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The Obelisk & Deep Work Again


The Obelisk drawing is inked and ready to go. Inking Tabby Twiddlepaws is 75% finished but I need to research Victorian furniture fabrics as the suspect feline (who may have been complicit in the disappearance of the Butler) is perched upon a Victorian Parlor Chair.




As I’m working I’m re-listening to the audiobook “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. I cannot over-emphasize the positive impact this book has had on the way I work in the studio and my quality of life in general.



One of my favorite gems from the book –


“Being busy is not the same as being productive.”


I've yet to meet my lofty goal of reading 5 books a month - but I did come closer this month with 4 books done. Yes, I do count audiobooks. With 10 days to go, I may be able to squeeze in a 5th. We shall see!


My July book line-up includes - "The Obstacle is The Way" by Ryan Holiday, "Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle" By C.G. Jung, and a real out-of-print hardback treasure, "The Journal of Beatrix Potter from 1881 to 1897.


Potter began keeping her journal when she was about 15 years old, using a secret code that she invented. It was finally broken by a man named Leslie Linder, in 1950 after studying her code for 5 years.


After her death, a series of notebooks full of tightly curled, tiny cipher were discovered by a family member. The coded books were written by Potter between the ages of 15 and 30, and utterly defeated the relative who uncovered it, so they enlisted the help of Potter Superfan Leslie Linder. Even so, it took Linder years of scrutinizing the tiny, indecipherable handwriting to find a breakthrough, which turned out to be the year 1793 and the Roman numerals XIV (16). He worked out that it must refer to the execution of Louis XIV in 1793, and from there he was away… Well. We say ‘away’...

Though it transpired the ‘code’ that had eluded everyone for years was a simple alphabetical cipher of the type Scouts might use, Potter’s handwriting was so small, it was years until the code was fully broken and Potter’s teenage thoughts about artists, museum, exhibits and more, were finally uncovered.



After reading this blog post you have now met your "diseased author & illustrator's obscure knowledge quota" for the year.


Until next time ...




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