By Popular Demand: Kitties!

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Sunday, A Day Off

It was very rainy and gray. I obtained some grown up food for the kitties, mixing it with what’s left of mixed with kitten food because gosh darn it they’re huge and still growing and will be a year old in July. OMG. They’re huge. Molly likes the kitten food more than they do. Anyway they always enjoy helping me open up the bag.

I took a scenic route home but it was raining and such flat light that I came home. Decided to try the new palette of colors and did this.

After making similar images on an iPad at work it was good to see and feel the difference of working in “real” paint on paper.

Getting ready for June

In June, I’ll be taking a week-long plein air watercolor class with Tony Conner of Bennington VT via IS183.org which holds classes throughout the Berkshires. A couple years ago I did a one day class with them at the Clark. This one will be in Stockbridge.

As a collector of art supplies, I was so happy to receive the supply list and then I started comparing it to the things I already had and… I had most of it. I finally put in an order for some full sheets of paper to cut into hunks and since I was doing that, a couple sheets of the plastic corrugated stuff which I like to use as my mounting board. I threw in a few brushes I’d had on my wish list. Locally I picked up a couple paint colors and one brush and a new eraser. Had that “back to school feel” except where you already have all the textbooks and notebooks you’ll need.

I’d recently gotten a new palette to try out so I set it up using just the colors on the teacher’s list.

You can compare it to my normal traveling palette here. My home palette is larger but seems too large to carry around.

I guess I’ll try out these colors and this palette before heading out. The new brushes are cool too. I’m all about the tools for the job.

The Tales of Middle Earth

Those tales are drawing to a close as our small party have just arrived back in Bree on their journey home.

Tonight a group of us went to see the new Star Wars film, Solo, and I think we all enjoyed that tale too. Much in the Star Wars of hero’s journey, travels bent by trust, trouble and luck, it had a few surprises at the end. Before the movie, my co-worker Rich and I were talking about things LotR and I mentioned this quote from Treebeard aka Fangorn, the Ent.

‘Will you really break the doors of Isengard?’ asked Merry.
‘Ho, hm, well, we could, you know! You do not know, perhaps, how strong we are. Maybe you have heard of Trolls? They are mighty and strong. But Trolls are only counterfeits, made by the Enemy in the Great Darkness, in mockery of Ents, as Orcs were of Elves. We are stronger than Trolls. We are made of the bones of the earth. We can split stone like the roots of trees, only quicker, far quicker, if our minds are roused! If we are not hewn down, or destroyed by fire or blast of sorcery, we could split Isengard to splinters and crack its walls into rubble.’
From: The Two Towers, Chapter Four “Treebeard” by J.R.R. Tolkien

So there you have it, as also told in the Silmarillion, of how Evil tries to overcome the Light by copying its strengths, but it never succeeds because its purpose is not whole and good. So darkness and anger taint and distort and weakens all it touches, and the goals, which is only to pull down what it is most jealous of, fail and fail every time.

Sorting Through the Paint Bag

Tonight I sorted through the paint bag that lives in the car. I was trying to make a lighter bag, because you know it’s hard to haul all that stuff up hills etc. I was a little amazed (and embarrassed) to find out that I had 20+ tubes of paint in there. I took a side trip to the APP store and found an app that lets me scan barcodes and add it to an inventory sort of list. Sorta cool, a little flakey, but learning curve.

This is the current state of my little travel palette.

Your basics: Sepia, Burnt Sienna, Hooker’s Green, Green Gold, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green, French Ultramarine, Quinacridone Red (I think), Mayan Yellow.

I usually have a little indigo or paynes gray on the side, along with some light red. Right now there’s some yellow ochre. Go figure.

New though, I signed up for a week-long plein air watercolor class from IS183 in June. How exciting!

In order to arrive…

A facebook friend tagged me in his post of this great quote, saying it was quoted by the poet Robert Lax shortly before the German invasion of France in May 1939. It’s a keeper, no matter what your denomination.

In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything,
desire to have pleasure in nothing;
in order to arrive at possessing everything,
desire to possess nothing;
in order to arrive at being everything;
desire to be nothing.

Book One Chapter 14 of “The Ascent of Mt Carmel” by Saint John of the Cross

Keeping Up the Fight

‘Despair, or folly?’ said Gandalf. ‘It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.’

‘At least for a while,’ said Elrond. ‘The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings)

Please note that I’m deep into the audio version of Fellowship of the Ring at the moment. I wonder if I’ll ever stop weeping when Gandalf falls into the depths with the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-dûm. Although I am not of this level of readers, I love that there are such people in the world as these, who discuss many things.