Happy New Year!

It was thirty-three degrees Fahrenheit and not-quite-raining out as I went outside to see the new year just now. I opened the door to let the old year out and the new yer in and then, as is my own tradition, I stepped out to see what the year and the night held. Only some muffled fireworks could be heard and a little wind through the trees.

The house was feeling nice and warm afterwards and my even warmer bed awaits.

All the best to all my family and friends out there in the world. Find good things and fun things and important things in the coming year!

Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.
— James Dean

And may all your colors be genuine in 2020!

Happy New Year!

Tripod Day!

Alas not the Williamstown Tripod but….

Peak Design Travel Tripod, just jetted in from Hong Kong!

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Tripod Day!

Almost the end of November

Did you wonder where I was? Yup, November brings NaNoWriMo. I knew there were some days at the beginning of the month that no writing or at least little writing would be possible – a wedding and some other things but I wasn’t prepared for the struggle of what would happen next. I had no idea. Which is why, frankly, no writing to get to the end of this story had been happening.

But now, when I could be working on it, even house chores seemed more appealing. I tried new tacks such as hand-writing notes to myself about things that might happen next. I wrote a sketch of a big thing that I knew, or hoped, was going to happen. I dabbled quite briefly with a different idea I had, thinking it was a short story and putting it back in the drawer when it seemed much larger.

I had a few big word count days and a whole lot of low word count days. Which adds up to a half-NaNo but which did indeed bring me almost to the very end.

Here I will say that despite the help that hand writing notes (fountain pen and tiny softcover Moleskines, how writerly, eh?) the power of digital tools is immense. November first, at our local launch party, a big storm came up just before I was packing it in. There was a tiny power blip. My BBEdit screen, non-responsive. I ended up screenshotting it just to save the few inches of paragraphs that were visible, a tiny bit of what I’d done. Came home and finally had to shut down the computer. I chose re-open windows of programs that were open, not holding out any hope for the unsaved document. But there, BBEdit (because it doesn’t suck) opened, opening two other windows and the unsaved document in its entirety.

I so love the Barebones Software guys that when I discovered there was a paid upgrade available that night, I gladly plopped my money down for it and sent them a big thank you.

I also love that as I worked on what a character was reacting to and feeling, I could cut and paste the whole ending-to-date into a new document and change it over into something that seemed better, more coherent and tweak it, free from the rest of what had been written. It finally got added back, replacing the old not-quite-right part. Yeah cut and paste!

So here we are at the end of November, and there’s a new pile of words for this book. I’m good with it.

Almost the end of November

Figure Painting Studio

I sketched, I used water-soluble graphite, I watercolored… This album has all four weeks and you can see the newest at the end.

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Figure Painting Studio

Thursday evening, painting at Ooms

I took myself and my paint gear, along with a new Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook out to Ooms conservation area late this afternoon. It was a good outing, and the book seems good – more hot press-like than cold and did well with pretty wet painting even though it’s not a cotton paper. Afterwards I stayed for the sunset.

Thursday evening, painting at Ooms

Wednesday of Va-kay

I sat in a little park enjoying my coffee and watching clouds.

Then I came home and painted, yup, my mailbox.

Then I watched/listened to James Gurney answering some questions live on You-Tube about Gouache while I did these:

I used Holbein Gouache, a set of Primary Magenta PR122, Primary Cyan PB15, and Primary Yellow PY3, 74 and three tubes I bought myself Flame Red PR9, Ultramarine Deep PB29 and Permanent Yellow Deep PY1. I used the same Primary White PW6 for both wheels. The black in the center is not the Primary Black PBk7 of the set but mixed of the three primary colors. The primary mix was easier than the colors I chose. That flame red is pushy!

Wednesday of Va-kay

Sunday Paint Day

Went out and took advantage of a bright cool day. That brings its own challenges of fast-drying paint but I soldiered on.

Sunday Paint Day