Learning to Paint: Roses are Hard

I’d love to be able to boast that I am a self-taught artist, but  the truth is, I’ve had a couple of teachers besides myself. Let’s see. I’ve taken one art class at a local art gallery, and I’ve bought (or had given to me) a number of “workshop” type art books that plan to work my way through. I think that takes me out of the “self-taught” category.

And now I’ve taken my first craftsy class. Craftsy offers online video classes of crafty topics from Cake Decorating to Weaving. I haven’t clicked on all the topics, but at least a few of them (maybe more) offer free mini-classes as well as the ones that you pay for. During a recent sale, I bought 2 classes and signed up for 2 free ones. Today, I completed the first free mini-class, Painting Flowers in Acrylic.

I’ll do a review of the class in another post (short story: really good!). But for now, no more words… just pictures (ok, maybe a few words will accompany):

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Good start.
Good start.
Not too bad. Sure. I can do this.
Not too bad. Sure. I can do this.
No. This looks bad. What have I done?
No. This looks bad. What have I done?
OK. Redraw the petals with chalk. Just keep layering.
OK. Redraw the petals with chalk. Just keep layering.

All done…

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Perfect is the New Cool

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This rant has been working it’s way to the surface for weeks now. Maybe months! Not sure if it’s a truly qualifies as a vice, like, you know, burping the alphabet or a truly serious vice like kleptomania, but it is something that drives me crazy!! Daily Prompt, maybe you can help me bring this travesty out in the open and together we can make it stop.

What is it, you ask? It is using the word “perfect” as a response, like “great” or “cool”.  As a card carrying member of Perfectionists Anonymous (that’s a story for another post), I am greatly disturbed, and just want to scream, “nothing in the world is perfect”!!!

Here’s how it works in my life. I’ll give you an example of what happens day in and day out at my full time retail job (FTRJ). Keep in mind that I sell bridesmaid dresses and the vast majority of my customers are young women in their 20s and 30s. Let’s call this particular bridesmaid Ashley.

Me: So, looking at the size chart, your measurements fall between the 6 and the 8. Which size do you want to go with?

Ashley: I’ve never worn anything bigger than a 4. Let’s go with the 4.

Me: OK. (semi-long pause) you know you might not be able to zip this dress up. They run 2 or 3 sizes smaller than everyday wear. That’ll be $236.57.

Ashley: Perfect.

Me: (cringing) Sign here, and you’re all set.

Ashley: Perfect. Here you go. (handing me back her signed receipt)

Me: Perfect. (ARRRRGGGGHHHH!)

 

 

The Baby in a Raft #2

Raft Series: The Rescue
Raft Series: The Rescue

So the story goes like this. I started painting. Pictures, not walls. I love landscapes, and love combining landscape-y kind of paintings with the unexpected placement of a photo. But not just any photo. One from my own family archives. And in doing that, exploring some of the deeper emotions that emerge.

Baby in a Raft: Alone was the literal interpretation of the photo. Taken at face value, a completely innocent of a family outing at the beach.

This baby, Baby in a Raft: Rescued, takes the situation to a new level. Who is rescuing her? Why? What danger was she in?

Since that baby is actually me, do I feel that I needed to be rescued from something or someone? Or that I should have been rescued? Maybe she is just rescuing herself… saw the chance to escape and took it.

 

Look at the Cute Dog Sunbathing:

Five Things WordPress Taught Me with the Zero to Hero Project

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The Zero to Hero project officially ended a couple of weeks ago, but I’m just now getting around to my own official wrap up.

P.S. Scroll to the bottom for the 5 things if you don’t have time for a little reading. And if you don’t actually make it that far, it’s a good project, and I really did learn a lot.

OK, let’s just make this unofficial because I’m not going to go back and figure out how many followers I added. No, wait, I just checked. I have 29 followers now, and I probably didn’t have any (or maybe just 1 or 2) before the beginning of January. So, welcome!

My most responded to post was one that was actually like, you know, a post, and not just yakking on about zero to hero. That was this one, that was in response to the Daily Prompt. It generated a ton (for me) of pingbacks and even some comments. Who doesn’t love comments?! OK, honestly, I don’t really understand pingbacks. Well, I do in theory, but like a lot of the internet in general, and blogging specifically, it’s just magic.

I’ve been blogging for a few years now, just not on WordPress, so some of the stuff I already knew… like commenting on other blogs and following them helps get you noticed. I’ll try to do more of that because, as I already noted, who doesn’t love comments!

Some of the stuff confused me, and may always confuse me, but I’ll give it a go. Like this formatting thing. Even today, the Daily Post is telling us to add variety with these post formats. I’m sure I’ll discover that perhaps even I can figure out this format magic. And pingbacks. Don’t know why they are so confusing, but they seem to make one popular, so I’m all for that.

But enough of all that. What about those 5 Things?

  1. Add more pages and widgets. And Format! Format!
  2. Comment and Follow. Comment and Follow.
  3. Participate. Try Blogging Events.
  4. And do more Daily Prompts. People like those.
  5. Post cute dog pictures.

OK, not sure that WordPress taught me that last one, but didn’t you click on this post because you saw a cute dog?

The Baby in a Raft #1

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Most of my original art is inspired by personal photographs. Pictures taken of me as a child, my family through the decades, landscapes of places that I’ve been. I like to explore the feelings that I get from these pictures, especially the ones of me as a pre-memory age child.

The painting is a literal interpretation of the photo, done with acrylic paint, and a printed photo colored with a sharpie. The waves were made by adding a soft glossy gel medium. No feelings explored here.

The inspiration for the “raft series” of pictures is this photograph, taken of me bobbing along in the surf of the Gulf of Mexico at Galveston Beach. I’m not 100% certain that this is a safe thing, or how far out I actually was (probably not very far, really), but way back when, people didn’t obsess about safety like they do now.

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WINTER IS COMING!!

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Graphic courtesy of weather.com.

This is no Game of Thrones, people! This is life in the south. Two weeks ago, the powers that be were apparently caught with their pants down, but that will NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.

Don’t get me wrong. This current storm does look like it’s going to be significant, and this time complete with power outages. At least we’re all at home. Tons of stuff was closed and cancelled today, and we’ve* only had rain so far.

*I know it has snowed in north Georgia and other areas, but I’m talking about the exact location where I am.

The store where I work actually closed 4 hours early! Nobody was shopping anyway. We’re always closed on Wednesdays, so whew! We might even have to open late on Thursday.

What does that mean for this little blog? Well, for one, I won’t be too busy to blog. Hopefully, this will be the last winter post, and I can return to the regular programming. And I’m a little behind in my Zero to Hero assignments. Well, who am I kidding… I’ll just give y’all a little update on how it worked for me.

I need to do some painting, and crafting, and knitting. And of course, make something chocolate. I think when you are icebound, cookies have no calories. It’s a fact. I might just watch movies. Or the Olympics. You never know. The only thing that will really bugger up these awesome stay-at-home plans will be that little thing called “power outage” and “no internet”. Luckily, we have gas heat and a gas stove, so we can still be warm, and have hot food. And dogs.

If you snuggle up with dogs, you’ll stay warm. But you might end up smelling like fritos®.