I am back. I needed a brief break to get myself back together in the studio, meaning that a major tidy was in order and from the looks of my desk, a major tidy is needed to put the paperwork in place once again.
The piece I was working on to send off to Norway for the #twitterartexhibit was sent off a couple of weeks ago. To my relief, David Sandum sent me a message a few days ago saying that he had received it. You might recall that my submission for the previous exhibit, a year or so ago, was lost in the mail and did not make it in time for the due date. In fact, it was several days after that when it surfaced. All is well, I am quite happy that my submission made it in time for this exhibit which begins in April. Check out the latest on the exhibit using the hashtag #twitterartexhibit or #DavidSandumArt. Remember to send your pieces in for the exhibition so that they arrive no later than March 30. That will give David two weeks to get the exhibit set up and I am guessing that with the number of artistic pieces being sent to him, it will be a labour of love to place these patchwork sized pieces up on the wall coordinating colours and textures.
I have put a picture of my submission to the side of the post as well as a picture of another painting that I did this week. Both are done using acrylic inks, which I am new to using and learning how to work with in order to get the results I am trying to achieve. I would say that the inks are much like watercolours, with the main difference being that the ink is very hard to scrub off of my fingers. Consequently, I am extremely careful not to leave Molly in the studio if I make a coffee or tea run to the kitchen. I well remember scrubbing ultramarine blue acrylic paint off of my kitchen floor in the old flat and doubt that the inks would wipe up as neatly. At this point, I have the sides of a few fingers as well as their tips tinted with yellow ink making one think that I have indulged in one too many cigarettes. That is not the case and I can put my hand on the bible and state that no cigarettes have been smoked in over three decades. I think one more major scrub with the nail brush and I should be back to the normal skin tone I usually have. But, if that does not work, I do have an ink that is flesh toned and might be just the ticket to try on a finger or two. Just kidding!
I have a feeling that I am going to continue with the inks for a while since I am enjoying experimenting with them. Building up colour and testing how one ink blends with another is fun. I am also working in the use of watercolour pencils along with the inks to get another colour blended but still showing on top of the original colour laid out on the paper. Using different coloured papers that I picked up at the art supply shop a few weeks ago is proving interesting as well. Building up the colour without saturating the paper is tricky and involves patience that I am still trying desperately to cultivate. But, I must be progressing in that department. Two nights ago, when I was in the studio, I looked up to see that it was 1:30 a.m. Working on the sunflower painting had me so involved that I had lost complete track of the time and lost out on my hour of reading before calling it a night.
So, yes, reading is still very much part of my daily routine as we move into the third month of this year. One of my plans for the new year was to make sure that I took time out each day to enjoy a few chapters of a book. I had hoped that it would be possible to read two books per month and I seem to be able to manage that without too much trouble. I have read "The Hunger Games" trilogy, "Bird by Bird", and "The Awakening" at this point. Currently, I am working my way through Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write" and Nancy Holder's/Debbie Viguies' "Wicked: Witch & Curse." One book good for the mind, the other satisfying the urge for that urge for something a little less than would be considered nutritionally sound if it were a meal. I will let you decide which book matches up with the mentioned categories. Those who have been following me on my journey will no doubt pick up on my enjoyment of books that relate to the supernatural. I have to confess, I love reading books of most genres, but give me a series like "Twilight", "The Hunger Games" and so on, and you will find me totally involved to the point where the book is carried with me at all times so that should I find myself waiting for my appointment at the doctor's office or in line to pay for a purchase, I can pull out the current book that is being inhaled, and indulge in a few more pages whilst waiting. A few days ago, whilst sipping on a coffee while on an outing, I spent a lovely hour or so enjoying a few chapters of one of the books currently being read. That is the joy of reading, you can always pick up where you left off and use whatever time you have available to make some progress through a book. The books I am currently reading are both actual paperback books, but never fear, the e-reader is being used as well and I have a few books downloaded to dive into when I need a break.
I wonder where the e-reader will take us in terms of books being published. Will we still be able to pick up a current best seller in paperback form or will most books be published as e-books? There is something so satisfying about holding a book whilst reading it. There is a smell to the book, the ink, the pages, not so much with the e-reader. I have to admit that the e-reader has its merits. I can easily toss it in my purse to take with me and have more than one book to look through without the heft of additional books in my bag. The leather cover protecting the e-reader gives the illusion of holding a book whilst giving me all the benefits of this new age reading format. Have you switched over to e-books or will you stick to traditional books? I can never see myself giving up actual books since I feel that certain books just do not format well on e-readers. Cookbooks, books on art techniques and so on are always going to have pride of placement in my bookcase and in my heart. I have had too many good relationships with actual books and will never totally give them up anymore than I could say that I will never eat another chocolate chip cookie. That would just be cruel and unnecessary!
So, that is how my life has played out over the past few weeks. Nothing earth shaking, but at the same time, progressing at a pace that I am comfortable with. What are you working on artistically or otherwise? The longer days seem to offer more time to work on projects, but at the same time provide more distractions. I find myself looking at seed packages and wondering what I should plant on my little balcony. I am debating on some herbs that I can use in the kitchen along with a few flowering tubs. Pansies catch my fancy as do sweet peas, but I had better decide soon. Sweet pea seeds need to soak a while to soften the outer casing if memory serves me correctly. Oh well, now I have more reason to stay on the computer and do some research on what I could reasonably grow with minimal effort. At least bringing water to the balcony using my walker lightens the load. I will just have to make certain that a little feline is safely tucked into another room and cannot escape onto the balcony or beyond. I cannot bear to think of Molly getting lost and not having her cheerful little face waking me up each morning.
So, that is how life is moving for us mid month. I am at the point of portioning out all the entrees that have been bubbling away today. A beef brisket, pot of soup, baked chicken breasts along with a batch of muffins is or will be cooling until they can be tucked away into my freezer. Julie Anne Rhodes (http://julieannerhodes.com/) has made me a cooking convert. It really is so much better to use her PCApproach to cooking and enjoy homecooked meals each night. Thank you Julie Anne! You will never know how much better meal time is since you taught me your approach to cooking. Anyone reading my blog would do well to check out Julie Anne's site and join the community. I can guarantee that your dinners will be wonderful and you will meet the nicest people in the forum.
Have a wonderful week! I hope you find some time to do things that you truly enjoy.