Page 4 of 32

Artober 5: Progress and Palette!

Yep, I just added more trees. I’m soooo slow at painting that it took me an hour. Okay, I did it and redid it (especially that misty bit at the bottom, which still needs work). Arts are hard! I’m really happy with this one so far.

I also filled my Portable Painter palette. Well, almost, because I have to get quinacridone rose tomorrow. I hope I can find it locally.


Here’s the breakdown:

First row: lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, [quinacridone rose], alizirin crimson, ultramarine blue

Second row: phthalo blue (my favorite color!), phthalo green, permanent sap green, yellow ochre, raw umber, payne’s gray

I’m waiting for them to dry. Hopefully I’ll be able to try them tomorrow after I get the rose. I have a purple I like (dioxyzine), but The Internet says that I need a rose instead because it’s more versatile. I figure I can always change it later. See? Progress!

In Puppy News, Penny taught Lucy how to climb the stairs to the porch, but she didn’t teach her how to get down. Lucy likes to climb them but then whines to be carried down. Sigh.


Artober 4 Progress Report!

Yeah, it’s only the 4th, and I’ve already reevaluated my life decisions. Trying to create a complete painting of any sort every day is tiring to the point of torturous, especially since I have an 8-week old puppy to keep track of. So instead, I’m letting myself take a few days to finish a painting and posting my progress here. That, and as I thought I would do yesterday, I retreated back to Acrylic Tutorial Land, and those always take longer than watercolor. Possibly the main reason that’s the case (at least for me) is that acrylics are so forgiving – if I don’t like something, I can paint right over it. I rework and rework and rework, and it usually turns out acceptably. A watercolor would be plain ol’ rurnt.

Anyway, here’s my Day 4 effort. I painted the background yesterday and did a little editing and added the trees today. Tomorrow will be more trees. I probably won’t finish then, but I might. If you’re wondering what it will (hopefully) look like at the end, check out this tutorial by Angela Anderson on YouTube.

In other artsy news, I got my Portable Painter today! I can’t wait to take it outside and paint! Except I have to choose what colors to put in it first. I’ll post an update when I do.

Oh! And here’s a video of puppies rasslin’:

And playing keep-away with Penny’s current favorite stick:

Artober 3. You win some, you lose some.

Yeeeeah, as you can see, today, I lost. Spattering is my mortal arts enemy. This isn’t my first run-in with it:


Okay, this one’s acrylic and maybe isn’t entirely ruined, but those are some stringy snowflakes. According to a very friendly Facebook group, I should have lain it flat (I put it on an easel outside) and watered down my paint a bit more. So it goes. (Btw this painting comes from an Art Sherpa tutorial. I’m pretty sure I’ve evangelized about her before. She’s definitely my favorite YouTube art teacher!)

But this one. This one is a plain ol’ FAIL. I got the idea from a couple Pinterest pins that made it look way easier than it would be. And yes, I know that’s how Pinterest functions. I’ve decided that it’s okay that the painting sucks and learned never to try spattering again (okay, not for a very, very long time). I also used too much water on the ground, but that was because I was super frustrated by that point and wanted to be done.

So why am I sharing this crappy painting, you ask? Because I said I’d post every day, and I am SO DONE for today. My water bucket is empty, and it’s staying that way. I think I might retreat to acrylics tomorrow.

(Btw I’m taking all of these painting photos on my front porch because my library light is really yellow:)


In other, more disturbing news, this GINORMOUS wolf spider spent the day hanging out right by the door I use to get into work:


It’s Artober 2! And I even used ink!

I actually like this one! AND alllll that black is ink! This is the first time I’ve ever used ink, and I like it. I used Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay India Ink undiluted, and it was smooth. I’ll probably use it again soon, though I am so not committing to actual Inktober. I didn’t even look at the prompt, anyway (It’s “divided.” I could probably use my English degree for an excellent explanation on how this painting fits into that theme, but meh.).

I started with a YouTube tutorial but ended up doing it a good bit differently. I like mine better!

Palmer is obeying the actual rules, and here’s his. He’s so good at illustration.

We’ll see what I’ll come up with tomorrow!

It’s Ink-no, wait-Artober!

You’ve probably heard of Inktober, the annual Nanowrimo of the art world. Well, they have a specific rule (you know, using ink) that I don’t like, so I’m making my own damn tober. My goal is to make an art every day through the whole month. I’m not limiting myself to medium, and I’m not using a bound journal, so I’ll just call this a loose interpretation. I do what I want.

You might also know that I’ve been learning to paint. As someone with only one drawing class ten years ago under her belt, I have no idea what I’m doing. I started with YouTube tutorials, specifically with The Art Sherpa, who paints with acrylics, and The Frugal Crafter, who uses watercolors. I’ve amassed a collection of art and art supplies, and I’ve even painted several watercolors without using tutorials.

I am soooooo not saying I’m any good at it, and that’s okay with me. Or at least I’m trying to make it okay with me. It’s about the process, right? Well, that featured photo is my #Artober attempt for today. I’ll try to post a new one every day, and hopefully I’ll get a little better by the end of the month. My favorite part of this one is the grass – I’m actually pretty proud of that part – and my least favorite is the background trees. It would have worked better with trees that went over the top and trees painted over them with gouache. It also would have been better if I would have not added the orange at the end. Meh. But! I learned how to dry-brush in grass, and that’s something!

Here’s a painting a I like a lot more, though in my head it doesn’t count as much because it’s from a YouTube tutorial on how to paint trees. I definitely didn’t follow these directions when I painted those birches, but hopefully someday soon I’ll see the results of all these tutorials in my original paintings. Or I’ll just give up and paint a bunch of tutorials and nothing else. There sure are enough of them around the internet.

And oh, yes, there are puppy pictures. Those are coming, but they need their own post, and I could barely scrape together time to paint that landscape and write this post.

Oh! And Palmer, who is actually Good at art, is participating in the real Inktober! Check out his drawings on Twitter!

We’ll see if I can keep this up. I have no idea what I’ll be painting, and I have to go back to work tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Puppy Day!

And I can’t wait, so I figured it might be nice to have a little retrospective post about Penny when she was little. We got her when she had just turned 8 weeks old. Lucy is 7 weeks, so she’ll probably be a little smaller. Here’s the First Ever Photo I took of Penny:


When we went to the breeder’s house, there were only two puppies left, and I sat down on the floor and chose the one who came toward us first. Those are Palmer’s feet, and there’s Penny.


Here’s the first picture once we got her home. It was getting late and Palmer and I were exhausted. Penny, I’m sure, was confused, and the cats were already pissed off. This was a few days after Thanksgiving, 2015.

She settled right in, partially thanks to the kitties.




Here’s her first trip to Petco:



And her first time in the back yard. She seemed a little bit concerned.


And her little red sweater! (Which she grew out of within a couple days.)


And her first nail trim at Petsmart, followed by her cute little fleece (which she also grew out of within a few days) and total exhaustion:



Awwwwwlz! Here she is sitting with her friend Mr. Alligator. (Lucy will also be receiving her very own Mr. Alligator tomorrow!)


Here’s the first time she met my grandmother:


Okay, I’ll stop now, after one more, one of my favorites, of Penny and Mr. Pig.


How can you not squee over every puppy picture ever! Well, there’ll be a whole new round starting tomorrow. And if you like puppy pictures, make the most of it because it’ll be a loooooooooooong time before we get another one – our menagerie is complete!

I *think* we’re ready. Our bedroom is now filled with kennel.


Of course I’m back on Facebook. In other news…

In my defense, I lasted a week without it, which I consider a feat. And yes, that’s a puppy. Her name is Lucy, and we’re picking her up from the breeder on Saturday. I’m so excited I can’t stand it, of course.

Further, I changed the blog theme yet again. I think I’m happy with this one? Maybe? I know I need to write posts more than anything. Hopefully I’ll be better about that.

And, finally, I’m attempting to learn how to paint. This watercolor is, quite possibly, my favorite:

I really like this one, but I’m just getting started – and this one came from a Skillshare tutorial, anyway. I haven’t painted much on my own yet. There’s time! Well, there’s time until Saturday afternoon when we pick up Lucy and after a few months when she becomes sensible. I’m so used to Penny (mostly) behaving that a puppy will be a shock. Here’s a video of Penny mostly (okay, not) behaving:

Goodbye, Facebook! For now…

I’ve just deactivated my Facebook profile, so what do I do to ease the withdrawal? Read about Facebook withdrawal. There’s a really interesting article from LiveScience that explains that while Facebook triggers pleasure in the brain similar to that of cocaine or other drugs, it doesn’t quiet the part of the prefrontal cortex responsible for inhibitions.

Which means that Facebook is addictive but that we can probably quit it pretty easily.

We’ll see about that. A friend deactivated her profile a couple of weeks ago because she’s super busy, and she talked about the withdrawal, though she didn’t seem to have a terrible time keeping herself away from the site. Her experience made me consider how much time I spend scrolling through post after post after post – most of them photos of dogs from around the world. There’s no justification for the amount of time I spend doing that. Facebook is an attention black hole.

I should probably note that I’m not at all trying to deny the human need for distraction. We’d all go crazy if we didn’t have something to distract us. I just want to spend my distraction hours elsewhere on something I feel is just a little bit more worthwhile. I’ll probably be in a better position once I figure out what that something is. It might end up being Twitter, though I don’t know how anyone could spend as much time on Twitter as they do on Facebook. And there lies the latter’s genius: remember when we could just scroll through a chronological news feed? We could log on and quickly see that no one had updated anything, then log off and return to our business. Now, that’s not an option: we see a mix built with an algorithm that Facebook thinks we will like and that will keep us scrolling. Endlessly.

Sure, deactivating a Facebook account isn’t at all permanent. After I’d clicked through the various “are you sure???????” screens, I was finally logged out but presented with a big button, front and center, reminding me that none of my data is lost and I can log back in whenever I want to. We’ll see how long I last.

A brief log. Since I deactivated my account about three hours ago, I’ve read some book, washed dishes, and hosted my mother for a few minutes while she petted my menagerie. I also checked Twitter and read the aforementioned Facebook-and-the-brain article. The alternative, of course, was to scroll endlessly through dog pictures. I admit: there are worst things.

When it comes down to it, though, do we really care about anything we read on Facebook, or is it manufactured idle curiosity springing from the knowledge that we can check up on anyone at any time? Do I really care that my old high school friend who lives across the country took her kids to the park today? Does anyone care that my dog played in her pool today? No. I don’t. We’ve just been conditioned to keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.\

But just in case you do care about what Penny did today, here’s some video evidence. At least I didn’t post it on Facebook?

Greens on the Red!

So many Spring festivals! And this isn’t even a Small Town Festival. This is Greens on the Red, which happens to be about two blocks away from my house. Palmer and I walked Penny over for a visit this year. I don’t know how we’d missed it before, but we’d never been.

Of course I didn’t take my good camera or photos of the actual festival offerings, which included some pretty impressive foodstuffs made from local greens from arugula to dandelion greens. There were at least 15 or 20 dishes to try. Most were vegan, but there was some cheese mixed in, too. Even better, our favorite Slow Food representative was there dishing up a delicious gumbo z’herbes, which I particularly enjoyed. Every table also handed out recipes. I went home with several because YUM.

We had a great time. Penny even got to eat a brussels sprout! As we headed out, we stopped to listen to the music in the Community Garden.

Greens on the Red is a lovely little festival, and it’s so nice to have something like this going on right down the street from our house – especially since Penny can come, too.

Daffodils (and quilts and table settings?) at the 2017 Jonquil Jubilee

Around here, Spring brings the beginning of Small Town Festival Season, and I, for one, always look forward to it. These festivals range from tiny (like this one) to pretty darn big (the Ruston Peach Festival, for instance). Last year, I made it to Ruston and to one more: the Wildflower Trails Festival in Linden, Texas, which from what I could tell had neither wildflowers nor trails, though I’m pretty sure I was wrong about that one. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Anyway. The Jonquil Jubilee is held in the tiny town of Gibsland, Louisiana. According to Wolfram Alpha, the population is currently 947. I’m sure that at some point in my life I had visited Gibsland, as it’s only about 15 miles from Minden, but I didn’t remember a thing about it. My mom and I made the 45-minute trek over there last Saturday.

When we got there, we thought these few tents might be all there was to the festival – but we were wrong! The real festival was at a table in the middle of the street.

There, you could purchase a map and a wristband for $10 that would direct you to about 10 sites around town for the rest of the fun. There were some interesting stops, but I’ll get to those later. First, it was time for lunch!

From what I could tell, there were only two choices: this restaurant, called The Gibsland Grill, or a tent outside selling fried food. I figured we’d try the actual restaurant. The only menu choices available for the festival were gumbo, pulled pork sammiches, and chicken salad sammiches. I chose the chicken salad and was a wee bit surprised to get this:

I ate the sammich (first plain white bread I’ve had in a while!) and the chips but skipped the green gelatinous (I’m guessing here) pineapple. I obviously made the wrong choice. Also: I’m sure they offer better food when there aren’t so many people in town.

We also checked out the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum – or, at least, the gift shop. It was a little…scary in there. If you paid them some moneys, they’d let you see the museum, which was behind a fake wall and, well, NOPE. I don’t dare take pictures in there because I was sure I’d be shot for it. Here’s my mom in front of it:

I took the photo before we went inside. Urgh. Turns out there’s a second Bonnie & Clyde museum about half a block away that appears to be owned by the city and looks much less terrifying. Also: far less interesting.

As a side note, there was a bathtub sale at the end of the street.

At that point, I think we’d both had enough of the downtown portion of the festival, so we put up the money for the map and wristbands and headed out. Our first stop was the Methodist Church, which offered a quilt show.


Then, it was on to the Baptist Church, which had some very interesting “Tablescapes,” a hobby(?) I’d never heard of.

Next was a railroad museum in Mount Lebanon, the next village over. They had quite an interesting small collection.

And then, finally, we found the daffodils. Turns out they had peaked a few weeks before (thanks, climate change), but they were still lovely and beautiful. We went to two flowery sites: Oak Grove Farm and a private residence. First, the farm:

And last but certainly not least, a private property near Gibsland.

After that, we had to head back to Shreveport. Sure, it was a gray day for a flower festival, but the temperature was nice and it wasn’t rainy. We both had a good time, and I definitely plan on going back next year. Hopefully the weather will cooperate more and we’ll have an actual winter so the festival timing will be right.

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2018 Oh wait…I forgot.

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑