Archive for the ‘Slipped Gears by Jamie Green’ Category

A sky that is hard to describe (from Andrew’s Bald in the Smoky Mountains)

My favorite kind of sky is the kind which, if I were to paint it on canvas, people would remark that it was just too colorful to be realistic.

I follow my Adventure Foot out the door for lots of reasons, some of which are easy to put in to words.  I like to get healthy, make friends, stay busy, visit new places, and be part of an active community.  Other reasons I follow my Adventure Foot are harder to describe.

After being caught in a storm, which is hard to describe. (Near Hull, IL)

There’s something hard to describe about kayaking quietly enough in the backwaters of the Mississippi River to get up close to a Great Blue Heron.

There’s something hard to describe about putting your head down and running through sleet when most people skipped the run and are warm and dry in their houses.

There’s something hard to describe about viewing the stars hung in a clear sky on a crisp night while standing on the flanks of a far flung mountain.

A day on the Mississippi, which is hard to describe.

There’s something hard to describe about the ornery way a friend smiles when he deliberately paddles a canoe the opposite way in which you’re paddling the same canoe!

There’s something hard to describe about cruising my bicycle down a hill where the golden evening sun has lit the tall corn through the summertime haze.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re a follower of my blog, you’ve read about a lot of the things I’ve done in the last year or two, and I’m frequently asked why I am so busy all the time and why I feel the need to write about it.  All of those easy to describe reasons are true- health, friends, community- and they’re all great benefits of a life of activity.  The better reasons though, are all of these millions of tiny moments where the everyday turns spectacular and that the only way to describe them is, “I guess you had to be there.”

My husband and I on a hike in the mountains… which is hard to describe.

I write about these places because I feel like it’s really important to help other people find their own moments that are hard to describe.  It doesn’t have to be some huge expedition- it can be (and often is) just a regular day.  If you’re out exploring the world, you’re sure to see an amazing sunrise or two, to spot a bear or a beautiful bird, to share a laugh on a lake or make a story about being lost in the woods or caught in a storm.  Adventure Foot is about inspiration to find inspiration.  Ironically, it’s about giving you ideas about how to get away from your computer and explore the Midwest and beyond.

Do you spend a lot of time daydreaming about going on a vacation and seeing the sunset over the ocean?  I’d put it to you that a sunset over a Mississippi levee is no less awe-inspiring.  Get out and explore the Midwest.  It’s great… though it can be hard to describe.

PS- Have you had an adventure trying something you learned about on Adventure Foot?  I’d really, really like to hear about it!  There’s this wonderful “Comments” section below… I’m just sayin.

PSS-  Enjoy this great cartoon by Adventure Foot contributor Jamie Green!

Cartoon by Jamie Green for Adventure Foot!

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Adventure Foot is pleased to welcome Jamie Green as a guest blogger!  Jamie is a member of the Quincy Bicycle Club and founding member of Quincy Sketch Group, and he draws a funny comic strip called “Slipped Gears.”   I’ll have his bio up on the Guest Blogger page soon, but if you want to read more about Jamie, please check out this link!  This comic is inspired by a real-life dog on a route that’s regularly ridden by the Quincy Bicycle Club.  Eddy has always loved chasing the cyclists- but as you can see- he’s a little slower as he’s gotten long in the tooth 🙂

And if you are both an Adventure Foot reader and an early bird, I’ve got big news:  I’m going to be on KHQA TV’s Morning Show tomorrow morning- Wednesday, April 4th- at 6:45 AM to talk about my blog, activities that people can get involved in in the Tri-State Area, and what all this Adventure Foot business means to me. Please tune in… or DVR it and watch it later.  Thanks!

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Comic by Jamie Green. (Do not reproduce without permission)

Every so often, even the most adventurous foot needs a break, so yesterday, I let my Foot have the day off and I took my Adventure to a meeting of the Quincy Sketch Group.   Quincy Sketch Group is a loose organization of artists who meet at a local restaurant once a week to sketch scenes from life.  There are no membership fees and no pressure; you simply bring your sketch book, a pencil and your imagination and come to draw with the other artists there.

Drawings by Jamie Green. (Do not reproduce without permission)

Quincy Sketch Group is the brainchild of Cartoonist and Caricature Artist Jamie Green.  In order to hone his craft, Jamie frequently sketches people just doing what they do. Jamie would be the first to tell you that his drawing talent doesn’t come easy- it’s a matter of practice, practice, practice! And practice is why he started the Quincy Sketch Group in the first place…

I first saw Jamie get his sketch book out 20 miles in to a 35 mile bike ride to Siloam Springs State Park.  We’d stopped at some picnic tables in Liberty to fill our water bottles and grab a quick snack before heading on to the park, and Jamie reached in the pouch of his recumbent bike, pulled out a sketchbook and small set of pens, and set about furiously putting a picture on the paper.  When asked about it, Jamie simply replied that a barn he’d seen on the ride had struck him and he wanted to draw it.   I didn’t remember any particularly interesting barns, but as he put details on the drawing, the picture began to look familiar and suddenly realized that I knew exactly where he’d seen it.  Let me tell you folks, that’s talent.  It’s one thing to sit down and draw from a photo (which is generally how I draw), but it’s a whole other to have a quick impression of a person or a place and be able to translate it recognizably onto a page later.

Drawing and "Draw-ee" By Charlie Martin (Do not reproduce without permission)

Another extremely talented artist at Sketch Group last night was Charlie Martin.  Charlie is also an artist for a living- he designs monuments for Harrison Monuments.   Though I can’t say I had given it much thought before, there’s something extremely fascinating about the design of headstones.  A headstone is something so personal- a family’s lasting impression of the dearly departed- and to be the artist charged with bringing these memories to life seems like a lot of responsibility.   Besides, when I make a mistake at work, I just print another copy of what I’m working on.  If Charlie makes a mistake, it is quite literally written in stone!

By Charlie Martin. (Do not reproduce without permission)

Charlie’s art ranges from the whimsical to the macabre, and sometimes he weaves elements of both together.  I particularly liked one from his portfolio that featured a rather demented Raggedy Ann and Andy style dolls playing Jack and Jill fetching a pail of … something… out of a well.  The elements of surprise in Charlie’s work are really what make it stand out in my mind.

Drawing by Laura Sievert

As for me, I’m relatively new to cartooning or drawing from life.  I’ve been known to grab a set of charcoals and spend hours drawing a red-tailed hawk or a grizzly bear from time to time, but I haven’t given much thought to just drawing what I see right now.  I had a great time learning from the guys last night and trying this new approach to art.  It was interesting to see which features on a person stood out most to Jamie or Charlie and which stood out most to me.  For example, Jamie and I each drew a cartoon of the same waitress.  While his drawing highlighted her big smile, I focused on her rather adorable cheeks and bright eyes.  We both ended up with neat but very different cartoons, and the waitress seemed flattered by the attention.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, whether I’m out exploring or sitting in a restaurant sketching cartoons, it’s always educational and fun to share the experience with other enthusiasts.  There’s always something we can learn from each other, and just having a reason to practice regularly helps us each enjoy our hobbies more.

I’d encourage anyone with interest in any type of drawing or art to come sometime and sit down with the Quincy Sketch Group.  You’ll have fun, you’ll learn something- you’ll have an adventure. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, April 4th at 7 pm at Krieger’s in the Quincy Mall.  Find out more on the group’s facebook page.

Shining a light on ways to try something new and explore the world is what the Adventure Foot blog is all about.   If you’ve read this blog because you’re a friend of mine, or if you’ve stumbled upon it from a random Google search or Facebook link, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and I hope your feet are finding inspiration for adventure.  As always, I’d love to hear from you! Leave comments! Post ideas! Write a guest blog or draw a guest cartoon!  For goodness sakes, please share articles with friends who might be interested (there are convenient “share” buttons below every article) and, as always, please follow your feet to adventure.

Thanks for reading!

Views of this blog, in order of total visitors, in the past 2 months!

PS- According to my site stats, I’ve been getting blog hits from 22 different countries including Poland, Slovenia, Germany, Chile and Japan!  If you’re a foreign visitor, please leave a comment. I’m very interested in what brought you to my lil’ blog and what your adventure feet are doing!

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