Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bite More, Bite Less

I painted something to represent the beginning of the new year:


Yep, it's a big fat mess.  That's how last year ended and this year began.  The short story is I spent a little quality time at the ER on New Year's Eve with a mysterious ailment I had self-diagnosed on December 26th as a pinched nerve.  It got bad, then it got better, then it got BAD.  Thank goodness my mom was visiting when it got BAD because she drove me to the hospital.  On my own I would have been screwed - I might have been able to coast out of my driveway in neutral but there's no way I could have gotten from 2nd to 3rd gear.  So, an arm sling and a short course of prednisone later and all is well but it was dicey for a few days.  These things only happen to me when there is a puppy around.  A couple of months after Roxie adopted me over six years ago I had a similar ailment, only that time it was my back.  This time it was my right arm.  I have been informed by the chiro that the obvious solution is no more puppies.  Doh.

Moving on to other things, once I had use of my arm again I wanted to test a couple new paint colors and we ended up with this wee 5" x 7" Mountain Moon:



Now, here's the weird thing.  This was fresh on the the table, it wasn't finished yet, I still had palette knife in hand, and the phone rang.  I answered because it was someone I wanted to talk to, and in that conversation I found out about another friend who is (hopefully) starting a new job that involves lots of night driving.  And then the next day on my way home from work, the moon looked HUGE AND MAJESTIC, just like it is trying to be in this little painting.  Mountain Moon.  I saw the future and foretold it in paint.  Heh heh.  I wish I had a better picture - all the paint is pearl or interference except the white snow.

In conclusion:


Rabbit goes to work with me most days and behaves herself to the best of her ability.  I have discovered she likes to eat cardboard.  At home we have finally turned a corner and Roxie has been spending time in the same room with the little freak.


Here are my girls with their grandmother.  They play pretty hard (the dogs, not my mom) and Roxie lets Rabbit get away with murder so I'm trying to teach them both important lessons:  Roxie needs to bite Rabbit's head off when she gets pissed, and Rabbit needs to stop biting Roxie's ankles and arm pits and ears and throat.  One needs to bite more and one needs to bite less.  Easy....

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Kindness


Kindness.  That is all.

Oh, and this:



Merry and Bright.  xo

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Things, they've been happening

Since last we spoke all hell broke loose here.  And by that I mean Roxie and I adopted a puppy.  I need to be brief because said puppy is in the other room launching herself off the furniture and I don't trust her when I can't see her.  Hell, I don't trust her when I CAN see her.  After a week of getting used to us, she has turned into nine pounds of pure sass.



She's a 4.5 month old chiweenie, and was dumped with her siblings outside a vet's office in Georgia when they were fresh.  They were saved by (of all things) a pit bull rescue group and have been with a foster mom in Pennsylvania.  Her name is Rabbit although I also call her Piglet because that's exactly what she looks like from the back.  Oh for a red and white striped sleeveless sweater, size XS.  So far Roxie isn't sure this was a good decision but I'm hopeful she will come around.

In other news, there's a new Moon Flower.  It didn't start out all that promising:


Looks exactly like mustard, with a hint of Voldemort.  If it were a different color it would look exactly like the little presents Rabbit just left me, thankfully on the pee pad.



Those pinkish bits are interference paint - I think it's violet.  Subtle and wickedly cool.  The Moon Flowers are painted on 10" x 10" cradled panels.  I love them.  There will be more.

And because I may be slightly obsessed with that flower shape, the garden of 4" x 4" flower blocks has been growing, too:


Pardon the reindeer.

It has suddenly gotten very quiet around the corner, which can only mean one thing.  Gotta grab the carpet cleaner and some paper towels.  Here's to quick and successful potty training....

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

That's a wrap

It's almost past my bedtime so it's too late to give you a rundown of All Things Christine from the past couple of weeks.  Suffice it to say all is well.  And I made damn sure to hit my painting goal this month, with a little extra still in the works.  Here's a rundown:

I've got another landscape that went a bit off the rails.  Each successive piece gets a wee bit more abstract, quite by accident.  You may not be able to tell why from the photo but this one is called "Snow on the Water."


My paintings are hard to photograph and this one was doubly so.  Next is "Heart Full of Hope."


It looks really cool with my coffee table as the background.  The next in the moon flower series is of the Verdes variety.  The brighter green shades are a metallic paint.



Do you see what I see?  That orange frowny face was a total accident and I didn't notice it until I was applying the varnish.  Poor little bugger.

Speaking of moon flowers, I'm growing a miniature garden.




Remember AGES ago when I posted a picture of an experiment that was living in the kitchen with my Fiestaware?  Maybe that was just on my Facebook page.  Anyway, this is take two.  I really wanted to coat the face of each block with resin but the first attempt was cloudy and I'm not sure why.  So I gave up on that idea and just used resin to make the middle of each flower.  The two that are standing up were painted a couple months ago and I attached their resin bits the other day.  So technically they don't count towards my November goal. The three that are lying down were painted last week and I made the resin bits two days ago - I am giving the varnish some more time to cure before I glue them on.  I love this resin.  The light yellow and the burnt orange one in the front have cool glass beads in them, the dark purple has little purple beads, the blue block with green flower has swirly nail polish, and the earthy yellow block in the front of the last picture has lemon ginger tea leaves!  Each block has four steps - background paint, flower paint, varnish, then the resin bit.  I've got two more with background paint drying next door. The blocks are 4" x 4" x 1.5" deep cradled panels.  Cute chunky little things.  I can't wait to see a whole mess of them all together.  And I especially like the look of loose tea in the resin.  I have all the pieces to make some fun jewelry out of resin, tea leaves and metal parts from the hardware store but that is a project for another day.  Right now I'm just happy to be painting again.

Until next month....  (Which is in five minutes.)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Redemption

I have redeemed my current self, at least partially, with my future self.  It was a gorgeous day today so I raked leaves until blisters were imminent.  I am appreciative of the 50+ degree day for selfish reasons, but it makes me worried for snow-making efforts at Killington.  It has been 38 years since a World Cup ski racing event has been held in Vermont, and Killington will be hosting women's slalom and GS events the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Which is mere days away.  Sort of.  Temperatures need to drop!

So anyway, I raked.  And emptied out most of my flower pots.  And THEN I painted.  (I haven't looked in a mirror yet, but I know what is all over my face again.  And the sleeves of my sweatshirt, and my fitbit.)  Spread out on any flat surface I could find next door is a new abstract landscape, a Heart Full of Hope, one of the pieces from yesterday that has progress but still might not work out, and the one I varnished late last night.  It doesn't have a name yet, but on January 2nd I posted this picture on my Paint on Purpose facebook page, wondering whether I should add the leaves or not (to leaf, or not to leaf):


I couldn't decide, so the painting has been sitting on the counter, unfinished, since then.  Yesterday I decided no, since those are genuine maple leaves from my lawn, and those are most definitely NOT genuine maple trees.  Here's the final outcome:



I cropped the pictures so you can't really see, but the painting totally matches the mess of leftovers that has dried on my table.  HA!  I'm clever that way.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Flor de Luna

Today was a very productive day.  In the spring, when all the snow melts and I find a six inch layer of leaves on my lawn, I will look back and question my priorities, but today we painted.  I tried to take a selfie again to show how much paint was on my face and IN MY HAIR this time, but alas - no bueno.

This painting was going to be a great way to show why I use a high gloss varnish.  The main background color, one of my absolute faves, dries to a lighter matte finish.  Most of my paint dries to a matte finish, and I don't like that look.  The varnish REALLY makes the colors pop.  So I took before, during and after varnish pictures but I don't think you will be able to see any difference. Here's pre-varnish:

 
We'll skip the halfway pictures because they are crappy, so here's post-varnish:


The lighter color in the background is Interference Red, which is totally awesomely cool in real life but impossible to photograph!  The cradled panel is 10" x 10" and I'm calling the piece Flor de Luna.  It's definitely a moon flower but I have used a variation of that name several times already so we're going international with this one.

If you're counting, this is my fourth November painting with a goal of ten.  I've got two more backgrounds drying right now that I will finish tomorrow, if they work out the way I hope they do, and another one of those half-done pieces from last fall is now finished and waiting for varnish as soon as the last bits of paint dry.  Which should be right about now....

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Swan Lake in Winter

Here's a story about how new ideas come about for me.  The other day I watched this very funny Buzzfeed video on YouTube.  Go ahead and watch it, I'll wait.

...

...

Good one, yeah?  The first thing that went through my mind was "oh, I know how I would paint that tutu." Aaaaaaaand we're off to the races.  Here's the sketch:


It came out pretty much exactly the way I saw it in my head.  The first real painting didn't quite cut it, but it's not terrible:


I like the second one better:


There may be a series - I did a few sketches with a Sharpie on scraps of paper and there is potential. And I may be the only one who would get the hilarity behind calling the series Swan Lake in Winter.

So there you go, that should be the end of how a video of bodybuilders trying ballet inspired a painting, but this story has a surprise chapter.  While I was enjoying the best part of the Most Wonderful Day of the Year today - that being an extra hour of lying in bed this morning - it suddenly occurred to me that these paintings take me back to my roots.  Not my ballerina roots, because I'd have to go back to a previous reincarnation looking for that, but back eight or nine years to my early painting days.  Anyone remember this self-portrait?  It's my superhero alter ego, and her name is Ping Pow:


Maybe she needs a pink tutu.