The Hard Work of New Paint

Oh the toil and angst and hard work of it all: the picking and obtaining of new colors.

I usually mix my real darks as I need them. Lighter greys can be had but I felt I needed a grey or two for mixing with other colors but sometimes as, what they call, convenience colors. To me blacks and greys are pretty much up there with primaries but it’s not like I have black or white on my palette.

In any case, some might say I over indulged but this was my haul from Arlene’s the other day. And a big kudos to the young woman who excitedly looked over my choices as she rang me out and then demonstrated just how cool the pencil sharpener was that I was buying. It made me feel part of the tribe. Thank you!

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This morning’s look at last night’s experiment

End of August Postcard Poetry Fest 2017

I got a lot of postcards and enjoyed the cards themselves and the words written on them. Some of the poems were striking, one gave me chills (in a good way) and all made the connection we all hope for: I sat down and came up with these words to send you, a thought, an image, a rant, a mysterious string of ideas… put them on this card, put your address and a stamp on it and sent it off into the world.

Sometimes you get an acknowledgement that the card arrived, sometimes a response from the recipient to the poem itself, but I never get too tied up about that. Postcards can go in different directions way too easily. One thing happened this year that may not have happened before, someone in the postal handling part of the postcard’s journey wrote a response on the card. Pretty sure they weren’t agreeing with the sentiment but wow – wrote on the card. That card took about a week or more to get to me, so I’m not sure if they pondered it for a few days or if it just took that long.

Be that as it may, my own August Journey was pretty smooth. I had written down a list of words to act as prompts in case nothing came to mind in the hour of writing. Sometimes in the past I’ve used a group of haiku as my fall-back on hard nights. This year a theme developed, not of my choosing, around the idea of “a place to stand” and it popped up over and over again in different ways. One night I started writing and came out with something that ended up 75 lines. Way too big for a postcard, even in its beginning. I excerpted it for the card.

A good month, now I’m ready to do other things. Stand by for photos and painting and travel and who knows what else.

Labor Day Time Spent

I did run the vacuum a little today but I also dabbled here and there and finally headed out to the local pond to catch some light before the moon came up. First tonight’s sketch – not at all intended to be complete. I’m trying to get myself to work on putting down quick colors and values to help remember what the scene was like.

This from yesterday, earlier in the day.

I gotta say that I love my little fold-up chair but you gotta really love a picnic table when you’re setting up for a quick paint. And for September 4, Labor Day 2017, a lot of color starting to show on the trees and below, all that goldenrod.

The Day of the Eclipse

So glad I took today off! Started out by mailing my August Poetry Postcard cards at the Nassau Post Office, each bearing one of the cool eclipse stamps. Hope they all arrive safe and sound. A little breakfast, picked up my mail (postcard! tshirt!) and then off to paint for just a little while. The flowers were gorgeous and there were happy bees and butterflies doing their thing. See linked Flickr album below for all the photos.

21 August 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Then it was off to Mom’s to gather with some cousins and a neighbor to watch the eclipse. We watched a little of the totality coverage on TV and then headed out. Although it had been mostly clear earlier, there was a big patch of high clouds overhead. We still got to be amazed by the eclipse, just enjoying it in small sips as it went in and out of the clouds. A good time was had by all and come on – those glasses are really cool! Notice that Steve, who took the first photo, managed to get it in anyway via the kitchen window. Good job! Thanks Mom, Jim, Ann Marie, Marsha and Steve for a great afternoon.

Friday Night Excitement

There I was, writing a too-long poem for August Poetry Postcard and… a bat appears.

Let me just say, I moved pretty darn fast. Locked myself in the bathroom while I tried to figure out what to do, having no cast iron skillet handy (family legend) When I’d put on shoes and steeled myself I opened the door and contained it and escorted it without further incident to the great outdoors. Hope it’s gone in the morning. Only hurt myself a little in the process of vacating the bedroom LOL.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the too-long poem or just write a short bat one LOL.

Photos as Reference

Long time readers may attest that I take a fair number of photos. It’s true. Not all the photos are great – some are taken to capture a bit of light or something interesting or just as an aid to memory. Lately I’ve been taking more photos as reference.

I was thinking about this as I watched a youtube watercolorist show how he auditions and “edits” photos. He prints them out and doesn’t worry about sharpness or perfect lighting. Obviously there was something about the scene that grabbed his eye but it doesn’t mean it is a composition worth painting. He uses a really soft pencil and a white pencil to move trees around, add some shadows, establish where the light is coming from, all the while considering how the eye will move in and around the image. (If you like his video, watch this one next for some amazing cloud wet in wet painting)

When he was done, the view was indeed more interesting to look at and still bore a strong resemblance to the original photo but it wasn’t the same.

All this is a way around to saying these two groups of photos aren’t the best I’ve taken but they were taken to show the scene. The sheep photos have some really dark ones because I wanted to show the clouds. The sunset photos aren’t very crisp because I only had a few minutes before it was too dark to shoot and I didn’t have time to set up a tripod so I was bracing against things. But, I hope the ideas will be useful.

Local Sheep, Landscape and Clouds//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

sunset 16 August 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js