done in 2023 so maybe I can work on more of those. I still have four canvases that size ready to go. The one I got done was for the Gatsby project. I had some more planned in that series but never started on them. Maybe I can get back to them.

One piece of equipment that I bought for my photography was a gimbal. That’s a piece of equipment that uses gyroscopes to stabilize photography and video. It cost me about $140. I mainly bought it because I always wanted one for shooting video. Especially video as I walk down NYC streets. The problem with it was that I never once brought it with me to NYC.

Though I figured out how to use it it’s not the easiest thing. The camera or phone has to be attached to it and then all three gyroscopic arms have to be leveled. I don’t think that’s easy to do in Penn Station. That’s where I land when I go into NYC. Any way you cut it I never even brought the gimbal with me all semester. It’s no good if I don’t use it.

I mention this because I just found out about the DJI Osmo Pocket 3. It’s a small camera built into a gimbal. It may be a small camera but it has a big digital sensor. It would do the same thing I wanted my camera and gimbal to do but much more conveniently. The only problem is that it costs over $500. I could actually afford it at this moment but do I want to? That’s always the question. One I’ll have to ponder.

I also just bought a new drawing board. I dropped about $100 on that. I haven’t had a nice drawing board in years (I usually work on a drawing table) so I bought one with a built in parallel rule. It’s a cool board and will replace the one I bought years ago that is lightweight wood that warped over time. The new one is plastic. It’s also being shipped over from England so it’ll take a week or more.

I think I’m going to try and find a new twist on my inkbook drawings that I do every year. I usually fill up a 100 page 5.5×8.5 inch sketchbook with small ink drawings. I usually had about six to nine drawings a page but for the last two years I made the drawings even smaller and had from twelve to fifteen drawings on a page.

I could go back to the bigger size, I could go with full page drawings, I could use a different pen, or I could turn the book horizontal instead of my usual vertical. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do but I want to mix it up. Maybe I’l do all of those things depending on my mood.

One thing I did have a lot of fun with last year was making ink textures and brush strokes to scan in and use digitally. I filled two 38 page sketchbooks, front and back, with marks, strokes, and textures. I had a fun time trying to think up new things to do with ink.

The textures started because I needed one or two textures to use for a Gatsby illustration. I had this blank multi-media sketchbook in my pile of reserve sketchbook and I thought it would be perfect for this task. And it was. I filled up all the front side of the pages in a few hours and then the next day I filled up the back sides with more textures. The second day took longer because I had to think up new stuff to do but it was fun.

What have you been up to lately?