Tuesday, October 27, 2009

bleak house complete

i wrapped that book early this evening. it was something to have read because i wanted to read it. dickens and all. i think that i will tackle a couple more of his books just to get a good sense of it.
i think that he likes developing characters. there were so many characters and so much involved in introducing them and contriving the connections between them and yet there was this sort of, not let down, but lack luster finale. i felt for all the 891 pages that the last100 felt sort of rushed to wrap things up. lots of political commentary and death. but, well, that's dickens too.

i think that i will add his books to my reading list in the order they were written. that is how i read other authors.

overall: worth reading, but not a barn burner; subtle, building. dickens.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bleak House

i am happy to report that i am nearly done with Bleak House. i'm a 100 pages from the end. i have a mixed review of the book. i like long books. mostly because i read pretty fast for a non-speed reader. i generally like to read every word of a recreational book.


there are going to be a few changes around here. i got mri results and have some bulging disks in my neck yet. physical therapy is super important in the next six months, as will be exercise and rest and weight lifting.

those needed changes and my commitment to paint a few hours a week have prompted me to think through some other things in my life. i've decided to make a career move and focus more toward the programming goals that i have. i've accepted a new position and will be ramping up on C# in the next few weeks. i'm very excited about that, the reduction in hours, the new focus on fulfilling some of my wants and needs.

future here i come. ready set go!


this pathetic attempt at still life at home... the light fades so quickly in the afternoons now. i started out with strong contract and ended with almost none. i'll have to start using artificial lighting now. 1 hour.

sue told us to try painting an hour a day (complete a small painting in a single sitting) for 100 days. ummm... an hour a week for 100 weeks? no, i've been better than that, just slow at getting them posted to the web. i'm trying a cherry blossom (clearly from a photo this time of year) and am on my 3rd attempt.

yes, the apple is funny shaped with that sort of protruding part. i suppose i could have turned it, but it seemed more fun to try the challenge. not every one can be good. like yoga - it's a practice.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

first try - got lucky

so this is the first thing i painted in oil. [11x17] i have had this one floating around in my head for a couple of years. it is my oldest when he as the only splashing in the shallow waters at gooseberry falls park. that's kyle's hand holding him from slipping. the light was so amazing that day and the water was less than an inch deep and so clear.

i was standing looking down at them and something about that strong hand holding his little hand, well, i hope every mother knows that feeling of joy whether it is her hand or someone else's. protection and love in one.

fresh starts - hot off the easel

well, i finally went and did it...

yep, despite allergic reactions to the chemicals, i've started oil painting. i have always wanted to oil paint. the media seems so much a fit for my style of seeing.

as you can see from the background, i snapped a pic of this with my phone before leaving the studio - partly out of happiness and partly out of anxiety that i may drop it on the way to the car and would not have a record of it.

no worries, though; it made it home safely. this is my second oil painting at class number two. i really like that our instructor is a painter instead of just someone teaching the technical aspects of painting. she's great at just cutting us loose to paint and then spending lots of time just walking around and offering tips and answering questions.

i felt a little lucky after my first attempt and was waiting to hold judgement on whether this would be a potential long-term pursuit of mine. i'm a bit over dye on silk. i've been at that since 1993 and well, there's just so much silk that i want to hang or wear or give away. so i'm putting that away for a few years and starting a new phase of my painting. anyway, the first one i painted turned out so well, that it could have just been beginners luck. and there are certain things which i just seem to have luck with.

so that yellow flower is some type of mum and crazy big and yellow. if i could have chosen, i may have picked something that was less equal in size to the vase, but... can't have everything. i could have used artistic license and shrunk it... but i guess i'm lazy and mostly just try to paint what i see. which brings me back to how i see while working.

i would describe my process as one that identifies contracts between darks and brights. i found while exploring watercolor [on paper] that i had a harder time than with other media because of the need to preserve so much light. i find here that i can block out the darks and then add the lights. then i work the middle just a little, adding focus or finding my focal point. i work the
focal point and then run quick over the rest so as have canvas with paint everywhere, well mostly.

after this one, sue told me that i have the drawing elements down so next to work on laying paint on thickly. in fact i've been so crazy for this that i've been painting a bit at home. i've been taking an hour at least once a week for that. oh yeah, i did this one in under 3 hours. not too bad.