Saturday, September 27, 2014

and the irony is.......

i am from jersey, born and bred......
now all the good birding sites are there........

i need to figure a way to do some field trips
between bernie's graveyard shift (which he actually does like, less traffic, no interruptions to his work)....... high gas prices..... and my fibro plagued body

but if i can do a few trips during the right migratory times, i got a years worth of birds and such to paint.

i guess i would also need to really plan these trips as i would need more equipment for the camera....
memory, batteries, waterproof housing, and a telephoto lens of some sort

i wonder how much of a hassle it all would be?
this fall is out but maybe spring?
i haven't been down the shore since's been a while no?


Thursday, September 25, 2014

vitamin D ......who knew?

i am starting to feel better a bit longer.....a bit more often.
i have noticed that the vitamin d seems to be working.
i am also sleeping a tiny bit better
i think a part of it is that a lot of stress is off me as well.
i had to stop with the gabapentin though cause i am not sure that was helping me at all...just gave me nightmares...i feel better without it

one of my friends on fb mentioned that all the fibro patients (of which she is one) have low d
and in further research i found a lot of people that got improvements adding high d and b-12
the doctor has me on 50K once a week, and i found that if i take it monday, thursday is a good day...
the endo added more d daily...and i am having better days more often
but then again i was severely deficient in d--
yesterday was rough but today i was able to get some exercise in..(VERY LIGHT) and some stretches too.....
so that's getting closer to a more normal day for me
i long to be able to take my ducks out myself
and garden again......
meanwhile, i have other news......looks like i get insurance october 1.... so that should be just in time for the endo
we'll see
meanwhile.... today i am here and there.... a bit more energy.....a lot less pain...
so i am going to be keeping this up
and hoping for more improvement

oh and one other thing... getting chilled or cold is NOT A GOOD THING AT ALL
totally not
i have to keep my muscles warm or i have problems
i ended up with a few quilts on the bed last night..... and until i got them on the bed my knees and legs were killing me..once i got my legs warmed up...i fell asleep!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

study number 2 of goosey gander

study number two of the brant goose head..this one is wash and colored pencil-
those colored pencils saved my ass today.... i started to lay down the washes and for some odd reason......i messed up BIG time...... could NOT get it working
so i let the paper dry and went into it with colored pencils.........
it saved what would have otherwise been a total loss.
i'm still not totally happy with this...
oh and the eyes are darker in real life (or so i suppose from the reference photos)..but they are hard to see in a painting if i make them too dark so this is the 'artistic' license part. i will give the colored pencils this...... they sure do make rendering texture easy.... wow the textures of the neck/breast feathers NEVER were that easy.... omg ....... and the cheek feathering and highlights....... ditto.. so here is my second study...
i am most likely going to do a third head then a composite of body poses and then go for the layout of the 'real' painting

meanwhile my art supply shopping list just got a couple more colored pencils added to it.... i was told to note which ones i used and make sure i always had extra (thank goodness blick has open stock on them)
i really do appreciate the ability to use the colored pencils when a painting is going south, like this one was...... i also thought i was going to have a very large learning curve, but i guess i did so much drawing with graphite pencils when i was a kid that i sort of just am able to shift that knowledge over.
good colored pencils do a lot of the work for you?

meanwhile i got a sweet comment from the girl that won this years federal duck stamp competition ....... i had mentioned her yesterday on the blog ( i really am so proud of her winning, even though i don't know her, i do like her work.) i am so glad to see more female folk painting ducks and wildlife subjects, and i like to see the girls win the traditionally almost all male competitions.

let's see..... we're waiting to hear if i am going to get insurance again... thinks will be super tight if i do but i desperately need to be monitored with this fibromyalgia.
i should have been monitored for the pcos and adrenal thing all my life but well things happen....
the fibro is different.. cause of the meds they put you (me) on
anyway...yeah i know .... two posts in two days
i may even post again tomorrow if like the study

well there you go
have a good week's the beginning of our weekend cause monday and tuesday are bernie's days off

Saturday, September 20, 2014

goosey goosey gander.......

brant goose
pale bellied
head study
i've started research on brant geese.....which are tiny little birds about the size of mallard ducks.
they are ocean/salt marsh birds and we get them down the coasts during migrations.
the one on the east coast is the pale bellied or atlantic brant
there are a few others.......
they eat eelgrass, seagrass, and forage in fields near the shore. (vegetarians)
anyway.....i have a ways to go with my studies as i've never seen these guys in person..... which sucks, as i don't 'know' a bird well unless it's in person. so i am trying by doing a few studies to get near to a credible rendering.

meanwhile in duck stamp news... a woman won it! she's only the third woman in 75 years!!!!!
her name is Jennifer Miller and i don't even know her but i am so proud of her...she won with a pair of ruddy ducks. ........

now a couple of years ago....someone said about my work 'why ever do you paint ducks' answer then was 'that is what i have around me, what i see and love every day' and i do so love my ducks-- i never knew there were other people out there that loved and painted!

ok now, in other news, i put up a stewing chicken and did stock.... and it was perfect timing as our bake element in the oven blew up the other night. so i ordered a new one online and it'll be here monday or tuesday.    meanwhile we have 'stove top' meals and soups.

as to the fibromyalgia, i am trying to learn my way around it..... ok well it's been ongoing i suppose. i will say that the 50,000.units of vitamin D weekly helps a lot and i added b complex and extra b12. plus a D3
i really was terribly deficient with the D way way below the lowest on the scale thingie.... it does help me to take the D supplements-- now that being said i did something to my back... so while i am better that is giving me fits.... it almost feels like i twisted my pelvis again.. and dislocated it but yet it doesn't hurt as bad as when i did the dislocated pelvis...but it does hurt and it's hard to stand up and walk.

meanwhile summer is winding down..... fall is starting in..... and i am hoping for an easy winter
so we'll see about that

anyway let me know how you all like that goose
and better yet if you have seen them in person, let me know how i did ok?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

october blue september

it's cool out and blue skies and pretty sunlight through the still green leaves
with happy ducks
bernie i believe repaired the chimney to the furnace
he went to the havc place so we'll see how it goes
Susan was/is very concerned about me being up all night stoking the wood stove like i have done now what? 10 years? almost?
she is so right though, i don't think i can do it this year
last winter almost killed me...... i was so very very sick
i called the wood guy to ask for a reserve of 6 cords
i haven't heard back so i'll call tomorrow
i am never ok until the wood is in for the winter

and since tis the season......we got apples...... they were on a seasonally great sale so we got a lot of apples
i am happily eating one a day until i break down and make the apple sauce for the freezer
we now need a huge sale on butter and the extra $ to stock the freezer with....i need to get back to baking
meanwhile... my cortisol levels are elevated .....umm yeah so that is not really news to me, that sort of is the norm
and i am making my way through fibro.....we have discovered that at least 10 hours or more of rest is required may not make me have more energy but at least it brings the pain down to a dull roar
vitamin d helps too
actually i found that if i take the 50K units of the dr rx vitamin d on monday..... thursday is going to be a GREAT day...
so i am trying to plan cooking for thursdays
i am going to add daily vitamin d as well-- the endo suggested 2000 -5000k a day
i ordered b-12 and b-complex as well......
i'll try it.
heat helps too..... heating pads....sitting in maureen's car today which was pretty warm, that helped
the hot shower this morning helped to unstiffen me
but stairs are still a nightmare....i climb them to the bathroom and to bed but i can't do the up and down like i used to at the moment to the basement or the freezers

and the freezers....... ok my split pea soup was to have gone and maybe one container may yet make it down but i am eating a bowl daily
it was the BEST split pea i have ever made and i've been making it for 40 years!

carrot/celery/onion diced very fine (used the food processor cause i couldn't chop long).... melted in butter
add beef stock (what i had on hand ...normally i use chicken) and the cleaned split peas
simmer until the peas break down..... add cubed potatoes ( i used red but i would rather yukons) and salt/pepper/ parsley
cook until the potatoes are tender....
serve with a swirl of heavy cream and be prepared to not be able to stop eating it

i also made chicken and dumplins that day...but that didn't even really last the supper...bernie ate and ate and ate and ATE
one tiny bowl left over for me for lunch.......

i need more soupies in the freezer..... i would like chili, and more split pea........
and of course stocks.....chicken, beef and turkey...ham stock is good too once in a while

so there you in the little stone house in the woods

Saturday, September 13, 2014

it's a soup day

cold and rainy....
so i put up soup...two pots since i had to use the food processor to do the veggies ....
one is chicken and dumplins (the fall tradition of putting that up in the le creuset soup pot.....gees i love that pot)
and one of split pea in my very favorite small stock pot
it was relatively easy for me
although the pots are heavy right now
i'll thank myself later when i have soup in the freezer
really it's so cold i should do a break in firing of the woodstove but i'm going to hold off until bernie cleans the chimney

in painting news my wood ducks are finished....and they do look good
i am about as pleased with them as i ever am with any of my paintings.... although there are selected areas that i do like
i am starting to look at the next one in the series now.
i am considering brant goose

i have to do some research on the brant goose and learn it's habitat and life style first
meanwhile today i am cooking
and if i recover a bit of energy i will do some cleaning of my work bench

i have to say... the vitamin d that the doctor gave me is helping a lot more then the fibro meds are

Monday, September 08, 2014

cool fall weather

detail- wood ducks
wonderful fall weather
i love fall but i am not as able to enjoy it this year as i'm so worried about getting the wood in for winter and the furnace done
i am painting wood ducks--- that is a detail from the bigger painting......i'm much further along now
i took a break to update the gallery site and upload some of the new work ....then send the link to an agent, i looked at their stable and they may be able to use what i do.... so we'll see
i got finished last night about midnight-ish so emailed it all off early this morning (1 AM !!!!!)
meanwhile today i am back to painting wood ducks and of course thinking of what i am going to do for the remainder of this series and what's next
i have so many going..... the migratory waterfowl, upland game birds, more shore birds, the paper dolls..and i am going to do another human series.... plus the ongoing teacups (i've got to get to the antique place to pick up a few more)
i'm also slowly working the studio over
i moved some things around already..... bernie needs to help me a bit with the big stuff but i am slowly getting more space in my little corner.

funny, it was never that cramped when i was sculpting porcelain over there
two big things that need to be addressed is where i photograph, and where i cut paper

well is our saturday, bernie was going to mow the lawn this morning but the mower didn't work.. he's sleeping now..
i'm not waking him up, but i image he will get up around 6 like he does normally for work
so i am still painting my wood ducks

oh and i emailed sennelier to ask for a physical color chart-- something to keep by the drafting table.... i have my m graham, and the windsor newton (which is actually painted out!...they sent it to me)
i have decided i need more paint....although i hate to get it ....i don't like a lot of paint around, as it's too confusing for me, but there are some blues i think i really need and i can't mix
possibly some raw umbers as well
and a few more ochres .....some brown some red, one green all ochres..
i need some more brushes too
if i can't get the dragon tongue brushes from cheap joes i am going to get the liners and lizard licks from rosemary & co
i might try kalish again, with their reservoir  liners but maybe not...i wasn't too impressed with the tips on the brushes i got from them
i am making them work but i'm not happy with them
i do however really like the rosemary & co brushes....
i still adore the cheap joes dragons tongue when they are back in stock i am so going to stock up

meanwhile we are also talking about a new computer for just working with the photos etc of my make the digital files for printing etc.
all the advice i'm getting from the other artists is go with either a MAC or get a gaming pc
they warned me to get a LOT of ram memory.... 64G is best
so we're still talking
cause that is a huge investment and also it's going to have to have a spot that isn't around the woodstove

ok enough of a break......wood ducks call me

Thursday, September 04, 2014

the ducks ran amuck

two of the younger ducks got out this morning, bernie didn't latch their pen door well enough
and the little hellions snuck out..... and tried to spring misha...
but they were peeping and squeaking in joy very very loudly
right below the window i work in front of
can you say BUSTED......yup they sure were

i went down and two little duckies wanted to be picked up and cuddled
so of course i did...
and kissed them soundly.....and took them for a walk
they decided to run down the slope to the old pen which right now has a hornets nest in it so no one can use it....
i got them eventually to come back up the hill
gees i love those ducks
but they were very bad ducks today

anyway....i got a couple of phone calls from friends today
now usually phone calls don't happen
everyone emails or texts (i can text from the laptop as i don't have a cell)

so having actual conversations was a very nice thing
the massive doses of vitamin d are helping a tiny bit
the wood duck painting is progressing
and for now........ things are good

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

the weirdest dreams i SWEAR

i sort of woke up in a dream...... i was in a sleigh with 4 full grown female reindeer pulling it
back in fairlawn but on the other side of our hill
i realized i needed a brake (or a drag) so that the sleigh didn't run over my reindeer going DOWN the other side of the hill
so i left them sorta hanging out on some strangers lawn.... at night
and then terrified...walked up to a man i didn't know at night .....alone
and asked for help for my team of reindeer

yup i got weird dreams

it wasn't even december in the dream
but there i was driving a team of reindeer
but no sack of toys
no red suit
actually it wasn't even winter so wtf is up with the whole sleigh thing?
anyway, i was up after this dream cause bernie was sick
he'd been splitting some logs we had and he got hurt
i'm not sure what he did but his stomach was killing him.....not his arms or back so i basically stayed up the rest of the night.....

meanwhile back on earth
i am further along with the wood duck painting- but i am at the stage of 'i hate it'
i will as usual push through until either it's finished or i can't stand looking at it one more second

i am also trying to move some of the stuff around the studio myself...
bernie never seems to have time and i have to get a place to cut paper etc...

i am also thinking....i have to thin out my beloved books......
that is like killing off children to me
so slowly....... (is there a 12 step program for avid readers who can't let go of a book?)

i actually need to make myself another goal list
but everything right now takes way too much effort, and i am very very tired all the time

but this too i'm sure will pass like corn right?
even with fibro, it doesn't last forever, right?