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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

I took today off because 1) it is my favorite holiday; 2) I never do; 3) this is payback for being too old, too tall, and too awkward to go trick-or-treating; and 4) I strongly feel this day should be a national holiday, especially if you live in the northeast, and I don't know why it isn't. I think these are all excellent reasons to take a day off.

For this year's jack o'lantern, I used one of Leo Lionni's illustrations from his charming story "Frederick" as a reference:

"And when they saw Frederick sitting there, staring at the meadow, they said, 'And now, Frederick?'
'I gather colors,' answered Frederick simply. 'For winter is grey.'" 

Here also is an October-y moon-cat, painted for my mom's birthday earlier this month. Oh there are days when I still expect to see my two funny little monsters running around the house -- especially on Halloween, when Pepper looked particularly spectacular (and most mischievous) against the pumpkin orange. 

I had never tried a tempera-like medium before and I say "tempera-like" because instead of pure pigments, I just ground up some of my pastels and mixed them with the egg yolk. I love being able to pile on layers (aka make mistakes and be able to cover them up) but I'm not sure how I feel about the egg part. I sort of badly mixed up part of the yolk with one of the green colors and I couldn't help but think that it looked like some weird rancid-but-not egg paste...glgughhh. (Sorry mom!) It did get better, though, and I hope to try this out again. 

Also this month I participated in the Inktober 2017 challenge on Instagram. A few posts were pretty darn banal but here are two fall-y ones from near the end that I quite like:

After initially being completely daunted (and momentarily forgetful that inks do in fact come in other colors besides black), I discovered that I really enjoyed testing out different ways of using the ink: wet on wet, mixing colors, letting the ink almost dry and then bleeding out the edges with water, and so on. On one of the posts Beth Garnett commented (we were talking about different media): "I love the bleed and the bloom [of ink] too much" ... that sums it up for me too!

You can see the rest of the posts here
In the meantime, and to all of those lucky ducks who can still go out tonight, have a wonderful and safe time, and stay warm!

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Summer Ends

I seem to be ending the month as I began it: shivering. The strange part about this is that only two days before - both then, as I sat sketching on the porch of a little cabin up in Old Forge and now, in the fading light of my apartment - it was boiling hot out. But in true upstate New York fashion, you never can tell what the weather will do. Just like life, I suppose. 

What a serene and silent spot that was. I realized, both suddenly and sadly, that I had forgotten what it was like to be in such a place (we used to live far, far downstate, smack-bang in the middle of Sterling Forest, where it sometimes seemed that there were more salamanders around than people). I have such vivid memories of that time, and so it was not without some disgust that I wondered, "Have I become so used to living in a suburb? Could I not live that kind of small-town life again?" 

We also visited the Adirondack Museum, at Blue Mountain. What a place. It is a sort of interactive museum-gallery and enormous-educational-experience all rolled into one. I can't recommend it enough. All I will say after leaving there is that I thank the heavens that I was not born a logger in the 19th century. Nope. Nor the wife of one nor the carthorse of one. How hardy everyone had to be back then....

But anyways. Now with The Colder Months ahead of us, and largely thanks to a few artist and writer friends, I'm feeling quite inspired to start up the Lapsed Blog again. The time gets away from me so easily...that I felt very certainly and sharply this month. 

So good-bye, late-summer, you wistful thing. You were a funny sort of sometimes-sad adventure. We saw Ships, some waterfalls, almost teetered at the edge of a cliff, travelled to moose-territory-part-of-the-state, went to THE hardware store, didn't catch a crab, and managed to make it out alive. 

US Brig Niagara, at the Port of Rochester

I look forward to October.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Moon baby

A coworker of mine recently had a beautiful baby boy and this is the picture I did for the occasion, complete with three sleepy, lounging felines.

Also in time for the grand full moon that is up in the sky right now. I was sorry to miss last night's sky but it was very overcast and stormy yesterday. Here's hoping for tonight. Not the sliver above, of course, but that is probably my most favorite shape and, well, I couldn't resist!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Death by shopping

Somewhere between forgetting to bring it with me and The Crippling Fear of the Blank Page, I admit I am pretty terrible about keeping a regular sketchbook. But I'm trying! So here's to sketch-booking more and to the recording of...amusing...situations that sometimes come up...

Thanks to ABK for the "ghosts of husbands-past" quip.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Tranquil Quartet, episode 1

Some dynamics - the other kind! - and a quick sketch from quartet today. It's been a while since I've posted and since I returned from Bologna I've been doing some color and character work (I've put a few new images are up on the website and Instagram) but it only hit me today that I have such a fine, fine outlet for the latter right in front of me. 

(And yes, we are a group of five, but we double the second violin part...including all the shameless snickering.)