And they danced

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Usually, at least lately, Sunday is my day of art.

The day will start with a few loads of washing, a bit of general household chores and then some time in my studio.

But not today.

Oh the washing got done but then we spent the most of the rest of the day with friends, essentially for the boys to do some archery stuff, but with the benefit of lunch and a bit of shopping for us girls.

The city was our destination, and after hearing me talk for the last couple of months about a local American themed cafe east of the city centre it was declared a “pre-trip training day” and lunch consisted of burgers, fries, sweet potato fries and sweet potato fries drizzled with Nutella – an odd combination but surprisingly tasty.

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After our glutenous culinary adventure, we headed into the city centre so the boys could measure and check an area in Victoria Square where they are planning an archery event.

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To me, this is a somewhat curious choice of venue, but instead of hanging around in the cold, us women, did what we do best.

We went shopping.

A quick walk to the main mall, then a stroll from west to east, stopping at a few shops before heading back to collect the men.

It was a cool but clear day at least.  The rain held off and we even had some sunshine.

With the archery stuff done, our friends decided that it would be fun to return to the cupcake diner to try the desserts.

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My key lime pie, while tasty enough, was a touch dry and perhaps I probably should have left it all at just the burger.

Still, it was a really pleasant outing and made more fun with good friends.

It really was a friend filled weekend.

No art class this week as classes are on a term break, but one of my artist friends visited me yesterday and together we priced and catalogued my current stock of completed paintings, ready should I ever get my shit together enough to mount a proper exhibition.

It will make it easier too, should anybody actually want to buy something, to have a price ready.  And I really need to sell some of these canvas as I am simply running out of room to keep them.

 Still working on the spider.

it is getting closer to finished though.

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And more work on the little waterfall.  Well last weekend anyway there was painting.  At least these should be dry enough to add to by the time I get back to my studio.
20150412_143359So that’s been my weekend in a nutshell.  Food, more food and much art talk but little actual art.

Less than 200 days now to my big adventure and I go from quiet excitement to sheer moments of panic.

Winter is settling in, work is kicking my butt and life goes on as normal.

Quick, quick, slow, quick and twirl.

It really is all, just a bit of a dance.

heart-trish

April showers

Grey skies and dropping temperatures are seeing off our Easter weekend and the garden is loving the long-awaited rain.

Me, perhaps not so much as it has been a while since I have needed to stop typing and rub my hands against the cold.

I could perhaps pop the heater on, but that would be admitting that Winter is hitting us and I am still not quite prepared to go there yet.

But jeans, jumper and ugg boots are the order of the day and it has been a somewhat lazy last day of my Easter four-day weekend.

Actually the whole weekend has been pretty lazy.  We really haven’t been anywhere and done anything.

There was a lovely lunch on Friday with friends who wanted us to adopt one of their adorable baby long neck tortoises.

I was however strong and stuck to my “no more pets” policy.  And we already have 5 tortoises.  And truly, 5 is enough.

The moon was full and gorgeous, but I think was messing with my moods.  I seemed to have been dealt a couple of deep blue days, and Saturday was an angry teary day.  Hubby was safely out of the firing line, Archery still happening despite the holiday weekend, and he had had his share of crazy bitch the day before.

In the end, the only thing that really lifted my mood was an art supplies sale and some lovely reflexology.  Something about those 45 minutes of self-indulgent self-care that seem to set the world right and the day got a little brighter.

Our clocks went back on Sunday morning, another sign our Summer is behind us, but the day dawned fine and sunny and we enjoyed bbq breakfast on the patio with my parents and in-laws.

A glass or two of bubbly and a good feed of bacon and eggs is always a good way to start the day and left the afternoon free for some work on my spider painting.

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It’s fiddly work and the oils are challenging me, but we are getting there slowly.

Which brings me to today, the last day of my weekend, and the coldest miserable day of the four.

Washing is hung under the patio, out of the weather in a show of optimism and after spending the morning organising my digital photo library (something I somehow was silly enough to start the night before), I headed back in the studio to fiddle some more.

Giving Spidey some drying time, I found this image and remembered that I had thought it might be fun to paint “one day”

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And as there is no day like a rainy day to be a “one day”, I have started the under painting.

Again with the oils.  Probably silly when acrylics would be quicker especially as the temps are dropping but it is what I had on my palette and I was too lazy to set a new one up for fiddling.

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(it will get better, I promise)

So my weekend is almost over, and not a lot has really been achieved.  No idea what dinner might be.  Hubby is out and Big C has a mob of friends currently filling the back room.  Well there is 5 teenagers total,but the sheer volume coming from the room is enough to declare “mob”.

I confess I am leaning a little toward takeaway maybe, although there is chicken snitzel thawing.  (will keep until tomorrow if need be anyway)

So what has filled your Easter weekend?  Did you get time off like we did?

Back to work in the city tomorrow.  Back to the heavier work and the longer drive.  Starting to think it might be time for a change..

Oh and before I go, I showed my Mum her birthday present, the painting of her little dog, and she was just thrilled.

Best feeling ever.
heart-trish

16,492

IMG_20150328_105447:nopm:“Throw the ball please”

Oil on canvas   16″ x 20″

Not for sale

Finished on Saturday and now has to dry, which as it is oils, could take a while.

Remember that post a while back?  In which I referred to oils as my nemesis?

Well I am very proud to say that I think I have figured them out and I kinda like them.

Despite the incredibly long time they take to dry.

Still working on the spider and thinking I might even start a landscape over the Easter break.

No set date for my cafe installation yet but it will happen soon hopefully.

Not much else to mention really.

Life is good.  And there is only four days of work this week followed by a four day weekend.

Keep smiling and CW I hope you are starting to feel better.

heart-trish

Thank you

Firstly, I need to say thank you to all of you who sent prayers and good wishes for my father in law.

At this stage they seem to have discounted the more scary and serious stuff and he will be returning to hospital soon to have his gall bladder removed with key hole surgery.  Still concerning but definitely a whole lot better than what it might have been.

They have still taken biopsies and I guess they are covering their bets but at least he is being looked after by his doctors.

We can hope that with the surgery, what ever is the problem will be fixed but I guess only time will tell.

The week was a busy one and one I was happy to see the end of.

My own parents were away and we had custody and responsibility for their little Pomeranian “Toffee”.  She is a sweet and energetic little thing and we spent a lot of time playing ball down the passage..

She went home today, and after a bit of a cleaning frenzy (dusting mopping etc) I started what I hope will be a birthday or mothers day gift for my Mum.

No face yet so still looking not quite right but not too bad for a couple of hours and my new oils I think.

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Not the best pics but as it is still a work in progress,I know you will forgive me.

And remember, don’t tell my Mum.

Also still in progress, my spider.

I ended up making it larger, I wasn’t happy with how it was originally sitting on the canvas.

Its still pretty messy but I am happier with it and next week, I shall add more definition to the back and legs

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So just a short post today.

Thank you again my lovely friends for your support and caring wishes this week.  It was so very much appreciated.

Time I went and made a potato salad.  Friends popping over for a BBQ as we make the most of the warm days before Winter lands on us.

Oh, and would you believe that it is now less than 7 months before my grand adventure.  Accommodation and airfares all booked and pretty much paid.  Still a rental car to organise for us to use in Texas and also  I need to decide just what I just can’t possibly miss in NYC.

All suggestions appreciated.

Better choof.  Taters to toss and such.

Hugs and smiles

 

heart-trish

A simple request

Its kinda hard for me to write this today, but I need to ask a favor from all my blogging friends.

Not something I think I have ever asked before.

My father-in-law isn’t well.  He hasn’t been well for a while and after some recent routine blood tests, something needed further investigation.

Since then, there have been a lot more tests.  Ultrasounds, MRI and two stops in hospital in the past week, the first for an endoscopy.

There is an urgency in the way the specialists are treating him which has me worried although so far either we are not being told the worst or they still don’t know.

Mentions of a shadow on his liver as well as the irregularities in the blood tests are about all hubby and I know at this stage.

I’m not asking for your stories of illness, or comparisons to others that you know of. We will leave the diagnosis to the doctors.  I am already imagining too many worst case scenarios

I am simply asking that you include my wonderful sweet father in law in your prayers and thoughts for me.

He is a simple man with simple pleasures.  A craftsman and a fisherman.

And we love him so very much

A crisis of confidence.

See that over in the corner?  That red and bloody mound of mush, dotted with chunks of sage green slime?

That I think, is my left lung.

Or maybe my right.

Or both of them.

Its been three weeks of the most disgusting lurgy that has kept me from here and I am still fighting the remnants.

Started with my usual nemesis.  The sinus infection.  But this germ wasn’t giving up without a fight and the amount of phlegm I have coughed up in the last three weeks would fill a fancy Nutribullet cup and give some hipster a terrible shock next green smoothie they reached for.

To much information?  Too bad. If I have had to sleep with feet lathered with Vicks and drink copious quantities of Senega and Ammonia, you get to enjoy my usual vivid descriptions of my life.

So how the hell are you all?

Last time I was here, I had almost finished Benson.

Which I have and is now just drying before going off to a new home. Yes, sold to the real Benson’s mum and there is nothing at all wrong with that. (Money of course going straight to the very worthy cause of NYC sightseeing and Broadway show fund)

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So after pretty kitty was done, I succumbed to peer and spousal pressure and chose my new challenge from a photo I had taken a little while back.

WARNING WARNING WARNING  THE NEXT PHOTO CONTAINS A CREATURE WITH 8 LEGS

Still here?

Ok.

You were warned.

Lady Redback is my model for this particular painting and she is going to be a huge challenge.

First the prep drawings and trying to get an idea of composition took most of last Saturdays class.

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Now I could have chosen to paint this HUGE.  After all the canvas is HUGE. But I have instead decided to leave a reasonable amount of “negative space”.

I want this to look simplistic and minimalist despite the fact that it is going to be incredibly difficult for me to paint.

And then happy with my proportions and measurements and composition of my drawing, I popped it all to one side with the plans to start the serious stuff today.  Which I did.

But the weeks art didn’t finish there..

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A good friend (who just happens to be an Archer) had a birthday and impulsively I decided to paint him a picture.

So I started it Saturday, finished it Sunday morning and had it framed and wrapped by 5pm Sunday afternoon.

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What some might call a “quickie”

Happily, he loved it. And I loved painting it with my acrylic paints.

Today, being Saturday again and the second day in the past three weeks, that I have felt remotely human (I decided that I must be better if the cloud has lifted and people are back to pissing me off) I headed off to class with the background done and a feeling of optimism about starting the spider painting.

All ready to trace it onto the canvas and then a class mate and dear friend got inside my head with the words “Do you think you should paint it larger”

Apparently negative space is a very scary thing to have on a painting

ARGGGGHHHHH.

Self doubt didn’t just creep in, it body slammed me and I started to second guess and over think and justify my reasons for doing it how I had planned.  (Planning that I had spent hours doing and thinking about already).

But I shook it off, took a deep breath and did as I had intended and by the end of the class, she could see what I had planned all along.

That this is more than just a painting of a spider. (Well in my head it is anyway)

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While the background has been started in acrylics, the spider and shadow are in oil paint and this little lady is going to take me a while.

Oils dry much slower than acrylics and I want to move away from my usual style and paint it with a little more realism.

I know it wont be to everyone’s taste but I need to keep challenging myself and this is exactly what I need to be attempting at the moment.

It’s so crazy to think that our Summer is over and I confess it was a piss poor attempt Mother Nature.  Only a few extreme hot days and now we are back to darker cooler mornings and the temptation to grab a cardi as I head out the door to work.

Time is ticking down towards my trip.  More things are getting crossed off the list and I at least have a pretty good idea where we will be sleeping most nights.

Apparently as well as forcing my body to accept a huge time shift simply flying from here to there, I will also encounter 4 time zones in three weeks as well as the added bonus of a daylight saving switch.

Gonna be mind blowing.

Even hubby is getting excited. Just have to make sure we find him somewhere to feed his archery addiction on our travels.

Oh, forgot to mention.  My exhibition hasn’t happened yet.  Had a bit of trouble coordinating dates for installation with work roster so it has been put off for a few weeks but as soon as it happens there will be pics and stuff.

it will happen.

Just gotta make it so.

This has turned into novella length so I am going to sign off and think about what wine I will be drinking at the neighbours farewell party tonight.

(Finished the antibiotics so I can drink again)\

Bye for now.

heart-trish

Benson – A work in progress

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Started in acrylic paints on a 20″ square canvas, I hope to finish this one in oil at my next class.

“Benson” will most likely be going to live in the home of the real kitten Benson.

In other art news,  hopefully in two weeks I will have my first real exhibition of my art in a city cafe. Complete with “opening”.

Up to 9 of my recent art works on the walls and for sale.

Very cool, and slightly terrifying.

Wish me luck :)

heart-trish