Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Connective Morals

Pen & Ink Drawing By Dou
An age old dilemma,
choose one act, or another.

This is something we all are faced with everyday.
This is something that in time we learn defines who we are.

But is there a degree of control, or are we at the mercy of who we are.

What is it that makes us who we are?
What is it that guides our ability to decide one action from another.
What is it that influences our moral choices.

This is an age old dilemma,
to choose one act or another.

This is something we face everyday,
These ongoing actions do in time come to define us.

What if anything can we do about it though.

Lately I have been listening to a lot of books on brains, morals and character. There is a lot of interesting work going on in these areas as science begins to illuminate things that were once far out of our view. And in this particular epoch I think we all need to ask ourselves what it is that defines us morally. I don't necessarily mean the individual either. That seems to be compromising our compass a bit.

So this artwork is inspired by some of the learning I have been doing. It is the first in a series that has a few more ideas bouncing around in my grey matter.

I hope you like it. If you do feel free to grab a print download for yourself.

Thanks, Doug.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Difficulty Of Change And Acceptence

Doug Ashby Pen & Ink Drawing
What is the noblest of all human endeavors,
What in the end manifests our future,
What then is the outcome of our actions?

Should we be committed to a path no matter,
Should we swear allegiance at all cost to a higher purpose,
Should we accept ideas that challenge beliefs?

If we do then will our life have purpose,
If we do then will we find content and harmony,
If we do then will progress be a closed door.

For what if progress challenges our notions,
For what if our nature demands us to adapt,
For what if a purpose is really an adaptation?

What then is the noblest of all human endeavors,
What then becomes of manifestation,
What actions then challenge us to rethink our outcomes.

There is great difficulty in change, and it can be incredibly hard to accept challenges to our dogma. 

However they are inevitable. 

Perhaps acceptance of change then is the noblest endeavor.

If you like the art you see here then please feel free to download your own print copy. Simply follow the link provided.

Hope you enjoy the thoughts and art,



Saturday, May 16, 2015

Personal Moral Choice Or Survival

Pen & Ink Drawing By Doug Ashby
Ray Kurzweilis an interesting guy. I have listened to a few of his books and for the life of me I can not decide if I like his ideas, or agree with them. Some of them are pretty out their. His book, "The Singularity Is Near", was exceptional difficult to get through. The ideas were, in my humble opinion, a little to far fetched. I wonder if other listeners and readers felt as I do. I was almost ready to give up on him as an author, which is hard as he basically pioneered so much that is so useful and important. However I didn't and I tried his latest book. "How To Create A Mind."

This book was along a similar path as the previous one mentioned, except it was a little more boiled down and not as grand in vision, as well as grandstanding. The basic premise is that we are near to having the technology to not only completely understand the workings of our minds, but to also enhance, artificially, their capabilities. Basically making us cyborgs. It also addresses the real possibility that in the near future we are likely to create a true A.I. and what that will mean to all of us, socially and morally. This artwork here deals with the enhancement aspect of our own brains.

Sci-fi has for many years envisioned the possibility of human technological enhancement. Many believe that sci-fi not only exists as an accurate predictor of our future but also exists to help us prepare for the many challenges our advances in science will bring, both morally and socially. I tend to fall into the camp that sees it that way. In Kurzweil's "How To Create A Mind" he discusses the possibility that through computer integrated technology we will be able to enhance our own intelligence both by adding memory, connecting to the internet and allowing us to think faster, as computers now compute faster then we think. I find this to be interesting and the possibility raises many questions.

Who will first have access to this technology when it arises. As with all technologies it often first goes to those who can afford it. In many ways to those who will not benefit most from it. The uber wealthy in many ways will just use this as a way to further keep their grip on the world. What also are the implications as the tech becomes more widespread? Will there will be those that find this alteration to be abhorrent and against human nature. Will we then see a "Gattaca" like effect where those who choose not to utilize such technology will e left behind? Will a new sub class emerge as in "Gattaca."

I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the matter and to get a discussion going. If Kurzweil is right on this one, and he has been right many times, perhaps now is the time to start thinking about it. At this moment I do not know what I would would choose for myself if I had a chance to do such a thing. Would my concern for my children's future be different then mine? I just don't know right now.

So lets chat. Get in touch at dashbyart@gmail.com. If you would like to download a print of the artwork to do yourself then simply visit my downloads page.

Thanks and I hope you like the art.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Whole Life Force

Pen & Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
In my many years of cooking I have become a big fan of purchasing a whole chicken as opposed to it's cut up individual pieces. It is safe to say that it is more economical as the processing adds to the cost. However it may not seem that way to you at the time of purchase due to spending a larger amount in one shot, but when you achieve three meals out of that one chicken, well that adds up.

My preferred way to utilize the chicken is to simply cut it in half, removing the backbone and boiling for stock. Make sure you use a sturdy and sharp knife for this as it makes the work easier. Then I typically roast one half that night and brine the other half for two days before cooking. The last time I did this I smoked the second half, took the meat off the bone and made chicken salad with it. That made a delicious dinner and lunch the next day. Oh and the leftover smoky skin and bones makes an impressive smoky stock.

The drawing here is my homage to the whole chicken. It is drawn cut up into it's constituent pieces, which I sometimes do. And those breasts are further cut in half cause they are big. A while back I started purchasing all my meat from a few local farms that raise them. Personally I think they taste better, as they are raised better, and taste tends to drive my choices. The electron in the drawing is there to symbolize the life force behind the chicken. Sorry if that bothers you but one must consume life to live. Another reason I prefer local chickens, they tend to be closer to their nutritious life force. That's probably what makes them taste better.

I do hope you like my drawing. If you wish to download a PDF print file for your own use please do so by visiting my downloads page.



Friday, April 3, 2015

To Toil And To Till

Pen & Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
To toil and till once was all.
To toil and till once was considered undignified.
How was it possible that we were so wrong.

Impressed with our perceived dominion we set about to save.
And save we did but at great loss.

Now some are beginning realize that to toil and till is worth our deference.

Now some are beginning to understand that we wish to not be adrift when it comes to toil and tillage, and we understand that what once was all needs to be acknowledged.

And celebrated.

For to toil and to till is worth the energy and redress of all.

A stippled pen and ink drawing of an eggplant. I know it might not look exactly like that, but that was the inspiration. I will always return to food as subject as it is an important source of creativity for me, as well as nourishment.

If you are interested in purchasing this original drawing please visit my store page. If you are interested in downloading a free print your own copy then please visit my downloads page.

Thanks and I hope you like the artwork,


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Night Queen

Pen & Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
The darkness of the evening was encompassing.
Almost nothing, not even the night queen could penetrate.
The darkness is now our ally.

For in the darkness we come alive.
Finding our voice.
Finding our solace.
Finding our freedom.

We created this world to suit us.
We created this world to the best of our ability.
We didn't create this world to transform.
We didn't create this night to hide.
This darkness is not why we choose.

For darkness has become a welcome respite.
For darkness is now our friend.

Please visit my Downloads page to print your own artwork.

As always, I hope you like the work,

Thanks, Doug.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Edge Of Tomorrow

Pen & Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
As we watched this new world from a distance,
this world that we shaped through our collective ego's,
we each wondered in turn what lie ahead.

Was it our impetuous that brought us to this point?
Was it our over confidence in a power?
A power that turned out to be short sighted?
Or was it a destiny that has yet to reveal it's true nature?

Some believe we have learned a little,
and that is the reason we watch,
watch from afar, from the edge of tomorrow.

However I believe differently.
I believe this day has come to deliver us to unfamiliar space.
To territory designed to humble, designed to educate.
Designed to reduce us once again to the true nature of what and who we are.

For looking back from the edge is our only hope.

I truly hope you like the artwork and the accompanying words. If you are interested in downloading and printing a copy for your self please visit my Downloads page.



Friday, February 27, 2015

A Manifest Of Toil

Pen & Ink Drawing By Doug Ashby
The chosen path was not one of ease.
I did not tread lightly in decision,
and many a moon was spent indecisive.

But how could I not fulfill a dream that without me might be lost.

How could I not respond to all that had come before me, and perhaps in the process elevate what once was, and forgotten, to a new ideal.

To a new reality.
To a new station.

For my destiny is to toil and manifest anew.

For me this might be one of my favorite artworks I have ever done. In fact I think I will have to create a stipple version of it, despite having believed I was done with that process. A notion I always seem to be fooling myself on.

The work is not necessarily new for me, on a conceptual level. I have done many food artworks in the past, and many more that have abstract, almost surreal landscapes. In a previous work I married those ideas and did a piece that I thought was fresh and unique. This second one just took that to a new level. At least in my eyes. Truthfully I can not say for sure what it is I love about this drawing. Is it the composition, the value and contrast, the hatching. Probably a combination of all.

I sincerely hope you like it as much as I do and that you download yourself one and print it out. I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave some feedback.

Thanks, Doug.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

One Is The Lonliest.....

Pen & Ink Drawing By Doug Ashby
Some people might say that when it comes to food I can be a bit obsessive. They would more then likely be right. For the greater part of my life, and certainly all of my adult life, I have had a need to cook. Truly I think it springs from the same part of me that needs to draw, and create music. It is simply another extension of my brainy hands.

In the past few years I have also, like so many people these days, become a little concerned about where my food is coming from, and how it was produced. There are of course the various media outlets and journalists giving credence to this. Most notably, Michael Pollan, who's various books on the subject I have read, and whole cable channels devoted to cooking and sourcing the best food you can. Basicaslly it all came together for me and I have been doing my best to be more conciseness about what I put into my, and my families mouth.

This is definitely not as easy as you would think and there have been many moments where I felt like the whole thing was a big waste of time. However there are a few core things I believe I will always strive for with my food choices.

First and foremost I try and choose organic as much as possible and I want my meat to not have been raised with hormones and antibiotics. This is not an easy thing. While I am not a slave to the organic produce I tend to be with the antibiotics. Hopefully the government will soon ban the use. They have already taken a step in that direction with recommended guidelines. I do try and shop local when I can and I am lucky enough to have an excellent local farm that produces some of the best produce I have ever had. However they are not totally organic. But they are a family farm and they want their land to be useful for their children so their stewardship is a concern, and they are evoloving.

This is the crux of what I have drawn about here. The farm. I don't believe a farmer has to be totally organic to be a good steward of their land. The real key is to be a poly-culture. The real enemy in farming and food production is mono-culture. Fortunately this seems to be the lesson we learned form the so called green revolution of the post World War 2 era. Along with liberal use of chemical fertilizer mono culture farms are doing a job on our most precious resource. The soil.

As a teacher I encourage my really smart kids to consider a career in farming. Certainly the customers for better food will be there and certainly we as a society are heading towards a more local, and sustainable approach. I don't think that everyone needs to go back to farming like we all once lived, but doing what you can, like buying local and organic when possible helps. Truthfully I believe in the near future that will be almost half of what we find in our grocery stores. Then it all becomes real easy and widely available. More local farms will equal more ease for the consumer to acquire the goods at, yes, even a price chopper.

I could go on and on. But I wont. I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment, or email me. Also if you like the art don't forget to visit my download page and print one for yourself.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Intent And Fragility

Pen & Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
The fragility was not expected,
and never the intent.

We only wanted to do the right thing, to be responsible, and our awesome power was sure to lead us where we needed to go.

However the hubris, as always gets in the way,
and now we need to use our other greatest asset.

Our ability to adapt.

For surely if we don't dire consequences await us, and much will be lost, possibly forever.

I will not fault ourselves though, for we were just trying to do the right, and noble thing.

Will we ever learn?

When I first started drawing these images I was not really sure what their intent was. Now I think I understand. The broken, floating, earth at first was a fancy of my sci-fi loving brain. I wanted to believe that these landscapes were strange extra terrestrial worlds. I didn't quite realize that the imagery was being influenced by work I had done many years earlier as well as from some audio books I had been listening to.

Strange how that works sometimes. How unconsciously things can find a way into your work and in the moment you just don't realize it. I guess that is a sign that I am allowing myself to be open to new ideas and new trends in my thinking and art. Lucky for me the blog outlet finally connected the dots.

Sorry for being so cryptic. As always I would love to hear your thoughts.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

For The Love Of It

Pen & Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
If you have been following me at all then you know in addition to drawing I absolutely love to cook. In fact not that long ago I came very close to abandoning my teaching career and buying the bakery I worked in before teaching. I had such plans for the place and the direction I would have taken it. However, it simply was not the time for me to make such a move in my life, and well when all was said and done I know I made the right decision for me and my family. Still, I love to cook.

A while back I thought I would combine my two great passions a little more thoroughly. So I began to draw some of the foods I like to cook with. Oh and there will be a lot more of these to come as I really do not have a narrow palette. Basically if it is real food I use it.

Here we have garlic. One of the basic ingredients that makes into mostly everything I create. The local farm grows their very own and I have to say that is the best stuff when it is fresh out of the earth. So pungent and biting when smashed and chopped and so aromatic when slowly cooked with onions and basically whatever else you cook with it. I simply do not feel I can cook without it.

The artwork you see here is a scan of an original stippled, ACEO. If you are not familiar with ACEO's it is an acronym for "Art Card Edition or Original." The size of an ACEO is always the same, a tiny 2.5" x 3.5". They not only make the perfect artwork for that small space in your home, they also are a very affordable way to get your hands on some original artwork. This ACEO you see here is a mere $40.00, with $1.50 shipping and handling if mailed in the US. If you are interested either email me at dashbyart@gmail.com, or click the buy now button below.

I also would love to hear your thoughts on the art, so do not hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks, Doug.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Edge Of Where

Pen& Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
The image of the edge.....the edge of what though, was creeping into her dreams much more often. Maybe it was the monotony of the journey. Perhaps it was that she was missing all that she has left behind. More then likely it was a little bit of both.

She couldn't help but feel though that this recurring image in her dream meant something. It didn't feel ominous in anyway, just the opposite really. Still she couldn't quite put her finger on what she was supposed to glean from it.

The journey forward still had considerable time left before their arrival. Maybe she will discover more about what this dream is revealing, if anything at all.

As in the past, if you have read my blog before, you know I like to put a little bit of creative verse writing in to go a long with the artwork. It's funny just last night on facebook my college professor asked if I ever did this. That made me feel good as I still look up to her for guidance on what to do artistically from time to time. It was a nice feeling to know I was doing something she would have suggested to me.

This artwork is a bit of a departure for me as I do not do people often. I feel it is something I need to do more of so that I can build some strength in that area. I believe it adds a more distinct idea as to what I am trying to communicate. Maybe.

As always this artwork is for sale. It is drawn with Micron Sakuru archival ink pens on heavy weight, acid free, Canson Cream Fine Art Paper. This combination is guaranteed fade resistant for 200 years, in case you want to hand it down. The cost is $150.00, of which half will be donated to Project Bread. Check out my shop page for more info. If you are interested please email me directly at dashbyart@gmail.com.

As always I welcome any and all thoughts on the art so do not hesitate to get in touch.