This is not just another post to break my previous record for posts in a month.

A recent B.S. Report (Bill Simmons' podcast for ESPN) had him call his buddy Jack-O, who savaged the Twins. His comments sum up how I feel, and must be repeated here:

"The Twins have to be the dumbest franchise in the history of professional sports. Let me just get that on the record. Since they traded arguably the best pitcher in baseball for four guys no one's every heard of before. And by the way, will never hear of again."

"But if you're a Minnesota Twins fan, and you go to that stadium, and you give any kind of money to your owner, who's like one of the wealthiest guys in the world, and won't pay players, then you're a fool. You get what you deserve. Like if anybody goes there and watches games, you're an idiot... If you go see the Minnesota Twins play, you are an idiot."

"So they have their wealthiest owner, who somehow has to have a payroll of $14, basically. You have the best pitcher in the game, and then they trade him for a nickel on the dollar... and I'm still gonna go and pay my Minnesota Twins season tickets? I don't get it."

Neither do I.


"My bedroom walls were in serious need of redecoration, and I do mean serious. The previous color was peach, for crying out loud. Peach has never been a good color for walls, never. Plus, there was an unsightly hole where I had put my elbow through the wall in a fit of rage years prior. I'm lucky I didn't connect with a stud; I had some pretty good force going on that one. So my work was cut out for me.

"I had visions in my head of the most brilliantly decorated walls in history..."


The Stills Are #1

I was feeling a bit silly and high on the Stills when I did this. I've been excited about a lot of music lately. The enthusiasm tide is flowing strong.

Also, I'm really ticked about the Santana trade. We could've had much better offers. Now another sports megastar is leaving Minnesota, and hope takes a back seat for a few more years. No sweat, it's only been a collective 64 team-years without a pro sports championship in Minny. No hurry, guys.

Additionally, my dislike for Hillary is reaching large proportions. On the CBS Evening News last night, Katie Couric asked the candidates what one book, besides the Bible, they'd want to bring into the White House with them. First, I like that the Bible still qualifies as an easy, cop out answer. Second, Obama said some biography of Lincoln, which is money. All the candidates stated their book and explained why. Then Hillary, in all her infinite wisdom says, "Well I'd make sure to bring a copy of the Constitution since it's clear that there's none in the White House right now."

She never misses a chance to insult someone, does she? Now, I'm not a big fan of George the Second either, but I'm not running for president. She will use any opportunity to attack anyone for any reason. She doesn't know the meaning of the term "respectfully disagree." She doesn't understand that though we don't all see eye to eye, we do (to some degree) have to work TOGETHER to make any progress. She will do and say anything to win this election, and that-- that --is why she should be last person on Earth to wield that kind of power.



"The next day I got a call from my buddy Elroy. He was trying to set up a night out, and even though I knew it was going to end up at the Ole Piper, I reluctantly agreed. I tried to tell him about my startling revelation from the day before, but that conversation headed nowhere fast. I should have known better and just saved my breath. I suppose I was hoping for a spontaneous evolution in the phone habits of the North American male. No dice. So with a few hours to go until the promise of tap beer and pizza toppings past their prime, I set out to commence a project I'd had on hold for a few weeks. Grabbing my keys and CD wallet, I hustled down the sidewalk to my car, unexpectedly eager for a trip to the hardware store."

[In real life, the Ole Piper has excellent pizza. Just so you know.]

Clock and chapel

The Campbell's Soup clock is hanging in my garage, and it gets creepier the longer I look at it. I never understood how those kids were supposed to make the soup more appealing. The numbers on the clock really are that messed up, I was actually quite accurate about drawing them.



It was a warm day and I found myself sans wife, so I took my sketchbook out for a jog. After being shut out of Glen Eyre (brusquely) I wandered over to Manitou Springs.


January 17 - 24, 2008

Some things I've learned about myself:

1. My eyebrows are not symmetrical.
2. Neither are my ears.
3. Neither are my nostrils.
4. Shading is best left on the sidelines.
5. Do it by 5 PM or it doesn't get done at all.
6. It's time to vary my expressions.


Nuclear Brain Tree

Pen, watercolor, and digital.

This is my first fully-vested attempt at illustration, based on a tree in Bear Creek Park.



Tuning up

I know I'm over four years late to this party, but "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place" by Explosions in the Sky is instantly one of my top ten albums ever. It's that good, that I can buy it yesterday and declare that today. It'll change your life, especially if you play it during any creative endeavor whatsoever. I cannot stress this enough.

Explosions in the Sky.

For those in my office, it's on my shared list. For the masses in the great unknown, you get their concert on All Songs Considered. Either way.

Now playing: Explosions In The Sky - First Breath After Coma


Morning sketches

5:17 am - Sasha wakes me up before my alarm.

6:00 am - Extra time for shower.

6:28 am - Easily scraped frost on the windshield this morning. Score.


"The thing about it was that everyone thought he would get better. They had him on so many pills that something had to happen. It seems the only thing medication was good for, in his case, was to keep him lingering around. His funeral was sad not because he died, but because he suffered. If you ask me, you can blame those pills as much as the disease.

"Anyway, it's not like Seymour and I were joined at the hip or anything. I only mention him because finding the key to controlling my emotions was kind of a red-letter day for me."



"Breathing in is the single greatest thing I know. It goes beyond the simple fact that my life would be impossible without it, inhaling is a friend, taken for granted thousands of times a day and yet always there to sustain you and refresh you whenever you stop to think about it. Exhaling is the very last thing you will ever do in this world. Breathing out is panic, breathing out is decay, BREATHING OUT IS DEATH.

"Last year, at my cousin Seymour's funeral, I opened my eyes to the truth about respiration. Whenever I was on the verge of breaking down, when I could feel the lump rising in my throat and the faintest of quivers in my lower lip, I simply breathed in. The effect was sudden and surprising, in that I found the strength to control my emotions without fail. Breathing in separated me, both emotionally and physically, from my cousin Seymour.

"By managing to do what he ultimately failed at, I kept myself from having to join him in the casket. I imagine that when you're dead you cry for everyone that you've left alive. A lot."



"faithful petition
by Nick Lee"

[Title suggested by random word generator.]

Here's the idea: I've reserved the remaining pages in my current Moleskine for self-portraits, and maybe some EDM sketches. I went out and bought this new one, and I'm going to write a book. I'll be drawing scenes, objects, and people from my life in the same way I have been, only now I'm going to write a fictional story around them. A graphic novel? Yeah, but more of an impromptu graphic novel, since I won't be writing the story until the drawing is in place. Some ground rules:

1. The text has to follow and be related to the imagery.
2. The story must not parallel the events of my life that made me draw the drawing.
3. The drawing subjects must not be selected based on where I want the story to go.

So there it is. Hopefully I can get this to run about 300 pages or so, but we'll see how it goes. Stay tuned!


January 9 - 16, 2008

Sixteen tries and still a lot of inconsistency. I'm hoping that eventually I'll look like me, but I'm not really counting on it. I'd have to have a constant method in order for that to happen, and I'm not a method person.


The King of Sasskatchewan.

Sometimes you just can't argue with appearances.


Go for it!

First known fan art of Paco Rockwell. If you're on Facebook, you can join the group "Paco Rockwell is Awesome!"

A quick note: I loved the Golden Globes news conference last night. It sets the template for all award show news conferences from now on. And apparently Hollywood businesses took a hit for not having the full-blown show, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. So let me get this straight. The celebrity industry takes a major financial loss and we don't have to sit through three hours of garbage? Bless you, writer's guild! A thousand times bless you!



Gotta draw somethin'.


Famous Dave's.

We stuffed our faces and then went home to watch Biggest Loser, Couples Edition. Ironic? Possibly. I like to call it a celebration of skinniness.


Wicked smaht.

Attention, shapeless interweblinknetcom ether: soon I will be much more intelligent and well-read. You are on warning. I have devised a plan, lovingly deemed "the literature ascendancy," which will conclude with me being able to beat large computers at chess, discuss world history with guys wearing bow ties, and baffle even the snootiest of parties with my rapier wit. The plan:

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
You gotta start somewhere. I'm already halfway through this one though, that's how fast I read. I know, right?

2. A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man & Dubliners by James Joyce
That's right, I put Joyce second of the five books. Steep learning curve? Not for someone who's out to adopt a phony British accent.

3. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Bring on the Russian lit. Ain't scaring me. If I was reading this on the bus, people would look at me and be all "Dang, don't mess with that cat. He'll pull some Jedi mind-trick ish on you."

4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Oh, you didn't know? Betta aks somebody. I ain't even playin'. People gonna be charging money to buy tickets to sit near me at the lunch table, I'll be puttin' out so much vibe. Propa.

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Gotta finish what you start. This is the cool down.

Hop on board if you can handle this flava.

January 1 - 8, 2008

At first I thought I'd just fill the spread, but now I think I'll keep this going all year long. Most of these were drawn first thing in the morning, which explains the shabbiness. Head shape, nose, and eyebrows seem to be the keys to getting it right. This seems as good a time as any to announce some other goals for 2008:

1. Climb Mt. Elbert, my first 14er
2. Go camping
3. Read War and Peace
4. Paint my house
5. Write a 60,000 word novella
6. Fill 4 Moleskines with drawings
7. See a Twins game


Sunday night church.

From the bulletin:

"Due to Super Bowl broadcasting regulations and restrictions regarding the size of screen on which the game can be shown, we cannot broadcast the football game on any of the large screens at WVC. So, for our fourth annual Pierced Super Bowl party, we will be meeting in small groups at various homes."

This is indicative of large problems with the NFL, Fox Sports, broadcasting regulations, copyright law, and my church. I toast the backlash against most of these entities.

Two slow.

This is a spread with two failed drawings, both aborted before their completion. The car in front because they changed out my tire too fast, and the rest because I didn't have much change for the meter, so I only managed 20 minutes.



sketch080104, originally uploaded by nick lee.

I'm not all that down with collage compositions. I'm running out of reasonable things to draw, however, so this will have to do.

Bic Z4 and Copy-Not correcting pencil on Moleskine.



I'm not big on these, but what the heck. I got nothing better to do for the next 20 minutes:

1. draw every day
2. read every day
3. explore Colorado much more
4. way less TV

These are tougher than they look, and I'm only on day three. Ugh.

EDM #150 - Draw a candle.

I got Marcia a new recipe book for Christmas, and I never knew how much she was looking to cram into it. Once this mess disappears, hopefully the cookbook cupboard follows suit.


Pigma Micron 05 and watercolor crayon on watercolor paper.


Bear Creek at sunset.

I'm really beginning to love my Moleskine, besides the fact that it makes me cooler. The paper takes pen a lot better than I imagined, and I'm pretty sure that my drawing has elevated since I got it for Christmas. Maybe it's something about knowing how much it cost that makes me want to put a little extra effort into the sketches themselves.

Also, I did a little New Year's bookmark cleaning. When I look at what drawing blogs are left on my list, I think maybe I'm getting too big a head about myself. Yes? (Look up those names and you'll see what I'm talking about.)

Shrine addition.

I work in a building with a lot of stereotypical Christians. They're more nuanced and genuine than society at large gives them credit for, but when it comes to visual tastes they're pretty much what you'd expect: crosses, doves, crown of thorns, etc. That's why I'm developing what I lovingly refer to as "the shrine." It's a collection of physical objects that carry a depiction of Jesus. So far it includes three candles (one of the Virgin Mary, which is cheating but still), one statuette, one magnetic figurine, and now this. It's a miniature nativity scene Christmas ornament. Press the button and it plays O Holy Night, which is an added multi sensory experience. A main point of the shrine is to determine who takes me seriously and who doesn't, and also if a particular person is an iconoclast. These are handy things to know around here.

This is the first use of my new Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons. Yellow and light brown mix well, orange and dark brown not so much.

Happy post 300 everybody!