I Draw in Church – Four Violinists

I draw in church.  I used to draw the pianist quite a bit but then the orchestra got so big I am no longer able to see her.  Now I draw other members of the orchestra, most often the French Horn player and the Violinists.  They sit where I have a good view of them and many of them stay during the sermon so I can draw them longer.

Here are 4 drawings from my violinist collection.


I have been drawing in church since I would say about 1981 or so, hard to say exactly. I go between drawing something or someone I see as accurately as I can, as in this drawing and making something completely up in my head having nothing to do with what is in front of me.

theviolinist2_2016_sm  ‘

I don’t worry to much about getting the background exact. Sometimes I get most of it, sometimes just part of it and make up the rest.  In this case only the steps leading to the alter are accurate, with the donation bags full of school supplies sitting in front.


The style I have in each drawing usually depends on the pen I am using. If I use a brush pen the style is simpler, calmer.


Sometimes I will get only a portion of a person on the paper before he or she leaves or moves. In that case I will completely makeup the rest of the drawing.

Drawings and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com


The Coward – Power #3


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Creating a Coward

This quote starts with an assumption. It assumes we are all cowards. It’s just that some are more cowardly than others. Now, I don’t think in most cases that means intrinsically some are more cowardly.  I think it means circumstances, both internal and external, have made some turn and run. And it some cases it’s made people stay and fight but use really stupid and ineffective strategies in that fight.

So, if you want power in these situations one way to do it is to not just imagine someone is a greater coward than you are, but actually create the conditions where the other person has reached the point where they must turn and run. Or, if they do stay and fight, they are so overwhelmed that they fight ineffectively.

In either case, one of the best ways to do it is to have overwhelming force.  In other words, 3 pussy cats are better than one when fighting the orange man with the yellow cotton candy on his head.  30 is better than 3 and 300 million are better than 30.

Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Ludwig Börne, 1786-1837, German journalist


Fighting Back – Power #2


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How Power Works

Here is an example of how power works. Let’s say an orange man with yellow cotton candy on his head attacks you. Since this is how he feels powerful (instead of actually BEING powerful) you should assume he will continue to attack you until you either can get out of the situation or you attack back.  You can also assume he will attack others since this need for the feeling of power is not going to go away.

How to Respond

If you are a pussy cat, you should have your claws sharpened in advance and not be afraid to use them. If you are a human you should also have your claws (verbal and physical) ready. Having your phone recording the interaction might be a good idea as well. If you can, you should tell someone immediately about the attack so that you have a record of it.  You should also write it down and record the date so the information is fresh.  Tell a reporter friend of yours about the attack. If you don’t have a reporter friend, get one.

Oh, and if he has his orange snake with him and uses it in the attack, you should be sure to claw it as well and call the police.

Power vs Power

In other words, power responds to greater power. This is especially true in the example of the orange man since his bullying and assaulting power is a facade hiding deep insecurities and hurts.  Gather all the resources you can to fight, especially if the man is orange.

Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Malcolm X, 1925-1965, American Muslim leader and activist


Cat Fights – Power #1


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Cat Life

We have a new cat named Ninja. He is a great cat and we love him, so much fun and so silly. But he is feral in nature. Often when I put my hands out towards him to play he responds with teeth out, ready to defend.

We had another cat, Mayru, who was not like that at all. She barely ever fought or bit. She was fun, and loved to play, but just wasn’t that type of cat.

Ultimate Power

But what type of cat we have doesn’t really matter. What matters is my response to the cat.  I am the one with the ultimate power (even though a cat can bite and scratch pretty well).  I might play a little harder with Ninja than I did with Mayru but in both cases I am not going to force them to play when they aren’t interested, I am not going to attack them and I am not going to hurt them.

If I did that I would be guilty of animal cruelty.  My morals and ethics tell me that is not right and I wouldn’t do it.

Satisfaction and Conscience

If I came across someone who did abuse a cat (or any other animal or human) I would do my best to stop it. I also have to admit I would get some satisfaction seeing the cat attack back and get in a few bites and scratches.

One thing I know for certain, My conscience would not allow me to reward that abuser with my affection or support.


Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Elizabeth Janeway, 1913-2005, American novelist



Discovering Your Ignorance – Education #5


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Knowing Everything

Ever notice how a person who has just learned something new about a topic is often very adamant that they have learned everything about that topic? I see it happen often in young people BUT it really has no age. I see it in myself and I am not a spring chicken. I am less like this now than when I was young, but there are so many topics and so much to learn that it never completely goes away.

Knowing a New Everything

For example, I became a Christian at age 21 and I will have you know I knew everything about it in short order.  Fast forward 30+ years and after a long intellectual and spiritual journey I decided I was still a Christian, but was now a Christian Atheist. What does that mean? It means I no longer believed in the existence of spirit beings but I believed in the teachings of Jesus on how to live in this world.  I will have you know I knew everything about it.

Unknowing Everything

Fast forward another 10 years and now I am a Christian Agnostic.  What does that mean? It means I still believe in the teaching of Jesus on how to live in this world but I have studied enough about science to realize that the discoveries science has made in almost every field would have been so unbelievable just 20-100 years ago as to be claimed as preposterously absurd.  That tells me the mysteries still out there are also preposterously absurd according to our present understanding of things and might change our understanding all over again.

Peaceful Unknowing

What that means for me is that while I don’t see direct evidence of spirit beings and I don’t see direct evidence of of a God, especially a traditional God that has his/her fingers in the human pie on a minute by minute basis, I just know there is too much we don’t know for me to say it definitely.  And that put me in the most peaceful place I can be in, a place where I am open to learn and not threatened by new ideas in any area.

Coda: Dark Matter

If you are wondering what exactly it is in scientific ideas of recent years that makes me say all this, simply look up ‘Dark Matter’ and try to wrap your head around what it is.  That should convince you.  The book ‘Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs’ is a good book to read if you are willing to dive deep into it.

Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Will Durant, 1885-1981, American Author. His most famous contribution was the 11 volume ‘Story of Civilization’ written with his wife, Ariel Durant.


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