View Full Version : The "Goal Post" for December 2011

11-30-2011, 04:21 PM

Welcome the the Goal Post. Goal setting is a very good tool to help people get organized. If you write or post your thoughts, you are more committed and have a better chance of reaching those goals.

Your goals can be short term or long term. They can be daily, weekly, monthly or annual goals. Goals are personal, so everybody's goals will be different. They are your goals, so you can do what ever you want.

Come join the regular gang and get encouragement to help you reach your goals. We have a very friendly group and we are always looking for new people to join us.


11-30-2011, 04:45 PM
December goals

1) Tidy up/clear clutter from computer/art storage room (My upstairs den)
2) Complete the oil pastel of Rexus for son by the 17th of this month as he is flying home for the Holls.
3) Assimilate info. For VAA course start up and prepare for assignments
4) Get a drying rack for paintings (research done this past month)
5) Clear clutter from garage ready for a summer time studio and paintings storage/drying.
6) Attend art classes up to Christmas break.
7) Do the next scenic exercise in JS's pastel work book
8) Imagine and draw a fantasy image for the next stage of the 101 drawing course
9) Attend webinars (registered for JV's but don't know yet if LS's doing one this month)
10) Attend Christmas break Water-colour course in Bournemouth.
11) Paint & print Christmas cards for the grandchildren (I can see me buying some instead).

It looks as if I will be busy this month :crossfingers:

11-30-2011, 05:35 PM
Jim, 11 goals!!! Wow! Good luck to you for setting the bar so high!

Last Month's goal 1A I have actually done this afternoon. I've printed off some images of available work and put them in a little album...after having had a talking to today from my art group friends who think I should make some effort to market my work!

So this month's goals start with -
1. Take my "portfolio" to certain cafes I know hang artwork for sale, see what, if any, they want and get those framed (if not already) ASAP.
Then we have
2. Complete my Cat commission next week if poss to leave plenty of time for it to be framed and delivered before Christmas.
3. Spotlight!
4. Start thinking about/planning my entry for the Pastel Guild Holiday dusty comp where the subject is...ANYTHING! (as long as it's in pastels and meets the rules) Now what, I wonder, is my favourite subject?
5. Hang Charlie's Iris in my bedroom where I can wake up to it each morning....should be plenty of space once loads of my work is in various cafes!
6. Deal, somehow, with Christmas............

Thanks Doug for hosting the goal post as always...and for posting it early just when I was in the mood to set some goals!

11-30-2011, 05:56 PM
Art goals:

1) make a menorah, since I still haven't gotten my childhood one over here and I'm not happy with last year's try.
2) play with this brand new set of pastel pencils
3) watch art instruction videos (ok, that's an easy one...)
4) start sketching and blog posting again
5) do a still life from life (almost made that one a second goal #4, whoops)
6) try out something from the videos

non art goals:

1) make apple doughnuts to take in to my bookbinding class for the last day (also the first night of Hanukkah, if I counted right).
2) archery, archery, archery
3) not miss a biathlon race on TV (i.e. record if I can't watch it live)

11-30-2011, 08:54 PM
Jim, you're ambitious this month! Also studying full time like mad. I bet your art quality is going to soar with even half those goals! Drying rack is a cool idea. Tempting to me too if I get into oils, since those need to dry for so long usually and then get stored.

Ruthie, fantastic goals! Especially the happy one hanging Charlie's Iris in your bedroom, that really would inspire me to paint every single day I saw it. Wow.

Mercy, excellent goals! The non art ones are amusing too. Mmm apple doughnuts. That would be a great way to kick off Hanukkah!

December Goals:

1. Keep Noveling (edit or write or both)
2. Weekly Blogging
3. Street Artist Program (actually use license)
4. Finish Cat/Kittens Commission
5. Pastel Spotlight
6. Attend JV Class
7. Avoid Holiday Blues - get through a Yule without family or celebrations despite having cable TV and being reminded of it constantly. Distract myself with painting, writing, reading Terry Pratchett, whatever works. Phone family on Christmas without whining and sounding miserable.

At least this year I do have family at a distance and have their number and the cool phone, so I might try doing FaceTime with them and send them something cool.

11-30-2011, 09:10 PM
Good goals Ruth and Mercy, and your's don't appear to be short easy ones either. Although watching DVD's is easy-peasy.

I can't imagine what it's like to spend Christmas on one's own Robert although a big sis of mine does by choice. She can go to her daughters or come here but she prefers to stay at home. Good goals BTW and it looks as if you have this month planned out.

I'd like to know the materials that you'd use to make a menorah Mercy. Quite a difficult task I'd imagine.

I can set so many goals Ruth because the time is all mine apart from shopping and household chores. I am retired. I never mention that four lettered word that begins wo and ends with rk.
I do have to remember that I will be away for four/five days over the Christmas.

11-30-2011, 11:17 PM
Wow December goals! You all are so industrious.
Now my goals.
1) finish the Christmas letter, get hubby to print same and actually get cards addressed and out so some actually get there by Christmas. I know I am hedging the getting there by Christmas bit but I have a week in Dallas for grandson's birthday which will delay, as it has for four years, my getting cards out in time!
2). Keep up five minute cleaning as it seems to actually work and often lasts longer.
3) do a spotlight and a WDE maybe another one of the portrait monthly challenges.
4) sort my bedroom cupboard and get rid of stuff I haven't worn.
5) donate to local charities THIS week!
Probably more than I can do but at least it is out there.

12-01-2011, 03:45 AM
I'd like to know the materials that you'd use to make a menorah Mercy. Quite a difficult task I'd imagine.

I have two possibilities in mind. One is to see if I can find individual small glass bottles to use as candle holders, the other is to take this pre-planed block of basswood I have here and a drill.... you can see where this is going, right? :lol:

12-01-2011, 04:12 AM
a drill.... you can see where this is going, right?
I hope your health insurance is up to date :lol:

For some reason I was imagining a wire 'skeleton' covered with 'papier mache'. But a drilled bit of wood the right shape would suffice I'm sure. Ok, cats curiosity satisfied :cat: .
A BTW is that 'NaNo writing ate my home work' is more original than 'the dog ate my home work' which was the standard joke in class :lol:
I once had a student that claimed his homework was in the boot of his car which had caught fire :eek:

12-01-2011, 05:33 AM
I hope your health insurance is up to date :lol:

For some reason I was imagining a wire 'skeleton' covered with 'papier mache'. But a drilled bit of wood the right shape would suffice I'm sure. Ok,

I use a hand drill, no power tools. :D (ok, I might use power tools, except no electricity in the basement storage area where our worktable and vise is.

hm. now you have me thinking about papier mache, but I think that'd be harder to get in a way I'd be happy with it.

12-01-2011, 06:28 AM
I think the wooden menorah project sounds beautiful, Mercy. Especially using a hand drill, there's something serene and spiritual about doing it manually. Hope you post photos of it when you're done!

I might have tried for a soldering iron and metal rods with bits of metal cut into shapes like flowers and then bend the "petals" up around the candle base, that's a design that could work too. Not sure if that'd need to be welded though or just soldered, how that'd work.

Another possibility is Sculpey... that could be pretty cool too.

Oh dangit, you got me going on it. I've got some Premo clay but no oven, don't think you can bake Premo or Sculpey polymer clay in a microwave though.

12-01-2011, 06:40 AM
Jim, being very busy, trying to get out of doing christmas decorations and cooking, eh? :-) Or, you may just love to do that, I'm just teasing.

Ruthie, goal five is excellent! :-D I cheer you on with getting the artwork to cafés, they need to be seen and admired -- and bought! Let's help each other survive christmas, shall we?

Mercy, god goals (some that are not only good but also tasty!). All them arms on a menorah... but of course you must make one, it won't feel right without one. Whatever you do, put something heavy at the bottom so it stands securely. (Fire safety.)

Robert, keeping busy as always! Re the holiday-blues: in your city there *has* to be something for singles, if you are up to going out. If not, we can skype and talk about funny Swedish Jul-traditions. I do a low-key celebration anyway, normally it is me and Hubby, on christmas eve (one of those quaint Swedish things...).

Jen, good goals! Egads, your number one should be mine too, forgot! Funny how well the five-minute cleaning/decluttering works, isn't it!

My goals for December:

1) Paint a commission in two days, starting now.

2) Throw together a christmas card, get ink for the printer, print out and send to ppl *before* christmas.

3) Send out a newsletter with holiday greetings and the news of my getting into the local show.

4) Do layout of The Pastel Scribbler.

5) Catch up with choir practice, that is, practice at home.

6) Give the final class. And plan for the continuation next year.

7) Rest and Recreation. I'm still too exhausted (looks like it will last a good while). So I'll set no more goals than what I *have* to do. For recreation, I want to see the Turner-Monet exhibition at least once more, preferably twice. I may paint, at leisure. I may study, and if the wc book ever arrives, I might play with that -- but no pressure, no deadlines, no goals.

Edit: Didn't put up walks, as it seems they're starting to be a habit!

12-01-2011, 07:04 AM
That's good on you Charlie, 7 goals and you trying to rest up.

We don't put up any decs for the season since my lads went off to uni and are not at home to put up the tree - as we don't go along with traditional beliefs about this time of year (besides it ruins the decor). Might throw a coloured ribbon over the potted triffid. We also might have a table decoration for the grand children's visit the weekend after next (thank science/technology for dishwashers)
As for the turkey etc we will be eating (and drinking) away at Christmas.

I say roll on Christmas - let's have some nuts. Put my feet up :lol:
Edited to add, it is usually just SWMBO and self here for Christmas nowadays.

12-01-2011, 12:42 PM
good goals Mercy.
Robert, good goals from you too. What's the weather like there now? Is is still suitable for doing street art? As for Christmas. Why not plan something for the day. Have you got to know others in your building who may also be home and at a loose end? If you have clicked with anyone why not spend a little time together on the day. Phone family and friends, buy Ari a special present and get yourself something from him too!
Jim, I'm retired too, though you wouldn't believe it how full my time seems to be!
Jen, you said it so now they're real and you will strive to get them all done. If you don't, well, there's always next month....
Charlie, Good goals! Especially the much needed R&R. S'pose I should set another goal......Do interview for the scribbler and get it to Charlie in good time!
The first visit to various cafes in Norwich is planned for next Wednesday afternoon. I am taking a friend with me who also wants to get her work out there. I even got hubby to try the mount cutter again and he has cut mounts for 3 cheap frames I have. My series of 3 Pansy paintings will go in those and, as they're not too big, I may even take them with me next week. The price will be the same as unframed work so the frame is free and it is up to the punters if they want to re-frame.
Getting on with the commission and I have approval from the client with progress so far........

12-01-2011, 01:37 PM
Jim- I see you plan on being busy this month. I hope you get your drying rack figured out. It is nice having a place to put your oil paintings. Before I got mine I had my oil studies scattered all over any available flat spot. It was ugly. Good luck with all your goals.

Ruthie- You are welcome. I figured that today starts earlier for our friends across the pond, and by the time I was starting the thread, it was late afternoon for you. Hey, it only took me three years to figure it out.:lol: Good luck with your goals this month.

Mercy- Great list of goals for the month. Watching art videos is a great way to get motivated. It works for me every time. Have fun playing with your new pastel pencils.

Robert- I kind of know what you are going through for Christmas. I was away from my family last Christmas, and to be honest with you, it wasn't that bad. Did I miss them? You bet I did, but I wasn't going to let myself get down about it. I played Christmas music and watched Christmas shows, because I knew what time of year it was and I couldn't get away from it. I kept busy doing my art and on the big day I talked with my wife and kids and then I think I painted. We are here for you, Robert and I promise I will be here for you on Christmas day. Good luck with your goals.

Jen- If it is more than you can do, you can do some next month. Great idea about donating to local charities this week. Good luck.

Charlie- A habit of walking is a great habit to have. I wouldn't habit any other way. :lol: :lol: :lol: :o Sorry.

Rest and recreation sounds like a good idea. Paint when you want to and putter with your art supplies. I hope the wc book arrives soon. I hope you recharge the batteries and you can start off the new year with a bang.


12-01-2011, 01:48 PM
I've spent one christmas alone, and that was the most peaceful one I've ever had, with absolutely no expectations on me to be jolly (ho-ho), social, and overstuff myself. I could enjoy books, music, tv, and eat decidedly untraditional food in sufficient quantities. No false delight when opening presents and finding home-knitted horrors inside, like piggy-pink scarf (that long narrow model) that looks like intestines.

These days, I only put up the decorations that are lamps and give light. Maybe a candle or two which I forget to light. I'm sort of kinda not all that starry eyed. OK, I love the songs, the traditional ones, not the muzak.

Deborah Secor
12-01-2011, 02:25 PM
Good grief! 11AM on the first and you all have been in here for a day already! :lol: December always makes me feel as if I'm behind, missing something important or have forgotten to do something, so this is no exception.

Doug, Johnny-on-the-spot, I see, but no goals list yet from you. Three years on, perhaps you haven't as much need.

Jim, my goodness, for a retired guy you'll be rockin' this month.

Ruthie, enjoy your explorations, and do take the paintings. You never know what might work out! :wink2: You're another ambitious one.

Mercy, apple doughnuts sound divine! Enjoy sketching with your pastel pencils... Show us what comes of it, too.

Robert, your list is pretty full, too. I hope you can get out on the street sometime soon. SF in winter can be a very moody, beautiful place. I always loved seeing the fog roll in and out... Christmas, I find, is a matter of mind, and I always try not to let the Hallmark/Martha Stewart version trap me into false expectations!

Jen, your goals sound a bit like mine. Sorting things and donating stuff! It's always good to lighten the load.

Charlie, I sure like that last goal of yours. May have to borrow it myself.

Frankly, though, I'm not quite ready to lay out a list and this time I'm not going to make any willy-nilly goals. So I'll check back in with a well thought out list of realistic, doable things. In theory.

Goal #1 then is: MAKE THE LIST.

12-02-2011, 11:43 AM
My goals for December 2011 are:

1) Complete both the Notan and Composition units that I am currently working on for the VAA course. This will finish off the second quarter of the first year and I can start the third quarter of the first year on January 1, 2012. I will have this goal done by December 21.

2) I will paint two pastel paintings.

3) I will paint two gouache paintings.

4) I will continue to have fun experimenting with gouache daily, using watercolor sketchbooks.

The first goal has to be done by the 21st, because I know it will start getting hectic around here leading up to Christmas. The other goals are the 'fun' goals and I can still do them during the last ten days of the month. I am trying to be reasonable and make these goals attainable.


12-02-2011, 12:15 PM
Deborah, good goal! The rest will come.
Doug, challenging but attainable....as all goals should be!

I went to the local village today and tried the cafe and the florist. The cafe owner had just accepted a load of (inferior) work so had no room left on her walls. The florist doesn't hang paintings (yes she does) or sell cards (yes she does). Well, at least she didn't even look at them. If she had and then said that it would've been a bit of a downer.

The commission is coming along. Currently awaiting approval of an amendment I made. Trouble is I'm getting very close to the point when my framer can't get it done by Christmas...even for me! I have to get it to him by next tuesday. My Sister is coming for the weekend and my other Sister will be over from France staying in the area......I guess they can entertain themselves for a coupla hours here and there!!

12-02-2011, 01:35 PM
Deborah, "make a list" is a fundamental and profound goal! :-) December is usually a busy month. In a way, it could be the Artist's Vacation Month, couldn't it? Summer is Plein Air, etc... :-)

Doug, very reasonable and attainable!

Ruthie, :eek: :confused: :grouphug: Whassamadder with them? Christmas? Not even looking!? So now that florist has lost one customer, no two! (You had company, right?) Plus all your friends who'd've gone there to look. So irritating when they lie to you...

There are other coffee shops, furniture stores, and florists, nursery gardens, etc.

Deborah Secor
12-02-2011, 02:51 PM
Doug, can't wait to see what you come up with in gouache. I'm so taken with this medium, and it does 'marry' with pastel in some mighty nice ways.

Oh Ruth, I sure wish that had turned out differently for you, but don't give up yet. Christmas isn't the only time of year to show in the shops either. Finding a good fit is helpful.

Okay, I'm approaching 'THE LIST' cautiously this month. :)

I'm officially on sabbatical, as my husband keeps reminding me, which seems a bit odd and unsettling to me as of yet. My primary purpose in taking a good chunk of time away from doing my customary work is to seek to spend more time with the Lord (which you can think of as a student spending more time with a professor :) ), so among my primary goals are my non-art related studies of the Bible and a course I've assigned myself in church history. I took a minor in history when I did my BFA and love it, so this isn't an onerous task to me, just one that wants the time to read and study. (My husband is well versed in this subject, so it makes studying fun, as I have someone to discuss things with.)

One other non-art related goal is to continue to clear and get rid of all the stuff in our garage, again with the hope of actually pulling our car in there at some point. My husband suggested that might be our Christmas gift to ourselves, and I heartily agree--especially since today it's looking like snow! :eek:

On the art front, I plan to paint regularly, primarily in gouache during the cold months, as I can do it at the dining room table studio! In painting my little miniatures, I usually spend about one hour to complete a landscape. My goal this month will be to challenge myself to increase the scale of the landscapes in size to at least 5x7", and possibly larger. That will necessarily increase the time spent on one painting by a huge percentage, so in addition I plan to try to develop a loose approach to brushwork and layering that's not so time consuming. In theory... :rolleyes:

I also want to reacquaint myself with portraiture and learn to control skin tones, as well as honing my skill at capturing a likeness. This is an embarrassingly weak point with me, so if I show my work it may be somewhat tentatively and with the need for a lot of forgiving and kind assistance!

So my December art goals are:

1. To paint regularly, at least 4 times per week, if not more.
2. To paint larger landscapes, in the 5x7" range at least, and keep them looser.
3. To practice portraiture, learning skin tones.

And non-art goals are:

1. Continue to clean out the garage, with hope of putting the car inside.
2. Daily Bible study, as always, as well as a course in church history.

The holidays are not too demanding for us these days, happily, despite the addition of granddaughter #1, so I don't expect much social pressure this year. It's actually quite a relaxing time of year when one doesn't play the "required giving" game. I have made a gift for my family already, and will show it to you after I give it. :heart:

12-02-2011, 05:05 PM
Ruth. So you are retired as well. Perhaps you retired early or something. I look my age not that peeps open doors for me etc. but I did retire early and got an extra 11 years before getting the OAP.
I too wonder how I found the time to go to you know where ... begins with wo... Sad to hear that some peeps need to lie like hairy eggs about their hanging some art on their walls. As has been said they are the losers.

Thanks Doug for the encouragement and yes will get the rack/trolley next Tuesday – a eerrrr what I mean is I'll order it online then..... I'll get to the VAA seriously in the new year.
Good goals there , it looks as if they are reasonable and attainable.

We are like you Charlie in that decs. are kept minimal. What isn't put up doesn't have to be taken down. And no pine needles to vacuum off the living room carpet. Candles I do like and will not forget to light them. It always cheers me to see a candle lit. If the neighbours hear some caterwauling it'll probably be me on the music keyboard/french horn/trumpet and SWMBO on vocals with the trad. type Christmas songs etc. especially from the 'auld folk song book'
SWMBO loves singing.

Hi there Deborah, and your first goal has been reached. :)
I like and can align with your other goals i.e. portraiture. I'd love to be able to get a likeness. I will hope that I can do that somehow in the future. :crossfingers:

12-02-2011, 07:55 PM
Ruthie- It may take a few no's before you get a yes. It is no different than making cold calls as a sales person. You know there is somebody out there interested in your "product" and it is your job to find them. I was in the sales/ service sector for over twenty years and heard a lot of no's in my life, but they makes a 'yes' much sweeter.:)

Charlie- Thanks. Trying to keep things simple, but keep painting for this busy month.

Jim- That drying rack will do the job. Starting the course in the new year sounds like a good plan. It gives you time to look things over. Looking forward to having a classmate that I know. We might not be taking the same unit at the same time, but we can keep an eye on each other and encourage one another too.

I spent today working in gouache. I painted pine trees, experimenting with different colors and brushes. Fun!

I wanted to get some less expensive gouache to practice with and found a Vancouver company that sells art supplies and frames. I have some paint and a block (5 frames) of 11 x 14 frames coming next week. I will check the frames out and may order more if they are half decent. Anyway, I had a productive day and am happy with my progress in a new medium.


12-02-2011, 07:58 PM
Deborah- Solid goals all around. Looking forward to see your "larger" paintings. Snow???:eek: That's for my part of the world.


12-03-2011, 09:15 AM
Bringin' up the rear again....but 1 goal already accomplished.
Attended the openings for the 2 shows I have pieces in. Had several excellent comments on one piece in each show. The (rest of the comments were..'they're all nice, but I REALLY like this one...')

Sooo for the rest of the month:
1. take Johannes's new class on Saturdays
2. resume sketching
3. do at least one Spotlight selection

and on the more mundane side...
like Charlie, will do at least 5 minutes of housework at a time, each day (that's a challenge!)
get the Christmas tree and lights up

should be a productive month for us all, many goals to accomplish...

12-03-2011, 11:20 AM
If Judibelle is the rear, does that make me the tail?
I see I'm already behind everyone else.

1 (rerun from last month) Frame. I have the mats, frames and artwork matched up, just need photos of the finished pieces and assembly.
2 Clean up my really messy, disorganized studio. at least a little.
3 Squeeze in some time to paint another acrylic and another ink drawing before my exhibit in January.

non art goals-
1 split and stack firewood. (still not done, but all the wood is at least by the house)
2 Bake a million Christmas cookies
3 Try and keep exercising so I don't get as bad a case of the winter blues this year.

Christmas is busy for me. Cookies, Brunch for the first set of in-laws Christmas morning, Dinner with the second set of in-laws Christmas evening. Christmas with my parents/sisters at some point we can all get together, and me cooking for all of them. My husband is off of work for the second Christmas in 12 years so that will be good. (someone else has to keep the lights on!)

12-03-2011, 01:57 PM
Judi- I am typing this out after putting JV on mute, waiting for the class to begin.:D Congratulations on the comments on your painting. It is always good to get positive feedback. Keeping your goals simple this month is a good idea. Now that winter is upon us, just remember, if you see a fallen tree it doesn't mean you have to lift it out of the way. We don't want you to be out of commission again. Take care.:)

Sharen- It sounds like you could use some help in the kitchen. My wife and I have always cooked as a team at Christmas. I give her the rest of the year off.:) Good luck with your framing and studio cleaning. At least the firewood is getting closer.


Deborah Secor
12-03-2011, 02:10 PM
Oh drat, thanks for the reminder, Judi! I forgot to enroll for the JV webinar and now it's full. Oh well.... I'll try again in a bit and see if it empties out.

Sharen, I can relate to the cleaning! It's always good to get that done, especially in your work space. Done being the optimum word, of course.

I did accomplish the start of one goal last night. I painted a portrait of an infant that's not too bad, and it's 7.5" x 8.5" in size. I posted it in the Gouache Corner thread. Babies are so hard! I think I'll do something easier next.

12-03-2011, 03:13 PM
Sharen, Judi, good solid goals!

Deb, you can enroll, and if you're lucky you can get in, too, as class is full, so he's urged ppl who don't actually watch to sign out.

I've started the planning of the christmas card painting (I know, late-late-late), a copy of an old master. My, just finding the contours have taught me so much already!

12-03-2011, 08:04 PM
Deborah- Your painting is better than "not too bad." It looks great! And it is HUGE for you.:)

Charlie- Good luck with the Christmas cards. I am sure it will look fantastic.

I attended JV's webinar on water today and of course when it was over I had to practice painting......TREES! I couldn't help it. The gouache pine trees are coming along. I have no idea what I am doing so it makes things easier.:D Well, I guess I know more today than I did a week ago. Crawl before you walk.


12-04-2011, 11:30 PM
Oh wow! Everyone's got good goals this month! Thanks for all your different views on Christmas decorations and prep - especially the hand knitted pink worm sort of thing. That really made me laugh. I've had my share of odd gifts over the years.

I decorated my door with mylar snowflakes. There's a lady in the building that decorates the lobby in a big way for every holiday, so I've got that to enjoy too. Once I finished the door I realized that was enough - it's more that I need to do something or I wind up feeling left out about it.

Had four days of extreme fatigue and fog, didn't even go online much, not on Facebook, not doing anything much but sleeping and curling up with a book to get my mind off how I felt. That gets annoying, to just lose a week at a time to being sick. It's what I get paid for though. It's been longer than four days, the whole end of November's been like this too. I'm going to try to stay up through the day tomorrow, didn't get to bed till nine in the morning today so I'm going to have to try to get back on an "awake in the day" schedule.

12-05-2011, 06:38 AM
Tick for Spotlight, did the cat in pastel pencils and posted it. Should have been working on my cat commissions but I did the cat and then got hit with another nap attack. I'm still not over this flare. Arrgh. But maybe if I sleep during the night I can stay awake during the day. Going to try to get back to bed so this might happen for Monday. It'd be nice to experience some daylight.

12-05-2011, 11:18 AM
Robert- Glad to see you are trying to get back at it, Robert. I hope you can get your body clock back in sync so you can see daylight. Way to go on the tick for the Spotlight painting. Hope to see you during the day.


Deborah Secor
12-05-2011, 02:19 PM
Charlie, your card sounds interesting... I'd love to see it.

Robert, it's so hard when the body clock gets re-set that way. Do get some rest, even without sleep, today. It may help. Hang in there...

Thanks, Doug. I liked the portrait and plan to continue to work. BTW, I'm really enjoying your explorations. The trees look good. Tick that off your goal list!

I'm so sorry I missed the water class with JV. I had a long phone call from a friend and never got in. I love painting water and it's always interesting to see what others have to teach. Guess I better get signed up ahead this time.

12-05-2011, 03:45 PM
Deborah- Thanks for the encouragement. I have always had problems painting trees in pastel so I am pleasantly surprised with my attempts using gouache. My wife even like them and she is my toughest critic (which I like).

I haven't done any tweaking yet, but I understand what you are saying about highlights and shadows. I did try some highlights on the last group, but I did it in yellow and that just blends in with the trees. I don't know why I didn't think of orange? Anyway, thanks again. I appreciate the help.

I worked on and handed in another notan assignment this morning. I painted some more trees in gouache yesterday and plan on painting some more this afternoon. This time I painted groups of pine trees. I am getting brave.:D


12-05-2011, 06:54 PM
Well, it worked to some extent. I got up at one in the afternoon instead of six, hopefully I can try to sleep tonight. Also hopefully I can get at working on the kittens. My blogs have gone overboard - late on three of them, that's not as high priority as finishing the commissions though.

12-05-2011, 10:11 PM
Well tick for sending out donations today but haven't done a lick on anything else!
Charlie your card sounds great. How do you send the painting out as a card? Do you scan it?
I would never get my cards out if I had to paint them! Did buy some today and had a young Wallmart employee practically hug my neck because I was polite to her! Her job is to ask customers if they have found everything and apparently people have been mean, rude and downright grouchy to her all day. I just gave her a hug and a kind word and sent her on her way. Christmas seems to bring the worst out in people. The Christmas cards were by the way in a display that proclaimed " holiday cards" that were stacked with Christmas cards only! Go figure!
Robert I hope you feel better very soon. You have such a good attitude to your health problems.
Deborah, enjoy your retirement you will adjust soon.
Jim sounds like you are being very productive!

12-05-2011, 11:48 PM
Purr thanks! Wasn't able to do much tonight, but what I did was important - I finished one of the two kitten portraits. Next kitten and cat, then I'm done, then I start a little dog that's another surprise project. I'm getting "surprise" commissions for the holidays, no-display.

12-06-2011, 04:06 AM
Well I am glad you are getting something done even at a slow pace. A puppy will be a change of pace but I am sure you will do a wonderful job of him or her!
Tick finished my not too inspired Christmas letter. Now just need my DH to print it and maybe I will actually get some cards out this week!

12-06-2011, 04:19 AM
Robert, glad to see you conscious again.

Card: I paint, photo, then print out cards. I've chosen a Raphael to paint, have wanted to do an old master for a long time, and this seemed like a good opportunity.

When I was little, it was considered that a gift made by one's own hands was more loving and thoughtful than a bought one. Or, it was the excuse for not affording.... Or, it was Mother's expectations of being loved and thanked for the knitted stuff... (Of course I'm not a cynic! :-)

The total hysteria in shops and malls is quite mad. I generally avoid shopping in December. Stress-stress-stress! Poor employees, who get it dumped on them.

12-06-2011, 04:41 PM
Nice one on the spotlight Robert. Well I have done some cards for the grand children – just reminded myself to do another Ooops.

Nice to see you concentrating on trees Doug. As you may be aware I have difficulties with those myself. They actually work better for me in other opaque mediums like gouach and acrylic.

Jen, it looks like we lose out to Christmas. Never mind you did get you cards done.

Charlie, we were told the same. One of our aunties used to recycle all last years cards and sent them to us individually.
We do not go to any malls, it's all online from this postcode. SWMBO even orders her Christmas shopping online from one of the supermarkets. She says she can't carry them (I usually do that anyway). Incidently I ordered the pressies in November and avoided the "sorry - sold out"

I've met with a hold-up on the dog portrait as I have been told to use a colour that isn't in my set. I await a reply so haven't done anything on that today. I spend up to an hour in the morning light on it.

Earned some brownie points as I got SWMBO's printer working from the router (unscheduled goal – needed to print out cards) and await ink delivery.

Halfway through an acrylic landscape.

Have to do a clean-up/tidy-up house. Orders from SWMBO as visitors on the horizon. I tell my kidz to phone before they call, Why? They say “So that I have time to put the hoover around” I say :lol: They don't know me like this, the now artistic dad so opposite the one they knew that was so organised, well managed and tidy.

It looks as if this month is going to be taken over by festivity related items - nothing to do with art. I will still do my best though.
Never mind always next month.

12-06-2011, 04:58 PM
Tick! This round of classes finished! So fun to teach! And they did really well. Planning for more classes next year, might collaborate with one of those organisations for evening classes, might get money for materials. Depends on the fine print if I enter the collaboration. Thankfully, we'll meet *after* Christmas.

Painting wise, I have only managed to get the line-drawing down on paper, but am ready to start to paint tomorrow. I have about 5 days to finish it... And, of course it is tonalistic, so some reverse thinking is involved, but I noticed that Raphael did use colour to an extent to describe form. It is the Madonna della seggiola, (http://allart.biz/photos/image/Raphael_27_Madonna_della_seggiola.html) one of his I like best as she's dressed in sort of oriental garb. And the child's chin isn't in the middle, I guess the model refused to sit still! I'm not doing the whole, just a part, and square.

12-06-2011, 06:00 PM
In the category of "Avoid Holiday Blues," I'm going to try to get back to daily art. Sketched today. That helped. Got really sick this morning but did get up at six in the morning so that counts for something.

12-06-2011, 06:44 PM
Robert- Sounds like you are doing your best to keep going during a rough period of time. Just keep doing what you can do. Way to go on getting one kitten done. Keep going, Robert. You can do it!

Jen- Good for you. People who work in the service industry have to put up with so much grief and they are usually at the bottom of the pay scale so they aren't even compensated for all the rudeness they have to put up with. You probably made her day.

Charlie- Darn! Classes are over for the year and I didn't make it to any of them!;) I hope you keep them going, because it sounds like you are enjoying passing on your knowledge and passion for painting. Thanks for the link the the painting that you are using for your card. Another virtual painting source for the course (hey, I'm a poet:cool: ).

Jim- Company is always nice to have, but it does cut into painting time. Oh, well, I guess we can paint trees next month.:) I agree with you about it being easier the paint trees with wet paint. Maybe we are over thinking things when I comes to pastel trees. Hmm.

I completed two more notan assignments today. I also painted more pine trees yesterday afternoon and today. I think I might move on to something else. Here is a sample of the latest pine trees. Sorry the photo is a little blurry.


12-06-2011, 07:28 PM
BRAVO, Doug! Well done!

I've had more of an art-social weekend than a painting one. but it's been fun. now time to get back to business (painting, that is.)

Jim, Jen and Charlie....Bravo for doing your cards. each year I think I'll make mine...but never seem to find the time.

Deborah...sorry you missed the JV class...but important phone calls take priority.

Robert...Sorry you have been so 'under the porch'. Hope you can get your strength back soon, and get back to painting. love the cat sketches...

12-06-2011, 08:25 PM
PURR thanks everyone! I think it's all this cheering on that's got me rallying. During the worst of it I couldn't even make myself go online, but when I came back to hang out here I got motivated again.

Tick for today, did another small Spotlight, the extremely popular Lemons reference in miniature in my sketchbook. Nothing says they have to be large or for-sale. Spotlight is a mental rest for me, a chance to relax and play with the pretty colors without worrying about whether it'll sell or ought to be finished by now.

Doug, your gouache pines are beautiful! Lovely clump of them. No two alike. The texture of the foliage is gorgeous.

Jim, was too foggy to respond to your holidays point before. Being so artistic now and all, you could always let the tidying up lapse, paint and then let the young ones feel useful clearing things up for you.

Charlie, your Raphael copy Christmas card sounds so beautiful. I can't imagine it coming out less than incredible, since I like Raphael and adore your painting. I hope you'll post it! After it's sent out of course, so those on your list get to see it first.

I think what I'll do for cards for my grandkids is fold some Origami Cranes. If I do the same thing for daughter and son in law, they'll probably give theirs to the kids to play with. I did those every year when I lived with them so I need to do something clever with this year's cranes. Maybe put markings on them with brush pens if I'm using printer paper. I could put a few of those around in my room to be holiday decorations too.

My shiny snowflakes are a hit. Georgia commented on them when she came by this morning, so it's not just me that's cheered by them. Still got two shiny mylar pieces to fold and cut. Daily sketching comes first though.

12-06-2011, 09:57 PM
Wow Charlie, I can't imagine doing anything as ambitious as the Raphael you have chosen for your cards. I hope you'll post the result here when you are finished and after the recipients have received them. I'm sure it will be beautiful and have your personal touch.

12-07-2011, 10:12 AM
A good tick there with the classes finished Charlie.

On your Christmas card picture, If our kids were that fat they be called obese wouldn't they and be put on a special food regime.

Hi Doug I have been following your progress on trees. I think you have done better, quicker than I did. I have done some in acrylic this week with similar ease. I'll have to try the same method (with some modification) in pastels. These look good in gouache.
What's the betting it works as well in oils.
I do agree that company eats into painting time and the most I can hope for is help with laying the table and carrying the serving thingies into the stud.....I mean dining room.

So Judi, you have been socializing. I remember when I used to do that. Every weekend was a round of parties until at least a fortnight after the season was over. Riotous youth and all that.

Robert sounds like you are rallying a bit, good on you. It must be awful to be so on the brink all the time, having to do things as little windows appear and those don't care for plans.
SWMBO wouldn't rest with leaving anything go …. oh dear me no.
When I am doing a meal I do say 'Ladies take the day off, the men will help'. The ladies don't need a second bidding. :lol:

Hi there Carol and yes we'll all look forward to viewing Charlie's Christmas card.

12-07-2011, 01:45 PM
Jim, thanks. It gets so frustrating, especially when there's a lot I want to do and so much of it involves "have to do this before I can do that" planning. Though I get a lot done if I look at it that way and break it down. I looked at my Google check last night and put in a small order at Jerry's, got the prints rack to complete my Street Setup Lite - the version that could get on a bus with me now that I have a rollator.

It has its perks. I'm not likely to get fired from "being a cripple" and my life is still tons better than it was before the move. Losing a week is pretty minor compared to losing most of the year in Arkansas.

Looking at the fat baby in Charlie's chosen Raphael, that's not obesity. That's baby fat. My grandson had that look too, because he has a stockier build than my granddaughter. It blew me away - it's a slightly different look than a fat baby. Mostly because it melts away literally within hours. My grandson would look that pudgy in the morning and be an inch or more taller by evening - the baby's legs have that squashed-down but muscular look Gabriel's did. I love the look on the Madonna's face too, she reminds me of my daughter when she holds the kids. You can see the love.

Charlie, maybe if postage is too high to send it out to everyone on the Goals thread, you could message it to us when you send out the print cards to their recipients. This is going to be so beautiful. Copying a master is a brilliant idea for a card.

Deborah Secor
12-07-2011, 01:52 PM
I've been totally obsessed with the second baby painting and haven't popped in here till now as a result... Y'all have pretty busy lives!

Jen, isn't it amazing how simple kindness seems to appreciated in this season? We remarked that everyone around here is 'driving mad' again--the anonymity of driving a car seems to let people act in ways they never would otherwise.

Jim, you're really something--gouache, pastels and acrylic? Wow! Good for you. I always have to tidy up before folks come, too. Just seems against the grain otherwise! That's only a result of my later years, however, as I used to tolerate a mess quite well. I'd just go over to my easel and ignore it!

Charlie, I hope you'll share your card. That's an amazing reference painting and I know you'll do it justice--and no doubt add that true 'Charlie' touch to it!

Doug, the trees look good! Now, a landscape painting with pine trees in it, right?

Robert, hang in there! I used to love making origami cranes. Now I can't recall how, but with a quick brush-up I could do it. One thing I love about the Net is that I can go look at a quick video and there it is! I saw a neat way to cut and fold little boxes and tape them back together so that you can turn it inside out and all around, all cut from one piece of paper. I have to find it again and try it.

I guess I can tick off the goal to paint four times a week, paint larger and practice skin tones. Here's a link to this morning's post in the Gouache Corner. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14191596&postcount=252) More work yet to be done, but I'm pleased so far. How can you miss when you're painting someone you love so much? :heart:

12-07-2011, 02:02 PM
Wow, Deborah. Just clicked on the link and I'm amazed. You managed to make her look like she's leaning out of the painting, ready to poke me in the eye or something. Yep. When you paint a face you love that much, you can't lose. Her skin tones are wonderful. I love the way you did all those little stripes without letting them become distracting or overpowering.

Hm. I'm awake and it's now 10am, got up at nine, almost feeling human so I might get something done today. I sure hope so. Itching to work on my commissions, the cat and kitten are so beautiful and so close to finished.

12-07-2011, 02:40 PM
Charlie the card will be beautiful. What a wonderful reference. I hope we all get a look at it.
Doug nice job with the trees. I admire your dedication.
Deborah, and you said you couldn't do portraits! Babies are difficult to do and you have done her so well. Love that tuft of hair, her wet little mouth and beautiful eyes! how big is the painting?
Robert so glad you are winding back up again. Hope you will have a good few weeks now.
I don't get into a good clean up unless someone is coming. The house isn't dirty just not immaculate! My MIL had a sign that said " Our house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy" !
Got all the letters printed just got to address all those cards and stuff!
I am off to my daughters for a week on Saturday so will probably have to take them with me!
Spent all day yesterday at the High School drama. The teacher with whom I have worked as a volunteer for 20 years has just had a mastectomy so she asked me to help paint set. I had just about retired as it was getting too hard for me with my bad arm but couldn't say no as the show is in two weeks. I do like working with the kids too. My art teacher has ovarian cancer and i am helping her with classes too. I feel like friends a dropping all around me. I went and got a Mammogram today that I had been putting off.

12-07-2011, 03:07 PM
You all lead busy lifes, for sure! Well, *we* all.

I've done the underpainting, and of course I'll show it to you when it is done. Wonder what Raffaello Sanzio would have thought abut a purple and pink/yellow/orange underpainting... :-D I just couldn't bring myself to paint on earth red ground with green underpainting for shadows in faces.

I just had to make her face a wee bit larger, too, and I've cropped off all them little well-stuff sausage legs. (No adoring John the B either, just mother and child. I find it difficult to abide adoring infant Johns...) I guess all that baby-fat was to show he's the king of kings to be (or already was, only few knew about it). Fat= rich = upper class. The feet of saints are often painted with pointy big toes and crooked toes, as the rich got their feet a bit deformed by pointy shoes = high class, ergo, saints should have it too. The follies of mankind... today we have silicone and botox, and high-heeled pointy shoes.

Her face is at a perfect 45 degree angle, and so is her arm which makes two 45 degree angles from the point of the elbow to middle of wrist and shoulder.

Onward to stage one!

12-10-2011, 09:27 AM
I've been so busy with my goals I haven't had time to post here until now :o

Deborah, good goals! Love the gouache baby. You have that baby mouth just perfect IMO!

Jim, yes, I "retired" early. Don't feel like a retired person though. I always seem to be busy!

Doug, I saw the gouache trees. Good work!

Judi, Great that one of your pieces went down so well at the show!

DBFarmgirl, Challenging goals! A million cookies is a LOT!!

Robert, Sorry you had a bad time. Hope you're feeling much better now.Great idea about the origami cranes!

Jen, I can just imagine you spreading the real spirit of Christmas. What is all this about "Holiday". It happens here too. OK I may not be a Christian but, well, it's Christmas. Whatever a person's beliefs are I feel they should recognise that and accept it even if they don't celebrate it themselves.
Have a good time at your daughter's.

Charlie, Great idea for a Christmas card! How's it coming now? Glad you enjoyed the teaching, I'm sure you're a natural.

I'm doing quite well with my goals this month.

A friend and I went around the local City to cafes with our portfolios. Upshot is we have some space in a central cafe in the new year (subject to him keeping his promise) and there were 2 other cafes which may take some work after Christmas. We also called in a posh gallery which seems to have mostly prints at huuuge prices - notably some by Rolf Harris who has exhibited there in the past.
I knew our work wasn't what they would be looking for but my friend asked anyway and the manager looked at our portfolios and made encouraging noises. I wasn't surprised or disappointed that she didn't want the work. So that's a big tick. More marketing to come in the new year.

Commission is finished!!!! (Subject to final approval but I'm confident now). The framing materials are on order and I have to deliver it to the framer on Monday.

I've done one for the Spotlight already (to lift the commission blues) and started another.

Haven't yet thought about my entry to the Get Dusty. Time for that later.

Still haven't moved Charlie's painting. I think it's because I don't really want it hanging with mine....outshining them!!

12-10-2011, 09:59 AM
wow, I'm way behind.

Doug, I like your pines, there's a lot of depth to them.

goals so far-

nothing new done on framing... did pick up a couple more frames, and my custom framing is ready for me to bring 2 in to fit up.

not a cookie made yet.

the husband started splitting wood while I was at work (I always tell my co-workers it's easier to go to work than stay home!) but still have more to go, I think that's tomorrow's chore.

I did do a sketch for the second sunflower acrylic, but broke the light in my opaque projector so I haven't transfered in onto canvas yet.

I did clean the studio, somewhat. The husband needs my (ok really it's his...) drafting table so I had get rid of some of the pastel dust before he starts.

Don't think finding room for the watercolor paper in the flat file is not going to happen. I reorganized and somehow ended up with less room rather than more. I'm thinking I'll ask the husband to make me some kind of rack to hold the paper, foam core, frames etc. so they have some support.

I can't draw people, babys are even harder. good luck.

12-10-2011, 12:10 PM
Sharen, isn't all that wood split yet? No wonder work is a breeze.

Ruthie, really good news about the café! And your paintings do shine, too!

I too have worked a lot, the Christmas card is half painted (got all major masses established, but then there's all the details!, and I'm losing the likeness, but I wasn't really aiming for a perfect copy anyway, which is the reason I lost it, I've not been meticulous enough, life's too short), mainly because I've had so many other things to do. Went to the opening of the county show (one of mine there), and two artists said they'd've bought mine if they'd've got money. :-) The place was packed with people (mostly next of kin of the artists), and two paintings out of some 70 were sold. (Not mine.) Chatted with one artist, very nice. Handed out business cards, and found a small table where someone had put their bio, and someone else had put a stack of business cards, so I put a cardboard holder with my business cards there too.

Will see what (if anything) this leads to.

12-10-2011, 06:44 PM
It's official. Christmas shopping is complete. My wife and I went shopping this morning for the last few things and I just ordered a couple of DVD's from Amazon. The people in the office that my wife works at adopt families from the local women's shelter every Christmas, so we were shopping for the mom. It is something they do every year and now they look after two families because more people want to contribute. It is sad that people need the help, but it is nice to know that people in the community help out.

I handed in another notan assignment yesterday, so that means only one more to go to finish the second notan unit. I haven't done any painting for the past few days but tomorrow is looking like a day of painting. I want to paint a gouache landscape and maybe try a gouache underpainting for a pastel painting. Sounds like it is going to be a busy day.

Charlie- Looking forward to seeing the card. It is a good sign if other artists want to buy your paintings. Maybe you are teaching them what beauty looks like.

Sharen- If your husband is handy, having him make you a storage rack for paper and foam core would be a great idea. I am more organized now that I have room to put things. You never have enough room of course, but having a storage system helps. I hope you find some time to paint, but cookies are important.:D

Ruthie- Great news about the cafes. A smart move to do it with another artist. It is easier when you support each other. Your paintings shine.

Jen- You are one of those people who have to help when help is needed. Good for you. I am sure it is greatly appreciated.

Robert- I hope you are still up and about.

Deborah- You did a great job on the latest baby painting. You managed to capture the smooth baby skin. I would imagine it is more difficult to get a likeness with no wrinkles to work with.

Jim- We will continue the pursuit of painting trees in whatever medium that works.:lol: We should be able to paint them in any medium and we will be able to do that soon.

Judi- You are just a social gal. Socializing with other people who are interested in art should get you going. I hope you are painting.

Thanks to everybody for the kind comments on the gouache trees. Now for a landscape.


12-10-2011, 06:51 PM
Charlie, sounds so wonderful! Congratulations on your progress. Simplifying and changing sounds like a good idea, yours sounds so beautiful too.

DB, mm cookies! Isn't that the reward for doing everything else, getting to make cookies and eat them while they're still warm and haven't set yet? I used to like that when I had a kitchen. Then again I never had to make lots of them for lots of people, it was always just indulging myself with a batch or two of favorites.

Ruthie, you didn't "retire," so much as change careers and maybe give up working for other people, something I think of as a vastly healthy change.

Purr, made it to class today, took notes, waiting for the thread to open. Also did cat sketching last night and another cat sketch today. Will post today's in the chat thread.

12-11-2011, 01:05 PM
So, TICK for art, yay! :clap:

I've done some sketching, but haven't scanned any of it yet. I also today did a sketch of a cardinal, from a photo someone whose blog I read took (they gave me permission), but I can't post it on the sketch thread because it took me 1:20 :( I'll post it here intstead.

I realize that I drew a European robin-shaped cardinal (robins and other spherical birds like titmice are mostly what I've drawn in the past, go figure), but other than that, I'm not very unhappy with my first experiment with pastel pencils! :smug:

12-11-2011, 06:40 PM
Mercy, your cardinal looks great! I love the details on its head too. I've seen them get that puffed up in winter, he looks very natural. Love the way you did his beak!

Still fighting the chronic fatigue, want to work on the cat commissions today. I know once I get started on one of those cats it'll come out well.

12-11-2011, 06:51 PM
Mercy- You did a fine job on the bird. I agree with Robert on the beak. It is not the easiest position, but it looks true.

Robert- I hope you pull out of your bout of fatigue. Your cats are waiting for you, Robert. They will be there when you are ready.

I painted my first gouache landscape today and even posted it in the Gouache Corner. I didn't turn out too bad. Had a little trouble with values, but greyscaled the final painting and the values were correct. So, I guess I am learning.


12-12-2011, 01:25 AM
TICK - Mystery Cat commission - two done, one to go! And he's almost done, just need final details and tweaks on Mystery Cat the grownup.

Plus I sketched the new rescue that Mystery Cat's owner just got, threw that in as a bonus sketch because I thought it was so great for her to take in a rescue so soon after bereavement. Posted in Sketch Thread and in the Mystery Cat commission thread.

Well. Today went great! Despite fatigue I got so far! I'd better get out and sell art soon though, given what's happened to my finances after birthday indulgences. Happy thing though, I can, nothing is stopping me now but weather and wanting to finish my commissions first.

12-12-2011, 01:58 AM
Way to go, Robert. Good to hear. Once you get out and figure how to get everything set up it will be will get easier for you. The first couple of times will be a learning experience for you, but I know you can do it. The streets of SF await for you.


12-12-2011, 05:31 AM
Mercy, lovely bird with an attitude!

Robert, even if you're fighting the CF, you seem to be way more active than at this time previous years. Great you're nearly done with the Mystery Commission! May the weather be clement and dry enough for you to get out there.

Doug, yay for the G landscape! Of course you are learning, but when we learn, it doesn't feel like progress, as we struggle with what is new. And before you know it, the news will become 'olds', and lodge in your spine and you won't even think of it.

I'm grouchy. Things are not going as I want them to go. (Do they ever?.... (rhetorical question...)) And time gets shorter and shorter. It seems like an hour is about 15 minutes long, these days, while it used to be an eon some 40 years back.... I wonder, if Eternity is outside of Time, then Eternity isn't a lots of long time, it ought to be something like an Eternal Now, eh? So maybe life prepares us for the afterlife by speeding up time for us, so it sort of approaches that Eternal Instant?

The detail work on my old-master-copy is difficult. What looked great last night is horribly oversharp this morning... I foresee some smudging in the near future.

12-12-2011, 06:19 AM
Purr, thank you both! Charlie, thanks for telling me that. To me it feels like I'm doing so little and keep running into the wall, but it's good to have an outside perspective. You're right. I'm probably doing tons more than previous years here even with the CF. It's just not as much as it used to be, the climate here is so good for me.

I know that feeling about time. An hour's a lot longer than it used to be unless I'm trying to get to sleep, a week is, a year. I think it's just because it's a smaller percentage of my life as a whole. But a minute is still measured more on which side of the bathroom door I'm on.

Ari was a very helpful cat right now. He found my kneaded eraser, which I hunted for all day, took it out and batted it around the room so I could find it again. I knew he'd find it.

12-13-2011, 02:06 AM
Charlie- Grouchy? :music: Tis the season to be jolly:music: :D And yes, time flies now. I remember when days seemed to last 48 hours and now it's more like 12. My mom was right. I didn't believe her at the time, just like my kids don't believe me when tell them. Give them a few more years and they will see.

Robert- Ari to the rescue! I hope you didn't have to pick out too much dust. I imagine with the eraser rolling on the floor for a while, it must have picked up some cat hair.:)

It was puttering day. I decided to do some cleanup and framing. It amazes me how a simple frame can finish off a painting. I have a few more to do and then I am going to hang them in my studio. It's either that or put them away in a drawer and forget about them. At least this way when I get down on myself I will be able to see that I actually can paint.:D


12-13-2011, 07:19 AM
Doug, well, that's sort of the point, one is *supposed* to *feel* jolly. Ho. Ho. Ho. When a trip through the city takes 45 minutes longer than usual, as people are rushing around like decapitated chickens fighting for buying anything in sight, to the sound of tinny blaring muzak with every christmas song that's been written since 1990. The point of these particular holidays seems to be forgotten, drowning in reindeer and fat red men squeezing into chimneys. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Sorry, I sound worse than I am, the tone of irony isn't visible in typing. I say it with a smile. :-)

12-13-2011, 08:41 AM
Charlie........you need a good 'Cranbury Martini'......make that a double.....:lol: :lol: ...:wave:

12-13-2011, 11:44 AM
Charlie- To me, Christmas is the time of year to be with family and, yes, exchange gifts. My wife and I went through some really tough years and we couldn't buy gifts for each other for a long time, but we made sure our kids had something to open on Christmas morning. Now, we are better off, and not only do we buy gifts for each other and our adult children, we also make sure we make donations and buy gifts for people who are not as fortunate as us.

One of my first memories as a child is firemen walking into our one room basement suite with wrapped gifts to put under our tree. I was raised by a single mom and back then that was not a common thing. She tried her best, but that year was tighter than most and she asked the toy drive for help. It is something I will never forget and if I can help in some small way, to make Christmas morning better for someone who for some reason isn't as lucky as us, then I will do it.

We are lucky to have two of our three children home for Christmas. We are also happy that my wife has an excellent job and we live in a part of the country we want to be in. For us it is a time of the year to celebrate life. We will have goodies (too many), we will have a drink or two, we will sit around the kitchen table and swap lies and laugh until we have tears in our eyes and later in the evening I will show the family who the king of card games is.:D

Christmas is my favorite time of year. It always has been and always will be.:)


12-13-2011, 12:02 PM
Blue, http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2011/117343-111873-44092-eating__drinking.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2011/117343-Cheers.gif

Doug, love is what is most important! Anybody can have financial difficulties, but if there is love and respect, all will be well in the end.

We often invite single people for christmas dinner. Many do not have families, or they may be too far away. This year, they're all with family, or travelling, though.

12-13-2011, 01:15 PM
Robert, I admire your fortitiude!! Go you!
Charlie, they say "time flies when you're having fun" but it also flies when you have so much to do and feel that maybe you're not up to the task. That's how I feel much of the time. But it gets done.....and if anything doesn't then, well, so be it.
Doug, it's lovely that Christmas is such a special family time for you and that times are now so much better for you and your family.
Christmas, for me, means lots of work and hassle and the anticipation of what will go wrong....as things invariably do, just to add to the stress. Sometimes I actually enjoy the day, although wouldn't it be just bliss not to have to shop for, prepare and cook the Christmas meal....and then do the washing up too! Just ONE year that would be really nice. Can't see it happening until I, like my Mum, am in a retirement home!
Took the commission to the framer yesterday and he called today to say it was done!! That's service for you!

12-13-2011, 01:47 PM
Charlie- Said Doug, love is what is most important! Anybody can have financial difficulties, but if there is love and respect, all will be well in the end.

So true, but love doesn't put food on the table or put clothes on your back. Some people are in need and if I can help out by buying a toy to put a smile on a child's face, buy a gift card for parents to buy clothes or put together a food hamper to take to the food bank( and not just at Christmas time), I will gladly do it. I know what it is like to receive these things. It is now time for us to share the wealth and help somebody else out.

Just my thoughts.:)


12-13-2011, 02:02 PM
Ruthie- My wife and I have always shared the cooking and shopping at Christmas. It's too much for one person. Now we get the kids to help out. This year I did the shopping early for once. It's a weird feeling.:lol: It was worse when we lived close to family and had to pack the kids in and out of the car Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so we could be with both sides of the family. I always looked forward to the 26th.;)

We now have the turkey dinner prepping memorized and if we forget something, it's no big deal. It gives us something to laugh about next Christmas.:lol:


12-13-2011, 04:56 PM
Doug- It sounds like you have a wonderful Christmas. The Boy Scouts buy gifts for a family or two every year, I always try and include some kind of art supplies.

Our Christmas became a lot better after my Sister-In-Law said "why are we buying all these presents for all the kids in the family when no one needs anything?" It was decided to stop buying gifts for everyone and just get together and enjoy the time. No stress, but lots of cookies.

the wood is split! probably enough for next year too!

12-13-2011, 05:04 PM
Doug, people like you and your wife is what keeps mankind human.

TICK! Finished the old-master copy! Finally. And boy, was it a learning experience, especially as I drew it (with help of large grid) and didn't trace it. Will soon(-ish) be shown on a monitor near you.

It rains tonight (still no snow), but tomorrow promises to be better, if cloudy, so I hope to be able to take it out and photo it. Not that we get much daylight, as the sun is some 12 degrees over the horizon.

And, lo and behold, the "international air" shipment of books finally arrived, after exactly one month. Next time, it'll be Amazon, their 3 week (take your time, but not surface) shipment arrived after 4 days (!!!) -- from Auckland of all places. And that shipping cost considerably less although it travelled a longer way.

? Um, the spell-check doesn't like two 'ell' in travelling (nor pastellist). I could swear we learned in school to double consonants when followed by a vowel. Is it Brit. Engl., or am I deluded?

Deborah Secor
12-13-2011, 05:57 PM
Charlie, in American English that 'double consonant after a vowel' rule is broken far too often to really be a rule. There's the 1-1-1 rule: one syllable, one consonant, one vowel = double the consonant. Travel and pastel do not qualify! Grin and fun do. :D

We stopped giving presents to each other a few years back, but we have a tradition we enjoy now. We 'unwrap' the presents Jesus has given us, meaning we share with one another all the beautiful lessons and gifts He has given us throughout that year. It puts our focus on Him, the reason for the season. This year we won't have a family dinner on the day because our son has a new job that requires him to work long hours, but it's one of those gifts we've been given, so we're very grateful for it. Since it's the season, not actually the day (as in reality we have no idea when Christ was born), we'll enjoy some family together time on another day, WITH our granddaughter! That will be a special treasure, and of course she's the best gift given this year!

I've almost finished painting and assembling my Christmas cards. Give me 9/10ths of a tick. :lol: I'm putting up the 'tree' (not a traditional Christmas tree) this evening, I think, but plan to finish up the cards, too.

12-13-2011, 06:06 PM
Charlie- :lol: I don't think you are diluded. I checked the spelling at onelook.com, and traveling and travelling were both there. I have to check my spelling ALL the time. My mom could spell any word, but I was a lost cause. I couldn't remember all the exceptions to the rules. And then there is the American spelling of words. :confused: I am better now, but I still have to double check my spelling. Your use of English is better than mine.

So now that you finally have your books, will we see a watercolor painting from you soon? I have a huge book called The Complete Watercolor Course that I found at a discount table at a bookstore. I had to buy it. It even has some demos on gouache and pastel. Oooo.

I can't wait to see your old-master copy. I bet you did a great job on it. No snow? We just have a few snow patches, but mostly green grass. I am not used to that, but I will take it.

Sharen- You can always count on the Boy Scouts. :thumbsup: That's good to hear. We had a boys hockey team come around and collect food for the food bank. I thought that was a great idea. A hockey team. How Canadian is that?:lol: Good to hear the wood is split.


12-13-2011, 09:49 PM
Charlie, you learned to write in English, not American. Travelling, colour, aluminium, all those lovely words wind up rejected by the spell checker. That is so awesome what you're doing having single people in. I'd love to go, just lacking the expensive plane ticket and the stamina to endure your weather.

As for the shopping, that used to be fun when I was a kid and the songs were relatively new to me. My family did it in a very lazy slow "look at all the store decorations" way with stops at the chestnut and hot cider or cocoa vendors. So I wind up always associating that with going out to shop, even if I don't do it any more. I don't understand the rushing and getting mean about it - there was some of that even when I was little but it seems to have drifted farther that way every year. Sad really.

Doug, that sounds so cool. Love reading this thread about everyone's holiday stuff. You are an angel. That sort of holiday feeling is what it's all about.

Deborah, congratulations on your 9/10 Tick! Way cool. The up side of my being single and living alone at Christmas is that I don't have much to do for mine, just need to pack up one package and Kitten will repack it when I've mailed it.

My present from her is that she picked up the balance of the cost to send the big box of things I needed right away after the move. It'll be here by the 23d unless the post office comes late, including all my DVDs and my spare laptop and a number of things that I've been doing without because I used them all the time right up to the day I left.

So this is not as lonely as it was in some years before when I lived alone. I've got a phone call on the holiday to look forward to and can listen to children singing familiar songs and talk with my family again. Plus there is a lady in the building who decorates the lobby for every holiday and sometimes does parties down in the lobby. I missed one that she did but I'll try to get down there on the 25th if anyone else is gathering.

Ruthie, Doug has a good idea. You could talk to your DH about it and tell him that's what you want - a year off to just enjoy the holiday instead of preparing it. My daughter and son in law do what Doug's family does, they go into the kitchen together and have fun all day because they both enjoy cooking.

DB, that's so cool your putting art supplies into the gifts drive. I know that makes a big difference. There are some kids that'll be incredibly grateful to get something like that, I would've been.

No ticks for me for yesterday or today, big time sick days. Harry just checked the heater in my room and it's not just that it wasn't turned on. There's something wrong with it and he's going to get it fixed.

12-13-2011, 10:04 PM
I am hopeless at spelling and my spell check is always bleating about it and my iPad comes up with some really strange alternatives. It was bad enough not spelling in English but add the American into the mix and I have just got worse!
Mercy nice bird. Keep it up.
Robert you always make the best of everything and come up smiling. I really admire you. I hope you can hook up with the lady downstairs and have a good time on Christmas.
Charlie looking forward to seeing your card.
I actually mailed some of my overseas cards today! So I guess I can say a 1/4 tick for that. I am at my daughter's this week so I just get to write them when my grandson is in bed.
Not managed anything else:(
Ruthie at our house the women cook the men do the dishes as I wrap and put away food. I established that rule when the first son-in-law to be showed up on the scene and the boys have pitched in ever since!

12-13-2011, 11:10 PM
Since we have all gone Christmas minded let me tell a little.

We have agreed to not exchange gifts - certainly on my part - with any rellies over earning age, but do give to those younger than that.

I also remember the axim " Charity begins at home" and I do just that. Remember those least provided for by their parents (in your family - and remember you might have been there but for the grace of God). I was so grateful for donations made by elder rellies.

I don't believe Christ was born at this time of year, all the evidence says otherwise, but that doesn't stop me enjoying all the cheap food produced at this time of year, nor the winter solstice celebrations. I also enjoy the get to-gethers that my children/grandchildren enjoy as well.

We will be enjoying a Christmas in a Bournemouth hotel with a panto as well.
It is a watercolour course after all.

PS Get a dish washer - you know your worth it.

12-14-2011, 10:36 AM
Thank you all for the language talk! Right, we did learn Brit. Engl, and not Am. Engl. (how it is written in our dictionaries :-) . We were told to be consistent, for example those who studied in the US for a year were supposed to spell in Am. Never mix the twain. I'm pretty sure I use US idioms, with a Brit. spelling... LOL! I kind of soak it up, and mix it in me puir heid.

Big tick! The Raphael copy *) is photographed, to the entertainment of the neighbours. There are 12 houses on our cul-de-sac, and as we're oriented north-south, there was a wee bit of sunshine coming down the street at noon, so I took out an easel and tripod and set up in the middle of the street. :-) Just to be sure, I also shot one in shadow, and go figure, it was the best one... Akshully, not so surprising, as the sun is so low even at noon that it is too orange.

*) Footnote: (Been reading Pratchett...). The copy isn't so much a 'copy' anymore. I totally lost likeness. It is more an interpretation.

anyhow, my next task is to print it out, on the new printer. On which I have to change cartridges for the first time... I'm going to use all *beep* words I know, I forsee that already.

Oh, forgot. Some new research shows that it was highly probable that Christ was actually born around this time of the year. It is a thing scholars love to fight over, though. But tradition has proved itself right many times. Take Troy, for example, it was where legend said it'd be. Plus, the local people knew it all along, but they were not scholars, so one couldn't ask them! In any case, Christmas is supposed to celebrate the event, not the day, so it really doesn't matter.

12-14-2011, 01:34 PM
Tick - blogged this morning. First blog of the month, I think. Been slacking on the blogging. Was supposed to do Rob's Art Supply Reviews, instead updated Rob's Art Lessons because a friend asked me a pigments question. Ah well. I'll try to get to all three of them at least once this month, it's been a rough month for feeling up to doing things.

Jim, thank you so much for the birthday card and bait box! It's wonderful! I love little boxes for carrying art stuff and it can be a very cool little palette! Looks like it'll hold tons of paint. So cool. Actually I might use it for Dip Pen Nibs, since right now those are living in a way-too-huge box that I rarely get into. Would let me sort them by type!

Christmas in a Bournemouth hotel with a panto sounds wonderful. Not the usual American Christmas idea and would be lovely some year. Remind me to get successful and wealthy so I can go have a UK Christmas sometime. Always wanted to see a traditional panto.

Charlie, yay for the Raphael copy! Can't wait to see it. That's so awesome. Your interpretation is going to be wonderful, I know it. Interesting speculations on Jesus too. I was never sure about that either way, but do love having a solstice holiday.

So glad you're diving into Pratchett too. I love the footnotes.

Purr thanks, Jen. I probably will have a good time on Christmas here. Seeing decorations on more than just my door, I'm pretty sure there will be some sort of gathering down in the lobby.

12-14-2011, 05:35 PM
I swore I made a post this morning, but it's not there. Grrrrr. I think what happened was my phone went out this morning and Techno Doug had to figure out how to fix it. It is hooked up to the internet with some doohicky that was flashing, but the phone light was out. I plugged and unplugged things and shut off the power bar and still nothing. I then changed the power bar and Presto! I now have a phone.:D I can now add Phone Repairman to my long list of titles.:cool:

It is going to be busy around here for the next few days. Our baby turned 19 today and she and her sister AND two of my wife's sisters, are coming here tomorrow evening via bus. My wife and I have to go out for dinner tomorrow evening with her boss and other management and spouses. The bus should be arriving right after we are finished dinner. We hope.:crossfingers: It is also my wife's 50th birthday on Sunday and a good friend is planning to come over on the weekend to visit. All this while my wife just started her first course for her MBA program and has a group assignment due on Sunday and she has also been super busy at work. When it rains, it pours. I think art will be taking a back seat for a while.

Robert- Good to hear you are getting the rest of your stuff. That is a very nice Christmas present from Kitten. It will be like a present when you open the box and see your things with fresh eyes. It will be like everything is brand new. I will have to go check your blog. Keep busy.

Jen- Just blame it on USPS. It's the same up here. They call it Canada Post, but I call it Canada Storage.:lol: Have fun with the grandson.

Jim- That sounds like a lovely way to spend Christmas. I love hearing all the different ways people around the world celebrate Christmas. Each country has different traditions that carry on even when people move to another part of the world. And I agree about looking after family. Nothing is stronger than family ties. Funny thing though, other than my uncle and a few cousins, that's it on my side of the family. My kids don't even have any cousins. From either side. Weird, isn't it?

Charlie- Maybe in the summer you can paint out in the cul-de-sac and make some sales!:thumbsup: Congratulations on the painting being finished, but if the printer doesn't work, maybe you should do the cursing in Swedish.;)


12-14-2011, 06:10 PM
Oh, definitely not all of my stuff - but the things that I needed most, you're right, Doug. It'll be like getting them new for the first time. I think I'll be buying my old stuff all through 2012 instead of getting new stuff most of the time. But that's probably going to bring in a lot more of those supplies. I'm also glad that I labeled so many of the boxes and wrote up lists of what's in them, that's going to make sending for them easier.

Sounds like your family is a lot of fun right now! With your baby 19, they're all grown and you can enjoy them without nearly the amount of work or worry involved. Happy Birthday to your wife! Yep, sounds like you'll be very busy and lucky if you manage to squeeze in a couple of gesture drawings this weekend.

Charlie, good luck on changing cartridges and using the new printer. I hope it's got decent instructions. I've had some that left me scratching my head in total confusion, the hardest ones for me are the completely nonverbal "cartoon without captions" types of instructions. Clever way to avoid having to print the captions in several languages, they're unintelligible in all languages the same.

The more I think about it, the less lonely this Christmas is. I have family even if they're distant and I love them. That's so much more than some of the lonely Christmases that I've had.

Small tick, I did an art journal page trying to warm up to finish the Mystery Cat. It was bitter cold earlier but it's starting to warm up in my room - think the heat came on and that's got me feeling much better. Maybe I can get something more done today, like get the package packed and/or work on the Mystery Cat. Once he's done I can move on to doing the puppy - and when I do the puppy I will get paid for the puppy and have some of my food budget back. Lots to look forward to. Motivational as soon as the temp comes up high enough that my hands work!

12-14-2011, 07:00 PM
Jim, it sounds like a very good christmas for you!

Robert, good you get some of your stuff back! I'm re-reading Pratchett, at least those I have not read since 2005 (the early ones). I think I have the complete Discworld series. His rather practical outlook on life is a wee bit similar to mine. Death was more... temperamental in the early books, before he developed the character into an efficient gentleman.

Jen, good for you to mail the overseas cards! Saw Doug's comment about Canada Storage... :-) I once made a painting swap with someone in the Vancouver area, and my painting got there in 11 days, and their painting took 27 days to reach me, and we posted the same day.

I just got a small thing from Paris, and it was posted on Monday and arrived today. One thing that works well in Europe.

Doug, I don't need to wash my mouth, the printer cooperated, and I was fascinated by being able to print out 36 photos after the printer said that magenta, blue, and grey were empty. Then I ran out of photopaper.

I have no cousins, as both my parents were only child.... er... only children? only childs? -- argh! -- they had no siblings. So it is basically my mother and my husband, the rest of the relatives are too distant, both in location and kinship.

Tick! I got nearly all cards printed! The emailed ones will wait until the local ones are addressed and sent.

12-14-2011, 08:13 PM

Robert, you inspired me, and I got the three sketches from this month scanned and posted on my blog.

12-14-2011, 10:43 PM
Hey, Mercy! Great stuff! I just checked out your blog and you have three wonderful sketches that introduce me to your city. You have a good theme for a sketch book and a city that presents many interesting things to sketch. Go for it!:thumbsup:


12-14-2011, 11:08 PM
Hello Charlie, so new explorations think Christ might be born on our winter solstice? I can see why the academics might debate this. I also realise this and also celebrate the event with food, gifts to the young and to the needy.
A BTW (by the way) is that I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters. They have 2 to 3 offspring each. So my children have lots of cousins - so many that they don't bother to keep in touch.

I endorse all that Doug says. If you have ever been in that situation then any help is most acceptable. I also agree with Deborah that we should look to god for gifts that have been sent our way this year and be thankful.

Doug, we spent last Christmas in Hastings where our car was frozen in the car park for the duration. We booked this break before then as that was the schedule ATT (at the time). Now SWMBO (she who must be obeyed (wife)) decided that Christmas away is not for her....... she has been wanting a Christmas away for years.... ah well.., the whiles of women...

So next year is at home. Hooray!
I get to stay here after all!

12-14-2011, 11:25 PM
Jim- :lol: Well at least you now know what she wants. We might be going to Vancouver to the in-laws for Christmas next year. It will be nice, but the travel in winter through the mountains is never fun. Oh well. Maybe in a year she will have a different plan.:lol:


12-15-2011, 07:04 AM
I posted here yesterday too Doug but it's not here now. Oh, maybe I hit the wrong button!
The commission is framed and ready to be delivered to my client sometime next week. The frame I chose is, I must say, perfect for it so I'm pleased about that.
You're all doing pretty well with your goals and Christmas plans!
Just to clarify about cooking at Christmas. It is really my Sister that I get grouchy about. She comes to us every Christmas (for the last 15 years or more). She NEVER offers to bring the dinner or cook it and usually she is so tired afterwards that she goes to sleep while John and I do the washing up! That is just how it has become. She used to take Mum to the Christmas morning service, that was her job. This year that won't happen and we will both go see Mum in the home. Dinner will be in the evening for a change.

12-15-2011, 11:06 AM
Ruthie- Good to hear the frame is a perfect fit. Your client will be pleased. Isn't it funny how some people just expect other to do things for them. Oh well. You can pick your friends but you can't pick your family.;)


12-15-2011, 01:28 PM
All the best to everyone for this season, just in case I get sidetracked here. SWMBO starts preps days before hand. Unlike moi, I belong to last minute.com.

So a few have managed goals and Ruth your's is back from the framers. Good going.

A tick in this direction as I completed the oil pastel of our old rescue dog Rexus.
It's at
another site I visit regularly.

12-15-2011, 05:46 PM
LOL Jim! Glad you get to stay in. Sounds like you have an enormous family, that's got to be a lot of fun at the holidays. Your dog portrait is gorgeous, thank you for sharing the link!

Ruthie, now I can see why you get annoyed! Yay for the framing, it sounds great.

Mercy, purr! Thanks for letting me know I inspired you! It's all that jolly cat hair! I've been getting a mega dose because chilly nights mean cuddly cats.

Doug - yay for Techno Doug! Solving something like that is such a great feeling.

My big package from Kitten arrived today! I didn't wait for Christmas to open it, spread it out all over the room to make sure nothing was broken. She put in some very happy surprises including boxes of my finished art that I hadn't sent before, an extra clip board, my digital camera, the brush case that fits with my messenger bag but didn't get into it (and means I can bring it when I go out on the street) and some things I thought I'd lost - the Sakura Koi 24 color set is back in my hands. I thought I'd lost that on the trip.

So I'm very happy and going to set aside some of these toys not to play with till it's Christmas Day. They don't need to be wrapped to be awesome. Also my prints rack is scheduled to be delivered today.

It's now "do or starve." I can have instant cash the first day I get out on the street and can get there for only 75 cents on the regular bus. So if I go tomorrow... then I'll have money for a food shopping trip and get holiday treats and some much needed staples on Saturday when Georgia comes.

12-15-2011, 08:57 PM
Hi Robert and glad that Kitten thought of your art world in this mad rushed season in her sending your goods to you. Good for her. Now is the crunch time for you as you say. It's time to get out there and sell yourself! Oooeeerr missus! We are all here cheering you on so fear naught... just do it....

Ruth it can be quite annoying when little things like this re-occur every year. But be thankful that you are able-bodied and supported by your hubby to do the dish washing (as well as every thing else) each year.

I am able and willing to do all that my wife would love to be able to do - if she didn't have MS.

12-16-2011, 05:31 AM
Purr thank you! LOL - I needed to hold my horses. Monday is my debut. Tomorrow is mat cutting day. I forgot that before going out, I need to use those 100 mat cutter blades and have a stack of empty mats with back boards in shrink wrap bags ready to pack up the art that I sell off the easel. I always had the mats and bags combos ready. If I had electricity (which I did sometimes depending on where I was) I would actually shrink wrap them.

I should get a battery hair dryer once I sell some, that'd let me shrink wrap on the spot for better transportation by tourists.

For now I'll just cut glassine sheets to lay over the art under the mat before putting them in the bag.

I'll still have three selling days before Christmas - Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I can't go out on the days Georgia comes, but she comes on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday so that makes me take it easy and not go out (except for the shopping at the food place day.)

12-16-2011, 05:26 PM
Jim, beautiful painting of the dog! Finland, your son was in Finland? Did he learn the language?

Rob, will cheer you on Monday!

I gave myself a day off today, as I was too tired, slept 'till the crack of noon, just ambling around the house, cooking, reading a bit, practicing singing. Would you believe it I got interrupted by the phone no less than 5 times during the "Haaaaa-le-luiah" only! The fifth time I picked up the receiver and barked "What is it now, then" believing it was yet another sales-person, and luckily it was my husband... :lol: (Our handsfree phone is in its death-throes, and the ancient analog one doesn't display numbers.)

12-16-2011, 06:03 PM
LOL Charlie, good thing it was hubby! That has to be so frustrating. It's nice to have some days of just relaxing. I think that's a problem for creative people or anyone who really loves their work - it's hard to remember to take time off because work time has so much playtime in it.

I wound up getting up at crack of noon too, since I didn't get to bed till six in the morning. Ouch, there goes my intention to get up in the mornings to keep on an art selling schedule. Just as I was winding down at midnight, still too excited to sleep, a night owl good friend (my former fiancee, now married to another dear friend whom I like a lot) chatted me - and as usual, we got into talking about writing. I blinked and it was four in the morning. Didn't wind down till six.

Great schedule for novel writing, not so good for artwork. But getting only half a night's sleep may make it easier to go to bed early tonight.

Mystery Dog Commission is coming on great though. I got the laughing dog's difficult, beautiful mouth expression right, including the crinkles on the tongue and correcting "flower petal pink" to "dog tongue pink" with olive green and dark gray. Emailed progress to my client and she loves it. I was paying careful attention to individual features, being that's a foreign animal to me.

Turns out that something odd about her muzzle is a healed scar on her upper lip that happened when she was a puppy. I got that right. It looks strange, almost like a cartoon dog, but I followed the reference and found out that's actually what the dog looks like. So I feel good about that and the decision to go for pastel pencil detail instead of loose expressive sticks. When I'm in doubt on anatomy, drifting toward realism and measuring a lot will get it right.

I now have all weekend to finish cat and dog commissions, cut mats, make plastic bags, cut glassine, pack everything up and create an improvised shoulder strap for the prints rack. That or figure out how to carry it while using the rollator. The rollator's cargo compartment won't hold 11" x 14" matted art, so I still need a bag too and some kind of drawing board to put on my little field easel. Right now all I've got is the big one. The smaller drawing board is in transit in my Blick order.

I'll get it on Monday though. When I come back I'll have a comfortable sized drawing board. Wrangling the giant one will just be a one-day inconvenience, or I'll improvise with a piece of foam board or stack of back boards.

12-17-2011, 05:40 AM
Thanks Charlie, but the next dog I have waiting I don't think I'll do it in oil pastels. Probably try it in soft pastels.
I don't know how much Finnish he picked up - but I do know he brought another Finnish student back with him and a tutor. He was studying management in engineering. His girl-friend lasted as long as his course there. He should have done a year there but stayed two :wink2: the girls were the attraction I think. His twin brother (fraternal - not identical) couldn't be more different. His degree was in art and runs a business in internal design.

Robert those are lovely marbles. You'll have to enlighten me on how you did them - or should I visit your site? Come to think of it I haven't been there in a while. Time to go again then in a minute after I take in a morning cuppa to SWMBO. She only gets up early if there is an appointment or something.
That Rollator compartment Robert, doesn't it fold up when you fold the Rollator to take aboard a bus? If it does then wont you need a container to take all out for that? Just thinking things through here as I know how SWMBO's works and her limitations in hand luggage.

I had to get some printer ink this past week. Been expecting it as I tried something on the printer that didn't work. Printed out three black pages- aaaagh I said "there goes my black ink" and it did.
Got some 'replacement' cheapies from off the 'net. They didn't work so rang them to say so. A lady answered and said "Dampen a kitchen tissue and wipe the contacts on the cartridges, leave to air for dry ten minutes"
So I did and put them back in, and it worked!
One happy bunny! :wave:

12-17-2011, 06:07 AM
Jim, I'm now confused, which marbles? I've got a nice colored pencils marbles piece that I still love but it was posted way back in the day and I linked to a pastel demo on realism with chocolate and cherries. I'm not sure where they're posted, but I've done marbles many times. I did a whole bunch of marbles while I was living in Kansas.

If I haven't done a marbles tutorial on my site, I will. Or on my Art Lessons blog once I get to a toy store or toy aisle. When I do my food run for Yule I'll see if the store has a toy aisle since I miss having them - they're in Arkansas.

Yep, the rollator cargo compartment folds up so it's not good for carrying a lot. Something thin like a single sketchbook would just slide down one side or the other but might get bent if bumped so ought to be sturdy.

Thank you for mentioning that. I think I'm going to schedule a Paratransit trip instead of using the street car. Just call up the SF Arts Commission to find out what address to tell Paratransit for the ride - I can't just say "Fisherman's Wharf where the artists are setting up for the lottery" or "Fisherman's Wharf spot 38 on the street art lottery" - I have to give the nearest street address and then point at it when I get there. When I've never been there before, that's going to be tricky.

Back in New Orleans, until it all went bad I started using a cab to get to and from my setup spot. Paratransit's better because if I have a lot of stuff, the driver gets out and helps haul it on board.

Thank you for mentioning that. You brought up another logistic I need to solve - getting downstairs with All The Stuff all at once. If I bring some of the stuff down, like my Prints Rack especially, and ask the manager to keep it in the office for me, I don't have to keep hauling it up and down every time. They keep wheelchairs and some other things like that in the locked office under manager's care, so I don't think Harry will mind my doing that on week days.

I just need to put a tag on it so if I need it when Harry's not in, the relief manager knows that's mine and I'm not walking out with someone else's stuff. I could always write my name on it in silver Sharpie, that'd be a small advertisement! Worked to make my luggage recognizable!

No progress today, health and rest day. I got too stressed out by how much prep I have to do but wasn't physically up to mat cutting or dog painting. Better to be patient than wreck a commission that's coming out so well it's literally the best canine I've ever painted. Client loves it even at this stage. I got the scar and the curly happy dog tongue!*

*Dog tongues are harder than marbles.

12-17-2011, 06:20 AM
Robert, you have footnotiasis too!

It is hard to get up when there's no daylight, but I managed to rise and shine early(ish). As it is raining, there'll be hardly no daylight today. We just upped the wattage of our lightbulbs, to counter SAD, so it is *way* brighter indoors, for a change.

12-17-2011, 06:54 AM
LOL Charlie, yep! Sir Terry is contagious. Hee hee!

So cool about your brighter lights. I get SAD too and this is the dark time of the year, racing toward the Solstice. That's something I love about my room here. I wasn't sure there'd be enough lights, so I packed *two* Daylight lamps. CeCe thought that wasn't enough lights and gave me a beautiful table lamp and a breathtaking standing lamp, literally the coolest one I've ever had. Then I got here and moved in. Without bringing any lamps, my room's got two in the overhead fixture and one without a cover that's very bright in the sink alcove. It's bright enough to paint any time of day or light, though for photography the cream colored walls and the somewhat dirty ceiling fixture cover give everything a yellow cast.

12-17-2011, 08:10 AM
Charlie I didn't realise that you was so far north. Not enough daylight must be bad for the painting side of things.

Robert it was the Deviant Art site mentioned on the Addicts page.
I also looked at your other art there and it all looks very good. I have trouble (here I quickly add) in drawing any fruit round. I'd have to draw round then deliberately flatten appropriate parts. Or put in dents. This must be a hangover from my day job where circles on the board would have been heavily criticised if they were not round. The day job was good for perspective etc.

12-17-2011, 09:40 AM
Jim, I'm at the level of the northern tip of Scotland, nearly on the 60th. Slightly lower than Helsinki, btw. We do get, well, a sort of daylight for about 5 to 6 hours at this time of year. But when there is a 5 km thick layer of dense massive oppressive overcast cloud, and the old Sol gets a measly 10 degrees over the horizon at noon and therefor has so much more cloud to travel through, well, it is dark. And no snow to brighten things up either. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for SAD. It 'only' affects IQ and memory, I keep my sense of humour, and as the solstice arrives, the days start to lengthen. But there is a lag, it is usually worst in January.

Have to say this year is better than last year, as I've taken walks around noon, and I'm not turning they day around. All of last december I was taking nightly classes. That was not good for the SAD. Or, maybe it was good for *it*, but bad for *me*.

(LOL, weren't you just dying to know all this...)

I'd love to hear an Englishman speak Finnish! I have roots there, and know a smattering.

A trick for round and fairly symmetrical objects is to draw the vertical middle line, and then draw each side separately.

Robert, it really helps with good indoor light, the more the better. My new bulbs are halogen, and have the advantage of making all artwork on the walls look better, as halogen light shows true colours (albeit slightly on the warmish side). Smart of you to store your stuff downstairs. It is a pain to cart all of it even for a more robust person.

12-17-2011, 11:32 AM
Aaah Charlie, my geography is only challenged by my history, and that was very very poor. But I do know there are other places than England :lol: I may not know which parallel they straddle but....
I have a baby brother (61 last jan.) that lives in Sutherland and we flew up to see him. So I know it exists :lol:
Maybe I'm reading you wrong or I said it wrong but I have no trouble drawing round. It's just fruit is NOT round as I draw it.....they have indentations and things and are like ppl paint them with straight edges and daubs of oil paint. :lol:

Ok on the SAD, my gosh some folks seem to suffer quite a lot what with one thing or another. And extra lights seems to offset it. I've been using those blue bulbs for evening painting. Perhaps halogen maybe the way to go. I wonder what wattage needs to be used. We'd normally use an eighty watt bulb in our din... errrrr..... studio.

12-17-2011, 01:16 PM
Jim, am tired comma therefor write in sort of a telegram mode stop :-) I sort of should have said it is easy to get them protrusions and indentations and non-symmetry (OK, OK, asymmetry, then) with a vertical line as a 'base' to relate to. Straight lines makes the shapes more vigorous, too! So I'm sort of cheering you on. (probably sounding like a school marm nevertheless... sigh, I can't get rid of that irritating know-it-all air.)

I can't for the life of me draw a freehand perfect circle.

There's a world out there? Whodathunk... :-) It is said to be a true story, from the wireless era: There was a heavy fog over the Channel, and the radio reported "the Continent is cut off from England". In Sweden, we tend to think the same way, as we're really a huge penninsula, only attached to Russia wich is sort of terra ingognita. Well, there's Finland too, but as it was the Eastern Half of the Realm for 600 years, it sort of still belongs to us.

For painting in the studio, I use 300 W halogen light, but point it to the ceiling, so I get diffused light bouncing around. It is not good to have too good light on the easel/painting, as values tend to get too dark as the bright light shows them lighter than they will be in a darker room.

12-17-2011, 01:29 PM
Popping in to say hi. With all the things going on this weekend, I had my licence plates stolen from my car two nights ago. First time that has ever happened in all these years. Annoying, but it only cost $18 to get new plates.

When we lived in Houston, the sunlight in winter was short. Houston is around the 54th. My doctor told me to take 4000 units of vitamin D, because we didn't get enough of it from the sun. I know it has given me more energy and it also has helped with pain in my joints. I am not a doctor, but it is inexpensive and might be worth a try. Just trying to help out.:)


12-17-2011, 11:13 PM
Jim, wow! Thank you. That's the first one that popped to mind actually. In my opinion, that is the best "Marbles" still life I've ever done. Not least because of its composition, the crystal that's in it is in a little box I have here with me. I set up those small objects on the touchpad of my laptop with a directional Daylight lamp and painted it from life.

Yes, I will definitely do a tutorial on marbles in pastels, since I'm doing that much more than colored pencils right now.

Charlie, I have to admit I can do freehand circles and straight lines. Not the way Michelangelo did without correction, but with sufficient fiddling in pencil first. Laziness and disorganization created the skill. I could either fiddle with correcting the pencil sketch or get up and look for the circle template.

It's one of those skills like a spelling knack that are convenient if you develop them but completely irrelevant to whether you're a great artist. You are a far better artist than I am. You just do far more landscapes and buildings and people and still lifes that don't have spheres in them than I do.

You're absolutely right. Fruits are not perfect geometric shapes. They don't look real if drawn that way. Each one's unique and interesting with dents, protrusions, lopsided weight, odd patches of color shifts and bruises and dings. Paint in all the flaws and it turns into beauty.

Thanks for the tip about the strong halogen light aimed at the ceiling. I think my room here is that well lit between the bright overhead light and the one by the sink, let alone my extras. If it wasn't I'd definitely think about a halogen easel lamp. When I have a studio big enough to keep an easel in, I'll try that - it seems like a perfect setup.

Jim, you're right about that lighting and the SAD. I'm not feeling it as much here because of the bright lights. Back in Arkansas I had serious problems with it because even at a summer noon, my room was positioned under the eaves that it was a dark cave. Perfect as a restful bedroom for sleeping in. Not much good for anything other than working in the cone of the Daylight task lamp. I used to go downstairs in the middle of the day and sit in the sun patch with the cats with my shirt off to fight it.

Doug, that's a great idea about the Vitamin D. I'm not sure what would be a good level of it for me. I'm taking a multivitamin that includes it though, so that helps too. Yikes! That's rough that your license plates got stolen. Very annoying. Glad you could afford the replacement without sweating it.

Okay... I overestimated myself twice in a row. Yesterday was going to be my first day out on the street. Then I planned for Monday. Well, it may not be Monday and it may not even be before Christmas, because I can't plan the rest days and I keep turning up other things that need to be done before I can do it.

I'm going to cut this short and put more of my Friday thoughts into the Scumble, they're off topic. I sorted out the dozens of small problems that overwhelmed me on Friday and two of them are goals I want to add for January.

1) Better Goal Setting (deadlines especially)
2) Stable Sleeping Habits.

The other half of why I had a stress related fibro flare on Friday was that I only got two hours of sleep on Friday morning. I didn't go to bed till seven in the morning and got up at nine. I was wired, nervous and unable to relax so I thought I'd stay up till evening.

Then last night I was posting online, noticed it was midnight, started to wind down, relaxed reading a few articles... and noticed it was four in the morning. I didn't get to sleep till six. I got up at nine to get into Johannes class webinar at nine thirty so I'd get in.

I want to figure out why I can't sleep at night and solve the problem. The solution might be to sleep at six in the afternoon and get up at midnight. Or to develop a bedtime ritual like changing into pajamas, turning the television off and the radio on (something needs to block neighbors' late night music, television and loud discussions), closing the browser at a set bedtime but I can do anything else... just something that will let me wind down and relax. Part of the problem is my losing track of time.

So next month's artistic goals will be a good critical look at establishing habits instead of just dealing with one day at a time. That results in poor planning, overestimating project durations, lack of sleep and consequent run down health in a vicious cycle. It worked when I had nothing scheduled at all to just sleep when I'm tired, eat when I'm hungry - that gave me the most productive hours if I only went out twice a year to doctor appointments and never did anything that had to be done on time.

Going out to do street art demands that I be out the door at eight on days that I do, well rested and at least by the time I get off the bus, looking forward to the day. If I ignore health and morale, I will run myself into the ground with enthusiasm or worry and crash my career again. I do not want to do that this time. This time I want it to work. Loading everything in favor of success is what'll make it happen.

So tell me if I'm nuts or being sensible.

12-18-2011, 08:40 AM
It sounds like a good analysis to my way of thinking Robert. If there is a problem then half of it is solved when a) that is recognized b) the problem is identified.
My wife has similar sleeping habits. But whilst on the painting course breakfast will be served at 8.00am so she will get out early for that and then be too busy to nod off in the daytime. Result!
How can you establish a routine that obliges you to fall in-line with the social clock?

12-18-2011, 10:24 AM
How can you establish a routine that obliges you to fall in-line with the social clock?
I'd like to know too...

Part of the problem is being too nice towards oneself. "I'll let myself relax a bit, as a reward, I've earned it by working hard, so I'll just read one more thing, it is OK if I go to bed 15 minutes late." And there it goes, right at the moment one thinks that. Some four hours later...

12-18-2011, 12:37 PM
Doug, shame about the number plates. My sister had hers stolen. Here it needs to be reported to the police because they are stolen to use on another car for, probably not entirely honest, purposes. In London we have the congestion charge zone. It's £10 every time you enter the zone in your car. So what better than to get someone else's number plates when driving in the zone to avoid payment. The fine then goes to the person who's number plates you used!
Robert, you're setting yourself some tough but necessary goals for next year. It's easy to get into the "wrong" routine....very hard to get back to a "normal" routine and you will need to do that to be an effective street artist etc.
I think I should take a leaf out of your book. Have a long term plan and base my monthly goals on that.
Don't forget that when you look back at what you have achieved this year you should be patting yourself on the back!
Jim, sorry I sounded like a petulant child! I have a lot to be thankful for. I still have my health and relative fitness so why shouldn't I cook and wash up too.....
Charlie, Oh I am so nice to myself and have so many treats I rarely get anything done (other than art). I have the opposite problem in a way. I go to bed quite early, between 9.30 and 10.30pm. I am up at 7am or thereabouts. OK, so when I have a late night, like when I went to my Friend's boat and we didn't go to bed until 4am, why am I still wide awake at 7am??? Especially as 7am in Greece was 5am in England!

12-18-2011, 01:06 PM
Hi Debra, Hi Robert , Hi everybody . My goal is to just get back to drawing . With the homeschooling of my 15 year old and some personal issues , it just doesnt happen anymore. The days go by so fast , I just want to get a grasp on my art again. I have 1 pastel portrait on my easel that has been a WIP for over a month now.
Im just so grateful to all of you here at Wet Canvas who continue to put out these great pieces of art.

12-18-2011, 01:21 PM
Robert- There is always that dreaded "unknown" in things we haven't done before. You will know when you are ready to head out to the streets to sell your art, but I bet by this time next year you will look back at this time and wonder what all the worry was about. It is going to take a few trips out there to know exactly what you will need and things you can do without and how you pack everything so you can manage it. It will all come together.

Ruthie- I had to report the stolen plates to the police and they gave me a case number to give the insurance office to get the new plates. I am sure my old plates are on a stolen car right now. That fee to enter the zone in London is similar to what Metro Vancouver will be doing to cross the main bridge you have to go over to get to the city. Very welcoming.:rolleyes:

I was up at 6:00 this morning to take my SIL's to the bus depot. I didn't go to bet until one, so I feel like I am in a fog right now. It doesn't have anything to do with the wine or special coffee we had last night. We celebrated my wife's birthday yesterday, while her sisters were here. It was a short but enjoyable visit and it is nice that we live close enough now that we can see family more often. It's also nice to have our baby home for two weeks.

I just might get my hands dusty today.


Shirl Parker
12-18-2011, 01:23 PM
Charlie, I'm thinking that if you really want to draw a circle, you could try this. Find a circle that you can trace from. Put paper over it, and trace it over and over. This will develop "muscle memory" and eventually you will be able to draw the circle without the aid.

12-18-2011, 04:35 PM
Doug...Sorry to hear about your stolen license plates....but better the plates than the car, I guess....glad you got replacements without much difficulty...

Charlie & Ruth...I have that trouble too...my circalian (sp) rhythm makes me ready for bed between 8:30 and 9 pm, but about between 6 and 6'30 am.
Actually, it's my Chihuahua who wakes me each morning. His rhythm seems to be the same as mine, as he is always ready to sleep aby 8 pm or so...

Robert...you'll know when you are ready. The jitters are understandable, and when you are 'up to it', you'll go, and be successful, I'm sure.

Jim...I have a fruit problem also...trying to make it look like fruit, with the indentations, etc. Did some lemons, wihich still dont look quite right. (Havent posted them yet, but I will soon.)

Sooo..so far this month, I did the Spotlight lemons, (and another lemon practice piece)
Redid ( by brushing off) 2 old pieces I didnt like at all to ones that are now passable.
Started one more, which I am still working on.
Watched all 3 of Johannes' classes, but didnt do any of the homework.

and there's still 2 weeks to go til the end of the month.

12-18-2011, 05:10 PM
PURR thank you for all your comments! First my responses, then my plans. I had a good night's sleep so this should be a more organized post. :D

Jim, thank you! Perfect example of what I want to do. If some part, any part of my morning routine is something I look forward to, then it's a thousand times easier to roll out of bed. I have to do that to my bedtime routine too so that I don't roll out of bed after only two hours of sleep because I don't function as well as I think I do when I'm doing that.

Charlie, yes, that is exactly what happens! Four hours vanish in a distracted blink because I'm sleepy and not looking at the clock - but not relaxed enough yet to go to sleep. I think the key is Turn The Television And Computer Off. Much more on that in the Plans part of this post. Thank you for mentioning this! It's not my computer, it's the Television.

Ruthie, purr! Thank you! You're right! I did a LOT this year! I have been running non stop since the middle of April in Crisis Mode to relocate. Once I got here I've been pounding along at a marathon pace to get everything done before it's due - prepare for street art screening, get screened, keep up the bills, get settled in - I still don't know the bus schedules or how to get around. I've been going over budget chronically by eating from convenience stores because that's what I can get to on foot. Tuesday is going to be my first trip to a real grocery, a discount warehouse where I might be able to get a month's food with a month's grocery budget and Georgia will help me get there and carry it home.

That's vital to eating cheap - one real grocery trip per month, with convenience stores only for treats and running out of something. When my larder is stocked reasonably, I never run out of necessities and convenience store treats come out of pocket money, they're not what I have for necessity food. I will be eating healthier too.

I'm still not done moving in but surviving the past six months is a massive achievement. Especially when I did not drop the ball about preparing for my career. I didn't just start with "get settled in" and prioritize all the necessities like grocery store trips ahead of business. Instead, I hung on tooth and nail and made some real sacrifices for my career. I ate a lot of ramen so that I could have that cool license with my face on it and the right to sell art in my designated spot off the easel.

I think I can define Relocation and Career Start Up as two major accomplishments rather than just one. I put about equal efforts into both. If I barely held on by my fingernails, I did accomplish both. Whatever the actual day I go out is, I have now done everything that is absolutely necessary for both. I'm down into priorities that are "Essential for sustaining my new life" instead of "making my new life possible."

A third Major Achievement is that I have not missed one of the Johannes Vloothuis master classes and I didn't just nod off and attend. I took notes and took other classes on the side even if I missed a couple of Larry Seiler classes because I was overestimating myself. I started JV classes in December. I have kept up the amount of work that I would have spent if I was going to art school during 2011 from early December 2010. My notes are the Cliff's Notes for the entire course and I have a big following of other students who use them and get more out of the class because I post them.

I could reasonably turn my notes into donationware by collecting them in PDFs and organizing them into downloads per course. Then put up a page with a PayPal donations link and a downloads link. Anyone who wants them can get them in a slightly more organized form than leafing through an enormously long thread that started in January, per course, and if they find them valuable they can help support my taking them. I've already accepted donations for doing them so this is a sensible move.

So let's see. I Relocated Out Of State, Career Startup and Master Class at grad school level throughout 2011. The results of the Master Class are obvious in everything I paint. All I have to do is compare my 2010 art folder and my 2011 art folder. When I post my "best of 2011" pastel paintings, odds are it'll be something I did recently that blows everything from 2010 out of the water.

That's part of why I am probably going to be prosperous in 2011. Not just self employed, but prosperous with savings, pocket money, "everyday expenses" that aren't luxuries but are a big step up from what I consider Bare Necessity. I need to pay attention to "necessity" and "survival necessity" as two different categories, because $15 a month for a nice haircut from a real barber will probably affect my sales.

Thank you. It's hard to realize how much I got done when I'm focused on the next immediate goal and sometimes overwhelmed by one too many little things that need to be done. Getting overwhelmed by "too many little things that all need to be done" is one of the big reasons my life kept falling apart before.

By the end of 2012 I want to have good working habits with reasonable amounts of time off for fun and a planned vacation. I posted in the Scumble. I am declaring the Holidays an unplanned one, once I finish my commissions I'm just going to play with Christmas crafts and stuff. Taking a short breather before the next big effort is a good thing. Next year I'll plan better around Christmas too and do some of my preparation sooner in the year so that I can thoroughly enjoy it. Budgeting presents is easier by getting them when I see them on sale in April or June or September and treating "holiday sales" as a time to spend a small savings for "things I was saving up for that go on sale very cheap as part of the holiday fanfare."

I still managed to afford to send a nice package with a present for each of my four loved ones and a couple of cool stocking stuffers for my grandkids, plus an extra present for my daughter because I get to mush over her. I made it. I managed Christmas too. There's pretty Mylar snowflakes on my walls because presents for my loved ones are more important than my getting a two foot tree - but that's just a happy story about "The first year I was in San Francisco, Christmas was tight and it was fun anyway."

She moved and did startup too. We did good. We are a thrifty, happy, resourceful family that knows how to have a good time even when things are tight, something I've always taken pride in. Kitten hired her husband away from his security job at the Tyson plant during 2011 and now has her dream home with 20 acres and three horses, all of them gifts from their previous owners. Rehoming horses is a lot harder than rehoming cats or dogs if your life situation changes, she lucked in getting two beautiful white Arabian geldings and the previous owners, who divorced, know they went to a good home where they're loved.

This year is FULL of happy stories. Thank you so much for saying that! It's been a good year and I sure accomplished a lot. Even a completely healthy person would have had a hard time keeping up with Career Startup, Relocation and grad school level Classes.

Doug, purr, thank you! Yep, you're right about the Unknown. When I looked at it today, the biggest part of the Unknown is "How fast it's all going to happen and all the things I need to do to consolidate it when it does." The last fact clicked into place.

I asked a long term native, a cab driver, about tourism and whether there was a slump. He told me it was year round but where tourists came from varied with the season. He reminded me that people in the Southern Hemisphere flock here during the winter because it's mild and they're leaving hot summers behind! We get World Tourism, not just local tourism. New Orleans drew about 2/3 local tourism from other Southern states and 1/3 Yankees coming down to have fun, because when people cut back on their vacation money they still want a vacation. They go to New Orleans instead of going on a cruise. There were foreign tourists too, but many more Americans. Here - there are a lot of Asian tourists and European tourists and South American or African tourists, wow, tourists come from places where everything about where I live is that exotic and fun.

This is awesome, one of the things I love about Street Art or any vending to tourists is meeting people from places I've never been. It's also a steadier income. The cabbie said "The only real slump is over The Holidays it's a bit less." That made sense to me, people are more likely to want to spend their money on travel to be with family than just to go someplace exotic over The Holidays.

So in the back of my mind I knew "I'm starting up in the slump season. It'll only get better than this."

Then I took a bus going out on an errand. I took the same bus several times. I passed by several of the assigned Street Artist Program setup spots in the "Downtown" group of spots. I saw no artists, so I saw how the art vs. crafts spots broke down. Everyone that I mentioned what I'm planning to said "Oh yeah, I've seen the artists down on Pier 39" or "I've seen the artists down on Fisherman's Wharf."

I also saw packed crowds around every cluster of crafter booths, whether they were doing hats or clothes or jewelry or toys and oddments. During the Off Season, which is the short Holidays season. Now maybe people buy Crafts more than Art during The Holidays.

If that's true, I still don't have to be broke during the Crafts Season. Just go down and choose a Downtown setup spot after screening two categories of Crafts earlier in the year. Having a choice of two different markets will help compensate for temporary market slumps - if fine art isn't selling well, I don't have to lower my prices. Just create some interesting crafts items that rest on good design more than time per item and can be priced lower by bulk sale. Varnishing some prints onto wood dangles is only one of the many ways my prints could be turned into crafts items.

The crafters looked busy, happy and unworried regardless of the recession. I feel like my place in the local economy of this city is comparable to a tree - if I do well, the fruits and nuts, all of my spending, help everyone else in the city but I'm not using as much of its resources as a shop owner. In my own small way I am a job creator, or at least a job conserver.

What I should do ethically is eat out now and then, paying special attention to the local ethnic restaurants and small startups more than chain restaurants. Explore a bunch of them and patronize my favorites. They'll get to know me and chefs will remember to leave out the pepper entirely on my meals. Some of them may even get creative with their recipes because chefs are artists too and my allergies are a challenge. If I write that up and rave about their attention to allergies and their range of this-and-that free entrees and confections, then they'll grow too.

I am so San Franciscan. Every single thing I do, I wind up asking myself how it's going to affect the environment and other people's livelihoods. But I have to think about it now because I'm going to be prosperous in 2012 and will have the spending money to visit restaurants better than McDonalds to celebrate a good day. Usually that was if I had $50 or more over what I needed for the day's money goal after the cost of the perk. If I got $20 or $30 over, I stopped for a snack at the bakery. If I had $50 over or more, I went to a place where dinner was about $15 with tip and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I'll enjoy it more once my favorite restaurants know me and the waitstaff recognize me.

So I've been scared of nothing. I did this right. It's not just for emergencies. It's a way I can make a good living with enough time at home to also pursue all my long term goals - gallery paintings or novels that might take a year or more to bring in four figure windfalls.

The worries of "grow too fast" are learning how to live with my physical limits when I could have more money for what I want if I work harder. Not overworking when I want something. Not overestimating how much time and energy and stress it takes to move out of this hotel into an apartment or switch from Social Security into Full Self Employment. My income can be managed by what proportion of the cash flow goes into IRS-deductible Business Expenses. Growing the business with it is the way to put the brakes on boom and bust income, making the best of windfalls and not dropping off cliffs in the slumps.

It also means getting help when I need it, whether that's going to a business center for mentoring and hiring other professionals when it's something I don't do well, or getting other people to physically do my packing, carrying and moving. I need to move downstairs with help to create a sustainable schedule. Based on what running errands does to my range and mobility, if I didn't have the stairs I could probably go out one to three or four days a week. I am planning a rest day between outings. Without stairs I might not need a whole day's rest from stopping at the corner store or using Paratransit.

Now for Plans.

Sleep Schedule breakdown: Why Do I Stay Up All Night?

Online articles or nocturnal friend chatting kept me up all night sometimes back in Kansas and Arkansas. It was rare and never happened the night before I had something scheduled to be awake for in the morning. Here, the hotel gives Free Cable Television including a good but old fashioned non-HD non-flat color television in every room as part of what you pay for in rent. Law & Order, one of my favorite shows, starts at 1:00AM.

So I can watch just one episode, okay, I'll wind down with that and go to bed. I get distracted by friends and articles because I'm not really paying much attention to the television, I hear the starting music and worse, pay attention to the next teaser. The story is too good so I want to finish it. Repeat and rinse. Angel comes on at four. Charmed comes on at five or six. Three shows I enjoy with continuing storylines are stacked up to fill the night.

Knowing that, why do I turn the TV on at all? Last month I got fed up with it and wanted Harry to take the dang thing out of my room. Then I had several sick days in a row where I was too sick even to hang out online and realized I'd miss it. So I kept it. Now the temptation's there.

Why do I bother watching when I know I'm getting up early? Because if I do, I will wind up drawing. Television, even good TV, is too dull to completely hold my attention while I'm watching. Hanging out posting does engage me completely. TV doesn't. Sometimes I write articles that started as posts, so my social internet time doesn't completely eliminate work.

Internet is very good for writing projects because it's warmup for writing. I can't count the number of good blog articles that started as a topical forum post, I noticed it ran over a thousand words and was a coherent essay. So I copied it, pasted into my word processor, finished and edited it and put it on the blog. I did that last night with an Art Lessons blog post.

Video prompts me to draw. Music prompts me to write. Listening to the radio all the time now that I have it would make me a productive novelist that paints occasionally, just like it did when I lived in the homeless shelter. When I wanted to paint, I read the forums, post only in my favorite places, then turned on Netflix.

If I leave the TV off completely, I go all day hanging out online and don't get around to drawing and painting even if my mind's been on it all day. So the answer isn't "get rid of the TV." Or at least not without replacing the TV by getting Netflix again.

I pay $80.08 every month for wireless Internet from Verizon. I have a two year contract for $50 a month wireless Internet that also connects my printer to my computer without stepping over a cable. When I go online with my iPhone it also uses the Mobile Hot Spot wireless widget. So if I stick the wireless thing in my pocket I can go online without using CeCe's Internet access and I've got 5 gigs of phone Internet.

Cable Internet in this building would be $29.95. If I get Cable hooked up and put my laptop on Cable, then I can watch all the ArtistNetworkTV videos as often as I want, get Netflix and leave it on all day during a big art project, stream iTunes without having to buy every song (and start collecting favorites) and keep all my Entertainment online.

Net increase in bills - $8 for Netflix itself. Which is pretty tiny even if my food budget is tight. Since I don't need to do staples at the convenience store any more after my first grocery trip, I'll be able to eat better within budget and have a clear idea of what's Spending Money After Groceries. This will relieve an enormous stress.

So life is looking better in a big way, and my friend's Christmas present made that sudden leap in everyday comforts come early as well as replacing the grand story of the Ramen Christmas with a Christmas Feast. It's still a good story. I'm not going to feel bad about how hard I pushed or how many tough choices I made or which minor errors tripped me up. I got it done. Yes, with hindsight I could have done it a little smoother if I'd known about the discount grocery sooner but I didn't.

I'm going to turn the TV on, fix my lunch and then work on my dog commission. Happy Holidays!

12-18-2011, 06:08 PM
Hi Butterbean, good goal, to start again. I gues it is easier once you have taken the first step, so go on girl! (Er assuming you're a woman.)

Doug, thanks, I'll try the Ds. How irritating with the stolen plate, those who did that are up to no good.

Circles: If I want a perfect circle, I use my... my... compass I think it is called, that two-legged thing with a bit of lead in one end and a point at the other. Otherwise, a nice artistic wobbly irregular shape should be sufficient. :-D

Judi, you're doing great with your art!

Rob, you've outdone yourself in post-length in this thread, I think. Just one comment, as I *really must* go to bed (LOL!) as I have concerts tomorrow and on Tuesday. Watching TV (or even not actually watching but having it on) stimulates the brain in many ways. Including the flickering light. I have found that when I don't watch it (keep one for basically the same reason as you, but I rarely turn mine on)... Er where was I, yes, when I don't watch it, and go to bed about 2 hours before I must sleep, and then spend those hours quietly reading, it is much easier to wind down and relax. No TV, no computer, no music (though soothing stuff might work) only a low light and a book. (A great way to justify reading for two hours!)

Really, there is something with that idiot-box, that house-altar, that screws up the brain.

Ruthie, you're simply a morning person. Your body knows it shall awake at a certain time, so it does.

12-18-2011, 08:25 PM
Robert- You just wrote another novel today.:lol: I made a move this year, but you made a MOVE. What you have accomplished and changed this year is amazing. You should be proud of what you have achieved and you must be excited about your future.

It is funny how we all differ regarding TV, music and being on-line. I do not turn the TV on until the dinner time news. I usually listen to music while in the studio all day. The music can range from classical to country, depending on the mood, but I can paint or read with music in the background with no problem. I sometimes listen to a Vancouver sports radio station on the computer while painting and it works fine. I am planning on getting some talking books out of the library and see if I can listen to them while painting. I have heard of other artists doing that. I can paint in silence, but I usually like some kind of noise.

We all get things done in our own way. I guess the world would be boring if we were all the same.

Butterbean- I hope you can find some time to draw or paint. We all feel so much better when we are creating.

Judi- You are having a great month so far. Keep at it and have fun doing it. Your thoughts on the stolen plates are the same as mine. It would have been worse if they took the whole car. I am thankful for that.

Charlie- I was told by a long time resident that area of town we were in is not the nicest part of town. Point taken. I will think twice before going back there again. I remembered to take the d's again today. I always know when I miss a day or two when my knee starts hurting. My wife and I have had more energy since we started taking them. Best advice I have ever had fro a doctor.


12-19-2011, 06:59 AM
We have a standard lamp that lights the ceiling and is a 300 watt halogen dimmer thingy. I suppose I could just relocate that and see if it works Charlie.

Commiserations on the reg. plates Doug. We have both lost our tax disks from our cars so we need to make sure they are locked. Yes to the vitamin D. I can see that in the future, thinking along those lines will get more importance as a preventative measure against many things.

Ruth I wonder if your sister goes to work? Alternatively her husband does everything for her at home? I'm looking for reasons why here. I know that I have one exactly the same and another two older are the opposite of that and find difficulty in sitting down to have a natter. I have to tell them to rest up and leave it to me. I do accept offers for help though when serving up and clearing the table.

Robert yes, as has been said pat on the back for this year's goal - relocation! And all the less but supportive goals that led up to that - and since.
That Idea of yours of putting your notes in pdf form for donations is a splendid one. And as you say may well bring in a little extra income. Do check out the copyright issues though.
With friends I do recall having to look at my watch, say 'I have to get up at .... in the morning' and promptly say goodnight....

As Ruth said earlier we like to be kind to ourselves. This is specially true if you have suffered any loss/trauma/deprivation etc. in your life previously.

12-19-2011, 12:29 PM
Robert, I'm glad I reminded you about this year's achievements. Next year the sky's the limit! I love how you are so positive about everyhing.

Judi, you've been busy! Well done on those goals.

Charlie, thing is I can be a night person too with the right stimulation. I am one of those people who can get by on not much sleep, for a while anyway. Unlike my Sister.........

Jim, My sister is lazy, plain and simple. She has no husband and, yes, she works. She seldom does housework though because she's always too "tired". She can go to sleep anywhere anytime. I see that as a disability. It's rude and must be embarrassing but she doesn't seem to care!
Mind you I also have that natural laziness, just apply more self discipline.

Doug, I have the radio on in my Studio, usually BBC radio 2, or I may listen to a cd....anything will do, I'm hoping it keeps my left brain busy!

Not a stated goal but today I've been like a whirlwind in the house. Changed both beds, did 3 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen windows and sills, worktops, sink, walls....anything that was there! Threw away my scrawny old Orchids which I don't look after, wrapped some presents and packed up the commission to take to client tomorrow. Hubby, who has no work at the mo, caught the bug and cleaned the living room windows and dusted all round. What a hive of industry!

12-19-2011, 12:57 PM
Sorry about the novel-length long post, Charlie. I was decompressing from the intensity of the year. I've been running on empty half the time since the minute I knew I had to leave - and I had stepped up my activity levels from the time Johannes started the free class in December so it was a next step up. I just get lots more done when I push now that I'm here.

Good point about the television! The screen's a whole lot brighter and it has commercials that turn up the volume and distract with sudden rude changes of topic. I'm not surprised the flickering TV screen has a different effect than my LCD computer screen.

A lot of things are wrong with the idiot box. It schedules itself per its own time for when they sell the most ads. The commercials create brutally bad edits of any narrative and have the emotional effect of someone else's rude toddler interrupting you every few minutes. If I'm not paying much attention to a familiar story, the commercials still manage to get my attention because they have more sound and attention getting devices.

Tonight TNT played "The Shawshank Redemption. One of my all time favorite movies. Half of my favorite memorable scenes got cut out or lost their impact because every adult word got cut out. Without the strong language, it was creepy. It lost a lot of its impact and might not have made as much sense without the cuts.

I muttered "I have got to actually buy that on CD someday." Checked my CD folder on the odd hope that... yep. That was what I thought after the first time we rented it, so I bought it, so I have it. At least next time I watch it I'll see the whole thing on a reasonable screen.

Butterbean, good luck making time to paint. Sorry that I got distracted in my lengthy narrative and forgot to make my comment to you. I meant to say that one way you can add in some art time would be to add art lessons to your daughter's homeschool. I used to teach my granddaughter to draw and it did a lot for my art to reflect on basics as I made up exercises for her and got her started drawing.

Doug, thank you! Yeah, I'm still boggled. I stay so focused on the small goals and do them in order that I forget they're pieces of a whole. The whole can be overwhelming. I have to say I don't think I could've done it without posting in this thread. The Goal Post is why I'm able to do this much. There were a lot of situations in my life where I wanted something this much and did not get it pulled together because I didn't stop every day to see "did I do something toward any of my goals?"

Yep. Everyone evolves their own best working habits and conditions. I trained myself to "music as a writing prompt" so that I could get used to writing whenever I decide to. Same with video and art - getting artistsnetworktv is great for that.

I'm sure most artists don't produce better still lifes if Walking with Dinosaurs is playing on the screen. lol

Jim, Charlie, both of you. "Try not to indulge yourself too much" is good advice for most people.

It doesn't work for anyone with chronic pain/fatigue. I get pathetic results for ridiculous effort. I get more done if I slow down and let myself rest when I need to, whatever needs to be done and whatever else happens. My days are longer than other people's - especially if I'm stressed.

I've been running at a deficit since middle of May. Eventually if I am patient and do slow down every time I notice I need to, I will be able to gradually catch up and solve all these logistics. The market is good. The opportunity is there. I do not need to be living on it by Valentine's Day, I set that goal for the year and I'll kick it to the year after if I don't manage it.

12-19-2011, 02:00 PM
Well I am back home again for a few days then off to the other set of kids on Christmas Day. I have had really high sugar levels while I have been gone and doc wants me to go on insulin. I really don't want to start a change like that while I will be traveling again. It has been creeping up for the last few months. Until then I had been fine on one pill a day for the last ten years.
Anyway I got one goal done. All my cards are mailed! Tick!
Not sure I will get more done. Hopefully I can get one Spotlight done this week!
Robert you have got a huge amount of things settled in the short time since you moved. You definitely should pat yourself on the back and look forward to a productive New Year.:clap:
Doug sorry to hear about the plates. Just one more thing you didn't need.
Ruthie well done with all that cleaning! Now you can relax and play a bit before the next onslaught.
Charlie hang in there. I used to get the SAD symptoms. My doc said i was very low on Vitamin D and I took megga doses of it plus calcium. I also just by chance got a halogen light as I need a bright light to see to read and stuff. Just having that on by my chair seems to have taken care of the SAD.
Well I guess I better get on with a few quickie clean ups
You have all put me to shame this month!

12-19-2011, 08:22 PM
Jen, bummer with the sugar levels. Maybe better to listen to the doc, and feel better when travelling? Thank you for the additional confirmation about vit D! Actually, I've never even heard about it as countering SAD. Very interesting.

Rob, you write as long posts as you want! I merely meant I had no time to read it carefully.

The concert went well. I had doubts of the severe kind after last weeks rehersal, but the top notch soloists and the excellent orchestra helped to lift the choir to new heights (and the reality of a concert). We got a bis (means twice), and had to do the Haaaa-le-lu-iah twice, the second time as an extra (and it went better.

It was all great, and fun, the only snag was that the spotlights, the lime light, was so hot. I nearly got overheated and faint. When we rehearsed, there was fluorescent light, and I actually spotted that and realised the spots would be hotter, so I brought more water than I thought would be necessary. Tomorrow, I'll double it. It was incredibly hot.

I thought it was extremely hard work to handle an exhibition (and it is), but boy, do musicians, and especially conductors, have it harder. An artist does not have to deal with high heat unless doing Plein Air. Musicians are worth e every penny!

My favourite aria in the Messiah is the basso "why do the nations so furiously", it is waaaaay cool.

One funny thing: I'm pretty secure at singing, and ages ago I decided I have to know my parts, so other people tend to 'lean on me'. Right now I'm singing second soprano (I chose it as I have not sung for 2 years, and my support (stomach muscles) is weak). A first soprano was 'leaning' on me, and got totally confused when I suddenly had another voice. Which goes to show it is way better to know one's own stuff. Another second sop. and I lean on each other, because we can both lead and be independent, . That way it work beautifully, as we get a unity, and a sharing of the responsibility. (One *always* has at least one 'meltdown' of the brain at each concert, so it really helps to have a reliable companion who doesn't loose their place at that moment. And with the horrible heat.... Imagine temps around freezing outdoors, and at least +30C+ (somewhere in the upper 80s or low 90s) on stage...)

Also as an artist, we need to follow our 'voice', our calling, what is our 'thing' to do.

12-19-2011, 10:39 PM
Charlie wish I could hear you singing all that wonderful music. It must be an uplifting experience to be among all that glorious sound. ( sapranos leaning in being the exception)My Mum would listen to the Messiah every Christmas on the radio when I was a child. Yes, I have worked in theatre and I know how hot those lights can get. You are wise to bring water.
The doctor called again and said that my sugar levels the last three days show I really must go on insulin, so tomorrow I go in to get started. I was reassured that they now have a pre measured pen injector that lasts for a month without refrigeration. I will also get and instant insulin pen in case my sugar shoots up to 500. I hasn't got near that high but good to know. Hopefully it will stabilize things.

12-20-2011, 01:12 AM
Okay I did a spotlight! Tick!
Not up to Robert's standard but it was fun to do.

12-20-2011, 01:21 AM
Ouch! Not a good time to be starting on insulin. I feel for you. Do what you have to, but that is such a downer for the holidays. Yay for mailing all your cards!

I hope you can find time to do a Spotlight painting. That's the one on my goal list that gives me a little break from stress when everything else is coming up too fast.

TICK - I forgot to put in the reason I posted last time. I finished my Dog Commission. Tonight I need to pack it and buy postage, it's paid up, I'm okay financially. Tired and happy.

Kitten just called. They got my package and decided my presents would be the package the kids are allowed to open early. Sascha loves the little watercolor set and her journal. Kitten was thrilled with her Stillman & Birn journal and brushes. Sascha told me stories about her kitten Calcifer and at one point wanted to read a short story out loud to me, but Mom said no to that.

It was a wonderful Christmas call. I feel all warm and happy inside. We'll have another phone call on Christmas Day passing the phone around so I can talk to everyone - Gabriel and Karl didn't get on the phone this time.

Good news. I'm moving to a first floor room as soon as one opens up. I talked to my beloved hotel manager, Harry. He treated it like an emergency and would have moved me this afternoon if he had one open. That man is gold. Some of what he does is on his job description. He always goes the extra mile beyond that. I wish hotel managers got tips. I think I'll thank him with art since I got my archival boxes back.

More Good News: MediCal just approved my prescription again after a month's gap. I jumped through hoops to get it the first time, had most of a month on full medications and did more than I've done in years. Now I've been trying to keep the pace without my full meds and that's a huge energy deficit too. This might be a big part of why I had those sleepless nights when I needed to get up early.

Charlie and Jim, I apologize for my defensive reaction in the last post. I'm overwhelmed because I'm running on empty. I have two more overexertions necessary - mail the dog portrait tonight and go out to grocery shop tomorrow. I can bring the dog portrait down when I go out to grocery shop. Then I'll have enough food in the house to collapse and rest as long as I need to.

Everything else is off my goals list for this month. When that dog's mailed and my food's in the house, nothing else is essential. I've done a lot and I need to recharge before I get up and do it again - when it's actually in reach instead of seems to be in reach because if everything's perfect and nothing goes wrong I can barely manage.

I have a lot to be happy about. I'm just too tired to feel it yet. Thank you for that wake-up call, Charlie. When I lose hours at the computer, it's stress, fibro fog and ignoring extreme pain. But I think stress does that to most people so maybe you needed four hours of goofing off more than you needed sleep. Sometimes the body demands what it does, whatever you consciously think you can do.

Jim, your post on rereading sounded like "take care of yourself if you need to." I was so far out in pain-fog that I thought it was "watch out for taking it easy on yourself too often."

Purr. Thank you all for being here. I'm going to buy postage and crash.

12-20-2011, 02:51 AM
Tick! Huge tick for what I had to do in order to do it. Packed up "Laughing Dog" and bought postage and taped the label on.

This involved a good hour of Incidental De-Cluttering to fight my way to the closet and through the closet to get to the Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes and find a board to cut down for the backing board.

It involved mat cutting to create a foam board backing board and an illustration backing board to face it. There's a bonus artwork in the package because I found a dragon sketch on illustration board and centered it on the board, so she's got the dragon for a little lagniappe. It was a nice looking dragon sketch so I scanned it first, may want to develop it more.

I had to move three sacks of stuff and a giant bag of clean laundry that hasn't been sorted, folded or put away to get to the closet and weave my way around it to get to the last patch of floor space for the mat cutting.

So this was not "oh grab an envelope and print the postage" chore, shipping it today was a major physical task with the joy of seeing the Post Office tell me that it's going to arrive on Thursday the 22nd. It will be in time.

If I open up the USPS site again and schedule the pickup for tomorrow, that is. I'll bring it downstairs in the morning.

I also got a photo of my Blick goodies, which are all birthday presents. I have toys to play with and it's bed time. lol

Well, when I'm done grocery shopping (includes treats) I'll eat something good and if I'm not sleepy, play with my new toys. I'll just leave them wrapped as encouragement.

12-20-2011, 04:11 AM
Hiya Judi, I'm glad that I'm not the only fruitcake when it comes to doing round'ish apples and oranges – I was told my oranges are too round. Quite rightly so but I've been doing 'round' things in class on the board for nearly 30 years.....I'd have to start there and then put indentations etc. in them. Aaaagh it's taken lots of years of practice to perfect the circle......

Jen sorry to hear about the sugar/insulin step in your health. Peeps that I know of have not been good at taking there meds. when they are diabetic.

Charlie I put that large light in the other room and it is brilliant. I'll have to get another after Christmas as that is my reading lamp.

Robert 'indulge' is a much harsher word than just 'being kind to yourself'. I would say as a 'frinstance I am kind to myself because I wont manage to reach all of my goals this month...... I'll just put them across to next month IYSWIM.
What I was saying is that I am kind to myself nowadays. I was born during the war and reared in a large family on a small income in a post-war torn Europe. Times were hard and kids cruel but the adults were kind.
Now I try to be kind – to myself and to all others.

12-20-2011, 04:58 AM
Purr thanks Jim. I did read it right the second time around. Indulge is the harsh word that I beat myself with if I get anything beyond absolute necessity or doing anything except working on things I owe people if I owe anyone anything by selling it or promising it.

I think I pick on myself because I'm less scared of "Oh man that was stupid" and admitting I made a mistake than admitting how close to disaster I am- where any minor inconvenience can turn into disaster. I missed just one home care appointment because they sent an 80lb old lady who was too physically frail to do the job. She was too small and weak to catch me if I fell, which is half of Georgia's bath time tasks. I need a lifeguard to bathe and can't shower by myself or I'm staying on my feet too long when the relaxing hot water makes the pain come up.

She didn't do my laundry either, she barely made it up the stairs to get in and wash a few dishes and leave. Then they cut Georgia's time on Saturday by an hour so she did my laundry and didn't give me my bath. Skipping two baths was enough that I threw my back. That's how close to disaster those stairs leave me, my balance of life in this exact room is too close to necessity to be stable.

I needed to realize that, moving to the first floor will possibly give me a margin for error. Whether I treat it as a mistake or honestly recognize I'm making hour by hour priority decisions on what will let me do the Next Thing That Must Be Done, I can't live on the edge indefinitely.

Every time I push and go beyond what I need to get through the week, like the journey to get a new bank or tomorrow's grocery trip, it will get easier. I'm just at the critical part where I haven't yet gotten to where I can rest when I need to rest without hitting things that need to be done now.

I think about that and what would have happened if I moved anywhere else though, and I smile. Here, I've got help. I can and will call IHSS to ask for extra hours to catch up. Getting this clutter sorted and put away will be a huge relief and crossing the room will take half the energy.

12-20-2011, 06:59 AM
Jen, wise decision. I have friends who manage that little pen-like shot thingy easily, and they don't have to be as hysterically careful with what they eat. Yay for the tick!

Erm, couldn't stages be *ventilated*? That heat could be redirected to warm a small town. I'm nervous about how I'll manage today, yesterday brought me too close to the edge of overheating (and then follows dizziness and finally fainting).

Robert, you have done absolute miracles this year. But miracles take a toll. You'd need some serious rest. Moving downstairs would certainly be an improvement, as there would be no stairs. Can you use a stool or something in the shower, to sit on? (Standard thing here, for those who need it.) Then you'd only have to get up for the cleansing of certain parts. Anyway, you're a hero juggling the system of Those Who Grant Help.

12-20-2011, 07:36 AM
LOL -- yep. I'm in the crash. I think instead of going to the real grocery store, I'll make a list, go to the ATM and ask Georgia to go for me. Then I'm not walking a block here, two blocks there and then walking around for a long time inside a big warehouse store checking every aisle to learn what they have and where it is.

I'll explore it later on the first of the month.

Let's see. I almost went to sleep, remembered I forgot to schedule the package pickup for Laughing Dog. Got up, scheduled the pickup, went downstairs and gave the box to the front desk for pickup. Now that's 100% taken care of.

I'm not really dropping All Goals. I'm just taking them at the pace they come and not worrying about when. I forgot the seventh goal - Avoid Holiday Blues.

I get a solid Tick for that one.

Today when I talked to Kitten on the phone, I had a sudden spiritual moment. I thanked Jesus that she was a Christian and teased her that now I've got two holidays. So we talked about religion - and she told me a Bible story that had amused her - a good one from the Old Testament.

It was the first time that we talked about religion after her conversion that I wasn't nervous. After I'd said that, she brightened up and happily started telling stories and wanted to share hers. For the first time since she started questioning and not following the same path as mine, we were completely back in spiritual harmony. I enjoyed the stories without painful associations. Something deep inside me healed.

So I have to thank Jesus for Kitten and Deborah and all my Christian friends here and elsewhere. Maybe He treats His birthday like Bilbo Baggins, goes around giving gifts to everyone who shows up! He sure did with me.

12-20-2011, 03:21 PM
Charlie, thank you. We cross posted.

I've tried using a shower chair and I own one. I had high hopes, but it didn't work. It took just as much unsupported bending over as trying to fill a bathtub and I had some other troubles with it. Until I had Georgia helping me, either way I rested up at least two days. Baths were something I could manage when I felt worse to start with though.

It seemed like it would work. I bought it on the way here thinking it'd be just the thing. Instead it's just become the spare chair in my room if someone else visits and needs to sit down.

Georgia is out at the big discount food store and she's got the basket full. I will me having chicken breasts instead of ham, but those canned chicken breasts were so expensive they've always been a treat to me. Lots of good fruit and side dishes, special fruits - grapes and blackberries! The other cool thing about doing the chicken is that I can do the feast twice - once for Solstice and once for Christmas. The ham would've been harder to do that.

Bit of amusing luck. I wanted to take it easy for a while, maybe not even go out till January. Rest up and get over this back crash. I just got this in an email from the SF Arts Commission.

This is a reminder that the Arts Commission (and Street Artists Program) will be closed December 26, 2011 – January 2, 2012. The Arts Commission (and Street Artists Program) will re-open on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

So now I don't have to feel like I'm loafing. I'll be off anyway so I might as well enjoy myself.

Deborah Secor
12-20-2011, 04:43 PM
So I have to thank Jesus for Kitten and Deborah and all my Christian friends here and elsewhere. Maybe He treats His birthday like Bilbo Baggins, goes around giving gifts to everyone who shows up! He sure did with me.
Haha! Love it, Robert. Jesus does give gifts, just as you say. 'Course, I think HE is the greatest gift of all. I happen to be re-reading The Hobbit currently, which makes your analogy fun.

Jen, at least the insulin may let you enjoy some of the holiday foods... Not fun adjusting to the use of it as you travel.

Charlie, you're amazing! I would love to sing with a big choir. There was a time when I could do it, but not anymore. Stay cool...

Goals? Well, I know I posted some but I can't even recall what they were. This time of year being on sabbatical is easy, since everyone is busy with holiday preparations and celebrations. Life right now is fairly quiet and serene for me. I like it. I slept in this morning, took a nice long quiet time studying the Bible, and my plan is to do some painting this evening. My kinds of goals: get up, read & study, paint. :lol:

12-20-2011, 04:46 PM
You guys have lost me again! And was it only yesterday I posted???
Jen, sorry to hear about the sugar levels and having to take insulin. Hope it all pans out rather than the ups and downs one can get.
Today I've been out buying Christmas presents....still got some more to get. I'm so disorganised! Im was never like this before I was an artist.
Anyway, I delivered the commission to the client today and his reaction was brilliant. He couldn't have put that on, afterall he's a lawyer not an actor. I guess he really likes it!!
Hmm, can't remember what my other goals were. Must have a look and see if there are any I haven't met!

12-20-2011, 05:14 PM
Ruthie, ah!, so people do not become artists because they're disorganised, the become disorganised because they're artists! :-) I'd be perfectly organised if I was an accountant. Good luck with shopping/cooking. BTW, your sis, what would happen if you ask her to help?

Deborah, goals, what's goals? :-) Who cares, it is Christmas! I love singing, it gives me energy, and well-being. There was a story about some monks in France where the prior made the decision that they'd stop singing the Hours, and read it instead. Shortly, the good broothers started to quarrel with each other, got snappish, and also caught more infections. Some bright mind connected the two, so as an experiment they started to sing/chant again, and all got well! The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Robert, ah, you've tried it, well, I'm sure it is a great clothes hanger and art supply 'shelf' then. So wonderful you could connect spiritually with Kitten again. People of spirit do, even if the denominations or even faiths may be different. Great the Arts Commison etc will be closed, they're giving you time off! The time you need after the whirlwind 2011.

Last concert (same Messiah) went well. I was so tired and didn't feel good, but I had to be there as several of my people would be in the audience. I gave meself a break, and actually left the rehersal (why does the spell-check want rehearsal?) , OK, the practice, because they started to go through the stuff that has annoyed me that people don't do. So why tire myself out on what I can do and do do? So I sat backstage, ate, had tea, and was feeling much better when we started. I drank a lot (we were allowed waterbottles on stage because of the heat), and all went well.

Great fun to do, and so happy it is over for now.

Did I say we sang in the second most important concert hall in the country? We rented it, but it was so funny, people were awed by the place, by its reputation. While it is just a big 'barn' with tires and great acoustics :lol:.

Deborah Secor
12-20-2011, 10:25 PM
Don't get me started on words again, Charlie, but think of rehearsal as re-HEARing it...

I used to sing aloud in the car, now I get to sing in church (though when we went to the BIG church the 2,000 other voices drowned me out better), and now a lot of the time I sing out loud when I'm at home alone... I think I must drive my husband batty by constantly humming the rest of the time. But I love it!

12-20-2011, 11:03 PM
That must be a holiday for you then Robert :thumbsup:. Perhaps they recognized your need for one... Well it is a special time of year isn't it.

I like those goals Deborah- get up, read, study and paint :) That'll do me as well.

Good on completing your commission Ruth. All delivered and gathered in. It can't get better than that.

Charlie can I quote you then when my wife reminds me that when we met I said I was a tidy well organized chappie. Now some twenty years on and trying to be art-like our tolerance levels have pushed that to new levels of clutter building.:D

I don't remember the baritones raging (checked it out on you-tube)– I do remember the hallelujah chorus bit and cries of Crucify Him and what about the trumpets shall sound- where did that come in?

Saw Darren today. That was good – my goodness he'd make two of me. So tall and over 17 stone. He loved his dog that I did so that goal is well completed and delivered.

SWMBO has appointments tomorrow so most of the day may be taken with me as a taxi driver but does depend on how she feels.
PS Unscheduled job - looked up the on-line manual for the dvd player that wouldn't play any dvd's - turns out the scart plug at the back just needed reseating to make better contact but it took a couple of hours to find.:rolleyes:

12-21-2011, 12:26 AM
Charlie & Deborah...your advice on singing strikes a chord...I always feel better after a sing song...and our Carol Service this week really struck a note with me...it was magical! I did take a (not very clear) photo...but I'll post it anyway...it shows our beautiful Saxon Church, lit by candles, (we don't have any electricity in there!) and the local handbell ringers did several carols in between the congregations vocal contributions....and the whole thing was so uplifting...best one yet! This was pre the start of the service as they did a practice run to ring in the bells...as usual, at these services, there was standing room only...it only holds 80 seated....at the end of the service we serve mulled wine and warm mince pies....warms us up a treat!

Deborah Secor
12-21-2011, 12:50 AM
Charming, Deirdre. Love the arches soaring overhead! Do your bell ringers have torches (flashlights)?

12-21-2011, 03:07 AM
It is an absolutely beautiful 15th century Hammerbeam arched roof as seen here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/norfolkodyssey/2417928921/), with angels and other faces carved into it. Worth travelling to see! Lot's of them around here, have been varnished and look quite polished - but this one has never had that done...so it's still 'au naturelle'.
As for the bell ringers - yes, they had bright lights specially for music stands, LED tube lights that shine down on the sheet music.

12-21-2011, 04:04 AM
Ahh Nothing like an old English church with the organ and candles to give you goose pimples. It must have been lovely.You must be close to Ruthie.

12-21-2011, 04:37 AM
Ahh Nothing like an old English church with the organ and candles to give you goose pimples. It must have been lovely.You must be close to Ruthie.
Next county!:D Hi Ruthie!:wave:

12-21-2011, 04:49 AM
Jim, yes you can quote me! I grew up with a mother whose kitchen could be used as an operating theatre, it was sterilized three times per day.
The *baritone" (right!) rages furiously. :-) and here is an excellent goosepimplerising performance of one of the most beautiful arias (the one I actually meant, but I was tired and wrote the other one), The people that Walketh in darkness shall see a great light (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rukah9okGs)".

Deirdre, I usually go to the C of E Carol Service here, love it! "God rest ye, merry gentlemen", "Tomorrow shall be my dancing day", etc. Found it by accident, and it has become a tradition. We don't have it in our tradition, but luckily there is a CoE outpost here, eking out an existence. Our imported British princess Lilian supported it while she lived. The priest has that lovely Brit humour. I don't know what it is called, but they collect money during the service, you know what I mean. He joked with my husband and said that 'backstage' they throw up the money in the air, and let God take what he wants, and then they take care of what falls down again. :-)

Guys, that thing about being "too nice" to ourselves? Well, I didn't mean forcing oneself when sick or something -- I meant that if one *knows* one has to do something in order for something else to work, why is one then behaving like a child? "Mommy, I don't want to go to bed now, I want to stay up and play." What does the Inner Parent (grin :-) say? "Yes, of course your wants right now are more important than what happens tomorrow"? or does it say: "I know you want to, Sweetie, but if you are going to have fun and play with your friends tomorrow, you really do need your sleep so hop into bed now." See? I really meant that when we do know better, we may still seek the momentary pleasure instead.

12-21-2011, 07:06 AM
Hi Charlie.
I laughed about the sterilized kitchen. If ours was clean when growing up it was us children that did it :lol:

I think we have got what was meant now. I am kind to myself :lol: but don't indulge myself - well, perhaps just a little now and then - but not a lot! A 'frinstance at this time of year is giving up my weight losing eating regime in the interests of seasonal kindness to self :rolleyes: Start again when we get back :wink2:

Today I'll take it easy and, now that the lounge DVD player and TV are playing nice together, I may watch a few DVD's that are long over due in that media.

12-21-2011, 10:55 AM
Purr! That sounds wonderful, Deborah. I think you're right. December is always the month of the year for rest. I need to remember this next year and set up for it - not only buy my Christmas presents off season and spread out all the preparation, but put together a holidays savings anyway so that I can treat the whole month as a sabbatical. Either not working as much or not working at all, but having a month's expenses saved up so that I don't need to.

That's a first stage of "year in the bank" which is what I'd like to build up to once I am self supporting.

Every successful, prosperous self employed person I've known in my life was either working their way up to that or if they had a job, built up to that before living on the business. The only reason I don't is that Social Security will shut down if I save past a certain amount, forcing me to use half my savings to survive for a month. I get two months of grace before I quit my day job as cripple, no more.

I wish the rules would allow a full year's income in savings first. More people would rehabilitate themselves if they did without going on-and-off yo-yo with their benefits. I bet that costs them in paperwork too.

LOL Ruthie! Maybe you're right. I'd never have known. I was always disorganized but I was always an artist all the way back to when I was a toddler. Even as a little kid, if I think of the mess in my room it sometimes had more art supplies out all at the same time than toys.

I thought it through about why. In some ways I am the most organized artist I know. I do that to make it possible to live with reduced mobility. The more organized I am, the more I can do.

Art supplies are my biggest challenge. I can't even use my in home care help to keep my supplies organized. Georgia can bring in my clean laundry and put it away within five minutes. Bang, it's done. She can put away my groceries just as easily. She knows where the clean sheets are when she makes the bed.

Art materials are harder to organize than any other type of activity I know of. No matter how many cabinets, shelves, taborets, tables you have, I realized why that happens. It's because of the sheer variety of the tools and creative ways we use them. Every project, every painting requires a specialized tool set for that project. Unless you specialize and use the same palette in the same medium and the same method every time, you're continually taking out hundreds of little things from their organized storage and then putting them away takes three times as long.

That adds up.

So we artists should not beat ourselves up for being Disorganized. It's the natural working conditions of the profession. More like get creative about ways of organizing to gradually reduce the problem. Taborets, shelving, tables, tubs and containers are never an extravagance. They are 100% cost effective unless they're badly made and don't serve the purpose.

Aww purr, thanks Deborah! Yep, you're right. I had to rewrite it because I almost put "thank Deborah" but then I thought about how you'd look at it and "thank Jesus for Deborah" was more accurate. You're one of His major helpers in this world and always do a lot to save His reputation.

Charlie, yay for your concert success! It sounds like it was glorious. A lot of work to put together but that is such a wonderful feeling after a great performance. Purr and congratulations!

I want to break into singing "Food, Glorious Food!" tonight. Georgia's entire help session today was spent running out to the discount food warehouse, where the prices were comparable to a regular grocery store back in Kansas or Arkansas. Whoohoo! I have a feast! Slight change of plans since they ran out of mini-hams and fruitcake, I'm having canned chicken breasts and angel food cake instead. Both are treats I don't usually afford though so they're just as special - and just as easy to keep without a fridge.

I always loved those canned chicken breasts and would pass them up when buying tuna because they were too expensive. This year that made me realize "Wait a minute, these are special. The few times I treated myself to them were like heaven." On top of that she got the big cans, not the tiny ones, so it's cheaper per ounce and the Feast is a proper one, where eating the whole meat entree means that I'm so stuffed I couldn't handle another bite and skipping some extras. I won't be fixing a large portion of mashed potatoes given that much chicken.

I put away all the perishable food and anything that bugs could get into bags or boxes. That's today's achievement. Other than that rested my back and got 8 hours of sleep. Purr.

I am adding "Rest and Recuperate" as Goal 8. I should get ticks for the will power NOT to jump up and start cleaning up this clutter every time the pain drops a level.

12-21-2011, 10:59 AM
Deirdre, I'm sure the atmosphere in that Church was wonderful for the Carols :music: . Hope Elf and Safety doesn't hear about all those candles, in a place where there are people :eek: :eek:
Yes, we're not far apart. I'm one of the "North Folk" and you're one of the "South Folk" :cat:

Charlie, Thanks for that link. I will listen when Hubby does not have the radio on.

When I was busy the other day Hubby obviously wasn't as fully occupied as I thought. Hence the following photo of the worker in action....


I think I'll call this "Whistle while you work" :wink2:

12-21-2011, 11:03 AM
Purr thanks for that comment, Charlie, about "being too nice to oneself." I've never actually done it. I've just accused myself of it as long as I still had enough will power to push one inch farther toward what needs to be done. Says something about childhoods with undiagnosed medical problems.

I finally figured it out. I need more than 24 hours in a given day to do everything unless I have enough energy for everything in that day. The rest time in the back repair chair is necessary to be able to sleep, the bed does not rest my back. With the waterbed I'd have been sleeping 15-17 hours but I never do that here.

It's part of "Logistic effects of home furnishings."

Deirdre, I think you take the fruitcake for Traditional Christmas with bell ringers and candle lit Saxon church and mulled wine and warm mince pies. Makes me want to visit the UK and attend. Not without a power chair or rollator though, given the standing room only. Thanks for the beautiful photo!

12-21-2011, 01:14 PM
Jim, sorry I missed your post. Congratulations on your dog painting being a hit! Well done!

Ruthie, that's a great photo. Love it. You have a beautiful view outside your windows too.

12-21-2011, 02:59 PM
Good grief Ruthie that is really getting into your work!!! I love all those big windows in your kitchen must bring in some great light.

Charlie wonderful music.

Robert sounds like you are all set for a well stuffed and restful Christmas. Enjoy you have earned it!

Did my first insulin injection last night. So easy and didn't hurt a bit!

12-21-2011, 03:14 PM
Ruthie, the SuperHero, fighting dirt and germs! LOL! Seems Husband has a sense of humour!

Jen, yay for handling the injection! No, it doesn't hurt (I've done other, allergy related, injections on myself), thankfully it doesn't.

Rob, glad you could get goodies, you deserve them.

Deborah Secor
12-21-2011, 03:57 PM
I had to chuckle when I saw your explanation of "being too nice to yourself", Charlie! I've stayed up a bit too late the last few nights and paid the price for it. Was just thinking to myself that I need to simply get up in the morning so I won't get things skewed too much. I guess it's a matter of being "grown up", on my part, but....hey! I love snuggling into a toasty bed and reading in the quiet of the night. It's the best time.

Ruth, you're too much! :lol: What a delightful corner in your kitchen. I'd never get anything done. It would lure me outside, or to my sketch pad, to have that view.

Jen, I'm glad to hear the injection was easy and painless. We're dealing with the front end of the experience, diagnosis and new treatments.

Jim, enjoy the DVDs! 'Tis the season...

Robert, your goal #8 sounds like a good one. Rest. Enjoy.

I'm off to teach the Bible to some friends, then attend church tonight. The good life. :D I painted last night--nothing I'd show at this point, as I started an 8x10" in gouache and I'm struggling. A fun struggle, but not show-worthy. I broke my own rules and used pure white too soon in a snow scene, forcing myself into a corner. Now I have to back out, redo some of it, and see if it's worth it at all. I painted on Canva-Paper and I really don't like it for a painting this big. I'm glad gouache is as forgiving as pastel, however.

12-21-2011, 04:58 PM
Deborah, :o I'm sort of an expert on allowing myself to stay up late, read too long in bed, and muttering "just 5 minutes more" in the morning when I need to get up, and then I turn around and two hours have passed in just one turning. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Dec-2011/117343-snoring_cat_in_bed.gif The Parent Within has to talk clearly to the Child Within (not that it helps...).

A Huge Tick! The eminent society newsletter The Pastel Scribbler is (hopefully) finished! And the proofreader will hopefully squeeze in time between shopping, cooking, and gymnastic cleaning to eye it, and as hopefully not find anything that needs correcting. (As anyone who has ever published anything knows, this is entirely unrealistic. There is always something, even after 3 pair of eyes reading slowly and carefully.)

And I can't even remember my goals... :lol:

Deborah Secor
12-21-2011, 05:17 PM
** Quick aside! Editing trick: PRINT IT out. We always do this. Maybe you do, too. You can see the errors more readily somehow. (Yet something is always missed! :lol: I say, once it's printed it is perfect.)

12-21-2011, 05:52 PM
Good tip, Deborah, thanks! I'd forgotten we supposedly miss more on screen than on hard paper.

Languagewise: I heard (via ears, not eyes) a most delightful and talented non-native American speaker refer to the shape of the "eye-suckit" in a face.

12-22-2011, 06:42 AM
A Huge Tick! The eminent society newsletter The Pastel Scribbler is (hopefully) finished! And the proofreader will hopefully squeeze in time between shopping, cooking, and gymnastic cleaning to eye it, and as hopefully not find anything that needs correcting.

Tick!! Despite having a late night last night the proof reader came through :smug: Good news for Charlie too, hardly any changes needed :thumbsup:

To my previous post maybe I should add that I did clean the worktop after crawling all over it :angel: But, honestly, how else can one get to clean the windows and walls there??? The view may look good but my garden is a terrible mess, having been neglected for my newer passion of pastelling :o A major long term goal for next year is to bring it back to some order and try to make it less labour intensive......er, remind me of that goal will you guys :)

12-22-2011, 07:06 AM
Ruthie - of course you did! The moment I saw you photo, I thought "runaround." A lot of times designers and architects do not recognize that not everyone is six feet tall with long limbs.

Charlie, yayy! I am so thrilled you're done with one of my favorite publications! Purring at you. Just what I needed while resting up. Avid reader is all purring and happy right now. I know it'll be full of inspiring entertainment to sate my dusty addiction till I feel good enough to get out my pastels again.

Printing it out does help for proofreading. LOL the "eye-suckit." Typoos with meanings are hilarious. Maybe that's a term for them.

LOL hitting the snooze bar for two hours... right... I should have known you were giving advice you needed to hear. Maybe some concentrated meditation or other relaxation technique before bed will help reduce the "stay up too late decompressing from stress" pattern so you're fully rested by the time you get up? I can't do yoga but I have seen it help others.

Purr Deborah, sounds like a sweet and spiritual holiday. I'm also glad gouache is as forgiving as pastels, found that out on my last painting a couple of places.

Tick for Rest & Relax, I stopped cleaning up once I got the food bugs could get at into containers. Wasn't up to cooking potatoes or chicken but did have a nice cheese sandwich, some angel food cake and all the Grapes and Blackberries. They didn't last 24 hours! I was craving them. I think fresh fruit had to be a body craving, I feel better since I ate them.

I also happily realized why the grapes are cheap. Duh. I live in California, the place wine comes from. Bet there's lots of vineyards full of Eating Grapes too, just as many.

It feels silly to say "I slept and didn't do anything" and call that a Tick, but it took will power and I feel a lot better not beating myself up about it.

12-22-2011, 09:21 AM
Robert, the advice *I* need is the only one I'm intimate with. :-) It's sort of for real. It is highly irritating to be able to second-guess onself. I know I should, but I also know I won't... Oh, well, one of these day's I'll grow up. Reading winds me down, (yoga would tie me into a sailor's knot).

Robert, don't you *dare* beat yourself up for resting and sleeping! (Are your ancestors from Scandinavia by any chance? Or farmers? They both used to regard it as immoral to rest, unless you were on your deathbed (and actually, that was sort of suspect, it could be slackness).) * All those women who could only allow themselves to sit down if they knitted.... What you've done since April would tax a hale and healthy person. Balance, dear, balance. A proper ratio of rest and activity, and (ssssshhh! I'm going to tell you a secret) it is different, that balance, for each single unique person and individual! Great tick for R&R.

* (That was correct interpunctuation for Europe. The full stop goes within the ( ) if it contains a whole sentence.)

I feel such a lightness of heart, and relaxation in body, as I have no deadlines and "musts" now, for a while. I have some "ought-to", but there's no fire alarm, I can take it slow for 3 weeks.

12-22-2011, 09:34 AM
Robert, trouble is me and Hubby designed and built the kitchen! When you spend a fair amount of time in front of the sink or work surface it's nice to be able to glance out at the garden. I can see the studio from there too......
I agree with Charlie, resting when needed is a big tick.

Deborah Secor
12-22-2011, 11:54 AM
(Are your ancestors from Scandinavia by any chance? Or farmers? They both used to regard it as immoral to rest, unless you were on your deathbed (and actually, that was sort of suspect, it could be slackness).) * All those women who could only allow themselves to sit down if they knitted....
:lol: :lol: :lol: <snifflegiggle> My maiden name is Christensen, you know. My Grandma was from Estonia, Grandpa was a Dane. They had a farm in S. Dakota. 'Nuff said.

12-22-2011, 12:08 PM
Charlie I do the same thing with reading in bed. I think I will just finish this page, and the action takes me to another until DH comes to bed around two or three and growls" okay turn off the light!" it' the same in the " morning" with my iPad. I spend far too long looking here and at carols other site or the news. I put a kitchen timer beside me now to alert me to the passing time!

Ruthie well done with editing. Charlie can and you can now relax and the rest of us can look forward with anticipation.

Robert for you rest and relaxation is a prescription not laziness. You need it like any other of your medications so make sure you take it regularly. You work really hard to keep your life organized and you have been a whirling dervish since you moved so don't feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Rest easy my friend.

Deborah I think you truly get Christmas. Enjoy your spiritual journey.

12-22-2011, 12:44 PM
Oh! Well, it was cool how you dealt with it anyway. I used to do stuff like that if I couldn't get into cabinets or reach something. Had a stepladder to get up too.

Charlie, I know that attitude well. You nailed it though with Swedish farmers who never stop working. That was the overwhelming majority of people I met outside the family, next biggest group were Irish. Minnesota is full of that attitude. It's a lot of why I felt foreign in the place I was born. Even Chicago wasn't as fast paced.

Why it bothers me is something different - it's more extreme if the only thing I accomplish in 24 hours is spending 2 minutes sketching my cat and cross the room to scan that sketch. One extra trip across the room, sometimes accomplished when I get up to go to the bathroom. That's not "I need to be doing something productive every minute of the day."

Sick days aren't time off. That's one thing I've learned from this crash. I have to budget time off to enjoy myself - good time, when I'm capable of doing something. If I do that maybe I won't be so run down that I spend more money and energy making mistakes that cost more catching up.

You're 100% right, Charlie. It's a balance. I lost my balance and that's why I'm sick today and yesterday was a tick for "Rest." Today isn't, because I need to organize things and that's mental effort even with someone helping. If you ever tried to get someone help you put stuff away in your studio, you'll understand. That and I don't want to forget something important only to remember it tomorrow.

Purr! I would love to get to that point - three weeks to just relax and take it at my own pace, nothing scheduled or planned. I think once I finish Cat Commission, that's what I have to do. If I'm lucky I can finish him on the 23 or 24th so my patron can show the image to the recipient and explain that he'll be on his way after the holidays.

Purr thank you, Jen! Yes. It's a prescription. So is time off - that's this recognition. I am going to spend Christmas playing with my toys unless I'm too sick to. If not, then I owe myself a day off just playing with toys - this includes pounding an electronic roleplaying game pretending to be a Jedi or a demon hunter.

Thank you all for affirming me in "Resting" as a goal. I need physical and mental rest in order to get my balance again. It's not time to get back on the horse again. It's time to pick up the bicycle again, and that means sitting on the curb till I can do it.

12-22-2011, 01:01 PM
Funny how different we all are (good though that it is the case).

At night I shut down the computer when I find I'm going round and round different forums and nothing's happening, no e mail either, otherwise I can be aimlessly clicking for hours! When I get to bed I always read but often only a page or two before the old eyes start to close. Not that I sleep that well, just can't keep reading. In the morning, when I have a cup of tea brought to me in bed at 6.30, :smug: I read again and if it is a good book I sometimes get carried away with it and before I know it a second cup of tea is brought :evil:

I managed to remember to go back and check my goals and I'm not doing too bad.....

1. Take my "portfolio" to certain cafes I know hang artwork for sale, see what, if any, they want and get those framed (if not already) ASAP. Tick! Well, will go round some more next year. I must start shifting some of this stuff I keep creating!

2. Complete my Cat commission next week if poss to leave plenty of time for it to be framed and delivered before Christmas. Tick! :clap: So glad it's over!

3. Spotlight! Tick! I've done 3 and there's been learning involved as well as fun......learning to handle both black paper and colourfix, a paper I haven't used for quite a while.

4. Start thinking about/planning my entry for the Pastel Guild Holiday dusty comp where the subject is...ANYTHING! (as long as it's in pastels and meets the rules) Now what, I wonder, is my favourite subject?
Well, I've thought about it and have an embryo idea for a landscape. No action as yet though.

5. Hang Charlie's Iris in my bedroom where I can wake up to it each morning....should be plenty of space once loads of my work is in various cafes!
Waiting for the space........

6. Deal, somehow, with Christmas............
Christmas will be a breeze ;)

12-22-2011, 03:52 PM
Hee hee! Obviously my cat is your favorite subject, Ruthie. Didn't you know that? Of course he is. >^..^< (Especially in his opinion!)

I'd like to see your landscape and think it'll be beautiful. You've been making quantum leaps lately and you were brilliant to start with so this is going to be amazing.

Purr, congratulations on all those ticks! You are going strong. We still have almost a third of a month left too, it's not over till it's over. Christmas will be a breeze.

Happy peace and serenity. Georgia just came in and blitzed my room. I've had a thorough soaking hot bath and everything is clean. When she vacuumed it was as if I took an extra pain pill. All of the stacks of art supplies that I had taken out for this or that and not put away are now reorganized and put away, with quite a few of them occupying the large plastic tub I'd wrangled out of the closet days ago.

Bath kicked a pain level down. Clutter kicked another one down. Now I'm resting comfortable and happy instead of spasming in pain every time I turn too fast or try to get up out of my chair. Night and day. The longest night is over and the day is beautiful.

Christmas will be a breeze, Ruthie. Yep!

Deborah Secor
12-22-2011, 04:23 PM
So my December art goals are:

1. To paint regularly, at least 4 times per week, if not more.
2. To paint larger landscapes, in the 5x7" range at least, and keep them looser.
3. To practice portraiture, learning skin tones.

And non-art goals are:

1. Continue to clean out the garage, with hope of putting the car inside.
2. Daily Bible study, as always, as well as a course in church history.

Well, I'm coming close to these, modest as they are. I painted a little less that four times a week until lately, but may yet have some catch-up time on that. I've done the skin tones, and worked larger--"loosely" to some degree. Of course I've done my usual studies, though church history has lagged a bit until now. Probably my least-met goal is the garage. No surprise! So I'll tick off 2 3/4 art goals and one tick under non-art....and remember the month isn't over yet!

12-22-2011, 05:10 PM
Deborah, say no more! LOL! Your work ethics are in excellent shape.

Jen, my husband can sleep with the reading light on... The egg-timer is a good idea! I think I'll have to do it too. (Or cellphone alarm.)

Rob, good for you to get cleaned and decluttered. It is not easy having someone else touch your supplies! Sickdays are not time off, no. Sometimes, they can provide rest for the mind, but not always, and they can cost mind and body a lot.

Deb and Ruthie, you're ticking along just fine!

Tick! Scribbler is sent out
Tick! My own newsletter is sent out
Tick! Posted Old Master Copy in Studio
Tick! Decluttered a bit, and dusted all surfaces in house

12-22-2011, 07:02 PM
Yay for all those successes, Deborah! There's still nine more days left too. You did a lot!

Charlie, yayy! Got to run over and see your Old Master Copy! You did your own decluttering and wow, dusting. Awesome! Purr saw your newsletter haven't read yet and I love getting the Scribbler.

My best writing buddy bought me "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" - the first new computer game I've had since I first bought Diablo 2 in 2002. Never mind that I replaced Diablo 2 twice from wearing out the CDs. I'm fussy about computer games but she knew what I loved about them and this one rocks.

The art looks like a slightly pixelated movie, not like an anime cartoon with baby chibi characters. The keyboard commands are optional, the whole thing can be played with the mouse. There is a lot of story and interaction. Those are the three reasons why I loved Diablo and disliked most of the other games - the realistic ones all require knowing how to use one of those game paddles things. The 3D shooters require fast reflexes. This one's structured a lot like what works for my mental relaxation - follow the story and click on things, with ever increasing skill and tougher opponents.

I think a lot of my mental relaxation can come while I'm sitting still and physically relaxing. Pretending to be a Jedi beats feeling like a sick kid.

12-23-2011, 05:25 AM
Robert, how fun with a game! They're getting better and better looking these days. Not that I do them, not since Space Quest, from before there were mouses. LOL!

12-23-2011, 06:02 AM
Ooh, I used to be ace at pacman!!! And there was a machine in our local pub which I mastered, after lots of practice, and would get right to the end of the game and get the biggest possible score. I've never played computer games though. I imagine they can be as addictive as I find wet canvas!

12-23-2011, 06:03 AM
Me too, Ruthie, for the very same reason, I know I'd be addicted!

12-23-2011, 07:48 AM
Hee hee! I know it scared me when I first bought Diablo. I thought I was an addict for the first month, till I started getting comfortable with it. Then it just dropped back to something fun to do.

Yay, the art drought broke after Georgia cleaned up my room. I painted a couple of little Ari sketches with walnut ink and doodled the Golden Gate Bridge from memory in the flyleaf of the sketchbook.

So I'm out of the "cranky little boy who's pouting because he's sick" state of mind and back to grateful that I have the help I can just rest. I'm up to little sketches, color charting, puttering with cleaning supplies that are in reach. When I can do things like that I can get ahead again - so that when I have more energy I can just grab what I need and do something good.

It sounds tiny that I washed off my Sakura Koi pocket box watercolor set. It took two hours carefully rubbing all the smudges and dirt off the case inside and out and then using the tip of the waterbrush to wash out all the paint spatters from between the half pans. I got each pan back to its native unmixed color. It's as easy to use and beautiful to see as when I first bought it.

So the next time I feel like doodling pen and watercolor, it'll be that much easier to use. It feels like a big achievement, it's all relative to the day. I'm on the mend because I did something. Two things. A cleaning up thing to start getting ahead and an art journals entry.

12-23-2011, 09:43 AM
Robert....:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

CM Neidhofer
12-23-2011, 11:12 AM
I don't usually post goals 'cuz I never complete them anyway! I'm not a "to do" list maker. Never have been. But I think with the new year coming and life pretty much back to normal after a long struggle financially and emotionally, I think some goals might be a good thing. So....just under the wire for December....My goal this month is that I've decided to post goals in this thread starting with January. Procrastinator that I am:o

12-23-2011, 12:47 PM
Christine, I look forward to welcoming you next month. This thread is great, we cheer each other on and empathise when things don't go to plan!

12-23-2011, 01:08 PM
Hi Christine, this is a good place for making goals is has helped me a lot! Look for you in a few days!
Robert sounds like you are back on track!
I never have been into games but now find myself doing solitaire a lot. Sort of winds me down. Also being on WC and another art site is addictive.
Deborah looks like you are hitting your goals too.
I don't know how to do the quote thingy so will para phrase.
1 get out the Christmas cards and write the news letter in time for Christmas. Tick! Yes and all there beforeChristmas yea!!!
2. Donate to charity. Tick!
3 do a spotlight tick!
4 do a WDE. Tick!
5 do some five minute cleaning tick!
6 clean out bedroom closet hmmm not so much! I guess that will have to go on next months goals!
Thanks guys you got me there!

12-23-2011, 04:01 PM
Purr thanks Ruthie! Tick - I did another pen sketch cat to complete a page of little Ari life sketches that I did on the 17th and finally scanned it. Pitt pen sketch of a photo in the Weekly Inspiration Thread challenge in Art Journals forum. Pretty easy artwork, but today's got its cat sketch plus a scan!

Purr thanks Jen, yep, I'm back on track. Now just having low key rest days and staying in. Yay for all your ticks! You really prioritized well, the closet looks like the best thing to bump to next month. I've usually got something to bump because it helps me to reach high.

Christine, awesome goal. Best way to start. I found this thread helped me a lot more than I expected. I hate To Do lists, they feel like miserable chores, but the Goal Post is different categorically. It's always about what I want to do more than what I need to do, though the things I need to do sometimes wind up on the list. Even if there's a lot of "needs" in the list, I will always put some Wants in there too to make it a positive experience. I learned long ago not to expect to finish the list either unless I get a really good month or set my goals low.

It also helped me to put in some easy low goals every time to. I have yet to have a month where I couldn't complete at least something on my Goals list. I mean stupid easy, like "do some art" when a single 2 minute cat gesture would count as doing some art.

12-24-2011, 03:40 PM
Hi Gang:wave:

Sorry about not being around for the past few days. Grocery shopping, cooking, doctors appointments and last minute odds and ends won out over art and when I had some time to post something, I was upstairs and my laptop was downstairs in the studio. The kitchen has been a bee hive of activity yesterday and today. Ti's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.:) We even had a small snowfall last night. :music: I'm dreaming of a white...:music:

To all my friends, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating whatever, and however, you celebrate this time of year.



12-24-2011, 04:33 PM
And the same to you Doug and to all my very good friends here!

Just in case I don't get back, better let you all know I'm away from the 28th Dec to the 3rd Jan. I'm going to the Lakes!! Hubby and Dog are going too. Hope we get some snow while there, or at least frost. I expect to get some inspiration there too...............

12-24-2011, 05:01 PM
Sounds like both of you are going to have a great time, Doug and Ruthie. Mmm love that "Smells like Christmas." Someone ought to do a holiday song about that. I'm happy to be in California not having a White Christmas.

12-24-2011, 05:04 PM
Busy time, Christmas is.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays of any kind, to you all!

12-24-2011, 05:32 PM
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays - hope you all have a wonderful time anyway!

I have a abscess under my back tooth...so with the antibiotics I'm on I'm certain, even if my Christmas is Merry...I won't be!!:( :lol: No Alcohol allowed until Wednesday!!:eek: So my goal is now...Have a merry New Year!!:evil: :evil: :evil: :lol:

12-24-2011, 05:48 PM
Bummer Deirdre! Hope it all clears up soon and doesn't hurt too much. Have a very merry New Year for sure!!!

Doug enjoy those smells! Hmmmm!
Robert take care of yourself.
Charlie take it easy.
Ruthie don't fall in! Have a wonderful time and I hope you get a lovely snow!

Happy everything to everyone and enjoy each other.
I go off to my other kids tomorrow morning until the 4 th but will pop in and check on you.

12-24-2011, 05:51 PM
dear Friends....thinking of you all with wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and a Most Happy New Year (with lots of goals completed!)

Deirdre...I empathize with you....had a root canal done this week, and one more to go after Christmas!
Ruthie...hope you enjoy your time away! see ya next year...
Doug...nice you had snow in time for Christmas. after our Oct. record breaker, we have been dry, except for a few days of much rain...Seems funny to not have snow here for Christmas, though...
Jen...You did good!
Christine....glad to hear you will be joining the goalies next year.

Have been listening to choirs singing beautiful Christmas music, this afternoon. two choirs did the Hallelulah Chorus....made me think of you, Charlie

Deborah, Jim, Robert, and anyone I missed....wishing you a most blessed Christmas.

12-24-2011, 06:30 PM
Jen, enjoy your family visit. Sounds like fun. Glad you can get online there once in a while, I'd miss you.

Deirdre, that's awful! Hope the antibiotics work fast to knock the pain out. They did for me last time I had a tooth abscess. Also hope you're done with them by New Years. More annoying not having alcohol on New Years than on Christmas.

Well, it's a good thing Kitten sent my spare computer. I'm using it now, smaller screen, strange keyboard and all. Printer not hooked up yet so I might be snapping photos instead of scanning for a while. Only so much running around playing with electronics I'm up to doing all at the same time.

I put a DVD into the CD/RW on the side, thinking to watch a movie since the TV broke. Now it's stuck and so when I tried turning it off to try to get the movie out, it not only didn't come out but it's interfering with the computer turning on again. Bash head on desk. I will keep fiddling with trying to get the DVD out since that is the only thing wrong with my good computer. In the meanwhile - HUGS - at least I'm still online here with y'all!

And not watching any form of video. I used up a quarter of this month's Internet downloading the game, so I can't go watching YouTube either. Ah well. I will figure out something. Maybe this computer can play DVDs. I prefer watching them on the computer anyway because I can reduce the screen and still be doing something else, don't mind the quite small screen unless I go full screen on an art video.

Deborah Secor
12-24-2011, 07:48 PM
May you all find some peace and contentment in the season! Sometimes it's the simple things that bring the most joy.

Right now for me it's the heavenly scent of posole steaming on the stove! That and "It's a Wonderful Life" will make it officially Christmas Eve to me.

Deirdre, owwwwie! No fun at all, but at least you have the antibiotics. New Year will make it up to you, I hope!

Enjoy the inspiration, Ruthie!

Robert, how frustrating!! Have you used a straight pin in the little hole of the DVD player on the side of your computer to get it to pop open? There's a little pinhole just for that, which I bet you know. That's worked many times for me, especially when I get one in sort of off kilter and it jams.

Doug, Jen, Jim, Charlie and Judi, have a sweet holiday!

12-24-2011, 08:38 PM
Deborah! That's a great idea! I'll give it a try when Georgia goes home, since right now she's here cleaning up and the hotel manager brought up a guy to deal with fixing the TV.

The fix was so simple! The guy came up and tested a remote control. Wow, it worked. The on-off button doesn't work so now it needs a remote, but the high side is that now I have a remote and when I'm fighting back spasms, do not need to stand in front of it clicking through each of the channels to get to the one I want to sit down and watch.

If the pin into pinhole technique works, then I can retrieve my Star Trek movie out of it too. I got out the external CDRW that I bought when this computer's CD drive crashed several years ago and plugged that in, so either way I'll just leave the annoying drive closed for now. Just need to get the CD out of the drive and get my computer set up again where I can use my scanner again.

Then play with my art journal today and relax. I'm still not up to finishing the cat commission and going to wait till my back lets me move around more. Tick for resting up. I loved your Christmas card, Deborah, so that might be a good one-session project for today. I'll bet I can find something beautiful and seasonal in the RIL!

12-28-2011, 05:36 AM
So the last week of 2011...
I started this year wanting to get at least 30 paintings done. Finished 44 (with two on my easel right now)
And I wanted to do 500 figure sketches, looks like I will end the year with about 350.
My most productive year yet!

2012: going to try for 500 figure sketches again. and 60 complete pieces

12-28-2011, 09:20 PM
Wow! You did great, SoulBro! Ambitious goals for next year, sounds fantastic!

Been sleeping a lot, resting up. Still haven't managed to get that dang computer CD bay open even though I tried using an embossing tool to poke the pinhole. I have no idea why that isn't working but haven't found a straight pin or paper clip yet. Might be that the embossing tool tapers too wide and isn't going deep enough to activate it. I hope.

12-29-2011, 01:58 AM
Great job Soulbro. Sounds like you are on your way.
Robert glad you are getting your rest even if you can't find a straight pin. I on the other hand have been surrounded by them as my Graddaughter and I have been making her American Girl doll a new blue coat with fur trim. I was sewing on it by hand after she went to bed tonight.
Wish I could send you one! :)

12-29-2011, 03:40 AM
Good goals Soulbro. and ambitious as well. Lets hope you'll make them all. I'll certainly enjoy viewing them.

12-29-2011, 06:45 AM
My December goals were:-

1) Tidy up/clear clutter from computer/art storage room (My upstairs den)
Only half a tick - gave up in order to complete no:- 2

2) Complete the oil pastel of Rexus for son by the 17th of this month as he is flying home for the Holls. Tick - completed and is happy with it.

3) Assimilate info. For VAA course start up and prepare for assignments only half done

4) Get a drying rack for paintings (research done this past month)
I ordered this over the phone but it has not turned up, neither have they deducted it's worth from my bank account. Perhaps it's one of the companies to fold in this new year?Chasing this up this morning.

5) Clear clutter from garage ready for a summer time studio and paintings storage/drying.
I must have been joking..... :lol:

6) Attend art classes up to Christmas break.

7) Do the next scenic exercise in JS's pastel work book
Not completed

8) Imagine and draw a fantasy image for the next stage of the 101 drawing course
Not completed

9) Attend webinars (registered for JV's but don't know yet if LS's doing one this month)
A bit haphazard to say the least - at best only half a tick.

10) Attend Christmas break WC course in Bournemouth

11) Paint & print Christmas cards for the grandchildren (I can see me buying some instead).
1/2 a tick as I used a WC that I had done before hand.

Ah well roll on the new year, I'll make some more......:o

12-29-2011, 09:05 AM
Jim and Soulbro, great work!

Jim, that garage thing, it was surely uttered in pure jest! :D

My reckoning:

1) Paint a commission in two days, starting now. Didn't, she was in no hurry, told me to take my time, which I gladly did.

2) Throw together a christmas card, get ink for the printer, print out and send to ppl *before* christmas. Painted, photographed, noodled, and printed out and sent in good enough time! (Second printing got a spelling error corrected... :lol: ) Funny thing was that subconsciously I knew there was an error, but I couldn't find it -- until 50 cards were printed. Sent them out with the error.
The new printer said ink was totally empty, replace cartridge immediately, and I know how they think, so I've gotten 70 cards out of those 'empty' cartridges. :smug:

3) Send out a newsletter with holiday greetings and the news of my getting into the local show. Two newsletters sent!

4) Do layout of The Pastel Scribbler. :thumbsup:

5) Catch up with choir practice, that is, practice at home. :thumbsup: Concerts were successes, sold out. Horribly hard work, though, in the heat. Kind of cool singing in the second most important concert hall in the realm.

6) Give the final class. And plan for the continuation next year. Class given, plans in the planning stage.

7) Rest and Recreation. I may study, and if the wc book ever arrives, I might play with that -- but no pressure, no deadlines, no goals. I've rested and read books for 6 days now :heart: , feels really good. The w/c books arrived, and I've read a bit, but have not done anything. Actually it is for underpainting purposes, and for trying something new. Not really aiming at mastering it.
In all, goals well met, best ever I think! :clap:

Cleaning: Those 5 minute efforts do work wonderfully!

Taking myself on walkies: it has gotten to be a habit, I even went out today in spite of the drizzle and wind. (Ok, short walkie, but still.)

And, ta-da! I've started on a business and marketing plan for 2012. Which will show up in some of my monthly goals.

12-29-2011, 09:19 AM
I so procrastinated this month setting goals. This month for some reason dragged for me. Early on, I knew most of my friends would be out of town for the holidays and as a result lost my energy to do anything. I did manage to do two spotlight paintings. Very last minute I was invited for a Christmas Eve dinner which was great fun, but when I got home I found that my house was broken into. thank God, my dogs are O.K. All they did was take "stuff." I am fully insured. I did follow throughout the month all the threads and must say there was a lot of inspiration flowing. Everyone's work is so beautiful. I have been painting with you all since may and have been incredibly inspired and now look forward to 2012. I know I'll say it again, but I wish you all good health, happiness, and prosperity in the new year! Cali

12-29-2011, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the good wishes everyone as the Christmas break was - boooootiful. Just like the turkey :lol:
The sat-nav said 2:00 hours and 28 minutes but swmbo decided a 1/2 hour break was needed in the middle :lol: but it was a safe journey both ways.

Well done on those goals Charlie, you did do well. Yes you can feel :smug: on getting extra prints off those cartridges - I know I do.

Sorry to hear of your bad news Judi - it's at times like that perhaps it is better to be out of the house if they are desperate. As you say the dogs are ok, everything else can be replaced.

12-29-2011, 10:57 AM
Cali, how awful to get a break-in! Unfortunately, the holidays gets used by the bad guys... So glad you and your dogs are fine. Are you saying the dogs were home alone when it happened?

Jim, anytime one can beat the system... LOL! To my mind, it is silly to change cartridges *before* the ink actually runs out, like leaving two fingers of Glenmorangie in the bottle because it is 'nearly' empty, and the little note of instructions that the genie pushes up the neck of the bottle says "the indicator shows empty". I guess the genie wants the last drops for himself...

I've got my christmas present and toy! A telephone which is a hybrid between a tab and an phone. What's the first thing I do? (After changing language from German, that is.) Do I noodle with the GPS, or the Camera? Do I try to get the contact list into it, or update the calendar? Do I find out how to play games, watch films, listen to music? No. What I do first is to take the stylus and explore the note-taking and writing/drawing/painting programmes. It was niftier than I thought it'd be, almost like Paint, and there are not only some 6 colours to choose from, there is a stepless thing from where to choose any colour. It will serve very well as a sketchbook! And all pens/brushes are virtual! And pressure sensitive. Love it already, and I've had it for all of 2 hours and 26 minutes.

12-29-2011, 11:07 AM
Jim, that's a good breakdown. Those half-ticks do add up when it's something massive like "clean the studio" - sounds like you have a whole lot to do with plenty of space and plenty of stuff.

Charlie, yours look great too! Yay for commission buyers who understand and give you plenty of time, the work always comes out tons better.

Here's my rundown..

1. Keep Noveling (edit or write or both) Tick - worked on editing Sabertooth.
2. Weekly Blogging half-tick, did some blogs
3. Street Artist Program (actually use license) - nope, did not get out.
4. Finish Cat/Kittens Commission - half-tick, still have a couple of days left.
5. Pastel Spotlight TICK
6. Attend JV Class TICK
7. Avoid Holiday Blues TICK - my holidays were fantastic!
8. Rest and Recuperate - TICK - still definitely doing that. Not actually recuperated yet but resting a lot, including sleeping a lot.

If I can get in that last session on Big Grown-Up Cat by the end of the month I'll be happy. He's looking at me from across the room squinting and asking for his whiskers and shadows. He's so beautiful. I'm going to miss him when he's done as usual - but be very happy when he goes off to his people.

No art on the 28th but today I just sketched Ari twice with a Derwent Onyx pencil, will putter with that page.

12-29-2011, 03:09 PM
1) make a menorah, since I still haven't gotten my childhood one over here and I'm not happy with last year's try. I didn't make one, but I bought one that I really like. No photo yet, and sadly it got knocked off the windowsill and is now a little bent on one side. :(

2) play with this brand new set of pastel pencils

3) watch art instruction videos (ok, that's an easy one...)

4) start sketching and blog posting again

5) do a still life from life (almost made that one a second goal #4, whoops)

Nope, not yet, but I collected some more things to use in still lifes (including at least one thing that was given to us by my in-laws as a gift.)

6) try out something from the videos
DOUBLE-TICK A couple of things, but especially hours and hours spent practicing hatching and cross-hatching

non art goals:

1) make apple doughnuts to take in to my bookbinding class for the last day (also the first night of Hanukkah, if I counted right). half-tick here, we made doughnuts, but not apple ones.

2) archery, archery, archery half-tick again, I didn't get as much archery as I wanted to, but I did move up to heavier throwing arms on my recurve again.

3) not miss a biathlon race on TV (i.e. record if I can't watch it live) TICK

I doubt I'll do this well with my goals again for quite some time. :lol:

12-29-2011, 04:11 PM
Charlie, I was at a friends' house for dinner from 5:45pm to 9:45pm. Sad to say, the dogs were home alone! They are a bit clingy but otherwise o.k.! I don't know how they reacted. Probably friendly. All I know is God was watching over them! Ciao, Cali

12-29-2011, 04:46 PM
yikes! Cali...so sorry of hear of the break-in! Sad end to an otherwise nice evening! guess your doggies are not 'attack dogs'....

good goals accomplished for the month, you-all! Mine were pretty much accomplished....did the Spotlight and some sketching. Didnt post much, though.
Had a lovely Christmas present....when my friend went to pick up the paintings when our League Holiday Show ended, only one of mine came back. Yes, it was sold! Surprised the heck out of me.
Ity was a landscape I did some months ago, with contrasts of dark and light. Have to do some more like that, I guess....I had gotten really nice comments on it at the show reception....
Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year.....and hope to get painting again soon after the Holiday is done....

12-29-2011, 05:17 PM
Cali, I'm sure the dogs do fine on their own for a few hours, I didn't mean that. I'm so glad for you and them that the burglars didn't feel any need for more drastic measures, and that the dogs are whole and sound and unharmed.

All, you've met your goals beautifully!

Edit: Judi, I didn't read properly, just saw: Congrats to your sale! :clap:

12-29-2011, 09:31 PM
Cali, I'm so happy with you that your dogs were fine. Animals do get clingy if they're home alone for a while. Ari does too. It's natural.

Judi, congratulations on your sale! Your paintings have been improving so much that this is no surprise! Just very happy news!

Mercy, well done! You did great on your goals.

I think I did too overall. Going to relax the last two days, maybe finish the cat if I get a good hour, that's all I need.