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, 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.