I have been a bit crabbier than normal this week. No real reason, particularly as the weather has been lovely and springular. My treatment for boredom and curmudgeonliness: spend time with people and make stuff. I had three separate dinner dates with friends and the téte a tétes helped a lot. I also filled a number of pages in my journal and, though the paintings reflected my mood, they helped to lift it too.

Focussing on details helps to overload my head and force my Critic into a back corner where his voice is muffled. Here’s what I have been looking at.

Dip pens, pencils, and watercolor detritus on my desk. I am mixing dozens of new shades of pink.I am mixing dozens of new shades of pink.
I am mixing dozens of new shades of pink.
Good news arrived in the mail today. Jack's summer plans are set.
The illusion of organization. Well, that's a little unfair. I do have a pretty sweet setup in my studio though I have to remind myself to use all these supplies before they dry out.
I have a few shelves of filled-up sketchbooks. They are my favorite possessions.
This is my Patti shrine. It's in my studio and I confer with it when I need help. She always has good advice.
A detail from my new book. Dip pen, sum-i ink and the vaguest hint of watercolor.
I think this flower painting is a bust. It started out trying to be super delicate, then I got frustrated and piled on too much color.
A detail from another frustrated page. Eventually I figured out how not to hate it.
Another version of the previous painting. I am starting to be okay with this one.
A detail of a Patti portrait from the book.
Patti as a pup. I find it hard to believe I painted this.
This is my favorite P portrait so far. It feels like her.
My old hound, Francis Albert Gregory.
I like this kind of a lot.
This is cartoony but it feels like her. She had a longer neck than she would acknowledge.
Pregnant Patti portrait.
I like the way Joe looks here, nice and sausage-y.
This is another painiting that seems to have been guided from outside me. I really like it but am not sure how I made it.
Crap in my studio. I like the colors.
A tiny detail of a big page. I made this lady I was working with far prettier than she really is. Now I remember her as the painting, not as she actually looks.
I drew this bottle and glass from memory even though the real things were sitting right on front of me. Not a good habit.
This is what it's like to hold my tiny hound, Tim.
Pink Patti, the taxidermied squirrel.
Doodly drawings of dead people.
More self-deprecation, The Critic escapes from his cell.
I like this dude's 'tude.
More dead men not walking,
Me feeling crabby and old.
I like this gloominess. It's a tiny detail of a reflection of me in the background of a big crowded drawing,
My home. Calligraphy done in thick gloppy white ink with a clogged pen.
Peewee and some art inspiration.
More shelves in my biblioteque.
The top of Patti's desk including Pink Patti, the taxidermied squirrel.
Some really ancient journals from my extensive collection of crap.

20 thoughts on “Details”

  1. Oh- what a treat! To follow your work- your fun insights- your great love for your wife Patty and your sons education and development. And the moments on your shelves…

    Sitting here in Stockholm on a rainy Sunday afternoon, sipping a cop of tea and having some of my Moleskines, colors and pens in front of me- I just opened my Mac for some inspiration. And you sure deliver. Love the aquarelles you´ve made of you and Patty, and the dog- and it´s a treat to read your “diary” here!!

    So glad I get to see the world through your eyes and I´m glad you feel better and that you have your P-shelf to consult with when you need to.

    Can´t imagine that your son can have anything but a great life with a father as loving as you.

    And I´ll be looking out for your next blog. It inspires me to take my Moleskine with me to my old dad this week- and just sit with him and draw his portrait the way you´ve tought me in one of your fine books- the way he looks.

    So grateful for all of your input. Hoping you´ll have a great Sunday afternoon in New York. Heard there´s a stationary exhibition there this weekend. If only more people discovered how great stationary they can make if they only draw some lines themselves… Like you do.

    Grateful Greetings,



  2. Hi Danny:

    Thanks for sharing all of this with us. There are some really amazing pieces. A few of my favorites:

    “My feeling crabby and old”
    “A tiny detail of a big page”
    “This is another painiting that seems to have been guided from outside me.”
    “I like this kind of a lot.”
    “A detail from another frustrated page.”

    I started journaling after watching a video you made of yourself sketching from an LA hotel balcony. I’ve since read your books and followed you online. I want you to know that you’ve made a difference in my life.

    Going through grief is such an individual experience, yet there are common threads we all share. I have no pearls of wisdom to share other than to let you know I think of you and Jack often and wish you well.



  3. I love your blog entry today, lots of wonderful photos. This reminds me this is something I should do more of, I have a decent camera and should use it more often.

    Beverley, UK


  4. Great work Danny, even if you are feeling a little under the weather. There are some real gems here like “Pregnant Patti” “This is my favorite P portrait so far” and “Me feeling crabby and old.” Great stuff!


  5. Hi Danny… Thanks for sharing this post.. They are a beautiful collection of lovely treasures.. And anytime I visit your pages, I am inspired more..And then, when I look around, I feel like ‘who am I to judge whether a subject is worth drawing..?’


  6. It’s so good to be seeing more of your work again! I love the paintings of Patti…along with the others as well of course. Wonderfully intense self portrait, too….wow.
    If you are like many of us, perhaps this unusually unpredictable spring is partly responsible for your glooms. Hope you’ll have more sunshine in your life soon.


  7. Great stuff and you are an inspiration to quit procrastinating. I love your blog. Thanks for your help.


  8. Danny, I’ve been following you around for a number of years. I don’t know where I first came across you, but I think I was one of the “charter members” of the EDM group at Yahoo.

    Due to your influence my entire specter of art moved away from trying to be a “fine artist,” to being simply a sketcher of everything.

    After you, I found Gabi Campanario (Urban Sketchers), and Enrico Casarosa (Sketchcrawl). The three of you have led to me working to bring artists in my area closer together for simply sketching. We have two blogs and accompanying facebook pages now and are moving forward to bring in more like-minded folks.

    Thank you for the inspiration, the guidance, and the “OK” to expand, experiment, and not feel like it’s all crap.

    You can find us here:


  9. Wow, such creative catharsis – the beauty of it all, every line, every blotch of WC, every word. Life is beautiful, even the pain and the crap. Thank you for sharing and inspiring, again.


  10. I love this post. The colours are so beautiful, the images, too. Also am inspired by all of those journals on your shelves. Thank you, so much, for sharing all of this.


  11. Thank you for sharing this post with all the lovely details from your work and a peek into your home.I so enjoy yur books and your blog.


  12. […] § May 17th, 2011 § Filed under Art in the world, fellow bloggers, From the Quote Box, the creative process § No Comments Focussing on details helps to overload my head and force my Critic into a back corner where his voice is muffled. — Danny Gregory […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.