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Archive for January, 2015

Photo: Bird and sky via #instagram

January 29th, 2015 Comments off
Categories: Nature/Outdoors, Photos-Photography Tags:

Book Giveway: Sketch!: The Non-Artist’s Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life by France Belleville-Van Stone

January 19th, 2015 1 comment

Update: February 2, 2015: Linda BW is the winner of this book giveaway and I will be mailing it out as soon as possible. Watch the blogs in the coming weeks for more book (and other) giveaways! — Douglas

Now that I have finished reading and reviewing Sketch!: The Non-Artist’s Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life by France Belleville-Van Stone I want to share it with one of you. I hope to be giving away more books in the near future as I work my way though a backlog and receive even more review copies from various source.

Sketch cover

Read my review of Sketch!: The Non-Artist’s Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life

There are a couple of ways to enter this giveaway —

  • Comment on this blog post, using a valid email, so I can contact the winner
  • Tweet Me at @douglaswelch
  • Post a Comment on the Facebook Post
More information:
  • Giveaway Ends January 31, 2015
  • US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only
  • One Entry Per Household, Please, using one of the methods above
  • Recipient will be randomly chosen from all entries

Didn’t Win? Get your own copy of Sketch! via

Categories: Art-Architecture, Books Tags:

2015 – A Year of Teaching with Douglas E. Welch

January 19th, 2015 Comments off

Douglas E. Welch

As we start 2015, I have selected a theme for the year. Over the past several years themes have included: Year of Visibility, Year of Leadership, and Year of Opportunity. This year I have decided to focus on something truly dear to my life and career — Year of Teaching.

A Year (and more) of Teaching

Education — in all forms — has always been a part of everything I do. Whether working in IT, consulting, writing. speaking or coaching, it all comes down to learning and education. Education was always been there whether I was speaking about careers, technology, new media, gardening or any of my other many and varied interests. I’ve always been passionate about sharing my experience with those around me to help them build the career (and life) they deserve.

As part of this Year of Teaching I want to focus on several areas where I think I can have the most impact. Perhaps you can help me in the coming year. I would greatly appreciate your advice, opportunities and your connections to others who might be able to use my skills.

I am looking to formalize my teaching in a number of ways. I am interested in connecting with organizations and students, of all types that could benefit from my experience, skills and, above all, my teaching abilities. Here are a few of the possibilities I foresee:

  • Classroom teaching using existing curriculum or creating curriculum designed specifically for your students
  • Seminar and Guest Speaking – both on-site and remotely
  • Webinars/Online Courses
  • Instructor positions at organizations, colleges and vocational schools

Over the years I have applied my teaching skills to Career Development, Gardening, Technology, New Media and more. You can find many examples of my writing, and both audio and video presentations on my web site at I believe that each of these interests plays off the other and expands my ability to reach a diverse audience of students.

CareerCamp International

CareerCamp International will also continue to be an on-going part of my teaching efforts this year. I’ll be working to spread the word about CareerCamp and help develop as many additional CareerCamps as possible. I believe that CareerCamp provides a great opportunity for people to share their knowledge and experience — teaching important concepts and lessons to those around them. I’d love to bring CareerCamp to your college, school, business or organization. You only need to ask.

A Year of Teaching Begins

2015 is providing a good start for this Year of Teaching. I currently have 4 speaking/teaching engagements scheduled and I am in discussion for several more:

  • New Media and a Career in Voiceover – Pursuing a Career in Voice Overs (Online) course at UCLA Extension Class – January 2015
  • CareerCamp: New Methods for Building the Career You Deserve – 2015 California Placement Association Conference – February 25-27, 2015
  • Transition as the New Normal – Ventura County OPEN Group – February 27, 2015
  • Smartphones, Technology and Your Career – GLAPros – March 12, 2015
  • Career Tools and Techniques for the 21st Century – Career Development Theories and Techniques Class – Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology – March 2015
  • CareerCampSCV (Santa Clarita Valley) 2015 – July 2015
I’m looking forward to a great year of teaching — of all sorts — in 2015 and I am wishing you the best year, too!


Categories: Announcement, Friends and Family Tags:

What I’m Reading…Sketch!: The Non-Artist’s Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life by France Belleville-Van Stone

January 17th, 2015 Comments off

Sketch!: The Non-Artist’s Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life
by France Belleville-Van Stone

Book: Sketch!: The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life by France Belleville-Van Stone

This is the next book from my “To Read” stack, graciously provided for free from Blogging for Books. The opinions below are my own, though , and always will be. (SMILE) — Douglas

The best that can be said for any book on creativity, writing or art, is that it moves you to be creative again. That is exactly what Sketch did for me. I was once an avid sketch and watercolor artist, but this hobby gradually faded away over time as life intruded more and more. I didn’t feel I had the time or energy to engage with my art anymore. Sketch nudged me, gently, to find one of my old sketchbooks on the shelf, sharpen up my pencils and place some marks on paper — something I hadn’t done quite a long time. I hope this book has this same effect on many people — both those new to artistic pursuits and those who have drifted away from their own creativity.

Sketch artwork

This is a very personal book. Sure, there are tips and hints on how to proceed with your sketching, recommendations of pencils, pens, watercolor paints and other materials, but at its heart is the author’s voice. It is almost as if you were sitting around sketching with the artist and chatting about her personal feelings and advice about art. This isn’t some comprehensive book on the methods of sketching, but rather a conversational exploration of the author’s unique thoughts on sketching, life and art in general.

One of the most useful sections for me was “Drawing When Resources and Time Are Limited.” I think we all struggle with fitting our hobbies and creative pursuits around the realities of life. We end up with a lot of “coulda, shoulda, woulda” complaining that leaves us feeling depressed instead of stealing those precious moments to engage with our art — whatever type of art that might be. Belleville-Van Stone provides some excellent methods — and more importantly — sound advice on how to see sketching as an end in itself. The art is in the doing, the sketching, the painting, not in some misunderstood concept of “finished.” Too often, we never start our creative projects because we fear (or known) that they will be interrupted before they are “complete”. It is far better, though, to do the work using the time available and understand there is enjoyment, contentment and completion to be found there, regardless of how many minutes we might have available.

Sketch contains an excellent section on “Going Digital”, too. It seems foolish to not use the tools that many of us carry with us every day to create art. The author gives detailed examples of the pros and cons of using a computer tablet to create art as well as sharing the tools — software, tablet and stylii she uses to create her own art. I think this is something that is lacking in many other art books. Yes, fundamentals of drawing, perspective, design and painting are greatly important, but making the best use of our current digital tools can help ignite amazing new levels of creativity. We shouldn’t discount that.

Sketch is a great book to curl up with your most comfy chair — perhaps with sketchbook in hand and a nice hot cup of tea. It can help you to put pen to paper or finger to tablet again in a very personal and conversational way.

Buy your own copy today 

* A portion of each sale from directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Photo: Einstein Statue at Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA via #instagram

January 8th, 2015 Comments off

TV Worth Watching: Slings and Arrows – Canada

January 4th, 2015 Comments off

TV Worth Watching is a new series highlighting my favorite television viewing. I am a big fan of UK television, so you are sure to see many UK shows and movies featured here. — Douglas

Slings and Arrows – Canada

In the fictional town of New Burbage, legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure, to assume the artistic directorship after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver Welles. When Geoffrey arrives he finds that Oliver is still there, in spirit anyway, and with his guidance (and often in spite of it) Geoffrey attempts to reconcile with his past while wrestling the festival back from the marketing department. Despite a bitter leading lady, a clueless leading man, and a scheming general manager, he manages to stage a remarkable production of Hamlet — the play that drove him mad.

Rosanne and I discovered this Canadian series when it was mentioned in the review of the new Mozarts in the Jungle series being produced by Amazon. Perhaps it is because of our history (and love) of the theater and our experiences there, but we have adored the show. We are currently watching the final 2006 season. WE have been laughing so hard at points that our son has asked us “What crazy show are you watching?” several times.

It seems to us that the writers know a but of out the craziness that surrounds live theater, actors and especially productions of Shakespeare. Add in the machinations of arts funding, sponsors and crazy directors and you have a fine mix of craziness and art. We are greatly enjoying the show and will be sad to complete this final season of episodes. It will be like the closing night of productions we have been involved with, I am sure.

TV Worth Watching: Slings and Arrows - Canada

Previously on TV Worth Watching…
Categories: Television, Theater, TV Worth Watching Tags:

Learn Something New: Graupel – pellet-shaped snow

January 4th, 2015 Comments off

It doesn’t matter how old you get, there is always something new to learn. Sometimes these new things are words or concepts you have heard all your life, but perhaps you never understood. Learn Something New is a series that will highlight some of the things I learn, big and small in the coming days. — Douglas

Graupel – pellet-shaped snow

Although I grew up in Northern Ohio, where snow is a normal part of winter each year — and I have seen snow like this many times — I never knew that there was a specific name for it. Preceding a cold Winter storm here in Los Angeles, I saw mention of graupel as the official scientific name for what we always just called pellet snow. So, once again, I learned something new without even trying. Here is some more information on graupel for the meteorologically inclined. (LAUGH) Once other interesting fact I found was that, due to the shape of the pellets, they can lead to avalanche danger, as they have the same properties as ball bearing when a layer of heavier snow falls on top of a layer of graupel.

Learn Something New: Graupel - pellet-shaped snow

Graupel from Wikipedia

Graupel (German pronunciation: [ˈɡʁaʊpɛl]English /ˈɡrpəl/, also called soft hail or snow pellets)[1] is precipitation that forms when supercooled droplets of water are collected and freeze on a falling snowflake, forming a 2–5 mm (0.079–0.197 in) ball of rime. The term graupel comes from the German language.

Graupel is distinct from hail, small hail and ice pellets: the World Meteorological Organization defines small hail as snow pellets encapsulated by ice, a precipitation halfway between graupel and hail.[2] The METAR code for graupel is GS.

Under some atmospheric conditions,[which?] snow crystals may encounter supercooled water droplets. These droplets, which have a diameter of about 10 µm (0.00039 in), can exist in the liquid state at temperatures as low as −40 °C (−40 °F), far below the normal freezing point. Contact between a snow crystal and the supercooled droplets results in freezing of the liquid droplets onto the surface of the crystal. This process of crystal growth is known as accretion. Crystals that exhibit frozen droplets on their surfaces are referred to as rimed. When this process continues so that the shape of the original snow crystal is no longer identifiable, the resulting crystal is referred to as graupel.[3] Graupel was formerly referred to by meteorologists as soft hail. However, graupel is easily distinguishable from hail in both the shape and strength of the pellet and the circumstances in which it falls. Ice from hail is formed in hard, relatively uniform layers and usually falls only during thunderstorms. Graupel forms fragile, oblong shapes and falls in place of typical snowflakes in wintry mix situations, often in concert with ice pellets. Graupel is also fragile enough that it will typically fall apart when touched.[4]  — Wikipedia

More information on Graupel:

Previously on Learn Something New:
Categories: Education, Learn Something New Tags:

Top 25 Videos for 2014 by Number of Views

January 2nd, 2015 Comments off

Here are the Top 25  videos, by number of views, from my YouTube Channel for 2014.

Top 25 Videos for 2014 by Number of Views



Photo: Winter Window via #instagram

January 1st, 2015 Comments off
Categories: Photos-Photography Tags: