Increase in Guitar Skill + Quick Portraits in Pen and Pencil

In November, 2014, I went to the American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Meeting in Boston.  Afterward, I was chosen to write up my reflections for The Rheumatologist.

Because of the conference, I didn’t play guitar for seven days in a row.  It was the longest I’d been away from guitar in the past year!  (I practice guitar for thirty minutes to an hour most days.  I started learning guitar in July 2013, with Thaddeus Hogarth’s free online guitar course.  I then bought a playable classical guitar–a Cordoba C5, set up as a flamenco guitar–in December 2013, and started formal classical guitar lessons with Rob Marino in February 2014.)

I expected to be clumsy upon resuming practice, but, surprisingly, I wasn’t:  I played more smoothly than I’d ever played up to that point, and with much less tension in either hand. Complex and simple pieces alike (from The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method: Volume 1…I’ve covered 60% of the book so far) were played without errors. I played Spanish Romance as well as I’ve ever played it.

The brain, like the body, can improve with rest!

In 2013, the annual meeting was in San Diego.  One of the highlights of each of these annual meetings is the ACR review course, a day-long series of lectures on various “high-yield” topics in rheumatology.  The review course is quite well-attended.

At the 2013 ACR review course, I sketched each lecturer (and one “extra” lecturer, for comic relief) in about 15-30 minutes.  They were moving around, and they didn’t know I was drawing them, so it wasn’t easy (field sketches are challenging for this reason):

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This is a quick sketch of a lecturer during another popular meeting at the conference:

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Finally, here’s a sketch of a session on clinical immunology:

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