The reason for my extended absence is simple: I’ve been doodling.

It wasn’t a resolution of mine, but it just so happens that with the new year I’ve been starting each morning with a bit of drawing and a lot of clarinet practice.

As far as the drawing goes, Daughter gave me these cool watercolor markers that are incredibly fun. One end has a brush tip and the other end is a normal marker. Using them both, you can make fine works of Art.

Or in my case, draw a handful of flowers. That works

You may think that looks like a pretty simple drawing of flowers that I scribbled out in no time flat. Actually, it was my best of three drawings done over the course of an hour or so.

The first two didn’t look so much like flowers as squished grapes.

From there I decided it was time to tackle something more challenging, so I drew a picture of my drawing table.My drawing-writing desk

I’ve come to the realization that Art is hard. In fact, I think if more people spent time trying to draw or paint or whatever, there’d be a much greater appreciation for Art overall. Even the weird stuff.

Okay, so back to my own Artistic Endeavors: both my drawing and clarinet practice take place in our sunroom, which currently is seeing very little sun. (Winter in Minnesota, dontchya know.)

This used to be the room where I did all my writing, but — surprise! — not a lot of writing has been happening. (Still working on that… time is an elusive gift.)

What’s lovely about this sunroom is that it offers a perfect view of our backyard bird feeders. Right next to the door is a cabinet where I keep their rations — various types of seed, peanuts, suet, etc.

This is what the cabinet looks like:birdseed cabinet

Man, getting perspective right is super hard! Honestly, the cabinet is level and not at all warped. Also, it’s light blue, but I couldn’t find my blue marker. I could have asked Lady Grey where it was, but it was time for clarinet practice.

Big news, folks! I can now play a super high G!

Also called an altissimo register G, or G6. Here’s how it’s written:g7 (2)

This is as high as my fingering chart takes me, though I’m told the clarinet can go to the C above that.

You may ask why I’d want to play such notes.

It’s a fair question. My cats ask it all the time.

Besides being useful in jazz (or Stravinsky), the more control I have over these super high notes the better my other notes will sound too. Also, I can’t expect to improve if I don’t try new things, take on new challenges and push the limits of my abilities.

At least, that’s the theory. My cats might offer a different opinion.Me playing clarinet 2

So anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to lately and what’s been keeping me from writing something here, for you very good people who are oh-so-patient and oh-so-forgiving and no, I’m not trying to butter-you-up-what-makes-you-think-that?

You know, it’s like what Dave was telling me over at Plying Through Life: All these multiple interests might keep us from blogging, but it’s the multiple interests that make a blog more interesting.

So on the one hand I might be posting more illustrations, but on the other hand I might be posting less often.

Whatever may come, I appreciate your sticking around. Really, I do.

Before I go, here’s a recording of a song I’m trying to learn and before you ask, the answer is no. I sound nothing like this guy (Ewan Bleach).

But give me another 20 to 30 years practice and I might sound almost a third as good. Which would still be pretty good, right?

36 thoughts on “The reason for my extended absence is simple: I’ve been doodling.

  1. Glad to see you back to blogging! I was wondering what on earth became of you. I have started playing the ukulele. Hubs got himself a guitar because he thought it would suit him better. So he bequeathed his ukulele to me. So I’ve got other pursuits going on here myself.

    1. Haha — thanks Rhonda. Glad to hear someone was thinking of me. 😉

      You may not believe this, but while hunting for this video I came across a duo playing clarinet and ukulele. Meaning you and I could become a blogging musical sensation!

    1. Right?! Trust me, it took a couple months of daily exercise before I could hit this one consistently on key. Yet even then, the cats complain.
      Everyone’s a critic.

  2. Wonderful post! I’m glad you’re back, and I love your drawing. Can’t wait to see more! I tried to take up cartooning a year ago, but after about 6 months of trying very hard, I realized that there is not an artistic bone in my body. But like you said in your wonderful post, it has given me a greater appreciation of the art that other people create, for now I know how difficult it is!

    Keep up with your personal trifecta (art, clarinet, and writing)!

    1. Ooooh, never thought of it as a trifecta before! You might want to take that back, my head is big enough as it is 😉

      Drawing can be both fun and frustrating, right? I can have a picture in my head and what shows up on the page is nothing like it. Or else I’ll be cruising along and things are fine, looking good, but with one over reaching swipe of the pen, all is lost. So yeah, I have nothing but respect for artists. It’s not an easy path!

      1. I stand by what I said. 🙂

        And you’re so right about the drawing. Apparently my hands are in no way connected to my brain, for I cannot get anything down on paper that even remotely resembles the images I have in my head. Whenever I see someone drawing something, it looks like magic to me.

          1. It certainly looks like magic to me! I watch Bob Ross’s program on PBS and it literally looks like magic to me. If I did the exact same thing he did, it would look like the floor mat at the paint-mixing station at Home Depot.

            Keep working at it! You’re already very good. And if you enjoy it, then you’re already a winner!

            1. Oh, he’s the guy who said if you make a mistake, turn it into a happy little cloud — or something like that. Good advice.
              And thanks for the pep talk! 🙂

  3. “…it’s the multiple interests that make a blog more interesting.” So true!
    Enjoyed the video. One of my kids played the clarinet in high school – but I can’t say she ever sounded anything like this guy!

    1. He’s an amazing player, that’s for sure. I love how much expression he puts into each note — and that last note he plays? It takes so much air to produce it and he holds it for so long! (He’s become my personal clarinet hero.)

  4. Hahaha! What great illustrations for a fun post. You crack me up, as always. Nothing wrong with tackling a few other creative endeavors (no matter what the cats think).

    Since I’m not in writing mode, I’ve dragged out the art supplies, too. My scribbles are nothing to publicize on my blog, though!

    1. Thanks, Eilene! You know of all the drawings, the one that gave me the most trouble was the last one with the cats. Expressions are hard enough, but just try drawing them on a black cat!
      And now you know why she’s shown running out of the room! 😀

  5. I’m kinda like Biff. To emulate my drawing skills, try drawing with a mouse, using your opposite hand. I make you look like Rembrandt.

    I think that “Plying Through Life” guy may be onto something…

    1. So what you’re saying is, the quickest way to improve my drawing is just display it next to yours? Deal!

      And yeah, that Dave has been known for one or two clever ideas. 😉

    1. Ah, well shucks. I’m kind of pleased with that one too.
      Though I want to point out – not sure if you noticed? – in the drawing of my drawing table, there’s a drawing on the table that’s a drawing of my drawing table… ✍️

  6. I did indeed take note of the drawing within the drawing, which is quite clever, but I was also profoundly moved by the lamp on top of the two books. This is how I decorate as well. You needed better lighting and you handled it smoothly and creatively without altering the theme of the set piece… 😉

  7. I’m so glad you noticed. It was a little Easter Egg I left for my more observant guests.
    And now (because you’re one of my favs) I shall tell you the two books I selected to improve my lighting situation: A large garden tome called “Garden Dreams” that I never read but it has pretty pictures and I like to dream, and an essay of Virginia Woolf’s titled “A Room of Ones Own” because… wait for it… this is my room. 😉

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