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This week I did quite a few drawings, and more of them will be here in a day or two. I also started oil painting and completed a couple of tiny test canvases. One was four inches by six, the other four by eight. I included a picture of the two of them together so you can get an idea of how small they are. Soon I’ll be moving up to a much larger canvas (probably 18 by 24 or so) but these were a fun way to get my feet wet and find out what it was like to work with the materials.
So far I love it, by the way. The way the paint smells and feels, the brushes, the long working time, it’s all great. I’m happy to have the opportunity to do this at long last. It was one very big item on my bucket list. If anyone has interest, I’ll write an article about the best way to find halfway decent painting supplies without paying a huge amount of money.
I learned a lot about what not to do with a palette knife here!
Here, to be random, is a picture of Nezumi sleeping with her paw over her eyes. “Moms, turn the light off, wouldja?”
This week I did even more cards for coworkers – Boss’s Day plus a couple of birthdays. So that cut into my InkTober arting just a bit. However, I also finished a painting that had been sitting for oh, ten years or so, and did some digital stuff. I’m still fascinated by clouds and never cease to be amazed by them. Who cares about the latest entertainment news when I have Omigawd CLOUDS! That one is a perfect orangy pink and I could totally do that with a liner brush and just a little blending… it looks like brushstrokes across the sky as it is…
On to the art.
I jest, I jest.
Well, maybe I have a little midlife crisis. I’m about to…. (drumroll please) switch from acrylics to oils.
It happened like this. Due to the neighbor problems that caused me to buy a house in the first place, I hadn’t felt much like painting in quite a while. Who knew acrylics can go bad inside a sealed tube? When I was transferring my stuff from apartment to house, I realized that nearly every tube and bottle of acrylic paint was lumpy, half coagulated, and resistant to re-mixing.
Or is it?
Living in this house with all its possibilities has caused me to think a little more creatively – and since I’ve always wanted to try painting with oils, and have rediscovered the wet on wet painting technique via Bob Ross, why not replace my acrylics with oils?
Problem solved, opportunity found.
The cost is a little higher, yes, okay maybe a lot higher, but like the watercolors and colored pencils I used on the greeting card you see above, oil paints take a lot more punishment before going bad.
For cleaning I am going to use orange oil (similar properties as lavender spike oil, used by artists before turpentine was common) and for those really hard jobs, stinky mineral spirits. I don’t want to use odorless mineral spirits because most of the danger is still there without the warning signs. This will be supplemented by an open window, and open door, and an exhaust fan in my study/studio.
Some of my brushes will still work. My canvasses can be reused. Same with my gesso. I think this will be an interesting adventure, and hopefully start a love affair with oils.
So there you have it… my version of a midlife crisis.
It’s so easy to be a night owl. I was. I may be again someday. I have worked swing shift for years and years. I finally found a job that starts no LATER than eight but we can show up at six thirty if we want.
I thought “Argh! I’m used to getting up at nine! Going to bed at two or three! I’m an incurable night owl! How can I ever adapt? Why would I want to?”
There was angst, trust me.
Then I moved into my new house. Everything was so topsy turvy, and I was so tired from all the hoop-jumping with the overly long loan process, not to mention packing, cleaning, hauling, cleaning, moving boxes, putting things away, and worrying about car troubles – I was ready for bed every night by ten.
I decided “It’s a heat wave right now. It’s already over ninety by the time I have to drive in. I’m going to get up early.”
It felt strange at first, but I realized I really liked it. It’s so cool and quiet in the morning. The traffic is light. It’s not so stressful to commute. The people at work are quieter at six thirty and we can get a lot done before the rest come in at eight. There’s a bit of camaraderie between all the early folks.
I mention all this because it can be so easy to think “I can’t change, I have to do this because x and y and z,” and by doing that you might actually be missing out on a lot. Getting up early can give you a little more time in the morning, to get ready for the day, have caffeine of some form, maybe even sit down to eat breakfast. Who knows?
Hopefully life will allow me to stay an early riser for a while!
If you don’t get up early now, and you get a chance to try it, you might like it.
In my new suburban paradise, I have seen some beautiful skies. It’s the middle of Monsoon, which has been a bit odd this year. Not as many big storms, more hot and muggy days. It’s all right. Weather varies, and no one can predict it all the time.
Mindflight may be taking a new turn, but it is certainly not gone. Much has changed in my life but my priorities are the same. I want to share inspiration that will remind everyone to reach toward their dreams. In fact, now I want to do that more than ever! More details in days to come.
Here are some skyscapes from my new neighborhood – which I love. Expect to see ideas for home improvement projects and possibly some grilling tips as I settle into home ownership!