Don’t Let Your Collection Get Lost

What can be said that has not already been screamed into the void?

I think part of the drive of technology is for the human race to remember more. We have lost so much knowledge to history. Spanish swords known as Damascus blades are of a quality that we still cannot replicate. Ancient roman buildings are made of a form of concrete. The buildings stand to this day and can be visited, whereas concrete sidewalks today need to be replaced every twenty years.

We have also lost many minds, great and small alike.

It is hard to believe that once someone dies, all the knowledge, wisdom and experience that person accumulated over their life is gone. We spend our lives collecting, hoarding, and cherishing the memories of what we have learned. There are many who let that information die with them.

I do not want my collection to be lost when I die.

This is the reason I have started this, my Wednesday Wanderings.

Through this I will try to impart as many of the experiences I have gathered through my life. Some will be great insights, some will be different views on common things, and some will just be a fun jaunt through the corners of this crazy world.

Join me, won’t you?

Chris Jabas

Huevember – Day 16

Ready to sail, captain.

With how little time I’m still having to complete these drawings, I’m now filing them under speed paintings as well. I tried a technique I saw from a few different artist forums for brainstorming: make a couple of very simple shapes with a large brush as a kind of silhouette of what you want to sketch, then pick one and start filling in details.

Huevember – Day 5

Orange alert! I grew up in the 80’s, the era of Aliens, Predator, 2001 and other movies where there was an element of horror being introduced to the idealistic visions of the future. Nothing quite struck a chord in me as the heroine in distress trying to avoid a nasty fate, with danger lurking around the corner she wasn’t watching.

I’m not having as much time to work on these pieces as I’d like, and am having to post them out of order. This is a messy thing to try to do on a daily basis, hence the challenge. I’ve set up a page where they’ll be posted in order that you can find at this link: Huevember Challenge 2017.

Being Overshadowed By A Cloud

My wife and I had the chance to be in Nashville for the solar eclipse to witness the totality, something I’ve never experienced before. Though a cloud obscured the sky above downtown during the totality, I still stood in wonder as the sky darkened to twilight, then dusk in the matter of seconds. The streetlights blinked on and birds began flying erratically in the air. The world seemed to quiet as the city held its breath, trying to capture the magic of the moment.

The last time I witnessed an eclipse was in second grade, and I had to work for it. With the eclipse coming, my teacher Mrs. Wallace made us all craft pinhole viewers out of shoeboxes. Each took their shoebox and angled it so the the light of the sun shone onto the back of the closed box, allowing us to safely view the “picture” it made from one side. It was explained that while it wasn’t safe to stare directly at the sun (you’ll go blind, kids!), you could safely look at its image the little pinhole created.

That lesson always stuck with me. When something big happens, I tend to look around to see what effect the event is having on the environment and the people around me. That’s why I don’t think I was cheated by having a cloud in the way during the totality. I still got to see how it affected the people and things around me.

Imagine the eclipse from the perspective of the moon. Many things had to go right for it to fully eclipse the sun to the Earth, and there were years of preparations for conditions to be just right for the perfect performance.

And then a cloud got in the way for the people in Nashville.

When you prepare and plan for an event and try to control everything so that people can see your brilliance, all too often something that cannot be controlled will “ruin” your moment or steal your thunder. Do not be discouraged and take the disruption in stride. You cannot see the full extent of your influence and do not get to see all the fruits of your labors immediately. When starting a new marketing campaign, it can take months or even years to see the full effect of the new advertisements. But you will see them. The audience may not laugh at the right time, or they may not have an earth shattering revelation that transforms their lives in a flash of glorious light radiating from their face. But they will still have listened. Your art or craft may never be more than a hobby to express yourself. But you’re still better for having shared it with existence.

Do not let the uncontrollable stop you, or even slow you down.

Even the shadow will be an experience to behold.

Speed Painting Exercise #2: Rapid Improvement

Okay here’s my second speed painting. This took me 45 minutes. I’m actually okay with this one, compared to yesterday’s post.


You can see that I have a much more defined picture of a knight holding his shield up, and that I was even able to get a little more defined on the shoulder armor. From yesterday I applied using keyboard shortcuts to change the brush size quickly, as well as blocking in big shapes and making decisions. I initially wanted to have the knight kneeling from the brunt of the force of a blow he was blocking, but after I had painted in the placement of the shield and the helmet, I felt it was better to have him standing with the view from above him. It gave me a new idea, and now I have this painting and the one I had started out wanting to do.

I actually want to finish this piece, because the idea of it is good to me. Keep track of the ideas you have as you go through the process of creating something, whether that’s art, music, schedules, or even marketing campaigns. You’ll find that what you end up with is rarely what you started wanting to do, even if you’re good at what you do. The ideas that you start with and the ideas you come up with along the way are usually worth pursuing again once you finish what you’re working on. The bonus of keeping track of those ideas is that now you can approach them with more experience than last time.

One other note: don’t show off your “learning” work publicly in the beginning. I’m breaking that rule to give you encouragement, that you are not alone and that you know the path you’re treading is not uncharted. Show a few people who will encourage you to continue learning, because that’s the feedback you need in the beginning.

Speed Painting Exercise: Oh God I am Rusty

Even great artists can produce objective garbage once and a while. Anyone who is intimidated by the skill and craft of another person who has had years of training, practice, and experience more than you can take comfort knowing that you are more talented at something that they are not. With practice of your own, you can catch up to the masters that you idolize, even learning from their work. Behold, my garbage first speed painting.


Speedpainting, so everyone knows what this was supposed to be, is the goal of rapidly sketching and painting in the major items into your piece so that you can arrange the composition, shapes, and colors of the painting. The idea is to have everything in place except the details in 30 minutes to an hour. It forces you to make decisions on a larger scale for your piece so that you don’t spend endless hours painting and repainting without ever finishing.

This was supposed to be a mountain next to a lake, and I did everything that I wasn’t supposed to.

It looks like I fingerpainted it with my thumb after it had been severed in a bizarre desk adjustment accident, and that glorious piece of garbage took 35 minutes. A toddler does better work than that, faster, and has an art gallery on the fridge to display their work to their adoring public. I have a blog that maybe my friends read out of politeness when they haven’t seen me in two months and after reading this are probably wondering whether or not they need to do an intervention.

Don’t worry. The point I’m trying to make is, you are going to be objectively terrible at something the first time you try it. What you produce is not going to match the idea in your head of what it is supposed to look like, and that’s okay. Be proud that you did it, and be curious enough to learn what you did wrong. Then be brave enough to try again and apply what you learned so you get better.

Keep at it. I am. I’ll post the next speed painting soon.

The Shift Is Jarring

As we recover from the glut of candy of last night’s festivities, I already hear Christmas music this morning. On multiple stations on the radio, in stores; it cannot be escaped. At least Halloween continues to keep the holiday music from creeping into October, for November is already lost. Onward, you valiant steadfast holiday. Onward!

Shaving My Head For A Cause… A Year From Now

My father always encouraged me to be involved in supporting charitable organizations. Even if you can only give a dollar there is value in supporting events and causes you believe in. My most recent organization I’ve desired to support is Locks of Love, but I want to give them something more than just money. To this end, I will donate my hair.

This will take about a year to grow, as they require a minimum of ten inches of hair in order to create a viable wig. They also request that you do not stay out in the sun for extended periods because of the damage to your hair, as well as not perming or dyeing it, again because of the damage it does to your hair. My hair is already wavy, and I’m a computer geek so sun damage isn’t going to be a problem either.