Sunday Off

I had breakfast and then drove home the long way through Chatham, enjoying the sun even if it was in the teens. Felt warmer. Stopped for gas at the Stewarts in Chatham and cleaned my windshields and put the end of the wiper fluid in the car hoping it might warm up the front nozzles (and it did). I did a little (emphasis on little) vacuuming with my cute little yellow vacuum cleaner. The cats didn’t think too much of that, even though it’s much quieter than my old vacuum.

When the cats returned to their perches (purr-ches?) I admired Harry’s ability to spring back from vacuum-induced-panic.

I did a little painting:

And now I’m writing. All in all a good day off!

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The inner game

Forget shoulds and experience is. — W. Timothy Gallwey

Great letter from Sara Genn about the inner game of art.

Let your muscle memory do the technical heavy lifting. Think of your practiced, mastered skills as an insurance policy against self-doubt, but also as a set of wings for heightened expression. If you want to be a painter, you need to know how to paint. This mastery frees you to then slip into an automatic mode of play and communication.

Back to Work

There’s always a little pause after NaNoWriMo during which the desire to keep writing (even not at that pace) is overwhelmed by fatigue and the rushing stress that is December and the holidays. Some of that fatigue was also being sick which turned out to be a stealth sinus infection.

But now – a brand new year!

In the past few days I’ve done some writing and some painting so we’re on track for a good year. So far the temperatures are definitely not conducive to anything like plein air work but I’m going to try and convince myself that car-sketching is a thing.

First I sat down and did four small quickies.

Yesterday I treated myself to a “Paint-along” with my via-Patreon-tutor, Alan Owen. These often don’t go as planned because as he’s filming he gets to turn off the camera and let things dry. I often miss the skip and keep painting and then have to either go back later or figure out how to fix what’s going on. Still a good learn. To me, his trees don’t look like my trees. Around here most of the trees are bare and so the tree line is a brown/grey with a lot of pines mixed in. (Sorry for the iffy screenshot but it is enough to show the trees. Also many brit trees have their trunks covered in thick vines, which he also shows here.)

Here’s the photo I took while it was all still a bit damp.

And then another when quite dry.

World AIDS day 2017

We did some talking about World AIDS day today, specificially about Product RED and the impact it makes on AIDS in Africa. It was an almost cheery video. I looked behind me and all my young(er) co-workers… many at the age of those who were killed by this mysterious, emerging disease. It wiped out so many and there was no hope to offer.

I flashed back to reading that article in the NYTimes (paper edition) which announced that doctors were puzzling over this new disease which seemed to shut down the immune system and which targeted young men… I thought about my co-worker Rudy who died of AIDS, his family denying his whole life.

And I looked at these young folk, ready to do good for those affected in Africa. It’s good but I had this moment that this “problem” has been moved to somewhere far far away.

We’ve come a long way, baby?

From the Quote Box

The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion. — Nadia Boulanger

Day 29, NaNoWriMo – What’s That I Hear?

Yes folks it was the NaNoWriMo crew applauding and cheering on my superpowers of writing and telling me I’m their hero because:

I’m ripping open my winner shirt as we speak. I like all of them although my particular favorite is the venn diagram: 50000 words, 30 days, 0 excuses. Words to live by folks. Words to live by.

Anyway, I was just part way through the part that almost crushed me with it’s abyss-ness earlier in the month. I ended up blipping over it and hurtling towards the big wedding. The abyss looks smaller but needs more fill and there’s still one wedding to go before everyone starts their happily ever after.

In the meantime I promised myself some wine and some sleep.

PS the anticipation tonight while I tried to beat the clock at the library was intense!

Maggie and NaNoWriMo Day 28

No not Rod Stewart’s Maggie May but an even older one, set to a new tune. If you like, here’s a live version with an explanation at the beginning.

Not too many more words to go… at least not to win NaNoWriMo but more to the story… ain’t that the story of my life.

PS Went to urgent care yesterday where the nurse and nurse practitioner both made me realize how lucky I am to be as healthy as I am. Which was good but I still felt terrible with this cold/throat/head thing. I got sent home with orders to do more forceful symptomatic relief and to call if no improvement by Thursday. Glad I went even though I might have been the one napping in the waiting room LOL.