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  • Bumps and Blessings

    The Best Laid Plans

    A while back, I posted details about my well laid blogging plans, how I would follow a schedule and blog regularly from here on out.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans… they go awry.

    Bumps in the road.

    So, my well laid plans for blogging hit some bumps in the road a few weeks back. First, I experienced a few days without internet access, and after that, I was caught in a procrastination loop, finally I was delayed even more from blogging because of a wonderful blessing to my family.

    Internet Issues

    So first, the internet problem. I have absolutely no idea what caused it, but I was without internet at my house for several days just after my last blog post. When it finally started working again, I found myself caught in that procrastination loop.

    Procrastination loop.

    What is a procrastination loop, you ask?
    Its when you know that you really should something you dread before you do something else that is optional, but that you want to do. So you tell yourself you will not do that optional thing until you do the dreaded thing, but then you procrastinating the dreaded thing, and therefore don’t get either thing done. For me the loop I was caught in revolved around taxes.
    For a business owner in Washington state, there are two different major categories of tax to be concerned with. The first is the excise taxes for businesses. This is a catchall phrase that encompasses the sales tax you collect from people when your business sells things at retail, plus the use taxes that are levied against out of state sales, plus the business and occupations taxes that are collected by your state and some counties. After the excise taxes, comes the income tax, which is the same income tax that everyone pays, the only difference for business owners is that we can deduct business expenses from our income total, which of course is only fair, since if I spend $50 manufacturing something, and then sell it for $70, I shouldn’t have to pay income tax on $70, but only on my profit of $20.
    The procrastination loop I spent time spinning around in was my excise taxes for business. I knew I needed to get those forms filed, but I was dragging my feet on all of the calculations I needed to do. The forms should have been in my January 30th, but circumstances I couldn’t change had delayed them until after that date. That meant I was already going to be fined 9%, the next deadline was February 28th, after which the penalty jumped to 19%. I told myself that I shouldn’t spend time blogging until after I completed the forms, but kept on putting off the paperwork. The deadline I was now facing was February 28th, so obviously I did NOTHING until February 28th, and then spent several hours that day online and on the phone with the department of revenue completing my online forms.
    Finally the forms were done, and my family could file the income tax forms next. Those were done within days, since we actually pay someone to prepare those for us.

    Then the waiting..

    So, by March 2nd, I really was free to go ahead and blog, but I was out of the habit, not only that, but I was very distracted by waiting for a blessing I knew would come any day. That blessing was my first grandson, who, like my tax forms, was due on February 28th.
    Each day the whole family waited, expecting a call that it was time, and each day as we went to bed we were still waiting.

    The Blessing on its Way

    Finally, of March 6th, early in the morning the call came. I went to my daughter’s house to pick up my granddaughter, so that my daughter and son in law could focus on getting my daughter through early labor at home, without having to worry about taking care of their first child.

    More Bumps

    My grandson was on his way, but there were more bumps in road also.

    Inconsistent labor

    My daughter’s labor was pretty normal at first, though it was a bit inconsistent. Her contractions weren’t following a regular pattern, so they stayed home timing them and waiting.

    Intense labor

    Then around 1:30 in the afternoon, her water broke so they headed to the hospital. After her water broke labor got very intense very fast, she was contracting with barely a break in between, and the contractions were very strong.

    Baby struggling.

    As soon as they got to hospital, the doctors realized that baby wasn’t handling these intense contractions well. My daughter was dilated to a 6 when she arrived, and had managed to progress almost to an eight, but still not enough to start pushing. Yet with every contraction the baby’s heart beat dropped drastically. The doctors felt that if they waited, the baby not might survive. So they took my daughter in for an emergency c-section. I arrived at the hospital just in enough time to see my daughter rushed by on a gurney. Now, the hospital we were at normally leaves a woman in the same room for the entire labor and delivery, so the fact that they were moving her was an obvious sign of trouble, but at that time I didn’t know what the trouble was, I did deduce that she was probably having a c-section, but didn’t get confirmation on that until my son-in-law came by all gowned up. I asked him what was up and he gave a quick summary before rushing off.

    The Blessing Arrives.

    A few minutes later, the baby was out, and thankfully was fine. The umbilical cord had been wrapped around his shoulder, and was both holding him back, keeping him from descending and pushing against the cervix, and at the same time the cord was being pinched between the baby’s shoulder and the pelvic bones with every contraction. Later the doctor confirmed that without a c-section a live birth wouldn’t have happened.

    My little grandson Julian
    My little grandson Julian

    I am so thankful that we live in a day and age where the medical technology exists that can avert such tragedy. Because of the access we had to medical care, my daughter and my grandson are both healthy and doing great. Because we have access to this kind of medicine, what could have been a disaster turned into a minor bump in the road to great blessing.
    I am so thankful.


  • A Day in the Life – A Homeschool Family

    I’m not just an artist, I’m a homeschooling Mom too.

    So, I know that this is usually an art blog, but today the suggested topic for the Ultimate Blog Challenge was to describe a day in your life.  I decided to describe today, a typical Thursday for my family. A typical Thursday for a homeschooling family.

    This is a typical Thursday for our homeschooling family. Click To Tweet

    Thursday is homeschool co-op day.

    Once a week my family goes to homeschool co-op, where they get a chance to experience a classroom setting with other kids. I works out nicely for us, because it also lets me outsource some of the subjects I’m not as strong in.  For example, while I enjoy science, once it gets to High School level I’m not really comfortable teaching it.  Now, I could manage, a lot of homeschool curriculum is designed for the child to mostly do independently, but its nice to bring my kids here, where some of the parents actually have degrees in various sciences, and let my kids be taught by someone who can actually answer their questions without taking a trip to the library to look it up.  Of course even though homeschool co-op is only once a week, the kids take home assignments to complete at home all week long, so they are really getting a full year’s worth of work in  these subjects.

    Homeschool co-op gives my kids a chance to get familiar with a classroom setting.
    Homeschool co-op gives my kids a chance to get familiar with a classroom setting.

    Morning Routine

    Our Thursday morning routine is rushed.  As homeschoolers, we aren’t exactly used to having to get everyone out the door by 8:30 in the morning.  We all do our best to stay out of each other’s way, and to help each other get ready.  We have to get up, take care of all of our morning’s bathing and grooming needs, all with only one bathroom.  We also need to crowd into our kitchen for breakfast and for packing our lunches.  The kids have to gather all their books and things, though often they do it the night before, and I have to gather supplies for the class that I’m teaching.  I usually get most of it together the night before, but always have to run around grabbing last minute items.

    This year I’m teaching a preschool-Kindergarten class, and today we are doing activities that involve, cooking oil, water, glitter, food coloring, shaving cream and bubble soap. Also I needed the book that outlines the activities, a Children’s Bible story book, a sheet… sounds like a lot of random stuff but it all is related as I’ll explain a little later.

    After we gather everything up, we pack into my van, my teenage son drives us to co-op.  My daughter usually sits in the back and listens to her iPod, but today she sat in the back practicing her speech for her public speaking class.  This morning we arrived just a couple of minutes late, but not by much.  The kids rushed out of the van and into class, and spent a few minutes trying to get my purse, my class supplies, my laptop, and my lunch all loaded into my arms at once.  I didn’t have to rush as much because I don’t teach until the last “block” or period.

    Our morning routine on Thursday is rushed, we have seven people and one bathroom. Fortunately, only three of us are getting ready for co-op.

    The co-op day.

    The co-op is structured into four “blocks” or class periods, plus a lunch time and a chapel time.  My kids have various classes all through the day, but for me I have a lot of time to sit and work on personal things before my class.  Many times I have all day until the last block to myself, just doing whatever I want in the parent room, but today a lot of families are out sick, so I’ll have the first two blocks free, but will be helping out in another class third block, and then teaching my class fourth block.

    First Block

    The first block of our co-op day goes from 9:00-10:00 in the morning.  I sit in the parent room, and work on whatever I want, lately its been my blog.  Meanwhile my son is in study hall, and my daughter is in her Public Speaking class.  That’s this year, in years past the classes have varied, last year my son had a High School biology class first block

    Second Block

    From 10:05-11:05 we have second block, again I’m in the parent room. My daughter is in study hall and my son is taking American Literature and writing.

    Lunch

    Lunch is from 11:10-11:45 in the morning.  Not much to say about this, obviously we eat.

    Not much to say about lunch, we eat whatever we packed. Today that would be ham sandwiches.
    Not much to say about lunch, we eat whatever we packed. Today that would be ham sandwiches.

    Chapel

    Our co-op is a Christian co-op, so mid day we have chapel. There will be singing, prayer, then a short bible teaching, then important announcements and information, then we close in prayer and dismiss the kids.

    As a Christian co-op we have Chapel in the middle of our day.

    Third Block

    Third block I often have to myself, but technically I’m a “floater” during third block, which means that I go where ever another person is needed if someone else is absent.  Both my son and daughter are in Intermediate Drawing and Design.  That is an awesome class taught by an artist who used to be with Disney.

    Today I see that I will be helping at some drawing class, I’m not sure if its the same one my kids are in.  I’ll have to ask and make sure.

    Fourth Block

    Fourth block is our last class period of the day. My son is in a class called “Creation College”, which is mostly an apologetics class. My daughter is in a Bible Study class.  My daughter’s classes are all elective classes this year, but many years she is in a lot of academic classes.  My son also is only in one real strong academic class this year.  That means we are doing the rest of our academics on our own at home. In years past co-op has really been helpful in getting our core classes taken care of, but this year not so much.  We are questioning whether we want to continue with co-op next year, since my son will be taking college classes through dual enrollment, and unless my daughter can take academic classes it will just be one less day to work on things at home.  We are waiting to see what classes are offered for next year, and then we’ll decide.

    At any rate, fourth block for me this year is the one block that I am teaching.  In my class today we will be reading the story of when Jesus’s disciples were fishing all night and didn’t catch anything, but then Jesus told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat and they caught nets full, too much to bring the boat in.

    Pre-K classes are fun to teach!

    From that story we are going to start talking about the oceans, rivers, lakes, and about water in general.  We’ll make a “wave bottle” with the oil, water, food coloring and glitter, and we’ll watch the waves move back and forth in the bottle and about how waves move.  Then we’ll probably also make waves in a pan of water by making drips into it, and we’ll talk about the motion of the waves and ripples, and how they bounce off the edges of the pan.  We’ll blow bubbles and catch them on paper.  We’ll talk about how water sometimes makes bubbles but how too weak to float on the air, they break as soon as they reach the surface of the water most of the time, but how soap has a stronger surface tension, like a skin, that allows the bubbles to stay together and float for a while without breaking.  We’ll also take the shaving cream, color it with a few drops of tempera paint, and finger paint with it, making peaks and “waves” on our shaving cream.

    One thing that’s fun about teaching Pre-Kindergarten is that we don’t have to really get into anything too complicated, the kids are learning all the time, even if all you do is hand them play-dough.  Everything is still new to them, and observing waves and pointing out how ripples start from a center point and travel out in all directions until they bounce off the side of the pan is actually an activity that introduces them to basic science concepts, in a fun way.

    After Co-op

    Most weeks we are all pretty much tired and ready to go home after co-op.  This week that isn’t really an option for us though.  Today after co-op my husband will show up to pick up my son and drive him across the county to the county clerk’s office so he can apply for a passport.  That is because, if all works out, my son is going on a missions trip to Nepal in March, and we need to expedite a passport for him so travel plans can be finalized.

    My son may get a chance to go to Nepal.

    While my husband and son head to the county clerk, my youngest daughter and I are heading to Target to do some shopping for my oldest daughter’s baby shower this weekend.  Then we’ll rush home so my oldest daughter can use my van to go move some things into her new rented house. Also because the faster I get home, the more likely that I’ll be able to answer questions if my husband needs any information for the forms at the county clerk’s office.

    Once home my two daughters will go together to move some stuff into my older daughter’s new house, and I’ll watch my granddaughter and make dinner for me, my son, two daughters, husband, granddaughter and son-in-law.

    At least, that’s the plan… whether that is what really happens today only time will tell.

     


  • Belonging to an Artist Co-op Studio

    Artist Co-ops offer Many Benefits

    If you’re an are artist you have probably wondered before about joining an artist co-op.  Why would you want to join?  Is it worth the membership fee?  What would you gain from membership?  As an artist, I can attest that belonging to an artist co-op offers many perks, and I thought that today I’d list some of them.

    Providing a gallery area for selling is a common feature of a co-op studio.
    Providing a gallery area for selling is a common feature of a co-op studio.

    Increased Opportunity to Sell

    Most co-ops have galleries exclusively for member’s work. Even those that don’t have an actual gallery will usually have opportunities to share the cost a booth at art shows. Most emerging artists have difficulty coming up with the $100-$200 per day a booth at an art show costs, especially considering that there is no guarantee of selling anything, and splitting that cost with even one or two other artists can really help. in addition, co-ops will often have deals with local restaurants and other businesses to display work for sale, and lets face it, they are more open to someone coming to them with an official sounding name like “South End Artist League Co-op”, than they are to an individual coming in and saying, “Hey, I paint pictures, I was wondering if you’d allow me to display my work here.”

    Social Interaction

    Many artists have a tendency to be reclusive, its usually not because they dislike people though, more often than not its because they get wrapped up in their work, which is usually not something that needs to involve others.  There’s also the fact that many artists feel that they don’t quite fit with the typical crowd.  Artists and other creatives have brains that are wired differently, some would say we are right brain dominant, and we sometimes find it difficult to interact with the more left-brained majority. (Incidentally, the degree of this varies from person to person, I tend to be very global in those right brain vs left brain tests, with only a slight leaning to the right, and I still have a lot of trouble relating to extremely left brained individuals).  Whether its left brain vs. right bright brain, or whether its just that non-creatives don’t share the same interests, it is really refreshing to get together with others who fully understand the statement, “Yes, I was hungry, but I forgot about eating because I was trying to finish this drawing.”  Only another artist doesn’t raise an eyebrow if they hear you saying you don’t know how you are going to pay rent this month, while simultaneously handing the cashier at the art supply store your debit card to pay for your $70+ order of paints and canvases.  Its also nice to get together with people who understand how excited you are over trying a painting medium you never tried before.

    If nothing else, a co-op makes us get out of our houses and private studios, and get together with others on occasion.

     

    Getting together with others is great, both just for social interaction to learn from each other.
    Getting together with others is great, both just for social interaction to learn from each other.

    Learning from other Artists

    Some artists have gone to art school and tried a lot of different techniques and mediums as part of their course of study, but a lot of artists are mostly self-taught.  These artists might have taken a few High School level art classes, and a workshop or class here and there, but that’s it.  Other than those things they have learned through books, YouTube videos, and trial and error.  Regardless of whether an artist has a MFA, BFA, or is self taught, most will acknowledge that most of their learning comes from practice, practice, practice.  Most will also acknowledge that they don’t know it all, and often learn new things just from being around other artists.  The artist with a degree in design might know a lot about how to compose an art work perfectly, but not really know much at all about how to paint with actual paints, as opposed to computer programs, on the other hand, a painter might be very skillful in handling the actual medium of paint, but may need to learn some tricks on composition and color use, and might really want to learn how do digital art. Both can teach each other, and both may learn something about passion and excitement from the brand new, completely untaught artist.

    The artist who usually paints in acrylic might really benefit from working side by side with the mixed media artist or the watercolor painter. etc.  The point is that by belonging to a co-op, and interacting socially with other artists, we have that chance to learn something new, or to be reminded of things we might not have utilized since a long ago college course.

    Learning from other people.

    Okay, this kind of goes with the one above, but its not just art we learn from each other.  We might learn about effective ways to greet potential customers, what our tax requirements are, best methods of bookkeeping, what we can legally deduct from our income, and how to protect our work from copyright infringement. The list could go on.

    The Opportunity to Pool Resources

    Bulk orders of art supplies, splitting rent on a studio, sharing booth fees at art shows, purchasing a high end printer for giclee prints, all things that it might be difficult for one person to do alone, but are feasible when done as group and sharing the cost. Even running the gallery, if an artist tried to open their own studio/gallery combination, that artist would have to be there all the time during open hours, or hire help.  A co-op can divide those hours up among all members, rather than paying employees to keep the gallery open.

    Art supplies cost a lot, pooling resources can be a real benefit.
    Art supplies cost a lot, pooling resources can be a real benefit.

    A Place to Teach

    I enjoy teaching painting classes, some artists like teaching drawing, some really like teaching kids, a co-op studio offers a place to that.

     

    painting class photos
    Painting classes, everyone’s is a little different, and there’s always at least one person who goes completely rogue and paints something totally different than the Sample painting.

    Those are the benefits of belonging to a co-op studio/gallery, like the one I belong to.  Of course there are drawbacks too, but I’ll address those in a different post.

     

    If you’d like to enter a contest to win a free, signed, archival print (A $25 value) of my painting “Cerebral Cessation”, enter the drawing, details found By Clicking Right Here.

     


  • Daryl Dixon Inspired Sculpture – Painting Hybrid

     The Closest thing I’ve come to Fan Art

    A lot of artists I know do fan art, and honestly I really like a lot of it, but I haven’t done much of it myself.  Partly because I have been busy doing other things, and partly because I feel that much of it is just copying another’s work. There are exceptions of course, where the artist doesn’t directly copy the work of another, but is simply inspired by it.  I always knew that if I did any kind of fan art, I would lean toward the “inspired by” type because I wouldn’t want to do a direct copy of another’s work.  Well, one of my guilty pleasures is watching the Walking Dead, and one of my favorite characters on the show is Daryl Dixon, so I’ve been playing with the idea of doing a Daryl Dixon inspired piece for some time, but what?  A portrait? Maybe someday, but that would end up being pretty much a copy of a photographer’s work, so no… at least not at this time.

    Well, finally I played with ideas long enough, and came up with something.  I decided that the wings on Daryl’s vest would be the inspiration for a piece, but I didn’t want to directly copy the exact wings.  I wanted them to be close enough that a fan of the show would see the similarity, but to still be unique enough that I could feel they were actually my art, and not just a copy.

    This Daryl Dixon inspired art is my biggest yet, and is part sculpture, part painting. Click To Tweet

     

    My Biggest Canvas Yet

    I started out by getting the largest canvas I’ve ever worked on before, it is 3 1/3 feet long and 2 1/2 feet wide, not huge for some artists, but the largest I have worked on so far.

     

    Not Just a Regular Painting.

    I primed the canvas with black gesso, and then took a pencil and sketched out the outline of how I wanted to shape the wings, but I knew I wanted this to be more than just a flat painting.  For one thing, the design on Daryl’s vest is very flat looking, kind of a quilted set of wings, and I wanted mine to be similar, but not copies, what better way than to make them dimensional?  So I planned on using modeling paste. Modeling paste is this stuff that is kind of like thin clay or maybe a thick painting medium.  You can put it on canvas and, to an extent, sculpt with it. It isn’t thick enough to do something like a bust of someone, but you can certainly sculpt flowers, or leaves, or in this case wings.

    Lots of texture.

    So after sketching the shape, I started scooping on the modeling paste with a palette knife, and then using the knife to sculpt in texture and lines on the modeling paste.

    Daryl Dixon textured canvas work in progress.
    After priming the the BIG canvas with black gesso, I sketched the wings in pencil. Then I began scooping on the modeling paste.

     

    I kept working in this way, in time though I saw that if I put the modeling paste on too thick, it cracked, so I put it on a little thinner, let it dry, and then did another layer.  I was able to repair the cracks from that were already there by filling them in with more modeling paste. I did the bottom halves of the wings first.

    Daryl Dixon inspired wings in progress
    You can see the cracks in the modeling paste on one of the wings, I was able to fix this and learned how to more or less avoid more.

     

    Eventually I had finished two layers of modeling paste over the entire surface of both wings, and sculpted in texture with the palette knife.  After that, I turned my attention to the background, I spackled back paint on thick with a palette knife, trying to mimic the texture of leather.  Then, I wanted to put in silver, and tried several ways of adding it to the higher portions of the the black paint, but it just wasn’t coming out the way I wanted, so I ended up covering it with more black paint.  Then I went to work on the wings again.  I started adding paint to give them the kind of off-white dingy look of the wings on Daryl’s vest.

    Daryl Dixon inspired wings textured painting in progress.
    This is a close up showing some of the texture, and the start of the actual painting work on the wings. If you look closely at the background, you can still see some of the silver I tried out on the background and later covered.

     

    Eventually I finished with all the paint on the wings, and went back to my idea of silver.  I still wanted to use silver to represent chrome, kind of a nod to the fact that Daryl is the quintessential biker, so I wanted the leather texture, and a bit of chrome.  When I tried to work the silver into the background though, it kept just making the background look dusty.  So,  I eventually decided on a border.

    Daryl Dixon inspired art.
    Here the Daryl Dixon inspired wings are pretty much finished. All that remained at this point was a little touch up in a few areas.

     

    So, it took weeks of work, and over $120 worth of art supplies, but I am very happy with the finished work.  Right now it is hanging at the Kitsap Mall, but once its exhibition there is done, if it hasn’t sold I will post it for sale here and on Etsy, I’m asking $425 for it, which I think is a steal considering the amount of hours that went into it. Now, perhaps someone will buy it, but if not I have the perfect spot picked out for it in my home, where I will glad to display it permanently.

    I will post higher quality photos of it in the future, but for now I will just say that this is one of my favorite works so far.  I plan to do more textured works, next time I am thinking of using paper mache’ on the canvas so I can get even more texture and sculpting going on.  I just have to figure out what my next textured work will be.


  • 2016 – You’re Fired! (but you weren’t All Bad)

    2016 in Recap

    2016 was a very strange and eventful year. From celebrity deaths to election results, this year has left much of us in a state of disbelief. It has been a bumpy ride, and a great many people are relieved to see it end. As much as many would like to tell 2016, “You’re Fired!”, in reality, it hasn’t all been bad, like any year its had its ups and downs, I thought though, that a recap was in order.  This post will recap the year in general, kind of the public year if you will. Later, I will recap 2016 on a more personal level, looking at what has happened in my life and in my art over the past year.

    From celebrity deaths to election results, this year has left much of us in a state of disbelief. Click To Tweet

     

    Election Results! 

    First, and most obviously, Trump was elected president!  Now, I am going to refrain from expressing any political view here, but whether you are thrilled by, devastated by, or indifferent to the election results, surely you must admit that it is unexpected.  What I mean is, if someone told you four years ago that the next President to be elected would be Donald Trump, would you have believed them, or would you have wondered what they were smoking?  For me it would have been the latter.

    If someone told you four years ago that Trump would be president, would you have believed them? Click To Tweet

     

    Celebrity Deaths

    This is absolutely NOT an exhaustive list.  If I included everyone, the list would be three times longer, but here is a list of famous people who were lost over 2016, I put the ones most notable to me in bold type.  Now, 2016 still has four more days, and I pray I won’t have to come back and add new names to this list!

    • Carrie Fisher – Star Wars actress who played Princess Leia
    • Tricia Lynn McCauley – “Step Up” actress
    • Ricky Harris – Comedian
    • George Michael – singer/songwriter
    • Zsa Zsa Gabor – Hungarian Actress
    • Alan Thicke – actor from “Growing Pains”
    • Joe McNIght – NFL player
    • Florence Henderson – actress who played the mom on “The Brady Bunch”
    • Sharon Jones – soul singer
    • Leonard Cohen – singer and poet
    • Bobby Vee – singer
    • Steve Dillon – comic book artist
    • Dylan Rieder – professional skateboarder
    • Juan Gabriel – Latin Musician
    • Gene Wilder – Actor, best known for his role as Willy Wonka.
    • Lou Pearlman – former manager for the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC
    • Matt Roberts – ex Guitarist from 3 Doors Down
    • Kenny Baker – the actor behind R2D2
    • Michael Cimino – Actor from the Deer Hunter
    • Anton Yelchin – Actor who played Chekov in the Star Trek “reboot” movies
    • Muhammed Ali – Boxing Legend, if you’ve not heard of him you must be living on the moon
    • Alan Young – Mr. Ed Actor
    • John Berry – original Beastie Boys member
    • Ron Brace – Former Patriots defensive lineman
    • Prince – Musician, singer, songwriter
    • Doris Roberts – actress from Everybody Loves Raymond, she played Raymond’s mom.
    • Merle Haggard – country music legend
    • Patty Duke – actress
    • Tray Walker – cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens
    • Larry Drake – actor from LA Law
    • Frank Sinatra Junior – son of legend Frank Sinatra, and also a singer, songwriter, and musician himself
    • Keith Emerson – Musician and composer
    • George Martin – Beatles Producer
    • Nancy Reagan – Former First Lady
    • Joey Feek – country singer
    • George Kennedy – Cool Hand Luke actor
    • Tony Burton – Rocky actor
    • Harper Lee – author of To Kill a Mockingbird
    • George Gaynes – actor Police Academy
    • Antonin Scalia – supreme court justice
    • Dave Mirra – BMX star
    • Maurice White – Founder of Earth, Wind, and Fire
    • Joe Alaskey – voice actor for many of the original Looney Tunes characters.
    • Signe Toly Anderson and Paul Kanter- both members of Jefferson Airplane, and both died on the same day
    • Glenn Frey – Guitarist from the Eagles.
    • Dan Haggerty – actor Grizzly Adams
    • Alan Rickman – actor he played Severus Snape on the Harry Potter movies
    • Micheal Galeota – best known for his role as Nick Lighter in the Disney Channel Original Series The Jersey.
    • David Bowie – do I really need to tell you who he is? Singer, songwriter, actor… the Goblin King from the movie Labyrinth.
    • Pierre Boulez – French composer, conductor, writer and organizer of institutions.  Wikipedia calls him “one of the dominant figures of the post-war classical music world.”
    • Craig Strickland – country singer vocalist for Backroad Anthem
    • Jason Wingreen – voice of Boba Fett (Star Wars)

    Of course even in the list of deaths some are not necessarily bad news, since the world was also relieved of a murdering dictator, Fidel Castro in 2016, while I’m sure there are members of his family and perhaps a few of his friends who saw this as a tragedy, the world as whole should be fairly relieved, even if we can’t quite bring ourselves to be happy about it.

     

    Despite what many seem to think, a lot of good things happened in 2016! Click To Tweet

    2016 had its good points

    Despite what many seem to think, a lot of good things happened in 2016, too many to list so I decided to narrow it down to these gems.

    If you're reading this, you survived 2016... so that is good news! Click To Tweet

     


  • 90 Days from Now

    Where I plan to be in 90 days.

    The topic for ultimate blog challenge today was to  make some plans of where we want to be in 90 days. Ninety days from today will be October 27, 2016.

    This Website in 90 Days

    If I blog for the last two days of the challenge, and blog twice a week thereafter, by October 27th I will have written and published 27 or 28 blog posts after this one.

    In addition, I would like to have finished uploading all of my current works of art, so that anything I have for sale is posted in the purchasing options section of this website.  I also would like to improve my SEO by adding metadata to this website, which is something I only learned how to do today, and which should bring in some more traffic to the site.

    Additional goals I’d like to get to if I can is to post at least three videos in the next 90’s, the videos can be step by step tutorials, or they can be a sped up version of me painting, or even me talking and telling you about my art, but I want to start including video content to this blog.

     

    My etsy shop in 90 days.

    90 days from now I’d like to have everything in my etsy shop set up to auto renew, and I’d like to have everything set up with calculated shipping, right now some things are set to calculated shipping and others are not, and while my estimates are usually close, I’d rather be charging people the exact right amount for shipping. In addition, I want all of my titles and tags to be optimized as I described in my post about etsy tips.

     

    My art in 90 days.

    I have several paintings in progress that I’d like to have finished by the time 90 days passes, one is a scene involving my Sphinx dude character and a mermaid, the other is an underwater scene  in which I plan to add lots of interesting sea life, and another was going to be a sphinx dude painting but I think I may have changed my mind and I might bring it in another direction.

    In addition, I want to produce a piece for a community display on 9/11.

    And I have something in mind that I won’t give details on, other than to say it will involve a lot of black, silver, and white.

    I really want to be done with all of those by then, because I want to begin a series of paintings that I have an idea for, but I don’t want all those half finished projects sitting around in the mean time.

     

    My health in 90 days.

    While this isn’t art related, I do know that I need to start taking better care of my health.  I’d like to lose some weight by then, I hesitate to set a specific goal though, at least 15 to 20 pounds, and more if I can manage it.  I want to have established the habit of the taking a walk every day, or at least nearly every day, and doing some strength training at least twice a week.

    The blog that I track my health concerns on is my other blog Less of Me, More of Him in case anyone decides they want to follow along with my efforts.

     

    My other blogs.

    I want to post more regularly on my other blogs.  Less of Me, More of Him is a general blog about my life, as well as my weight loss efforts. In addition to that one, I have a blog where I post devotional thoughts, Bible studies, and things like that.  I want to start posting on Less of Me, More of Him, at least once a week, and at least once every month on Moments with My Savior.  I might also like to start keeping my homeschooling blog again, but I think maybe that might too much to add right now, so I am not setting a specific goal there.

     

    So there you go, that’s where I want to be 90 days from now.


  • Political Rubbish

    Today’s Topic is Supposed to be Political

    So the ultimate blog challenge suggests topics for us to follow each day, and sometimes I follow them and sometimes I choose not to.  Today we were asked to write a post about what our particular industry would be influenced by one or the other of the candidates winning.  I have a few thoughts on this, the first being that if anyone outside of the United States is taking part in this blog challenge this topic won’t really apply to them.  My other thoughts on it… well some things are best unsaid.

     

    Politics do have an effect on the art market.

    Politics do have an effect on the art market, because anything that affects the economy affects the art market.  That much is clear, but I can’t say that I believe either of the candidates for the major parties would be good for the economy.  I am honestly so disgusted with our choices when it comes to the two major parties.

    At the risk of offending anyone who is honestly, fully supportive of either of them, I’ll say that my political view for this election is summed up by the bumper sticker I have on my van:

    We're Screwed 2016 sticker
    This is the bumper sticker I have on my van. Click on it to be taken to a site to purchase it.
    I was NOT paid to promote this product, and I am not the seller of this product myself.

     

    Politically, all Americans, artists and non-artists are screwed if things stay as they are.

    Politically I just don’t see a bright future for America unless we get away from this two party rut we’ve gotten ourselves in. The Republican party has chosen a loud mouth buffoon who makes fun of handicapped people, degrades women, and is accused some pretty serious crimes, not only that, but he has no filter on his words, and could easily anger the wrong person and get the country in a war.  Even if I agreed with everything he wants to do, I still have trouble getting past these things.

    The democratic party is corrupt to the core, the establishment of that party picking a candidate that the majority of democrats didn’t want, and silencing the candidate that had overwhelming support by the majority of democrats. This candidate is guilty of mishandling classified information in such a way that would have landed anyone else in prison, she’s also been recorded laughing about how, as a defense attorney,  she got a child rapist off, even though she knew he was guilty.  In her defense that was job as his defense attorney, but how someone who claims to support the rights of women could find humor in letting a rapist off, is beyond my comprehension.

     

    Non-politically, there is reason for hope.

    Yes, I believe we are pretty much screwed politically, but I am not really worried.  Why? Because my hope is not in a politician.  There are reasons to hope all around us, every time we see one human being perform and kindness for another, there is hope, but human kindness is not my main hope, there is also a growing move to change the American system so that third parties have a chance, which would be wonderful, but that is not my main hope either.

    Politically we are screwed, but there are reasons to hope all around us... Click To Tweet Every time we see one human being perform a kindness for another, there is hope. Click To Tweet

     

    My hope is in Jesus Christ, and my citizenship is not of this world.  So no matter what happens in the presidential election.  I am full of hope for my future. 

     

    But human kindness is not main hope, My hope is in Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet

     


  • My Favorite Art Quotes

    Since I have a headache, you get quotes!

    Call me lazy, but while my head is pounding I just don’t feel much like writing original posts.  So I’m going to share with you some of my favorite art quotes.  I did take the time to compile them into a slide show for you though!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    This gallery contains 11 photographs in all as   photograph etc.