Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oh Canada!

We have returned from vacation -- we were "dropped off" into the middle of the wilderness in Ontario for a week of fishing and COMPLETE removal from the world at large. Right now I'm re-adjusting to the "real world" -- feeling way over-stimulated by traffic and crowds and general busy-ness, feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff here in my own house, even feeling a bit cooped up by the fence in my own back yard. Tomorrow is the return to work, and I'm just not sure how THAT'S going to go... Oh my, but what a wonderful week! The only thing we missed were the family members who weren't able to make the trip. We nearly missed our luggage, courtesy of NWA, but that's going to be the topic for tomorrow's post, I'm sure.

I did NOT get much art done on this trip -- but I did spend a fair amount of time contemplating my surroundings and just how I MIGHT do some art if I wasn't on a rocking boat coated with northern pike goo. I took some photos -- got my sister to take more -- planned and thought and now am crazy to get to work painting some of the weird scenery I saw up there. I don't know if it can be done, but I'm going to try, so look for it soon!

Here's a cool thing I found out. There are some bald eagles here, and loads of bald eagles up in Ontario, so I've heard them cry before. The first time I heard a bald eagle call I laughed, it was so high pitched and rather wimpy sounding compared to a hawk, and didn't seem to match the bird making the noise. Over the years I've gotten used to it, though. But -- THIS week -- for the very first time, and I heard it twice -- I heard a bald eagle SING. Not call out, or chirp, but sit in the tree and very sweetly and seriously SING A SONG. Who knew?**

Oh well. I will be working this week catching up on blogs, painting some paintings, washing up some nasty smelling laundry, and trying to get some things worked out with Northwest Airlines (who, if you haven't noticed yet, are currently on my short list...)

** Ornithologists know, I suppose, and my mother knew, because she had heard it before, too. I can't find an audio clip, though!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Skull and Bones Society

Well, not exactly. Just two middle aged women -- okay, one middle aged and one early aged, but both looking pretty good for their respective ages, no matter what those ages might be -- oh, what the heck --

NOT the Skull and Bones Society.

Just two darned good looking women out running around for a few hours this morning at the McClung Museum. Yep. You've got it. Diahn and I met for a few hours today to do some drawing and we settled on bones. I love bones. It was especially exciting to meet Lucy (above) who was surely a little dynamo in real life. If I've guessed correctly, based on what little I know of skeletal features as they relate to muscle size and function, she probably could have bitten your hand off with very little effort. Don't let that sweet little grin fool you! Although she was just as cute as she could be...

There's something about bones that I just love. Diahn loves fossils and rocks -- so next time (I promise, Diahn!) we'll be drawing crinoids or something along those lines. I'm looking forward to it, and feel like we've found a treasure trove!

After the McClung museum we scooted over to KMA to see "Sordid and Sacred" ,the exhibit of Rembrandt etchings of beggars. If you get the chance to see this, go, go, GO! It was fantastic. (I'm scrabbling around looking for triple-aught-one pen...) ;-)

I may be laying low for a bit -- still busy but it's calming down and it's nearly time for some R&R. Thanks for all the thoughts and encouragement!

(You may see that there is a scribbled note to "look up John Gould". Well, I didn't know who he was, but they had the most beautiful collection of his hand tinted prints, which were all just fabulously rich with color. Check him out here! He's now on my list of "artists that I must study up on.")
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Saturday, August 04, 2007

In The Weeds

I'm in the weeds (as in busy over my head!) more often than I care to think about. The past two weeks have been crazily hectic -- a co-worker changed jobs (a nice way of saying quit), leaving me doing the work of 2 1/2 people, right at the same time that we got busy again at work anyway, right at the same time that we had a huge garage sale planned here at home, right at the same time we're getting ready for a vacation next month, right at the same time I had a pastel workshop to attend, right at the same time that I have an out of town meeting to go to ... you see how the list goes on?

So, this means I've been a baaad blogger.
I'm waaaaay behind on reading e-mails.
I'm too tired to draw or paint much more than a few lines.
And I've not gotten to visit my favorite blogs to see what's going on in much too long a time!

BUT -- I see a light* at the end of the tunnel:
We may have a NEW co-worker in the next week or two (which would be in record time! Keep your fingers crossed and good thoughts happening for me!) This would take me down from my current 6 or 7 days a week back to the standard 5.
It's actually good that work is busy -- makes the days go by better, don't you think?
Our garage sale was today and it was a huge success. (This is despite the fact that a rather large bag of rubber stamps "walked away" from the garage sale ... we're wishing flat tires and bunions on people who steal from garage sales -- and may they get splinters in their fingers, too.)
Now that the garage sale "junque" is out of my house, I can actually see the room where I'm supposed to be painting.
Hubby and I decided to just go and buy a few extra clothing items, which let us get packed for our vacation way early, so that's DONE already!
The pastel workshop (yesterday) was another huge success, and I learned so much hearing it all again. If he comes back to town in the next six months I'll take it yet again -- I need repetition if it's ever going to fully penetrate this thick head of mine.
And the out-of-town meeting -- well, we're staying at a really nice hotel, and it's early next week and will all be over with soon, so it will be another thing off of my list.

Whew. I sometimes have to make myself stop and remember that I'm SO very fortunate -- great family, friends, job, etc. -- that there's really nothing to get stressed about. Nothing at all.

*(The light may be actually located in September, but it IS there.)

**And -- not to make excuses -- but I could NOT get this pastel painting to photograph correctly -- and no matter how I goofed around with the color, couldn't get it to look right. This is as close as I could get. For once I'd say that the original looks MUCH better than the photo! Still, here it is -- In The Weeds.

***AND I have to add, the nice little light feathery marks at the tops of the weeds on the right side of the painting are from Paul DeMarrais, the workshop instructor, who gave it a little touch here and there to show me how to tie it all together. I just realized that I can't take full credit for this painting at all! THANKS, PAUL!!!


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