Tuesday, April 29, 2014

dear doc

here are some of the thumbnails of the latest.. and click on the side to see the others

part detail of the beginning of blue jay

Sunday, April 27, 2014

sunday with the ducks

happy sunday to everyone..
i am just in from the ducks, bernie had to go in 4 hours early tonight for some sort of safety class so i told him i would bring the ducks out and he should catch as much sleep as he can.
i filled the ponds with hot water as amelia was limping and i was wondering if she had a bit of binding, although there was a freshly laid egg in their inside pens this morning
everyone is in the molt too
including the quail
this week is very busy, between medical appointments (i lucked out and got the endo i preferred this WEEK, normally wait time for her is 6-8 months! so i have no doubt someone is looking over me)
i also have art supplies coming, the fixatives for the colored pencils-
AND i finally used a gift certificate i was given for christmas, i bought an led light box, ... i was going to make it but decided that this one beings it was only about 1/2'' high was probably a better idea, it also has a dimming function...and is eye safe so i figured that what i could build was not as good as this one, oh and it's light weight so it can go on my little work surface which is nothing more then a piece of painted plywood.
the studio is coming along slowly.....now if i could only get the flat files (20 drawers seems more practical now) and the desktop along with the drawing tablet ....i think mostly the hardscape is done- then i have just ongoing supplies to replace i believe
i've decided to restock anything that's getting low....so while there was a 25% off and i had an order going in i picked up a tube of paint that i am not only getting low on but that may not be available in the future as the pigment is not being made anymore

i also have the layout of the next in my second nest series.....i think this one is number 5, however i am having a terrible time transferring it to watercolor paper.. which is also ready to go, being taped down on my working board-- i would so feel better to have more then one painting going too right now- i like having a 'filler' series going as well as a demanding series, i'd done that with the gulls and then with the frogs and i realized how much fun that is.......

ok now i got fawn her meds, the ducks, chicken and quail taken care of...... budgies are watered and fed- i got my second coffee and i am about ready to get into the studio
(what i should do is pull it apart and add another work surface but maybe i'll do that tomorrow)
til next time
take good care

Thursday, April 24, 2014

thursday thursday, doesn't quite have the ring of 'monday monday'

but there you go..it's thursday
blood work was done yesterday... results due monday, and i forgot AGAIN to call the endo for the appointment
meanwhile i realized i forgot to get white transfer paper, and a tube of cerulean blue-- so i'm going to have to fudge the blue
i did however receive the black paper-- and i asked the company about it as i've never used it before and didn't want to waste a ton of paper or time experimenting, nor did i find a water/mould mark on it
(below see quote from the company!! wow they were fast and very pleasant to deal with)

"Stonehenge Black is somewhat two-sided in color tone. The richer, darker black is the side to work on. The best way to tear the sheet is with the grain, which is easy to determine. Here's how: leave the sheet flat on any surface and just lift one side to the other - the grain direction will be in the direction that gives you less resistance. It is always advisable to fold any cover weight sheet with the grain to avoid an uneven fold or cracking. If you are working with the 22 x 30 sheet size the grain direction will be long, parallel with the deckle edges. It is also better in order to get a cleaner fold or to make it easier to tear try using a large paper clip (rounded side) and gently score (slightly crease) the line to be folded or torn - this will make it easier as well."

i am kicking around how exactly i am going to be doing this next series, and i think i figured it out, maybe..... i'll have to do some comps for this one, and makes some actual notes.......just like when i was working in the art departments

meanwhile i'm laying out the next in the nest 2 series, and i think it's going to be transferred tomorrow
that's if i don't do a full comp before i just get annoyed and say screw it...
if i do a full comp then i guess i'll be transferring over the weekend-
and i am seriously considering that light box...either buying or building

i need to get into town to see about plexi for the top and an led strip for the lighting... so it may end up cheaper to order a ready made one....

what else has been happening? well my knee is slowly (very very slowly) healing.... i also found that if i get a good solid 8-10 hours sleep my elbows etc stop hurting as bad.
i am starting to get back to cooking and some very light chores.... i tripped again yesterday so i backed off again.....i won't rush into full tilt boogie this time... that last fall was that bad.

in painting news, the frog series is over for now, i told bernie .....'really i don't have any more to say about frogs at the moment' and then laughed at how silly that sounded
but i realized its true!

however i am going to have a LOT to say when i start using that black paper..... (which i really wish was dark blue)
and with that paper i am considering pulling out my fabric cutting table to cut it on..... i ordered more archival paper storage boxes until we get flat files, so they will be here tuesday, and i'll cut paper after that
maybe i can get to town for the white saral paper and the cerulean blue paint too? (although i think all that i can find in town would be windsor newton and i'm not crazy about their cerulean blue-- i would prefer of course m graham or daniel smith)

the black paper series will have gouache and colored pencil.... so that should be pretty interesting to work with, and i am looking forward to it, i haven't used gouache since i was in art school, as in the art departments we used either pen/ink or photos....
i'm sure there will be a learning curve there as well.
ok i hear bernie waking up so i'm going to go start his supper (which i guess technically is his breakfast since he works graveyard)

take good care

Monday, April 21, 2014

onward........ a swirl of colors in my head

yesterday was easter, however for us it was 'friday' bernie slept, i worked. the frog i'm painting fought me so i took a break.... so how does this artist take a break, and work while still goofing off? ....i did the color chart for the caran d ache luminance pencils
(the ones with tiny stars are the LF2 so we won't be using them much if at all )
as you can see i did them so that i can see the colors from light pressure and one layer down to totally opaque multiple layers and HEAVY
i am sore as shit from working on that but it looks good and i feel good about it, it was time i finished it no?
meanwhile black paper is at the post office waiting for me, that is for gouache and colored pencil.....
and the frogs are about done now
bernie asked about doing the dart frogs, and i checked inside my guts...and for now, my guts said 'i've said all i can right now about frogs'
so i have the one i am working on... and the actual first frog and i think that they are pretty much finished
so i have to go back to the second nest series...which i realize is more then nests...it  is about the life cycle of a bird, with a nest as the focal
so that is about to come back into working, as i still have more to say about that
i think also a blue jay is going to figure in there as well since there is one jay that is in and out of my duck pens and i have been studying his colors....and markings

i am also working more on a studio layout, all i need now is a support for my surface and i'm good to go for now
there needs to be future growth there too for the computer over there but that's ok too
and a light box which is something i also need to make
and a brush rack..... so that's three things so far i need to make,
i have a couple of other projects for that area, such as reworking one of my original taborets (it's like 40 years old and needs better drawer fronts)
i think if i can get this layout into reality i'll have a much more streamline work day
and maybe even carve out space for flat files
although i doubt i can add a slop sink.....which sucks as i really really REALLY could use a slop sink even just a small one. i don't want a jerry rigged one.....i want a real sink with running water and a drain
even bar sink sized would be fine with me, just so i can wash my brushes, and my rinse water containers etc. i've switched over to distilled water now for the paints themselves

now as to medical ......wow this new doc is so on the ball....i have back to back tests cardio, thyroid, labs.... a referral to an endo... she isn't wasting any time which is good
meanwhile i am in a lot of overall diffused pain...partly from that last fall and partly cause that's my life
most of it i tend to ignore, but the leg pains are getting really bad now
so i am reluctant to even go outside on the deck.... and i miss the ducks terribly.... i know they miss me too
they look up at me in the studio window...i wave, they wag their tails, they don't understand why i'm not down there taking them out to graze
so while none of what i have is 'curable' it is manageable so i'm hoping we get a handle on management soon

i hope to know some more by next week

meanwhile have a wonderful spring week everyone

Saturday, April 19, 2014

studio musings

 so you all remember the proposed re-arrangement of the painting end of the studio? (there is a fast sketch >>>)
well i am trying to figure out how to set up again for the new way i'm working and for the adding of the gouache area...i also need a spray booth area for fixatives
that wasn't figure in ...and i would need an exhaust fan too
i am wondering if it really is time to either add to the studio or move?
we really seriously need just a huge open space with two bathrooms
because where ever i work is where we live, no matter where i set up (and i always try to get the best light for what i'm doing) ...... before i know it, bernie's workbench is in there.....the cats are there, the plants are there, the computer is there and when we had/have people over.....they hang out in there... when we lived in the apartment and i worked in the bedroom, i used to have to throw people off my bed just to go to sleep!

now i have a lot of supplies.... i have a lot of palettes also
i am trying to decide how to handle the gouache area, it's own brushes of course so that i don't ruin my good kolinsky brushes, it's own palettes goes without saying.. now i am considering what palette system for the gouache so i don't confuse it with the transparent watercolor...
i am looking at closed palettes with half and full pans, i am looking at open palettes for mixing...
i actually prefer open palettes but they do tend to get dusty and attract these stupid little beetles from heaven knows where...
 so far i am keeping all tube paints and some filled pans in the wooden three drawer box that rhonda gave me last year for my bd.
i also keep my drawing graphite pencils and some smaller tools in there- i really hate dusty supplies especially dusty from the woodstove.

i also need room for a computer over there, so i can work off reference photos in color on the screen
i would like to add a drawing tablet to the computer there as well....

and eventually (but sooner then later) i need a flat file, i would love wood, metal is probably safer, and i think 15 drawers or maybe 20?
and i want everything able to be on wheels to be moved for cleaning, the shakers sure has something there with their insistence on everything either hung or on wheels-- it makes things so much easier.

now i would dearly love running water there.... but probably not in this house
(and a bathroom as i am running through the house up the stairs to our bathroom all the time)

so some of what i need to come up with ideas for

  1.  a second distinctly different palettes system for gouache, 
  2. spray area
  3. dust free system for palettes
  4. computer area with drawing tablet
  5. paper storage until the flat files (i use archival boxes but need them to go somewhere (low and cat pee proof)
  6. more background lighting
  7. light box area (set into a work surface would be best)

so this is my working list so far...... oye
add the other studio stuff to this....and the yarn, books, beads and fabric you got a seriously cluttered studio
so i want to take this opportunity to tell you that a 400+ square foot studio is way too small a space......... ahem
possibly i need 4X that..... just for studio space.... oh and skylights
i need me some skylights

any ideas?
and i need to stuff this all within the swivel of my paintings chair (the one bernie repaired as it is the only chair that fits in that area...... )

Thursday, April 17, 2014

and yesterday there was snow........ (or was it tuesday?)

things have been a bit tense around here,
as i had a doctors appointment with a new doctor...... that was yesterday, and it well very well.
this doctor understands that she can't actually treat the genetic defects, and is willing to refer me
i gave her the test results and information from drexel, (where this genetic defect was discovered)... and she is on the ball enough to send me for ultrasound (this coming tuesday) and then cardio with a stress test
i like her very much
she went to med school in india but did her intern/residency here at temple
the best part is, she read over my medical files and labs, and then LISTENED TO ME
so when i told her i was waking up with edema of the hands and face
that my nails had changed shape and gotten ridges
that my lashes and brows are now gone
she listened
bernie came (he is exhausted as he didn't get much sleep at all before work last night) and told her that i must have blacked out as i don't remember falling last week
which i am STILL healing from and bruises are still coming out from
she also was upset that no one helped me when i fell

so looks like maybe we can get this stuff under control... and then it all can be managed going forward

now the bad news is most likely now i have a heart condition.....not unexpected with what's going on with me, but i was hoping to avoid it...... right now while i haven't gone for the tests, she feels strongly that something is going on there.....and i have to agree with her, i've been having some issues and haven't said too much about them as my now former doctor didn't want to listen
(see he knows better then i do even though he's not in my body, met me three times for less then 15 minutes per, didn't have my complete medical history, but he still knows much better then i do )
i am painting frog portraits and having too much fun doing it

in some really sad news, friends of mine lost their father today- he was elderly, and ill, it was not unexpected, it was actually a blessing for the man.. but still it's a sad passing. i'm grateful that the family is together for the holiday, and that they have each other. 
while it is sometimes worse for a passing on a holiday, in a way with everyone together it helps to hold onto each other.
maybe that's why so many folks cross during holidays?

now i'm going back to my drafting table and my painting
happy holidays to everyone no matter what holidays you are celebrating

Sunday, April 13, 2014

i think it's really actually spring now!

watercolor and colored pencil on hp
really truly actually spring! how about that! and here is my first run of watercolor/colored pencils.... not too bad for the first time out.. i could use some frog study time but all in all not too bad .......not quite as real as i prefer but i love his background and he is satisfyingly froggie so i am pleased for now. plus i do like the contrast of loose and uncontrolled with tight and rendered. oh and the value contrast makes me happy too. so i think this is a good first try with colored pencils- and if you are looking to get colored pencils the caran d'ache luminance are definitely worth it- i was given them as a gift but let me tell you...sell the baby if you have to...they really are that good.

next up.... i am healing from that horrible fall i took a week ago monday. all the black and blue marks are coming out now.... my whole leg from the knee down is a total mess.
i'm still having trouble with stairs, bernie still won't let me do anything, not chores, not dishes, not even cooking.  i am also having trouble lifting things and lifting my arms up as well. i have a doctors appointment this week so some of this in addition to the thyroid issues will be brought up, as well as the intermittent dizzy spells

proposed changes in studio
and now, here is a rough sketch of what i am going to be doing to my painting area in the studio.
that is the back wall with all the windows, the drafting at the lower left is staying where it is.so is the painting table that is already there (on the left is the strip of tabletop) where the easel is on that drawing is where the new table/work surface for gouache is going to go. i have carts that will fit under it for storage. and between windows i am going to add some shelves for the smaller drawer units to hold everything.
there are two taborets that i need to fit in as well, one is wooden, handmade and been with me for forever...it's about 4' tall and on wheels- the other one is plastic also about that same size and on wheels. the plastic one is more usable as the drawers are larger and deeper, and while there are less of them, they function better.
under the easel in the drawing is a shelf hung basket. i have one by my drafting table that holds my waxed paper, saral paper, soaps for brush cleaning and for using maskoid with, as well as odds and ends such as maskoid-- it is so useful that i am going to buy another one for under the small tabletop easel.  oh and SHHHHHHHhhhh don't say anything, but i am considering a third easel/workstation, just for pen and ink drawings.

 Sadly i have realized that the floor needs to be sanded.....that all the washing etc, is not going to make it work, and that only a thorough sanding will fix the mess of the floor. now the floor isn't actually a floor sort of .....it's a subfloor from when the subfloors were real wooden boards. it's pretty rustic. wide gapes between boards. however if we do sand it all down and put several coats of acrylic floor sealer/finish on it i think it will be fine
i would also like to replace the windows that are 13'' apart with two 6' wide windows on each wall, which will get rid of the 5 windows per wall we have now (6 on the back wall looking over the yard)
and if we can i would like to also ditch this ceiling.... and put in 'beams' and track lighting
the dropped ceiling in here really is just a race course for mice anyway

oh and in duckling news...misha has learned to go in and out without too much trouble now at all
so that is very good news...
the other ducks/chickens and quail are doing well from what bernie tells me, as i can't risk going up and down the basement stairs at the moment. i miss them all so much.....they call me and i talk to them but that isn't the same as petting them all
i am hoping that this will be fixed soon so i can go back to normal
i can't even risk going out to the garden to plant right now unless bernie is with me. ( yes it is that bad)
well at least i can paint again...i wasn't able to do that either for a few days

til next time

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

what a rough week

first off my birthday was delayed until yesterday, then while i was trying to get bernie a card for his birthday, i fell (very bad fall) head first into the street in front of the store.
i think i got dizzy
i don't know how i got up, got to the car and got home
my knee is a mess and every part of my body feels like a truck ran me over
which thankfully did not happen
so add that to the list of what to talk about when i go to the new doctor.
now today is bernie's birthday and his is going to be delayed while i recover from this nasty fall.
the fall has also seemingly triggered a fibro flare so i am sort of down and out for the count
thyenol is my new best friend...... two caps every 8 hours
stairs however are not my friend at all
so since the bathroom is upstairs.....this can be a problem
and not one i care to repeat too often
sleep has been a problem too, as in.......i can't

now in other news..misha the duckling is getting very good at going out into her pen without too much fuss. that makes me happy. as i hate to have to chase an animal around to get it to do something that i know it's going to enjoy........ so her having learned to get into the pen is great, she also gets out of the pen well also....
i have hopes she will tame down by summer

i posted the cardinal painting progress..... as you can there isn't a whole lot of it to show.....
i had started the frog background in an effort to let the cardinals breath a bit...... but this fall really set me back
so thats that for now
i can't type anymore as it hurts

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

painting update

well this painting is sort of coming along. i went to the dentist today and as i walked in and out i was studying our rhodo.
what the dentist? new one, takes my insurance, i made him pinkie swear not to hurt me, which he swore and then did not hurt me
i like him.
the painting.... ahem right now.....not so much....it's torturously slow
and i have a very long way to go on it.
in other news, i put in a small order of art supplies, as everyone is having decent sales and some have free shipping. so i have some new brushes coming which i have been wanting.... a dagger brush in a different size then the one i have (it was the only brush that got me through those impatiens from hell) ...... a ream of tracing paper... some kneaded erasers, a new maskoid pickup........ and empty watercolor pans...oh and a second watercolor board so i can tape down a second painting... then i am going to be working two at a time (i may cut the second board into two pieces so i have three paintings going)

i am looking forward to working with those colored pencils as soon as i finish this series

i have a couple of ideas now.... as i dreamt a few so i may do one frog a few different ways

and in checking the frog pond, no eggs were detected yet.... but i did hear spring peepers out back, and saw snow drops (normally we see them in jan/feb......not march/april) ....
tomorrow i have lab work in the morning....fasting
friday is a doctors appointment to see if he is going to do something about this mass
although i have my doubts he's going to bother

so anyway that's our little world
oh and the new handicapped duckling is now misha
and she's learned to go in and out like the big ducks
i have hopes that she'll get into a pen with one of them maybe......
til next time