Working with feedback

If you feel resistance before you begin, it’s usually procrastination and you need to get started.

If you feel resistance after you begin, it’s usually feedback and you need to make adjustments.

~ James Clear

I recently read an article about why scientists still use chalk on blackboards. I love that it talks about the interplay between the ideas and the medium – that ideas develop between writing in the notebook and then transferring up to the chalkboard. As a bonus, with the idea up on the chalkboard others have the chance to collaborate on them.

I feel this way about my writing. There are times when I’ll jot down an idea on a scrap of paper, rewrite them in a notebook at least once, and finally type them up. On the one hand, it feels tedious and almost wasteful. On the other – without that writing and rewriting the ideas would disappear or not become fully formed.

  • This week’s artist is – Tracy L Teeter – whose work a friend shared with me. For even more, check out her website!
  • Kenneth Noland would have been 100 today!
  • 9 realistic drawings for inspiration.
  • Get fluent in the language of color.
  • Here’s a short video about color matching.
  • And a longer video of a color mixing challenge.
  • I like the idea of a quest to be creature of the 20th century (or any other time-frame that calls you). My favorite part of the linked article: “I was born in another century and I’ve been leaning into it lately: Writing in my paper notebook with a fountain pen, sending letters, making stamps, watching birds, riding bicycles, and now, making actual cassette mixtapes.”
  • After all, as McLuhan said: We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.
  • Here’s a library of short stories.
  • Answers to random musings – how to rhyme in sign language.
  • Crows are on the short list of animals that have domesticated humans.
  • Wheeeeeeeee! I think that’s basically flying.
  • 😎 Fun Fact: In 2011 at the Ostwall Museum in Germany, a cleaner scrubbed the apparently dirty interior surface of a trough that was part of “When It Starts Dripping from the Ceiling”, a sculpture by Martin Kippenberger. The patina was, in fact, a layer of paint applied by the artist to look like dried rainwater.
  • Why did the textile artist become a stand-up comedian? Because they knew how to weave a god yarn and had people dyeing with laughter!
  • Writers & Scribblers is a group for writers of all kinds to learn, practice, and share the art and craft of writing. If that’s you, head to the Durango Public Library this evening from 6-8.
  • As a reminder – Durango Figure Drawing is also this evening from 6-8 at Seed Studio in the Smiley Building. They meet every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. This figure drawing session is a chance to practice and refine your artistic skills with a group of like minded friends. Bring your preferred artistic medium. A nude model will complete a series of poses of varying lengths using a professional lighting setup. There is a $20 artist’s fee ($15 for students). No experience needed! No need to RSVP!
  • Head to the Durango Public Library tomorrow (Thurs) from 4-5 for Crafternoons (for Adults!) Crafting isn’t just for kids! Crafting isn’t just fun, it’s fundamental for mental health, relaxation, and happiness! Come and explore their awesome craft supplies each month. Follow a suggested project or free play and create your own masterpiece! This space is reserved for adults (17+) April: Upcycled book wreaths!
  • Head to Marias Bookshop Sunday at 4 for the 2nd annual poetry fest. April is National Poetry Month and to celebrate they’re welcoming 8 local poets to share their words. They’re honored to have Durango’s first Poets Laureate, two of their booksellers, and students from Fort Lewis among those presenting their work.
  • Also Sunday, from 8:30-10:30, is Salsa Night at Roxy’s.Come through for the hottest salsa tracks by DJ Ravenous this Sunday. Drink specials and full menu will be available for this event. No cover, no charges, all ages welcome.
  • If you need to get out of the studio for some fresh air – then registration is open for Parks & Recreation Adult Softball League. Start rounding up your softball equipment, gather up your teams and dust off the winter blues. The first pitch will be thrown, and bats will be swinging by mid-May at Durango Softball Complex at Fort Lewis College. The round-robin league will be followed by an elimination tournament. Season runs 5/14 through 8/8. Early Bird Discount ends 4/24. Registration Deadline is 5/1.
  • In case you haven’t been to the library enough – head back on Monday from 5:30-7 for a deep dive into a discussion about Purging Plastics – with progress, not perfection. It will be a discussion on plastic reduction and alternatives to single-use plastics with Crit Salaz, team captain of WeFill, your local solution to single-use pollution. “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly, we need billions doing it imperfectly.” Every action you take makes a difference, so let’s learn from each other! Spanish language interpretation is available!
  • It’s the time of year when there are lots of live music events, open mics, live jam sessions, etc, scattered about the area throughout the week. There are too many to list here, so if you’re looking for such things, head over to
  • There are classes/workshops/projects available at the 4 Corners Gem and Mineral Club, the Bayfield Library, Create Art and Tea, the Dancing Spirit Center for the ArtsDurango Sustainable GoodsLet’s Letter Together, the MakerLab, the Scrapbook NookSeed Studio, and the Durango Arts Center. There are a lot more things happening that I don’t include – so if you’re ever looking for something to do, start at
  • There’s a variety of new goodies in the kids section. Whether you know a kid, are a kid at heart, or are simply still growing up in a particular medium, there’s something available for you. Swing by and see what catches your eye!

The writing and rewriting process isn’t just for written projects, I believe it applies to other visual pursuits as well. Quickly capturing an idea in a sketchbook is very similar. Jot down an image, shape, line, or color. Then play with it on another page or in a different medium. Transfer it back and forth, or at least build on it over time. Eventually, perhaps, it becomes a fully-formed concept that is created in a larger, more permanent form.

I have an idea for a sketchbook class – sharing about the value of sketchbooks – about how they’re an extension of our minds. What a notebook is for words, the blackboard is for equations, the sketchbook is for creativity. Sketchbooks can be living things – enough so that when we work in them, we are actually going through a collaborative process. Ultimately, we can create something greater working with them than we would alone.

Whether you plan ahead, plan behind, or plan in some other way… the world needs your art!

Matthew & the Art Supply House crew

P.S. – Our Spring Clean Art Supply Drive is this month. So if you have any supplies that you won’t use, bring them to the store this month and we’ll pass them on to a nonprofit that will put them to good use, changing people’s lives.