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!

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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.

Day Twenty-six, NaPoWriMo

Those sitting with hills
brushing their hair with wind
having a cloud ceiling.
These are the folk, trusted
and thought to be brave
facing the dangers they find
and ignoring the phantoms.
The birds bring them news
and the seasons, in turn,
bring them joy and wisdom
bearing new changes and gifts
Those sitting with hills
have gentle hands, knowing
life to be tender, a baby
or kitten or fish to hold
and then when done
to set it free, smiling.

Sunday at The Clark & Sketchbooks

Painting up on the hill:

Tomorrow I start a short online course about using sketchbooks so these warranted another look at in the last tour of Drawn from Greatness. Degas and Cezanne! There was also a sketchbook (noted that it appeared to have been used as a phone message book…) used by Jackson Pollack. No photos allowed of that one.

Day Twenty, NaPoWriMo

This morning before work I headed out, hoping to do a little painting before work. And I did. But there was this glaring bright thing up in the sky that hurt my eyes! Sun? What’s that? I don’t remember…

A long grey sad
glowy at the edges
it comes over
the last hill of winter
in February a day
warm enough to melt the walks
is welcomed gladly
in April it had better be warm
it had better not bring snow
Surly? perhaps. Winter is
a string of many days and
furnace-driving nights
As much as you can revel
in the icy challenge of it
eventually it has to go.
The birds have returned,
the daffodils are waiting
and well, we’re all waiting
for that clear day
that turn of air
the softening of the tree line
bursting with maple red
and willow gold
and spring.

Mini Stay-Cation

I was definitely due for a little time off. I started out Thursday night by seeing the National Theater Live performance of Julius Caesar in the mall movie theater. Two hours fifteen minutes or so, straight through without intermission. They’d set up their theater so that when you got your ticket you could either be in tiered seating above the performance space or you’d be standing on the same level as the actors, being part of the action as the crowd. Modern setting, Julius was wearing a red baseball style cap, no kidding. And in good Shakespearean fashion it ended with noble speeches over piles of bodies.

Great way to start a vacation.

Saturday I got up pretty early and went to the March for Our Lives in Albany. Very well attended, very inspiring and uplifting speeches from students and old pols alike. I also popped into the Book House to say hi to my NaNoWriMo friends who were doing a meet the author/reading afternoon event for their new publishing company.

I did a lot of little things, I killed a lot of orcs. I found some things like, my calligraphic stash! In a metal lunchbox I’d collaged… maybe in high school or college?

I took this framed piece off the wall thinking to take it out of the little frame it was in and giving it a better home.

But there was a surprise when I turned it over and found this:

I spent quality time with my big cup o’nope this past week and added this to my available avatar/profile photos.

I went out one day and did this (should have tried to get out more to do more of this)

and I practiced my handwriting while trying to learn the gettysburg address.

Busy Monday – kittens and watercolor

Today was the day the two kittens (now six months old) went to the vets to be neutered. Got there messy and stinky, even though I tried as best I could to clean up the carrier using some paper towels I had and the doggie clean up bags outside the office… Anyway, lots of paperwork and then I was off.

Drove the same road I went down the other day and took a few more reference photos of the hills and barns that I like there. The brush and grass was covered with a light coat of ice so things were quite sparkly.

Cruising For Clouds 29 Jan 2018//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Then I got a bagel and coffee and headed to Hand Hollow. What the heck – it was 42F so I sat at a picnic table and painted awhile. Gotta say that ice covered pond still eludes me. It’s openings are dark – no – filled with color, yes but dark, grey areas – no white. And of course like water the colors change with the light. Ack.

watercolors //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Oh well, painting that didn’t quite work is better than no painting at all, right? Learning through failing. Got it. Mainly I get that I need to re-find my darks – which I had, but they seem to have vanished. Also wishing i had a palette with bigger mixing areas. Hard to mix up enough on the tiny watercolor box. Hmmmm.

The kittens came home around 3 pm and were wobbly and funny and no way were they going to “be quiet”. Now we’re all ready for some sleep.