NY Resolutions – Day 5 Update

We’re five days into January, and I am proud to say that my resolutions are still in effect.  Don’t even say, “Heather, it’s only been 4 days.  Of course they are still in effect.”  January 1 is essentially a holiday, which in my mind means that you should be able to do whatever in the hell you want – including eating out at a nice restaurant, snacking on chocolate chip cookies, and drinking some nice whiskey or wine.  Well, I’m proud to say I did none of those things!

Here is a status update:

  1. Avoid ALL gluten (including no beer at all – no matter how delicious the concoctions at Great River sound).  Goal met!
  2. No alcohol except for social events (no drinking at home, in other words).  We had company yesterday, so I drank with them (it qualified as a “social event”).  I kind of wish I would not have, however.  I had 2 whiskey and waters and one cider (gluten fee).  My right wrist is killing me today – alcohol-inspired inflammation.  Bah.  But I kind of HAD to drink, as it was a key component of yesterday’s activity, “Drink and Draw 2013.”  My friend Michael and I got together to create some art.  We figured alcohol would get the creative juices flowing.  And it did!  Michael created three awesome sketches, and I did a sketch/pen drawing of Lucent and a pastel drawing of Link (of Zelda fame).  We had a very relaxing, fruitful afternoon, and it made me happy to see our living room covered in art supplies.  I even accidentally dyed my slippers with pastel dust when the box dumped out on them.  It was good times.
  3. Eat supper out only 1 time per week.  We are considering buying a new house or possibly even building a new house, so we are trying to save approximately $300/month before making any moves to prove that we can afford a higher house payment.  We figure this equates to about 2 meals out per week (2*$30 = $60 * 4 = $240).  Michael and I did eat out lunch yesterday, but I paid for it out of my personal account, which is not subject to this goal.  We ate supper at home.  We tried out the barbacoa again, which after being cut with a whole can of chicken broth is still insanely hot.  It’s no good on my Hlo tummy.  We have SO much left though.  I wonder if I freeze it, if it will calm down….
  4. Spend 30 minutes each day doing something creative – writing, painting, or reading (reading isn’t technically “creative,” but it is good for your brain, so I’m letting it count).  This goal has actually been keeping me  pretty happy over the past 4 days!  I’ve been reading a lot more.  I’m going to finish “Cloud Atlas” if it kills me. I wrote in my journal for the first time in a year, and I did the aforementioned art projects.  It’s very satisfying to produce something instead of consume something.  Speaking of which, I canceled my order for these awesome $135 LL Bean Boots.  I wanted new boots because my jeans don’t fit OVER my current boots, so I have to tight-roll them to get them INSIDE the boots, and that’s ugly and uncomfortable.  But, I figured I don’t really NEED new boots.  My current boots are cool and functional.  So instead I bought a pair of $20 skinny jeans that fit inside my boots. I never thought I’d get these hips in skinny jeans, but they don’t look too bad, and they saved me $115!

I hope your resolutions are sticking as well!  If you need some inspiration, check out this article, 50 Ways to Achieve Greatness In Your Life.  What I love about this list, is that a lot of the items deal with just improving yourself.  It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you have to do something grandiose and earth-shattering to be “successful.”  But, nope, you just have to improve yourself every day.  That will make the world around you a better place.  It’s an attainable goal that can still inspire you.  Here are some other thoughts from the list that I really love:

9. Don’t be jealous, be inspired.

10. When you’re talking to someone, listen to them very carefully as if that is the last time you’ll ever hear their voice again.

18. Challenge yourself everyday.

25. Learn everything you can to make yourself better.  To be a better provider.  To be a better man.

31. Progress, not perfection.  Stop beating yourself up for not being perfect and focus on small changes that make you 1% better everyday.

45. Remember, the most important things in life don’t cost any money. Love, friendship, hope, respect, dignity, character…

Good stuff!! 🙂

Zentangle – Day One

The Mammacita and I took our first Zentangle class at the Figge today.  Mom has been interested in Zentangle for awhile, and she got me interested in it as well.  What is Zentangle, you ask?  Well, despite what the teacher said, it’s essentially structured doodling.  You take a 3.5 inch square of nice paper, draw a dot in each corner, connect the dots with rather “floaty” line (no straight connections).  Then you draw a dot in the middle of each line and draw a swoopy Z between the lines.  This separates your square into 4 sections.  In each section you design a different “tangle” which is basically a pattern that can range from dots, to lines, to branches, to grids, etc.  There are probably literally hundreds of different predesigned patterns, and of course you can always design your own.

Here are the tiles Mom and I created yesterday:

Mom’s, of course, are better.  Hers are the ones on the right – beautiful balance of light and dark and excellent shading!  But the first rule of Zentangle, is “There are no mistakes.”

Despite being a very simple idea, it’s actually pretty fun to do.  A while back Mom got a huge kit of Zentangle books and markers (Micron pens in all shapes, sizes, and colors), so she split her hoard with me.  I woke up thinking about creating some “tangles” today.  I have to say, it’s pretty addictive.

The woman who organized the class, Pat Bereskin, mentioned that she might organize a group of people who want to meet regularly and do Zentangles together.  I think that would be really fun.

I have a hard time explaining the allure.  I think it’s a combination of several factors.  For people like me, who have a hard time creating art not based on a picture, the art form gives you a template to work with – just enough structure to provide comfort, but enough flexibility to let your creativity shine through.  Also, the small size makes it manageable.  It’s hard to find an hour or two to work on a 25″ square watercolor painting, but finding 15 or 30 minutes to do a tile or at least one section of a tile is completely doable.

I think it would be fun to make time to do a tangle a day.  I think it would be a good way to flip your brain to the Left Side for a while, and it would end up being almost a visual diary of your life.  I might do that…

The creators of Zentangle (who, Mom and I decided, should have really been Tim, based on the artwork he showed us), offer a Zentangle Certified Teacher program.  Of course, like all things branded as Zentangle, it is quite expensive (around $800).  But it sounds like a good time. 🙂  Plus, our 3-hour class yesterday cost $45.00.  I bet around $30 for each student went to the instructor.  There were at least 30 people there – so that’s $900 she made in 3 hours.  Plus, she had the official Zentangle supplies there for sale.  And they are NOT cheap.  The paper they use for the tiles IS beautiful, but wow – it’s like $ 0.55/tile.  So what I’m saying, is that in a couple of classes, you could recoup your expenses.  Maybe you could write the class off as a business expense too.  Hmmm….

Anyway, I didn’t spring for any of the pricey Zentangle stuff at the class.  Instead I pulled out my huge stack of partially used sketchbooks and cut up some 3.5″ tiles.  Using the scissors to cut them up was annoying, so I found a paper cutter on eBay for $9.99!  The shipping is $15, but that still seems pretty cheap.  I’ve been wanting one anyway – to cut up ATCs (Artist Trading Cards).  I’m really going to need to convert a room in our basement to a studio.  I’m accumulating too much art junk.  The Computer Room can no longer contain it.

If you are interested in learning more about Zentangle, here are  a few links for you to check out:

Official Zentangle Site:  http://www.zentangle.com/

Neat company that sells cool pens, paper and Zentangle junk & stuff:  http://www.paperinkarts.com/zentangle.html

Arts/Crafts Projects

I have not been a total lazy bum lately.  Actually, my productivity will probably continue to go up, as Tim and I recently finished watching Lost on Netflix.  That a was a huge time-suck, but what else are you supposed to do in the dead of winter in the middle of the Midwest?

Anyway, I’ve worked on a couple of projects lately.  The first one I started a few weeks ago.  My brother took this amazing picture of his dog, Jojo, staring straight into the sun.  You could see the sun shining through his eyes.  So beautiful.  I tried to capture it with watercolor, but it didn’t quite pan out.  Here is take 1:

I like how light his eyes are and how the front of his face (the side facing the sun) is pretty bright.  However, I didn’t get the slope of his forehead right (Jojo is part Pit, part Boxer), and his juicy jowls were underdeveloped.  I also wanted to blacken the background some more with another coat of Lamp Light guache.

I think I just made it worse.  Here is take 2:

I ended up darkening the face too much and accidentally took the light out his eyes.  Oh well, live and learn, right?  I should try the whole painting over again, but that’s just so frustrating to me.  I have a zillion (almost literally) pictures of JJ to work from, so maybe I should just try one of those.

I’ve found, however, that I paint and draw things better that I am intimately familiar with.  When I am sketching or painting, I can almost feel the curve of the eye or the ear in my fingers if I’ve touched it enough in real life.  We are visiting Jojo (and my bros) this July, so maybe I’ll have to give Jojo a good, thorough head scratch, and then try my hand at painting him again.

In between takes 1 and 2, I worked on something much less frustrating.  Tim got me a Sony e-Reader, but I had no cover for it.  Tim suggested crocheting one. I decided to take him up on his suggestion and made this over the course of 2 Bones episodes:

It took 3 tries to get the coozie to be the exact right size (not too tight, not too loose), but the final effect is kinda pretty.  The coozie is unsealed at the top, so I cannot use it upside down (until I figure out how to make some sort of clasp, at least), but at least it keeps the Lucent hair off.  I just stitched a chain with a combo of Peruvian Print and Heather Grey and then did double crochets off that chain, working up until the coozie was tall enough to cover the e-Reader.  Not too shabby.  Maybe I’ll try selling these on my Etsy site. I haven’t sold one thing on it so far; maybe this is my meal ticket.

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  Mammacita and I are taking a Zentangle class on Saturday.  That promises to be fun!  I will post pix from the day afterward. I’m sure Mom’s stuff will be amazing 🙂

It’s finally finished

Back in April, one of my co-workers found out that I dabble in calligraphy, and he asked me to do “Dance like nobody’s watching” in calligraphy on a small sheet of paper, so he could give it to his wife.  I assured him that I am no good as a calligrapher, but told him that I could probably convince my mom to do the piece, as she is an excellent scribe.

I never caught her in the right moment; however, so I resolved to do it myself.  I did 4 or 5 pieces that I was very dissatisfied with.  Then I decided to do it on watercolor paper on top of a nice watercolor wash.  I finally completed one that I was fairly happy with only to realize that I had written “Dance like nobody’s wathing.”  According to the Urban Dictionary, wathing is “Stalkerishly watching someone or something bathe.”  I think the most disturbing part of that definition is the part about watching “something” bathe in a stalkerish manner.  Shiver.

Anyway, missing the “C” changed the meaning of the phrase resolutely.  So I had to start over.  Again.

I was working on painting an ocean scene, so my palette was already loaded with purples, greens, and blues, so I got the paper soaking wet and washed those colors over it.  I then peppered the paper with kosher salt.  When it was all dry, it had a neat, almost tie-dyed, effect.  I drew guidelines on and went at it with a teal calligraphy pen.

Man, I really need to start taking better pictures of my stuff.  Anyway,  it’s not awesome, and the calligraphy  needs a lot of work, but I gave it to my friend yesterday, and he was really happy with it.  As long as the (non-paying) customer is happy, I am happy. It only took me 6 months to complete it!  Now I just need to finish my Mom (from Futurama) painting, and I’ll have a totally clean slate.

To get me off on the right foot, this morning I spent half-an-hour typing up an inventory of all our (“our” being Mom and me) watercolor paints.  It seems that for every class I take, I have to spend $40 on paints, even though I already have 3 baggies full of them.  Somehow I never have the exact right shade of cadmium yellow (the teacher requires deep and I have light, etc.).  To save time, I created a spreadsheet with columns for Main Color, Color Name, and Brand.  Now I can easily sort to see all the various reds or greens that I have.  It’s pretty awesome.  I kinda want to sign up for a class right this minute, so I can tell in 60 seconds whether I already have the appropriate colors in stock.  Ah, blessed spreadsheets…

On that note, Go Hawks!  Weeeuuwww!

Watercolor Aspirations

So…again I haven’t written in a while.  That doesn’t mean that  I haven’t had anything to write about.  It just means that I haven’t written in a while.  I’ve actually had tons of things I wanted to write about, but my old bane, inaction, has been at it again. Maybe if we tossed the couch and the TV, I might actually get something done.  I blame some of my inaction on an uninspiring work location.

I moved my laptop to the top of our book-case in an attempt to create an ad-hoc stand-up desk.  It works fairly well; however, I don’t have much room to work, and since I’m just standing there facing the wall, I feel rather anti-social.  It’s not an environment that is conducive to creative enterprises.  It’s conducive to checking email and Facebook, and that is all.  My brother and father are both building me stand up desks…eventually. They both have plans, and they will both build something amazingly beautiful, but it may be awhile.  Anyway, once I get my stand-up desk(s), I am going to experiment with a little rearranging, so I can position it in front of a window instead of a wall.  I stare at fabric-covered walls for 8 hours * 5 days a week, and I can’t take the wall-staring a minute longer on the weekends.

I did find a way to alleviate some of my cubicle discomfort.  I purchased a piece of original, amazing art from Ryan Hayes.  It’s a small piece of art that packs a big punch.  It’s funny; when I first considered taking watercolor classes, I was reluctant to do so because when I thought of watercolor, I thought of poorly painted, washed-out, sad little flowers.  That wasn’t what I was interested in painting. At all.  However, the more watercolor work I see, the more  I realize how false my prejudice was.  People create absolutely stunning work with watercolor.  It’s ironic, though, that the piece I bought is a painting of flowers.  But it has amazing movement in it.  Check it out here.  See what  I mean?  Anyway, I hung this painting up in my cubicle.  It breaks up the expanse of grey & tan and provides my eye with a much-needed visual retreat.  It also reminds me that I should be doing artwork of my own.

On that note, I signed up for another art class at the Figge.  This class will focus more on technique, I think.  I kind of jumped into watercolor painting without have any basics in it.  Hopefully this class will strengthen the foundation.  While looking up the colors that I need for this class, I ran across this website:  http://www.watercolorpainting.com/index.htm.  It has tons of good information and tutorials on the basics (how to hold your brush, how to do a wash, etc.).

My friend, Butterbrickled, is creating an animation involving pirates and ninjas.  It looks great so far, and he has enlisted my help to paint some floaty/Tiny Wings inspired backgrounds for it.  I’m happy that he has assigned me a task, as hopefully it will make me actually get my gear out and get to work.  I lack motivation something fierce.

I read a good article from LifeHacker today, though.  The article advised just DOING something, one thing that you’ve been putting off, to get yourself out of a rut.  It’s so easy to fall into a rut of inactivity, and so hard to get out.  But just by taking action – any action (cleaning off your desk, for example), you can start to lever yourself out.  I have  about 10 things hanging over my head that I know I need to do, but I keep putting off. So, my baby step today is to finally write a blog post.

My pretty letter S

I forgot to upload one of my letters last week.  This one is just a little guy.  I painted him on an ATC (artist trading card).  I tried to paint a border around the letter, but the line was very messy, so instead I colored in the background with a purple wash and then used my PITT artist pen to draw on the border.  I really like how it turned out.

I must say, though, that painting on 2.5″ by 3.5″ pieces of paper is tough.  I need to drink like 50 cups of chamomile tea to steady my hands first.

We’re taking a trip to Dick Blick in Galesburg today to pick up the supplies for our Mark Polomchak class next month.  I am super excited.  I am sure to buy more than I need, but I have a huge soft spot for art supplies – there is just so much potential there!

Painted Mom and More Letters

I broke out the old watercolors again this weekend.  I need to finish up a couple of note cards for some friends, and my drawing of Mom (from Futurama fame) has been taunting me.  She’s all stretched out and stapled to my painting board, just waiting to be juiced up in living color.  Or at least in plastic color.

I’ll start with the letters.  Here is the M. I like the structure of the letter, but I wish I would have used a smaller palette of colors.  This is quite the rainbow M!

 

 

 

 

 

The N started out really well.  I was really happy with the balance of the letter, and the straightness of the lines.

 

 

 

 

 

I mucked up the painting of the letter, though.  The left-hand side got too muddied, and no amount of lifting the paint off would get it ethereal anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

As Tim pointed out to me yesterday, however (which amazingly came as sort of an epiphany to me), I have a tendency to focus on the negative.  I should focus on the right side of the letter, with which I am quite happy.  Half good is better than no good.

And…on to Mom.  I only have the base colors done so far.  She needs some more layers to get the colors right, and then some shading to finish her up.  I think she’ll look really cool when she’s done, though.

 

 

 

Look closely, and you will see that Mom’s hair is too big for the paper, and she has 2 staples through it.  I am spatially challenged, what can I say.  Maybe that can be my thing – my claim to artistic fame – all of my art runs off the page due to bad centering.  Ah, I’m waxing negative again, damn it!

Hopefully next week I can finish up the Mom painting and the cards, so I can figure out what to do next.  Mom (my mom, not the Futurama mom) and I are taking a watercolor paint class in Chicago (taught by Mark Polomchak) in February, so I need to practice some more, so I can keep up with the rest of the class.

Take care, and best wishes on your creative projects!

Artistic Experimentation

As I mentioned in my last post (several weeks ago; I’m sorry to say), I worked on an art project a few weeks ago.  At the time, I couldn’t post pictures because the art was going to be gifts to my family.  But, Mom and Dad’s anniversary is over, and all the art was given to its intended recipients, so I can post pictures now.

As I’ve mentioned before, I dislike doing backgrounds when  I draw or paint.  I also enjoy doing calligraphy even though I am no good at it, due to a tremendous lack of practice.  Well, a couple of months ago I ran across Strathmore notecards made of watercolor paper.  I was intrigued and tempted by their small size.  I decided to marry my love of calligraphy with my dislike for large pieces of paper and made these:

With very light pencil lines, I drew centering lines vertically and horizontally.  I then used the Speedball Textbook to find a type of font that I liked.  I settled on blackletter, a beautiful gothic font.  Since, as I previously mentioned, I never practice calligraphy as I should, I cannot reliably free-form the letters.  Instead I sketched them out,  trying to get the angles and shapes correct.  It was difficult to see if the shape was perfect until the lines were filled in, however.  As a result, some of the angles are off.  There is something a little wrong with the bottom of this B, but I can’t quite figure it out…

Once I was fairly satisfied with the penciled-in letters, I went over my pencil lines with a Pilot Parallel pen (quick aside here  – I love this pen.  I hadn’t used it in months and months, but I just ran some warm water over the nib, and the ink starting flowing freely immediately.  It’s super easy to use).  As you can see in some of the more up-close photos, the ink did not lay on the paper completely evenly.  This is mostly due to the grain of the watercolor paper – it’s not the best medium for a calligraphy pen.  I think I should have used an Artist Pen, like the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, something that is waterproof and super black.    I also had issues with the ink from the parallel pen bleeding into the watercolor.  I kind of like how it looks, though – a little scratchy, a little messy.  I didn’t want the letters to look as if they were created on a computer.

Once the letters were drawn on with the pen, I started filling them in with watercolor.  My mom lent me several tubes of beautiful watercolor paint, but I resorted to using my cheap little Prang set.  My workspace is very truncated, and the Prang set is so nice and compact.  I mixed colors together that I thought were pretty and interesting, just to see how they would look.  In short, I experimented.

Blue fading to green for Nathan:

Red fading to yellow for Timmy Tee:

Inspired by the Celticness of the C for Charles, my Dad, I did green fading into orange.

To match my Mom’s gorgeous blue eyes, I did blue fading to yellow for Donita.  This is actually Take 2 for Mom’s card.  The first D I did for her was done using Uncial, a more rounded script.  I had a hard time getting the balance of the letter correct, and the color was not quite right.  When I tried to fix it, it just turned to mud.  So, I started over, and the second one turned out much better.

It’s hard to tell in the photos, but on each letter, I threw salt on the paint when it was still wet.  The salt absorbs some of the paint and gives it a slightly mottled look.  I just had to be careful to wait until the paint was completely dry before scratching off the salt; otherwise, smear city.

Once the letters were done, the cards looked a little too empty, so using a ruler I painted a border on each card, using the major color of the letter.

I wasn’t sure what to actually write inside the cards once they were finished.  “Happy Anniversary, Love Heather” just seemed too generic.  Tim gave me the idea to write a haiku in each card.  I haven’t written anything remotely poetic in probably a decade, but it sounded like fun.  I wrote 3 haikus for each person, and Tim picked out the one to put in the card.  They were nothing very earth-shattering or very clever, but I enjoyed writing them, and at least they will never receive a card from someone else with the exact same verbiage on it.

I want to make some more cards, so yesterday Tim and I took the 15 minute trip to Evergreen Art Works to get some more cards.  Unfortunately, they were plumb out.  They had every other single kind of card; just not watercolor cards.  Argh.  However, I kept looking around, hoping to find some cards forgotten on an end-cap somewhere, and found something else super cool – Artist Trading Cards.  They are these tiny (2.5″ x 3.5″) pieces of paper on which people create a piece of art.  The art is then supposed to be traded with other artists at some sort of art swap meet.  It’s amazing how creative people can be on such a little piece of paper.  Check out these images.

I can’t find any swaps in our area, so maybe we’ll have to start one.  I’m trying to talk Tim into doing some.  He is a super creative artist, and could make some really trippy ATCs.

Well, if I keep writing, I’ll never get to the cards, so I best sign off.  Happy arting everyone!

Art

Art.  What is it?  What is it not, might be a better question.  I think art can mean anything and everything, depending on the observer.

My Moms and I traveled to NYC last weekend to visit my bros.  We did tons of awesome stuff, including viewing some very interesting art.

The first piece that we viewed was The New York Earth Room, which is an art installation that’s been on display for 30 years.  We ventured off of Houston a block or two, entered a nondescript door, climbed the narrowest, steepest stairs you have ever seen, and arrived in a white room that is covered in 250 cubic yards of earth.  Dark, black, earthy earth.  Earth that looks like it came straight out of an Iowa field.  It smelled exactly like my high school art room.  In other words, it smelled delicious.  While viewing the room, I was like, “Huh, why is this “art?”  But it’s strange, looking back on our trip, it was one of the neatest things we saw/experienced.  It personified that fact that we were in New York City.  To me, NYC has always seemed like a zillion small towns packed into a small place – everyone on the block knows each other, goes to the same restaurants, shops at the same bodegas, etc., especially in the area of Brooklyn in which my brothers live.  Seeing an art installation like the Earth Room really helps you realize that you are in a unique place.  No small town would ever commission a room full of dirt.  Well, they might, but not for artistic reasons.

We saw another piece by the same artist, Walter De Maria.  The other piece was the Broken Kilometer.  De Maria laid out 500 brass rods in 5 parallel rows of 100 rows each.  Click on the link to see what I am talking about.  It was an interesting display, too, but not as cool as the Earth Room.

That evening we attended an art show in Brooklyn.  It was held in a old abbey, full of interesting rooms and windows and more hipsters than I have ever seen in one place.  I felt very alien there, with my non-skinny jeans and grey hoodie.  There was some really amazing artwork and some really, really terrible artwork.  At least, terrible to me.  In listening to my brother’s explanation of “conceptual art” I’ve decided I’m probably more traditional in my tastes.  I appreciate art that takes skill and imagination.  So much of what we saw there and in many other galleries and art museums is what to me, seems so uninspired.  What was the artist who punched perfectly circular holes in a sheet of paper trying to say?  Was he really trying to say something, or was he just trying to get something done for the opening?  Is the story an artist attaches to a piece of work more important than the work itself?

Not that I should be judging artists.  At least these people are trying to create something new to this world.  I say I want to create art, and then I just end up watching Season 2 of Veronica Mars, which isn’t even that good.

What does art mean to me, personally?  What do I consider to be art?  I appreciate art that takes skill to produce, that is creative, that is beautiful to look upon.  Art can be a really great outfit (for example, black leather Vans, faded black Levis, and a grey long-sleeved t-shirt, which is the outfit I’m rocking today), an interesting hair style, or a beautifully crafted desk.  I suppose anything that makes you think twice is art – something that arrests your attention.  That is the kind of art I find interesting and inspiring.

Catsup? No, Catch Up

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything.  Not sure why, precisely – probably a combo of being busy at work, not doing anything super exciting, and just generally being lazy.  I talked to my dad today on my way home from work.  He is 60-some years old yet somehow still finds the energy to actually get stuff done on the weekends.  I am proud of myself if, on a Saturday, I make it to the gym and read a chapter of a book not written on a 10th grade reading level.  He spends his Saturday mowing and fertilizing the yard, insulating barns, replacing basement windows, and chopping up 15-foot stacks of hardwood.  He’s fueled by copious amounts of sugar, though.  Maybe that’s his secret.  Anyway, his activity really accentuates my lack of it.

But over the past couple of weeks, however, I have started taking some strides in the right direction.  First of all, I read a book that required some mental effort, Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty.  It’s not a deep book, really.  Or maybe it is, and I just wasn’t getting it.  But the style of writing takes a lot of focus to slog through.  Maybe the book is written in a Southern style, and what with me being born and bred inIowa and all, I just cannot comprehend  the winding, obtuse prose.  I’ve never lived on a bayou or with folks named Bluet and Pinchy and women named Jim Allen.  I just don’t get it.  I prefer precision in my language.  I get annoyed when I have to figure out what is being said.  But, I finished it!  I persevered and didn’t give up.

After finishing Delta Wedding, I jumped in on The Singularity is Near, right where I left off.  This book I also find hard to understand, but only because I’m not a futurist, not because I’m an Iowan.  The book is super interesting – all about the combined evolution of man and machine.  I can’t wait to see where that takes us.

I also did a little art last weekend – nothing fancy, just a little somethingto get back on the saddle again.  I used my favorite drawing subject again, Mr. Lucent Longoria:

I was just playing around, so it’s pretty quick and dirty, but it was also fun, which is really what counts.

While Tim was making delicious burritos for supper, I also worked on my Mom sketch:

I’m going to paint it with watercolors.  I think it will look smashing when it’s done.  I need to work on my spacing, though.  I ran out of room for Mom’s hair, but oh well.  These are really practice pieces anyway.

At least I’ve been a little productive lately.  I haven’t holed myself up to re-watch all of the Firefly episodes again or anything.  It’s been tempting to do that, too, with all this annoying rain we’ve been having.  Tim and I couldn’t bike at all weekend before last, and we only made it out on Sunday last weekend, and then only for a super quick ride to Emeis Park and back.  I was trying to show off for Tim and burnt up all my energy in one little, fast burst.  I need to start training on my own, sans Tim, so that I can keep up with him when we ride together.

Hope you all had a pleasant, fruitful weekend!