8 posts categorized "Archery"

October 04, 2016

372 Gentle Weeps

Bullseye372 Gentle Weeps

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I sure do love shooting arrows. How beautiful it was when I was able to prioritize archery in my life a couple of years ago, as I shot almost every day. Priorities have shifted and as much as I want archery to be actively in my life, it just isn't right now ... as I juggle other things that have become more important to me, namely painting. My days race by ... each packed to the rim ... as my bow and arrows wait, hope, and as George Harrison so poetically observed, gently weep.

November 14, 2015

58 Archer

58 Archer58 Archer

8 x 6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord


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I think archery is beautiful and have had the pleasure of learning the sport through a coach who teaches at a local park that has an archery range. It's endless ... the adjustments that need be made to the equipment and to the archer in relationship to the weather, and the target. I used a photo of an archer as reference for this one.

May 07, 2014

My Days

After almost two years of shooting arrows, I feel I'm finally starting to shoot semi-decently. I had one major problem about a year into it when I had a wrist injury from boxing that just made me regress with all things archery. I had to go back down in the weight of my bow limbs after having worked my way up and generally, I had to rest my wrist and hope that time would heal it back to health. It was so discouraging. Cause when your bow is light, arrows don't fly or land with strength.

IMG_0539My coach who used to come to Santa Ana no longer does so I go to Long Beach to see her. It's worth it though. She's got the goods. She's been reminding me all this time about the importance of practice. Of course I know that and agree with that but finding time to actually do what I know and agree with has been a whole different matter.

But finally I feel I'm in my groove.

It's all about protecting my time. Making time for what is important to me and not letting things that aren't important to me rob my time.

My days.

Early morning boxing/training. Then arrows right after that. And then work on my computer. And then a good lunch. And then art. If I'm lucky it goes that way. Sometimes I'll put it all aside for someone/something. But I've learned that there aren't many someones or somethings worth doing that for.

I like my rhythm. It helps me worry less about this and that.

October 10, 2013

Be Ready. Not Hyper-Ready

I boxed today. Noon class with the one and only Coach Tee. We were doing our usual thang. Everyone partnered up ... with one person punching and the other person catching. Just for a few minutes. And then rotating so that you work with different people.

jenny doh
So this guy rotated to me. Never seen him before in my life. New. Strong dude with muscles. He didn't really know how to throw ... and instead of throwing lightly to learn, he threw really hard ... to ...  I don't know ... over compensate? So I called out jab-cross-slip-slip and he ended up throwing jab-cross-jab-cross ... right into my face. He hit my face pretty hard, causing my glasses to smash into my face. I squealed. Thankfully my glasses didn't break. And neither did anything else on my face. Holy close call.

Tee checked to make sure that I was ok and then he gave a talk to the dude and then started laughing his ass off. It was all good cause I started laughing my ass off too. It's like family when we see each other involved in epic fails ... we check to see if our family members are ok and then we start busting up laughing.

When I box and get in my fighter's stance, the voice of Tee is always on my mind ... "Jenny ... relax. Prepare to fight but don't be so tense" is what I hear him saying. Like be ready to throw punches but don't tighten up so much. Don't be hyper-ready.

It's the same thing my archery coach, Janet, says to me when I'm ready to shoot.

jenny doh
Think about what you're going to do before you draw.
Then draw.
Don't over-think once you draw. Be steady and still but relaxed at the same time.
Be ready but not hyper-ready.
Then release like a spring, with flexibility and ease, not rigidity.

Ready but not hyper-ready.
Strong and steady but flexible.

I think this advice applies not just to boxing and archery but also to life. It's about balance. Good advice that's easier to remember when you're in practice mode and very easy to forget when out of practice mode. 

June 01, 2013

Alarmingly Precise Aim

Jenny Doh

Regrets she had none,
not even for putting a fire to those ugly BOGO shoes and Hello Kitty scrubs

Or for loading up her arrow
with a peculiarly short draw
and alarmingly precise aim.

As she pointed at the disk that was promised
but he never did burn
he never did burn.

Jenny Doh

jenny doh

jenny doh

jenny doh

September 30, 2012

Archery = (Adjust + Record + Refine) Repeat

I ended up adding tiny little dots of flourescent and white paint to my arrow's fletchings yesterday. It's because even the best archers at times have arrows that miss the target completely and travel to places unintended. Sometimes, during practice, my coach will even bring out the metal detector when an arrow has flown so wayward that it becomes very hard to find.

archery arrows

Many archers get flourescent fletchings on their arrows so that they can be easier to find but because I went for red and black fletchings instead of flourescent ones, I thought putting dots of paint on them would help when they do fly wayward. I made the tiniest of dots becasue too much paint of course would affect the weight of the arrows, affecting the way they fly.

archery arrows

I've been recording these sorts of adjustments to my arrows in my little notebook. (A moleskine decorated with a white gel pen and then sprayed with a fixative.)

Jenny Doh
Small notebooks are also in every archer's gear bag ... to record all sorts of things ... like what number their site was on when they shot from a certain distance. What the wind was like. How many pounds their limbs weighed ... and on and on and on ... to account for every little variable that might provide insight on how their arrows performed during a shoot.
archery journal
This is a site. It attaches on the bow. When you don't use a site, you shoot what is called a "bare bow" where rather than using the site to record where to aim, you use landmarks to adjust your aim. I started out as a bare bow shooter and so using this site is a new thing for me. What I'm learning about archery is that it's a never-ending process where you adjust, record, refine ... and then start all over again and again.

archery siteYou never really arrive. You just continue ... as long as you stay committed.
Jenny Doh

August 29, 2012

Archery :: My New Riser

I'm in love with my new riser. I sort of can't believe I have my own. It's the Hoyt Horizon and it's a glorious red. And it was shipped to me all the way from England.

Jenny Doh
Since April, I've been taking archery classes (recurve) from my coach Janet Dykman at the archery range in Santa Ana, near my home. I've also been driving twice a month to the awesome range in Long Beach to take private lessons from her. The thing about archery is that there is SO MUCH to remember and fine-tune. It's endless (and strangely reminiscent to the cello). But I love the challenge of how every single thing works together as you continue to learn how to refine your aim. And let me tell you, there's no better feeling than when you shoot an arrow from a far distance and you hear it land hard and on target.

archerySo the riser is the red part in the middle. That's the piece that I recently purchased. The limbs are what get attached to either side of the riser. And for now, I'm still renting my limbs ... as I continue to acclimate to heavier limbs.

When I started, I believe I started at 16 pounds. I'm now at 22 pounds. The heavier the limbs, the farther and stronger your arrows will travel and land. My goal is to get to 30 pounds. The thing about the poundage is that the poundage refers not to how heavy the limbs are but how stiff they are. The stiffer they are, the harder it is to draw the string to shoot. So 16-pound limbs are more pliable and therefore easier to pull the string on, and 30-pound limbs are not so pliable and very hard to pull the string on. This is why it's important to develop strong back muscles for this sport.

You know ... I'm not an athlete. But what I lack in terms of athleticism I make up with determination and focus. With archery, I am proof that with determination and practice, you can do it. I'm excited that with the support of Janet, I'll be placing my foot into the water of shooting/competing by getting involved with my first State qualifiers this coming fall and winter.

A dream come true.

April 06, 2012

Taking Aim with Archery

The neighborhood that I live in is called Park Santiago Neighrobhood because it's a neighborhood that is right next to the most beautiful park in the world, in my opnion: Park Santiago, in Santa Ana. 

One of the most interesting things about this park is that it has an archery range (one of the few in southern California). For quite some time, I've been wanting to take up archery. Not only because of the range but I've always been fascinated with the sport that is so much about refining one's aim. 

So yesterday, I took my very first class in Park Santiago with instructor Janet Dykman, who is one of America's most accomplished archers.

Jenny Doh
When I first met Janet, she asked me to put my hands up to form a small hole and to look directly at her through that hole. 

After that was done, she asked me if I had shot arrows before and I said I had not. She said "Good, that means you have no bad habits that we'll need to break."

And as were getting started, I told her that I'd like to shoot left-handed because I'm left-handed. Well ... actually, my left-handedness is a complicated situation as you may recall here but I was explaining how I felt that a left-handed hold of the bow and arrow felt more natural to me.

Jenny Doh
But Janet explained that though I may favor my left hand, my right eye is my dominent eye. Because when I looked at her through that hole, she says I used my right eye. I had no idea! It's a simple test that you can do with a partner to see which eye you focus with.

She was explaining how when folks start archery favoring their dominent hand, which sometimes is counter to their dominent eye, it becomes a very frustrating process, with arrows flying everywhere.

Turns out that it's all about the eye, which allows you to proparly aim. She told me that I would be able to train my arm muscles to shoot as a right-handed person but that it's eaiser to train those muscles rather than the eye.

I learned so much more. And I had such a wonderful time because archery felt and came so naturally to me. I will tell you more as I continue on this journey ... a sport that I feel will be with me for a long time as I learn to refine my aim.

By the way, I haven't seen The Hunger Games. But my kids have started to call me Katniss, which they say is a good thing. :)

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