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....
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.
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.
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....
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:
In an effort to distract myself from the fact that the Cubbies were playing the seventh game of the World Series, I made a mess:
Then, in an effort to document the magnitude of the mess, I got white paint on every doorknob in my house and on my phone. HA! I tried to take a selfie to show how much paint had splattered onto my face but they're not kidding when they say the camera adds ten pounds, and when the camera is only taking a picture of your face, well....
This one is larger than the last and a bit more abstract, but I am very fond of the end result.
Yep, I like it. It's a squall. We shall consider it the first of ten for November. Woo hoo!
At the beginning of October I set myself a goal of five new paintings this month. Then I promptly did nothing for 20+ days. At least I was consistent. Waldo counts as the first of the five, and a couple nights ago I dug out all the panels and canvases I have started but never finished - pieces with a background I liked but then couldn't decide where to go next. I have quite a few. Or rather, I HAD quite a few. Here is Vermont, in all its painted glory:
And here is a saucy apple:
And Waldo's friend - her name is Celeste (because the background looked mighty celestial to me, in a green sort of way):
Finally, to round out the bunch and hit my goal of five, this one is my favorite. The panel was a fresh one and I thought I was painting a background that I would add to later. It's pretty down and dirty, but I love the way it looks as is. Based on the weather we had last week, I'm calling it October Snow:
I expect to waste a lot of paint and canvas while getting back in the swing of things, but I gotta say - there's nothing better than going to bed at night with dried paint all over your hands.
That's a fortune I just found sitting on my desk. I keep fortunes - they're everywhere around here - but this one in particular was sitting right in front of my face. And funny enough, if you add an "e" in front of the "mail" part, this fortune came true! Sometime in the middle of the night I sold a painting on Etsy. It's the second painting I've sold on Etsy in the last month or so. And both sales happened in the middle of the night. My friend Brenda always talks about the "cha-ching" the Etsy app makes on her phone whenever she has a sale and I've wondered what it sounds like. And now, two sales later, I STILL don't know! HA! Anyway, today I'm packing up this one and sending it to a new home in Bethesda:
And the other sale was "Front and Center" which went out to California:
The woman in California sent me a photo of this piece hanging in a place of honor on her "sheep" wall. So cool.
Now, lest you think everything is all sunshine and lollipops in Paint on Purpose land, I painted something new and it's not going to win any beauty contests. Here's the close-up I put on Facebook:
His name is "Party Animal." He went directly to the questionable pile, without passing Go and without collecting $200, but now he is growing on me. Gotta love a lemony llama.
I have a couple other new little paintings that are mostly finished but are waiting for the final touches. Hopefully they work out a little better than the experimental model I tried a few months ago. This is going to be another good lesson in not getting too attached to something while it is still in the "I could wreck it at any time" phase. Oh, and speaking of which, I've got a bigger piece that isn't in that phase yet, but hopefully will be soon, and then hopefully it makes it out the other side.
For the most part, things are growing around here and I took some pictures.
I say "for the most part" because there is one thing that ISN'T growing around here. Anymore.
See that shallow trench in front of my fave tree? There used to be more than a dozen scrawny little cedar trees planted there all in a row. Poof! Now they're gone, and hopefully they are growing nicely at their new home in Elmore. It looks soooooo much better now, although I gained another "work in progress" spot.
Speaking of none of that, I've got a poop shrub out in my back yard. It's really some kind of cherry shrub/bush/not-a-tree, and late last year it got a fungus. I thought for sure I would have to smite the thing (I said smite) but suddenly one day it was covered with buds. Here's what the flowers look like:
And here's that same view, captioned "Focus on Fungus."
The whole thing was covered in those poop-looking growths. I cut off all the branches that had no buds, and we'll see what happens. But I can't get rid of something with such pretty flowers, no matter how poopy it is.
The other tree I'm fascinated with this spring is a twig of a thing in my front yard and I don't know what it is. I don't remember it blossoming last year or the year before, but now it's about to burst.
I'm quite sure if I stare at those pictures hard enough, the flowers will bust wide open. And here's why they are doing so well this year:
Thank you, wee bee.
It rained for most of Friday afternoon and when I got home from work drops were dripping off everything.
And look at these beauties:
Are those daffodils? We spotted them in a neighbor's yard about a mile up the road and if I were a devious person, I would dig them up in the dark of night and transplant them to MY yard.
The grass was looking green before the rain, but now it's GREEN! The entire day was punctuated by the sound of lawn mowers. And it's raining again right this moment so chances are good tomorrow it will be GREENER! Ah, spring. Thank you for being sprung.
Since I was so busy being a slug at the end of last year, I never posted Roxie's official Christmas portrait. There's a bunch of good stuff on my phone, which I will post later in a random bunch of nonsense, but in closing today, here's the portrait. My baby girl: