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Every book is, in a sense, an argument with myself, and I would write it, whether it is ever published or not.
-- Patricia Highsmith

Blog Posts for November 2005

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November 2nd

A little further. It's fun to explore the colors in acrylics, even though this is like painting with white out. It's harder to paint thin lines, I've discovered. It goes on thick. But I'll work on that.

You know, we're always amazed when someone writes a book. They conceived a story and characters and wrote it out. Is it good? That almost doesn't matter - we're still impressed.

It's kind of like that with painting too. Hundreds and thousands of brush strokes go into a painting, like hundreds and thousands of words go into a book. I'm not sure that the talent matters so much as the simple fact that it was begun and then finished. Cool if the talent is there, but wow - the commitment to finish the work.

I once worked in a company that coined the phrase "BIC Time." That's the time when money is made. It stands for "Butt In Chair." I think that might just be the only talent that any artist truly needs to impress others. Just getting the butt in the damn chair. If that happens, then art happens.

Today, I've spent my 14,973rd day on this planet writing a web site at work, managing a project, talking to friends and co-workers and my kids, attending meetings, eating, playing HALO, cleaning my apartment, installing new software on my home computer, and painting. Painting was maybe an hour of it. It's amazing how much time there is to do things in a day, and yet it seems short.

But this November 2nd was good.

1 Comment
Read the whole story of "Waiting"
by Brett Rogers, 11/3/2005 12:02:46 AM


I'm getting the feel for acrylics, and I'm starting to get anxious to finish this painting, which is a good sign. I could be done by the end of the weekend.

I did the windows in the background and I feel like I captured the light that comes in them. I also softened the guy in the foreground.

Next stop, the people around the table.

Read the whole story of "Waiting"
by Brett Rogers, 11/12/2005 12:44:03 AM

Cling Wrap

Got one guy done and it's a good rendition. Might not get it all done this weekend, but... oh the joys of cling wrap. I've discovered that I can walk away from the paint and keep it wet by laying cling wrap over it. That's the hardest thing about acrylics - you get the color for a patch of skin just right, and then you have to walk away from the painting to, oh say, make dinner, and then when you get back you have to try and get it right again. But cling wrap will save you, sisters and brothers! Can I get a hallelujah?

And the big news: I'm painting. I have balance instead of an overload of busyness in my life.

Austin and Cub came over last night, as they always do on Fridays, and this morning Jacob's first words were, "Can we paint, Dad?" So I set his chair next to mine and while I worked on the dart board, he stroked out a blue and green collision and titled it, "The Blue and the Green."

"Dad, can I have chocolate milk now?"

And the rest of the day was pretty much tickling and walking and playing games and I even managed to clean my kitchen. Gosh... I like this lifestyle.

Read the whole story of "Waiting"
by Brett Rogers, 11/12/2005 11:16:41 PM

November 13, 2005

Read the whole story of "Waiting"
by Brett Rogers, 11/14/2005 12:07:02 AM

November 14, 2005

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 11/14/2005 10:43:37 PM

November 17, 2005

by Brett Rogers, 11/17/2005 9:24:31 PM

Finish the Job

I haven't blogged a political post in a while, but I'm excited that Democrat Rep. Murtha's resolution to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq will see a full vote this evening - in fact, about 20 minutes from now.

Say what you will about Iraq, but the people of that country have voted in the millions twice now and obviously believe and support democracy in their lives. To withdraw now would be to leave them pretty much defenseless and cause huge loss of life.

For that reason, they need our support. The rest of the Mideast is starting to move toward democracy as well. They need our support because a democratic Middle East region is in our country's best interest and it's also in the best interest of those who live in those nations and who want a government that represents them and is chosen by them.

So, excellent. Vote away, congress. I look forward to the outcome - that's the only bit of sound bite that I want to hear from those folks. Enough pablum from the podiums and in front of the cameras...

ETC: Huge rejection of Murtha's resolution. The Dems can try to play this off as a political stunt, but it was their own guy who brought forward the resolution and the Republicans simply opted to vote the resolution. Called on their own stunt, the lefties were.

Don't like the war? No problem. But don't mess with the troops in theater and don't leave the Iraqis stranded. It was a stupid resolution.

And Liz Sidoti is every evidence of bias at the Associated Press that anyone might ever need to see to be convinced. She couldn't write a fact-based article or one without her opinion strewn through it to save her life.

by Brett Rogers, 11/18/2005 6:46:12 PM

Freewheeling Brushstrokes

My friend, Shantyl, recently told me in so many words that I was a chickenshit because while she likes my paintings, she feels like I paint too much for the approval of others. I fret about "getting it right." In so many words, other people have said something similar, but she is the most recent.

So I remembered a book that I had purchased a long time ago and had later lost called Life, Paint, and Passion. The gist of the book is: Leave judgment behind and just let the brush do what it wants. Process, not product, is what they preach.

I've wanted to make some cards for people. I hope to get into the habit of painting cards for people, but time is always a factor with that. But since we're celebrating a birthday tomorrow, and it happens to be Jackie's (my separated wife), I spent time tonight painting cards with the boys.

Austin's and Jacob's, respectively.

And I painted mine. Something I've wanted to do for a while with acrylics is to just use a huge brush and paint swaths of color on paper, carefree and radiant. So I decided to use this as the background for some cards. I did four.

I plan to get back to one of these and then go in a different direction with pen and ink. I'd bought the ink last year with the anticipation of doing more with them because words matter to me and I'd like to make them part of my paintings. But I've been, as in Shantyl said (though in a kinder way), a chickenshit. This then is part of my stepping out.

I'm not an abstract artist, but I do really like the swirls of color and the texture of the brush. So I'll see where this leads. But it's part of my voice - whether anyone likes it or not - lol. I'll go with this... because it was fun.

ETC: And my first acrylic card is finished.

I like the idea... I'll see how the others turn out.

MORE ETC: Wanted to add a couple of shapes to two of them.

Fun :)

Later today, I'll return to my current painting and work on that.

by Brett Rogers, 11/18/2005 9:39:06 PM


I love painting peple. As I work, I wonder what their story is. And faces are interesting to paint... they have colors and shapes in them that you don't really notice until you forget that it's a face.

I have some work to do on the guy with glasses - his face turned out harsher than I wanted, but the basics are there. I softened the look of the main guy (looking off into the distance). As much as I enjoyed my bit of abstract, I enjoy equally this painting. I want to finish it. Alas, I have to work today... I have a database to be moved to a new server and then changes to be driven into some of the web pages before people come back into the office tomorrow.

Aaron saw a hawk outside this morning and so Nick grabbed the camera and managed to get quite close.

He was after a rabbit. Breakfast, you know. Me, I had orange juice - lol.

Read the whole story of "Waiting"
by Brett Rogers, 11/20/2005 11:33:08 AM


Read the whole story of "Waiting"
by Brett Rogers, 11/20/2005 7:34:15 PM

In The Mail

I received a couple of CD's in the mail today: Enya's newest album (Amarantine), and Afro Celt's last album (Anatomic). Enya is currently in the CD drive here at work. More about that in a minute...

I recently picked up Afro Celt's Seed album, of which I can't get enough. Not only is theirs an astounding musicianship, but their songs are joyful and rich. If you like Irish jig-type music, they have one song in particular that is all acoustic instruments (including an upright bass, which is just superb) and that tune would bring the dead to dance if played graveside. The music is addictive. So needless to say, I'm excited to hear "Anatomic."

But I chose instead to listen to Enya's latest offering in over five years. And I have to say, the chords and the voicing of her keyboards sound like so many other Enya songs that I've heard before. I like Enya... but where's the experimentation and the growth? The fifth track, "The river sings," is unfortunately the shortest track, but it is the most exciting and the biggest departure for her. There are a couple of tracks that are decent, but the album feels like a retread. I don't know... I'll give it a few more spins. Maybe I need to warm up to it.

In the past year, I've purchased mostly digital music online from MusicMatch, but I'm very hesitant to buy digital music again, for a few reasons:

  • If I switch computers, I have to play every freaking song on MusicMatch's software before Windows Media Player can play it. Why? This is how I obtain the license to play the song on my new computer. MusicMatch, as a media player, is buggy, so I use WMP instead. And I bought some songs through another web site and to obtain my license for those songs, it tried to ping the web site, but alas, the web site closed. About $20 down the drain - the songs are gone for me.
  • MusicMatch no longer works on my computer. Do you hear that, Yahoo? (They own MusicMatch.) I've gone through tech support repeatedly to try and get the "logging and tracing manager" to stop erroring on my computer, but to no avail. The support sucks. It's email only. Some non-English-speaking goob in parts unknown repeats the same information for me. "To uninstall, go to Settings/Add Remove Software..." which I do, and then re-install and it's the same thing. What is the logging and tracing manager? Who knows, but it errors every 5 seconds. Never again will I use their service.
  • I've learned that some artists don't allow me to burn their songs to a mix CD that I can enjoy in my van or at work. Bonnie Raitt does this with some of her songs, some classical artists do this, and so on. Why? Oh, to combat piracy, you know. But I'm not a pirate... I bought the music legitimately. To prevent me from burning a CD, you just leave a bad taste in my mouth, Bonnie et al, and I think less of you and your music. But there's a way around all of this nonsense...

I buy a CD. I can rip it, where it becomes digital for the rest of my life on as many computers as I own. I can copy the music folders from one computer to another without having to play every freaking song to obtain a license for that computer. The CD is a bit more money, but it's a more flexible format and that's what I want.

And with Amazon's discounts and free shipping, it's a great deal. Good songs, less hassle, and I'm a happy guy.

Now, on to Afro Celt... I'm kind of shrugging at Enya, which would make my friend, Scott, smile - he always ribs me about Enya.

by Brett Rogers, 11/25/2005 1:43:03 PM

Christmas Card 2005

I've finished this year's Christmas card.

Here I am in midstream...

Next, I get to figure out how to get it printed up for everyone...

ETC: Ah, Kinko's to the rescue. They sell that 25 picture card pack for $29.99. I bought 75, but they only had enough envelopes for 25, so the first batch is in the mail, and the rest will follow. Everyone on the list should get them sometime this week.

The nice thing about the picture card pack is that my painting is on the front of the card, and then I'm able to print on the inside of the card, so the card actually looks professionally done. For those so inclined, they could even frame it, if they chose to do so. Pretty cool, and it has me thinking of other cards I might prepare.

In the meantime, I've selected the next painting and I'll be sketching that this evening. It will be the biggest one yet - about 18 24. I like that about acrylics. I also plan to introduce some wrinting into this next one.

Read the whole story of "Snow Hill"
by Brett Rogers, 11/25/2005 10:44:53 PM

Color Addict

About two years ago, I started using colored pencils to doodle. At the time, I had no intention of painting; I only scribbled a bit with pencils.

Then about a year ago, I decided to paint a Christmas card for family and friends. I hadn't tried watercolor painting since in high school. As an effort, it turned out okay. I had no clue what I was doing, but I was intrigued. I decided that I could go a bit further. More painting, lots of book purchases to study a bit of art history and painting methods. And then about two months ago, I took an acrylics class and got hooked on color.

Here's a thumbnail history of my art over the past two years time, in a rough chronological order. I moved from sketchy, pale doodling to vibrant color.

Color is addictive.

by Brett Rogers, 11/26/2005 7:52:15 PM

Water Village - First Sketch

I'm painting an Oriental water village next... and here's the first sketch:

It's complex in textures and lines and scale, but it's simple in terms of color. You'll see what I mean about the color soon. But I need to sketch this out a few times in order to get a feel for this one before I hit the brush. The river channel is too wide in my sketch, which causes some of the coziness of the village to be lost.

A little voice in the back of my mind tells me, "Patience, grasshopper..."

ETC: I never did move ahead with this, but perhaps I will at some point. Too busy painting for the cards business.

Read the whole story of "Water Village"
by Brett Rogers, 11/26/2005 11:31:22 PM

New Gallery

I've refurbished the gallery here at BeatCanvas. You can take a look at it here.

by Brett Rogers, 11/27/2005 11:01:23 AM


I've been listening to Afro Celt's "Seed" and "Anatomic" albums. Rich, delicious, scrumptious music. They make me smile and burble with joy for life.

Yes, I paint, but if I had to choose between losing my sight and losing my hearing, I'd go with losing my sight. I think it was Helen Keller who said that lost sight affects your relationship with objects, but lost hearing affects your relationship with people. I prefer people.

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 11/29/2005 12:24:51 PM