Practice.

Practice everywhere.

Practice where you are. 

Practice right now.

Practice with what you have.

Practice with run down, worn out, barely-there supplies. 

Practice with fresh from the store, pristine, never been touched supplies.

Practice when you are alone. 

Practice when you are surrounded by people. 

Practice when you’re being told what a great artist you are. 

Practice when you are being told you will never amount to anything. 

Practice when you don’t know what to do.

Practice when you know exactly what you want to do.

Practice for yourself. 

Practice to be. 

Practice to become.

And when all else fails, draw a Chris Hart kitten in your planner.

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Finger Painting.

I am still getting the knack of digital art. It’s a challenge and that’s good. I enjoy pushing myself and learning. Right now I’m focused on getting my hand on the tablet and eye on the screen to work as a team.

Eventually, I become frustrated, put away my Wacom, and finger paint on my tablet. While what I create is not very good, it relaxes me in a way meditation never can. 

It’s exactly what I need to refresh myself before going back to practice working on a single layer in GIMP.

The Store.

Quaker Gap Country Store has been closed for years. Boards cover the windows and even the vents. Only the door still has glass.

Sam watches cars whiz by, passing him and his beloved shop, probably on their way to the county landfill. 

He’s been fogotten.

But he remembers.

He remembers the first day he opened the Store. Everything was crisp. He never stopped smiling because he had made it, he was a business owner instead of a worker.

He remembers his favorite customers, neighbors and strangers alike. At this time of year, they would be buying coffee and ham and propane.

He remembers his wife smiling over stacks of boxes, sneaking his son a chocolate bar (forbidden before dinner), and the smell and peace of early morning before the first customer arrived.

Sam also remembers the day he sat at the bank in an uncomfortable chair and was told he was going to lose everthing. The cancer had drained his savings and the new highway access made him dispensible.

Sam looks out at the decaying lot. There’s nothing he can do now but lose himself in memories. A lone car pulls into the lot and a woman gets out. She takes photos and sighs a little while looking the place over.

Sam waves slowly through the dirty glass. Welcome, he mouths. The woman pauses near the pump wells, looks at the door, and smiles.

Fog swallows the car as it pulls away. In a few hours, light will banish the shadow of Sam into dust swirls. He stays by the door anyway, watching the sun peek through and wonders if she’ll remember.

Snow Plows.

The snowplows are rumbling past. They growl like hungry dragons. Death has awoken grumbling, for he can get no sleep for all this noise. 

To soothe his jangled nerves I have made his favorite coffee, Black Magic, and apple cinnamon oatmeal. Based on the speed of consumption, I would say he is appreciative.

On cold days like this, what’s your favorite meal?