Happy Painting Mail Day

One of the folks I follow on YouTube said this was his oldest, most-used and most-valuable book. Found a copy VERY cheap on Abesbooks and it arrived today from the UK. I can see why he spoke so highly of it – it’s got sample paintings by all kinds of folks like John Pike and good basic how-tos and ideas, clearly demo’d and with lessons you can do yourself.

Rubberbanded to that package from a little box, a little something I’d almost forgotten about only because I’d preordered it quite awhile ago – a new larger Schmincke paint box with a beautiful colored exterior (normally they’re black) and filled with colors chosen by a watercolorist. Cool concept as a way to try new colors and for me a brand of paint I don’t normally use. I like that the box has larger mixing areas and that it can fit 12 full pans or a mix of full and half.

Had a little downtime at work today an did some clouds:

and then showed a co-worker how I approached doing clouds in Procreate on the iPad.

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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.

May Day, 2018

Happy May Day! I took myself on a little vacation from writing today, after writing a poem each day for all of April.

It was warm and mostly sunny and I had reserved a spot in a rare books something at the Clark. They’d sent a reminder email and I was thankful and I’m so glad I went. Besides hearing about the library and its collection and how to access it, we heard about an interesting array of “childrens” books – and passed them around the table to look at! There was much surprise expressed about this. I think we all expected either to be just shown the books or to wear gloves. One of the books was from the late 1600’s – considered to be the first known instance of the idea of Mother Goose – from France! It had been rebound by Mr. Sterling and was beautiful, as were many of the selection – beautiful marbled endpapers, beautiful illustrations and typography. A man who sat near me taught me how to look for the bookbinder’s signature. A good and welcome new skill.

I went with a bit of time ahead of it to do a little painting, of course and it was a pleasure to sit outside in the warm sun.

TGIF, and for a new book

Molly better hope the book doesn’t fall over on her because it’s big. Really big. It came in a big box stuffed with a lot of crumpled up paper to keep it from moving around. The first handful of pages are double page spreads of paintings… It has a ribbon. It’s beautiful. It’s the US release of the show catalogue from the Melbourne AU exhibit:

Van Gogh and the Seasons

The Litany of Fear

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

— Dune, Frank Herbert

Good Mail Days

The past few days have been good mail days. I wish I’d done an unboxing video of the package that arrived today: Several turns of brown wrapping paper held securely with tough water-activated packing tape, securely taped corrugated cardboard, several more turns of a finer white wrapping paper, and voila, the book. Because of the tape, you couldn’t just rip it apart so it required a sharp implement and some care and much pleasure resulted before the book appeared in view.

It came accompanied by a 52/52 postcard. It’s hard to get into a weekly anticipation flow so I try hard to take them as they come. Thanks Evi!

The first book to arrive, Conversations With Artists, arrived similarly but in more modern wrappings, also requiring some diligence and care, just as securely wrapped but with less pleasurable materials (although all were marked recyclable!)

My Day with Art

I went to The Clark today, having asked for a day off so I could go to the lecture opening the new exhibit there – Drawn from Greatness. There were drawings from the 15th century and up to current times (Pollack, Picasso, Kelly etc). Big selection of the impressionists – two pages of Van Gogh letters (with drawings) and a drawing. Sketchbooks which had belonged to Cezanne and Degas. Lots of ink and wash, watercolor, gouache, chalk, graphite, different papers, techniques. Part of the exhibit was in a different part of the building, So I wandered over.

First couple very interesting. The one behind me, lovely. Next one… hmmm quite interesting. Strangely familiar, a little cartoonish but very skilled and unique style… freaking William Blake. Around the corner from that was a, as the curator noted, “showstopper” by Victor Hugo. Yes THAT Victor Hugo.

I saved getting the catalogue for another visit and perusal. It’s about big enough to be made into a coffee table but it does look very complete. I did come home with this, thinking it would be a good read and good company for my copy of The Hours of Catherine of Cleves

Remember that this time of year The Clark is closed on Mondays! If you end up there by mistake you can wander over to the Williams College Museum of Art and see other interesting things. (Ask me how I know that!)