This year we went with Tumblr for the Bill Counts October Game. As always, it was a terrific experience to challenge myself and get to know some great people. I went digital this year and specifically tried to work on light using some Magic Box techniques I am practicing.
So October has come and gone, and the Bill Counts October Game is done. I only missed one day because of the stomach bug, and only because I completely forgot there was such a thing as an October painting challenge and went to bed at 8:30. We had fewer active participants this year, but there was some truly beautiful artwork created, and it was again a wonderful experience to play the game with other artists. As with last year, I came out of the challenge with some new friendships and a feeling of real accomplishment.
This year my goal was to do all physical art (as opposed to digital as I did last year), so I did 30 paintings. I did mostly watercolor, and found it much easier and enjoyable than I remembered. I even worked in a few oil paintings which were slightly less frustrating than my experience last year.
For me, however, the challenge is less in the actual art development – my skills grew a little bit, possibly- but more in sorting out priorities. This is a ridiculous challenge. Start and finish a complete work of art every day for a month. At least, it seems like it should be ridiculous. Like my whole life should be turned on end. But this is the third year I’ve done it – and really it wasn’t. My house wasn’t any messier or dirtier than normal. My kids were still fed. We still managed the usual home school activities. I got a typical amount of sleep. Challenges like this just show you how easy it really is to shift things around to make room for what is important.
Tomorrow, the comic is back on it’s usual schedule (updates Tuesday and Thursday). Wednesday I’ll be announcing my NEXT challenge. Stay tuned.
In yet another iteration of my website philosophy I am condensing the October Game art into a single gallery. Here ya go:
For the last two years I have played Bill Counts October Game – this year I’m doing it again! The first year I tried oil painting and pastels and pencils and such. I had high hopes for the same last year, but ended up doing digital art instead because it was easier to manage with the kids – and less frustrating for me to make the art look good. This year, I’ve thought way ahead and I’ve been practicing with oils. Not spectacular – but hey, I wouldn’t be doing a challenge like this if I didn’t need the help. If you missed the Game last year – it’s a personal challenge of 31 completed original pieces in the 31 days of October. Head over to the FaceBook Page to sign up! (brown smears on the above painting added by 3-year-old James, in case you were wondering.)
The last picture of the Bill Counts October Game – it’s been a terrific experience to play the game with so many talented artists!
We went to a homeschool costume party today. There were lots of princess. I miss pink. So.
Today was another busy/off day, but I did carve a pumpkin. When done well, pumpkin carving is definitely art. This, not so much. But I’m counting it.
Three days left!!
We watched The Secret of NIMH last night with the boys. I loved the book as a child, and read it over and over, but only watched the movie as an adult, so all the over-dramatization and random magic fell flat with me. When I lived in an old farm house we actually had these massive wild rose bushes – ten feet high and ten feet across that we always talked about bulldozing over, and I always thought about the rats. Anyway, here’s more how I visualized their home under the rose bush.
Today’s picture comes from the brain of John Turpin, age 4. Patent pending.
I’m pretty fresh out of ideas at this point in the game, and a little frustrated because while I realize every area of my artwork needs work, I was hoping to concentrate the game on interesting characters. So, I decided to try out one of Matt Kohr’s ideas from Ctrl+Paint – using a random generator for practice ideas. Over at Chaotic Shiny I found a zoomorph tool, and it took several dozen tries to come up with something I actually thought I could draw. So. Anyway.
Okay, I missed yesterday.
I’m counting these as art because I designed and made them all by myself in about a day to get them ready a week and a half early to go to a costume party.
Bonus points if you know who lives here.
When in doubt draw a tree, I guess.
This week, Felix Baumgartner rode a balloon straight up 24 miles before falling back to earth, breaking the sound barrier on his way down, inspiring a new vision of how I want to go when it’s my time. The wings are probably a subconscious response to the sponsor of this madness, Red Bull. Today I’m done early – the October Game is halfway over, and I’m starting to wear thin. Gotta manage my time better, because I missed yesterday’s comic and ended up starting my picture after 9pm, causing me to lose a some extra sleep I needed
If you have been following my comic and want to know what I really look like, this is me: he problem with trying to do some sort of finished picture in a few hours is that if things start to go wrong, you just have persevere. This wasn’t quite what I was going for, but I guess it works.
After walking around the beautiful grounds of the Rodin museum, we stopped to rest on a park bench beside The Gates of Hell. As I was sitting there, looking at this impressive sculpture, I was very entertained watching the tourists wander up to the entrance to Hell itself, sit, take photos, and wander distractedly away. I took several photos, but none really captured how I saw the scene. Today was busy, and I didn’t have nearly as much time to invest in this, but I am proud to say that while this is pencil and digital as are most of my other pieces, I didn’t actually touch any of the pencil in Photoshop – I just colored it, and it was a pretty rough drawing to begin with. Hopefully the coloring is an improvement. It at least adds something of the surreal quality I was imagining.
I have no idea what I was going for with this one, so it is impossible to say if I’m satisfied with it. 100% digital.
Today’s art was inspired by the autumn chrysanthemum dolls of Japan and a lovely bouquet of fall flowers my husband brought me last week.
So, I wasn’t feeling particularly creative today. I think my steampunkin ruined the whole game for me – I keep wanting to figure out something that awesome but it’s not happening. So, I put a plea for help out on Facebook and my friends Debra, Heather, Jade, Tania, and Kathleen made the suggestions of geese in formation, October in Hawaii, football, fall leaves, and fog. I really tried to do this with oil paint, but did you notice how much I suck at oil paint? So, anyway, here’s my attempt at combining all the ideas together in one picture – a Photoshop painting:
I felt like it was time to do something challenging and unpredictable again, so I broke out my new box of pastels. Not sure that was a good idea – it’s been a while since I used pastels. But I’m not feeling starting over at this point, so I’m posting what I ended up with. This is done from a photo I took in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Trick-or-treating in the 70’s meant there was always a fall-back costume ready to go in your mom’s closet. Layer it on and call yourself a gypsy. Done.
I have nothing to say about this one. It’s late. Goodnight.
Today I went to church, ate lunch, crash-napped on the couch with my two-year-old and had almost no motivation to do a work of art. I bounced ideas around in my head, but nothing quite worked out. Desperate, I took the boys outside to play and lit a little fire – which spit ash on all the sketches I worked on. I still couldn’t decide on a great idea, so I just put all the ideas together and created a Steampunkin.
On our property we have seven dogwood trees, so I can’t do a month of October art without thinking about dogwoods. Sure, maples always steal the fall show, but long before the lazy maples have put out more than a handful of fiery leaves the dogwood is already dressed in layers of rich burgundy, adorned with brilliant red berries. Last year I made a couple of disastrous attempts to include a dogwood in a painting, so this year I took a different approach. When I’m out among the trees I’ve grown fond of I often think of Lucy Pevensie, walking through the sleeping trees. “She knew exactly how each of these trees would talk if only she could wake them, and what sort of human form it would put on.” I’m not sure this quite captures what I was going for, but at least now I’ve justified the attempt
Phillip asked me how today’s picture fit with the theme of the month, and I can’t say it does, except that the ball scene from Labyrinth makes me think of Halloween for some reason. Or maybe Halloween makes me think of that scene. I’m not sure. You know the scene, right? Where Jennifer Connelly is in imminent danger of being swallowed by her own dress?
So, for today’s October Game offering I decided to try an oil painting. Mostly because I suck at oil paintings, and part of what this challenge has come to be for me is the idea of doing something at least a little scary. Took a large part of my day, but I finally got it to a somewhat okay point.
So for today’s installment of The October Game, to go with yesterday’s Frankenromney, I certainly had to do Obamula. I think this makes some sense, because vampires have style, and there is no denying that Obama is the coolest President since Teddy Roosevelt. Of course, there is also a case being made that he’s sucking the economy dry…I really like the Obamula one. It was easier to do because he has far more interesting facial features. Again, I’m not really trying to be political here, but I do have to say that spending this much time working on these faces I’m more attached to both of them than I was before. I think that’s fitting for tonight’s bout.
Today’s art is 100% Photoshop because today and tomorrow I have a busy schedule and it’s the easiest to pull off. While I am getting into the Halloween spirit this month, I can’t quite shake the political spirit with the first Presidential debate imminent. I’m not making a political statement here, I just decided to merge together the two themes of this month, so you get Frankenromney.
As I may have mentioned before, I am going to be working more on characters this time around, rather than attempting (poorly) to draw from life. I’ll be using reference, but much of what I do will come from my imagination. I’ve got some Octobery ideas in mind, but as just in the last few days the leaves have started to turn, I decided a tree was most appropriate.
I thought I’d kick off The October Game today by dragging out an old photo of my sister and I trick-or-treating to get me in the October mood. I’ve always thought of this photo as representing my sister and I in our “bunny” costumes, but now that I’m looking at it, it brings up some curious questions. Those aren’t bunny ears, so what sort of animal are we supposed to represent? Why do we seem to have a case of the measles? Why are we wearing such thick, heavy costumes in the warmth of Florida? Were we really allowed to consume all those pixie sticks?
And while we’re asking questions, why did I decide again to do a finished piece of artwork every day this month? Who’s going to take my kids for the next 31 days? Don’t expect great things – most of my artwork last year was pretty terrible, but I did end up with a few pieces I really loved. And I’m going to try to keep my comic going at the same time, so we’ll just see how this goes.
I’m actually pretty excited to start this year. Not only do I get to honor the memory of a friend by playing the game and work on my art skills, but Dick Nelson has managed to find another 21 poor saps creative minds to play along!
I’m going to be posting my work here on the site, but if you want to see all the other artwork, head over to The October Game Facebook Page and take a look around.
Starting next Monday I’m going to be playing Bill Counts’s October Game. One piece of finished artwork a day for thirty-one days. Simple, right?
Chalk in Terra Cotta, Oil Paint 2011
This week I’m in prep mode. Here’s what I’m doing to get ready:
1. Declutter everything. I like to simplify everything I can before starting a big project, so I’m not distracted by piles of stuff. It is also nice to have lots of clean surfaces accessible in case I decide to pull out the oil paints. I’m not saying this will last much past the first week of October, but it is psychologically helpful to at least BEGIN the month this way.
2. Create an idea list. I’ve got a list of 25 ideas so far. I’m still going to work on whatever I happen to be inspired by in the moment (much like i do with the comic), but listing out ideas helps reserve a corner of my subconsciousness to be working through these ideas as I go about the rest of my life.
3. Organize supplies. I plan to be doing mostly sketching/photoshopping for my work this year, but I would still like to do some finished pieces with either oil paint or pastel, so I’m going through what I have and organizing and prepping paper and paints, and ordering what I need.
4. Work on my schedule. As you might have noticed, I have two preschoolers who are with me 24/7. Last year it was tough enough, but I still managed to get it done with a one-year-old and a three-year-old, so I’m not too worried. I do have to make sure our days are going smoothly, however, and keep the little monsters darlings well occupied to give me space to create.
Have you tried a challenge like this? What sort of things do you do to get ready?
Was that a chill in the air I felt last night? Is it almost October again? Time for the October Game!
Night Formation Pastel, 12 ” x 8 “, Bill Counts 2008
For four years, every October, my friend Bill Counts played his own little game – a painting a day for the month of October. (Read more details here.) Last year I played it in his memory, and this year, Dick Nelson talked me into trying again – and we’re opening up the challenge to everyone!
You don’t have to do a painting – I’m going to try to focus on character drawings that will probably be painted in Photoshop, though I’m open to digging out some oil paints or pastels if I’m inspired. Just head to the Facebook Page Dick set up, and get in touch with him to have your work displayed.
So, last month was quite the experience for me as I challenged myself to paint a picture a day for The October Game. This isn’t the first time I’ve made such a strange effort – I did the NaSoAlMo twice, but without two kids to wrangle.
As I expected, besides honing some severely neglected art skills, I learned some things about myself, and solidified some things I’ve been working on. Here’s what I’ve got:
1. You can’t be too busy.
This was said to me by a friend many years ago as I marveled over the number of things he was able to accomplish in a typical week. It also may seem to be a contradiction of the minimalistic life I’m trying to achieve, but it really can be in harmony. It’s all about editing – ruthlessly evaluating what is in your life, and deciding what is giving you the best returns. I thought that I would have to give more things up in order to accomplish my picture-a-day goal, but in reality, I gave up very little, and felt less stressed out then I have in the past when I was being far less productive.
2. Your breakthrough moment is right around the corner.
As an artist, I of course know and have experienced this, but I’m amazed at how often I behave as if I don’t. I give up or “set aside” something that is giving me trouble instead of pushing through and finding success. As many have said before – this can be applied to just about everything in life. Your career, your relationship, your finances. Persevere.
3. There’s no accounting for taste.
It’s baffling to me that some of the more popular pictures in the Game were ones I hated. And NO ONE loved the chalk but me. It’s one of two I actually plan to hang on the wall. Can you guess the second?
4. Creativity is an inexhaustible resource.
If you are feeling like you don’t have many ideas, go ahead and use up the few little ones you do have. If you just let them sit there, they’ll never get replaced with something much more awesome. Trust me. It works.
5. You actually can change the way you think.
This takes radical effort, but like #2 & #4, you simply start with what you can do and persevere. Little by little by little, you change the way you think. This may not impress you, but I now make my bed every day. Before 2011, in 20 adult years, I could probably count on my fingers the number of times I made my bed when I wasn’t planning to have company. (Embarrassing and a little astounding, I know, but true…) I’m changing habits that allow me to accomplish more and live the life I really want and it’s actually working for the first time. It’s amazing. Try it.
6. Life is short.
I know I said this at the start – but life is short and meant to be enjoyed. If you’re not excited about your life – figure out why and fix it. It isn’t about everything going great. We can’t control so many of the things that shape our destiny. Natural disasters. Bad decisions our loved ones make. Cancer. But we let that feeling of helplessness drift into the things we can control and miss out on all the opportunities for happiness and fulfillment that are right in front of us.
Go create something.
Here’s my month:
So, this is it. The last picture in my October Game. I know I promised yesterday to put in more effort, but it was Halloween and I had trick-or-treating candy fiends to manage. My parents have the spookiest neighborhood in town, and this guy had obviously been carved well before the last warm front came through. He was doing his best to frighten the kids that passed by with what stability he had left. My first choice was from another house on the street – but I felt that Jesus in a bathtub surrounded by a Halloween graveyard was too ambitious for the limited time I had.
I titled this one “frost” because otherwise you’d have no clue what I was going for with this terrible drawing of a cold chiminea in the yard. Well, maybe the title doesn’t even help. I promise to put more effort into tomorrow’s – hey it’s the last one and Halloween!
No mums. Not even any glass. Just weeds and a landscape fit for Halloween.
I did start this one last night, before my 19 -month-old decided to take a tumble from a dining room chair, hitting the table on his way down. Fortunately, we didn’t need to make an emergency room trip this time, but it completely threw off my evening. This morning I finished this picture, then headed over to Nelson’s Fine Art in Johnson City where I was able to see the last few minutes of The October Game exhibit. Yesterday was a dreary, cold, rainy, foggy day. Perfect for a long drive with worn out tires. But even the general grayness of the air didn’t take away from the spectacular scenery along the way.
I had this one in my head from the beginning, but I wanted to wait until the leaves actually started to fall to do it. This may be my best October ever, and tomorrow I’m going to do my best to make it to Nelson’s while Bill Count’s art is still hanging.
Sometimes nature puts out decorations that trump anything you can buy at the store. This spider lives beside my back door, hanging lightly on an ancient-looking web, and when you walk up, she drops on a silver thread all the way to the ground before climbing quickly back up. Perfect for Halloween, and if we can re-route trick-or-treaters to the back door, we might be able to keep the candy for ourselves. I’m completely arachnophobic, but I can’t bring myself to send Philip out to “relocate” her. I did send him out to snap a photo, and since I haven’t done any weird or creepy October art so far, I thought she was perfect for this last week.
Now, I may not be a medium, but when we picked out some pumpkins and brought them home I was pretty sure the spirit of Houdini was trapped inside, trying to make one last escape. I blame it on the magician family costume theme for Halloween this year. Yes, I’m using this as my daily art. I know it barely resembles Houdini, but I worked a long time on it. Carving caricatures is easy; carving something that’s supposed to look like a real person is really, really hard, and I’m no sculptor. Just stretching my skill set here. Besides, when I make it to Food Network Challenge, I have no idea which skills I’m going to need to call upon.
Without my contacts in when the baby wakes up in the morning, I can’t read the clock to know if I can reasonably expect James to go back to sleep and let me have some more time in bed. So, I glance out the window, and hope I don’t see the above scene. Just one more hour, please!
I just posted this in the October Game, but I decided to move it to the craft section, since lots of people looking for pumpkin carving ideas are finding their way to the site. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at carving, but don’t know where to start, pumpkins are the way to go. Easy to carve, minimal tools required (I used a single, straight, slightly rusted old wood carving tool for this whole thing), and it isn’t something you have to worry too much about ruining. If you go for a face with a lot of character, like a witches or ghouls, any mistakes or flaws just add interest. I’m doing a second one today, so I’ll post that this week as well. Happy Halloween…..yarrr!
You might have noticed that there was no picture yesterday. Yeah, well, so? I make no apologies. I have not lured you here under false pretenses. It says right in my comic that I’m a lazy artist, and if you’ve visited this site more than once you’ve already adjusted your expectations accordingly. Alright. I do feel a little bad. Here’s a bonus piece of artwork I did this afternoon right before the above work of dubious distinction.
I’m in a big rush to get four Halloween costumes finished before a party tomorrow night, so the poster I made for the theme (of course, there’s a theme) will have to suffice for my day’s artwork.
I know it’s really autumn when a maple leaf stops me dead in my tracks. While wrestling two kids into the van I looked down at the parking lot saw the first scattering of perfect maple leaves looking as though they had been carefully arranged by a far better artist than I. This is shaping up to be a gorgeous season in Tennessee, when even gravel is so extraordinarily adorned.
In the series of things I can see out my living room window I give you Mud. If you don’t like this one, there’s something wrong with you. I mean, it’s mud. We’re fortunate enough to live in one of those sorts of subdivisions where lawns aren’t perfectly manicured (fortunate because we are lazy), so there is a lovely muddy slope right out my window. The kids in the neighborhood also take advantage of the more relaxed environment by using wet days for an often overlooked recreational activity – mud sledding. Yes, that’s just what it sounds like. Rainy days like today make me want to grab my sled.
The kids and I made a bird feeder out of a milk carton, but I don’t always remember to fill it up. Most of the birds will check once before moving on to a new place entirely. The family of cardinals, however, are truly religious, and if they miss their meals for more than a couple of days they pace back and forth in front of the window and give me intense stares.
The leaves are turning, and I love this moment in October when the trees are smoldering, beginning to glow around the edges, about to burst into brilliant flame. Add a sunset and the effect is magical. I tried to spend a little more time on this painting, to hopefully have one I wouldn’t have to apologize for. The problem with spending more time, however, is that it removes the most convenient excuse for poor performance.
Okay, so technically it is a large fire, but it is on a pretty small piece of paper, so it feels tiny. I don’t have much else to say but that I did this in about 30 minutes to try and create the feeling of the bonfire we went to last night with the kids. I’m facing a dilemma with the October Game. I need to actually do something other than paint and draw so that I can be more inspired to paint and draw – but I run out of time fast. With costumes and parties and traveling, I’m wondering how I’ll fit it all into the next couple of weeks. But that’s part of the challenge.
Finally, an October sky to be inspired by. So far, it’s been all sunshine almost all the time, and that can get very depressing. This morning, for one brief moment, the sky held both the threat of storms and the promise of a perfect day. And really, isn’t every morning that way?
This little shamrock has been sitting in my dining room beckoning to me throughout the October Game. Heretofore I have resisted, finding more worthy subjects out the window or in my garden or at the park. But today was a busy day devoid of inspiration, and when the shamrock whispered to me I realized that it did indeed deserve some attention. After all, it is the only house plant I have ever been able to keep alive.
While John and I were hanging out on the front porch, enjoying a rainy afternoon, he suddenly exclaimed with certainty, “This is my favorite leaf in the whole world!” So, of course, it is also mine.
I’m beginning to feel that the challenge of saying something interesting about every single picture in the October Game actually supersedes the challenge of doing the picture itself. This is a drawing of a wind chime. The wind chime I can see out of my kitchen window. Because I never ever leave my house. Ever.
As promised, here is a stack of partially charred wood. It could be worse. The fall leaves almost didn’t make it into the painting. They were there, but then somewhere along the way of trying to get the shadows and the texture the way I wanted it, the leaves got blended in completely. Only when I was starting to feel like I could (or should) do no more damage to the thing did I realize what was missing. A perfect fall scene, even if the stack of leftover harvest fire logs were from an autumn a decade past.
I was on my way to a semi-charred stack of logs behind the church today when I spotted this overlooked yard sale item. Something about it struck me as being particularly Octoberish, so I went with it. I decided to depart from the gloppy mess that is my oil painting and go for the slightly more subtle mess of ink wash. Don’t worry, the charred logs will likely make an appearance at some point.
No collection of October artwork would be complete without a moon peeking through the twisted branches of a dying dogwood tree. At least, that’s what I told myself when I started this gratuitous painting of a moon through the branches of a dying dogwood tree. I hate this painting with a vengeance. I hate it so much that I’ve done it three times. But I was too busy today to start painting until the moon was actually up, and I’m not starting over AGAIN. Tomorrow is another day, and maybe inspiration will find me in the daylight. What I’m really hoping for is some nice dreary drabness. There’s been way too much sunshine and I’m running out of yellow paint.
Yes, I know that magnolia leaves don’t usually symbolize fall since the magnolia grandiflora is an evergreen, but if one of the branches should happen to break off, it would soon fit right in with the autumn theme. This branch was brought in the house by my three-year-old son, and I loved the soft variation of color – not represented in the above picture.
Sometimes inspiration comes from the humblest of places. And sometimes, you wait in the glory of a perfect October afternoon and it doesn’t come at all. So, I give you sidewalk chalk. You’re welcome.
A more beautiful start to October we could not have. The weather has been perfect, the leaves are just starting to change and I finished my painting today before naptime was over. Why you’d want to be on a jet to anywhere other than Tennessee is entirely beyond me.
Well, this wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I saw the rose hips by my side steps. It’s reminiscent of an oil pastel drawing of green bananas I labored over for weeks in high school that was equally bewildering.
I was staring out the window this afternoon, trying to find inspiration to revise my idea for today’s picture when I noticed that Foster had a much better plan. My children don’t allow me to peacefully nap for a few hours in the sunshine, however, so I drew the sleeping old man instead.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that doing a complete painting every single day for a month is easy. I’m only on day 3 and I’m not sure how I can keep going. Of course, neither Bill Counts nor Bob Ross had the destructive force of toddlers to deal with while painting, although I believe there was a squirrel living in Bob Ross’s hair for a while… Anyway, I tried to do something literal (from a screenshot off my flip from today’s playdate at the park.) I haven’t tried painting real things I really see in so long I’ve forgotten how. It’s trees, water, and geese. That’s about it. I’m tired. Goodnight!
Well, it’s October 2 and I decided to try my hand at painting. Fortunately I still have lots of supplies from all the previous times I thought I should try my hand at painting. I think it’s appropriate that I have Bob Ross paints, and surely I’m not the only one who hears his voice in their head as they pick up the brush. He was always encouraging people to relax and paint what they saw in their own world. Of course, in my head he’s saying things like “Maybe in your world, Jill, the laws of physics don’t even apply. You can just paint that shadow anywhere you want it.” The leaves in Fairview might still be green, but to find a fall scene with sufficient decay you have only to look at my vegetable garden.
So, today starts my very own October Game, and I have to say I’m simultaneously exhilarated and intimidated. I’m not the artist Bill was, but I have the foundation skills without much practice. Today’s picture is done with oil pastels, which I used to love. But my skill with oil pastels is about the same as it was 20 years ago, and to better illustrate that point, I’m using the exact same box of oil pastels I used 20 years ago. Well, enough bemoaning my misspent youth. This game is about growth and challenge and recognizing that life is precious and short. Even though this sad geranium was neglected throughout the summer, sitting on my back deck with barely enough water to keep it alive, it managed to throw out just a few more delicate blossoms even as the cool nights were heralding it’s end. Happy October!
So, now that my first query for my very first finished picture book is sent, I’m leaving behind the world of shiny fire trucks and moving on to some new things. Rocket ships?
One of the things I’m going to be doing over the next few weeks is getting ready to play The October Game. What is The October Game, you ask? No, not the Bradbury story. Although, I think the title came from that. Wait. Let me start over and tell you about my friend, Bill.
I met Bill Counts through the theater, and he was one of those rare people you meet of whom you ask “Why doesn’t anyone know about this guy? Why is he on such a small stage?” He had flawless comic timing. Then I found out he was an artist. And a very good one. He started doing this project, “The October Game”, where he did a piece of art a day (often paintings), every day through the month of October. You can head over to his site if you want to see them, or if you live in the Tri-Cities area, Dick Nelson is going to be showing his work next month.
Bill passed away earlier this year, and the truth is, although I’ve known him for a long time, he was one of those people that I always assumed I would have the opportunity to get to know better. He was the most interesting person at the party, and fortunately for me, he always wanted to hide out in the kitchen where I was fixing the snacks. He was supportive of my efforts – with the theater or my band or my paltry attempts at artwork. He was so humble about his own immense talent, and so encouraging of mine. I miss him.
So, anyway, this year I’m going to play The October Game in his honor. And because let’s face it. I need the practice.
Today starts my new favorite part of October – The October Game! I’m not sure if I enjoy the paintings or the commentary of the paintings more, but since there is no way for me to leave my own commentary on his site and he doesn’t repost them on flickr or anything useful for sharing, I’m just going to have to do it here. (Of course, no one will see them since I weaned everyone off checking for updates on alturego long ago.)
Speaking of, I love the texture of Night Formation: