My Mother's Art
This picture was not drawn by me but by my mother. She's very reluctant to give away her originals so this is one of the very few I own. In fact, I only have to other originals by my mother, everything else is a print. The photograph this drawing is based on is of me with my little sister. Since my sister is less than a year old, I would have been three or four. Although my mother often uses photos of us for her art, she doesn't always.
Back to My Art
I painted this one sitting on a hill over-looking False Creek. It was a weird experience for me because I had never painted out doors before. I imagine it would be easy to paint oil outside but watercolour was hard. The picture kept drying out too soon, it was difficult to keep a level surface, and the lighting kept changing. After several attempts, I finally managed to produce something I thought was okay. I have tried painting outdoors since then but it's conditions are always different and I'm not sure I've ever managed to master the technique. This painting was done using 'opaquing' and 'dry-brushing' which are easier to do outside than my usual technique of 'wet-in-wet'. The wet-in-wet technique depends on the paper staying soaked and flat, both harder to achieve outside.
Sore fingers, lack of energy are just a couple of signs that your workout has been too intense for too long. Yes, I had to take time off from climbing. The first two weeks were like torture. Okay, maybe not torture but those first weeks weren't fun. I climb three days a week without climbing I suddenly felt lost. Usually I take my month off while I travel somewhere so the absence of the workout is not so noticeable. My climbing partner exercised incredible willpower and didn't climb even though he works at the gym. Of course, it's November which means rain in Vancouver and rain means no outdoor climbing, which does make the absence thing easier. But at last, the month is over. First day back I could only climb for two hours. I must have been crazy when I bought those shoes! In the photo you can see my climbing partner sitting a little higher on the rock face than I am. He has just finished a climb and is resting while I switch to my climbing shoes. The photo was taken in Vantage by a friend and I love how she framed the shot. We are actually at the bottom of a 'hanging valley' but she framed out the valley floor, creating the illusion that we are halfway up a mountainside.
A Week of TV
I am home again after a week of cat-sitting. The place I was staying has a TV something I don't have at home so I tried watching a bit in the evenings. The sad thing is that after a week of watching TV my favourite thing was the Drink Milk Caveman commercials. I especially like the one below. The part at the end where the T-rex bellows in disgust as he tries to scrap the icky cavemen off his foot made me laugh. I worry what that says about me.
If you don't know what the title means I'm not surprised. It's National Novel Writing Month. Anyone can participate, you just have to agree to the terms. It's for fun. No, I'm not participating. I don't do well with these kinds of things. I am good at setting personal goals and deadlines; I set a goal of one thousand words per day. As the more mathematically inclined will have figured out that's only 30,000 words per month. Also, those 1,000 words per day do not always end up in the same novel. You can see from my website that I am currently writing the sequel to Predators and that is the main book I am working on. However, I am actually writing six books. Two other sequels to Predators, one story set in a different world, a fictional novel that is not fantasy or sci-fi, and a series of shorts stories that will eventually link up to one novel. Some people do better with a little competition and and support and this organization offers both. Since I published my book many people have told me that they have always wanted to write a novel. Maybe it's too late for this month but now is the time to start thinking about it. You can join Camp NaNoWriMo now and prepare yourself for summer camp. Don't worry, it's a virtual camp so there's no need to travel. To all those who have wanted to write, go ahead a try it!
Ad Deir in Petra
When I first decided to go back to school and get a degree, I couldn't decide whether to go into astrophysics or archeology so I did both for a while. I finished the astrophysics degree but I only completed three years of archeology. Of course, the interest remains. I have not been to Petra but it is a place I would love to go. A woman I knew learned about my interest and gave me the photo that this drawing is based on. The structure is called Ad Deir (The Monastery) and is the second most visited building in Petra. The city of Petra was designated a World Heritage Site in 1985. Although I have not been to this site I have managed to see a few other World Heritage Sites, including the Abu Simbel, Copán, Chichen Itza, Mỹ Sơn, and Ha Long Bay. I use to think that the sites would not live up to their hype but I have never been disappointed.
One of my Drawings
Many years ago I went hiking with a couple of friends out at Cape Scott. It is on the northern most, western most tip of Vancouver Island. After two days of hiking through the deepest mud I have every slogged through, we arrived at the beach that was our destination. Since it was still raining James and I attempted to erect a shelter made out of driftwood while Mark did the sensible thing; he set up the tent. Huddled under our makeshift shelter, Mark and I tried to start a fire on a rain soaked beach. We collected smaller pieces of driftwood from under the large logs, hoping those bits would be, if not dry then at least drier. Mark ingeniously whittled away the outside of the wood so we could use the drier interior as kindling. The next morning was sunny. We hiked out to the very tip of the island which requires crossing three suspension bridges. I think everyone who has ever hiked with me has learned at some point that I am terrified of bridges. Vertigo hits as soon as I walk a couple feet onto the bridge, after that it takes a great deal of concentration for me to reach the other side. And yes, I always cross in spite of my fear. I took a picture of our little shelter the morning before we set out for the tip. You can see our clothes draped on our lean-to in the hopes that they will dry. I drew this picture about week after we got back to Vancouver.
A friend just discovered that I painted the cover for my book and he requested I post some of my art so he could see a little more. I painted this years ago but remember the day quite well. I had just returned from a trip to the US and spent the day painting. I was listening to the album "London Calling" by the Clash while I painted this particular painting. Funny how clear some things remain. I remember painting the grass while I listened to the last song on the album; "Train in Vain". I have the CD and the original vinyl record of "London Calling" and I do mean original. The song "Train in Vain" (which many people think is called "Stand by Me") was added at the last minute and the cover had already been produced so the song wasn't listed on the jacket. Later releases of the album fixed that problem. My album doesn't have "Train in Vain" listed so it's one of the first printing. No, I don't know how many were printed with the 19th track missing even though I've tried to find the information. My CD, printed much later (of course), does have the song listed. Since I no longer own a record player, I don't play my original any more.
I have no idea how to write blogs so I just write about wacky thoughts that run through my mind and leave a bit of a residue behind.