Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I am working ahead in painting class, because I was done before most of the others. Not a big surprise; I work fast and am easily bored. So I began the series of ala prima (done all in one session) paintings. Our instructions were to use a 16x20 canvas and paint 1) a fish on a plate or 2) a hunk of fish on a plate or 3) a package of meat, unopened or 4) fruit spilling out of a paper bag or5) shoes. So I brought my Bass clogs, distressed brown shoes, all lumpy from toes twiddling in them for a number of years, set them on the hind end of a drawing horse, illumined them with my work light and painted a picture of them with my handy dandy palette knife. And it turned out pretty well, if I say so myself. I am not unhappy. That is saying a whole hell of a lot, indeed. In fact, I am thinking of doing a series of shoe paintings, as this is my second one so far, including other objects too, like a hat, or a flower, or a lemon. Whatever. That sounds like a good deal, actually. Fun fast and satisfying. How could it get any better than that?
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Now, I just love school. And I tend to gravitate to other students who are older, like I. So, there are these two older gals (older than most of the other students, not older than I) in my painting class. One is this rather over-the-top woman, red spiky hairdo, tres chic outfits, kind of mouthy, and the other is this very sweet blond gal, petite and perky. And they have bonded tightly. Their common ground, besides the painting, is their husbands. Every other word is "my husband", to which the other responds "well, MY husband". Really, how very trite. Now, I do not have a husband. But even if I did, I hope that my conversations would not revolve around him. I would hope that I would have a LIFE. One of my very own, exclusive of the person sharing my bed. I am realizing that I find these women irritating. I do not pal around with them, as I think I have little in common with them, though the blond is smart and funny and would probably become a friend, if the redhead would get lost. And I realize that I am being pretty exclusive, myself. I wonder if I could drop the name of my last ex-husband, and join their club? Okay, probably not. More better I just get over myself, and just keep plugging away at my painting, on the other side of the studio.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I seem to have thoroughly trashed my right wrist. It hurt, a little, for a long time. I ignored it. Now it hurts, a lot. Lugging the 40 lb. bookbag, lifting the 50 lb. portfolio, grabbing textbooks and huge drawing tablets, all added to the damage. Now it hurts to adjust the fan in my car. So I got a nice brace for it ($11.99 at Raley's), and some ibuprofen. This is good. Already it feels better, now that I am not re-injuring it daily. And, some things are good about this. As much as it is a hassle, I am learning to use my left hand for a lot of things, like opening doors and carrying heavy stuff. I hear that is very good for the brain (we drew a gesture drawing with our opposite hand recently, and I could not tell it from the others I did that day). And instead of pushing myself up off the couch with my hands, I am using the old thigh muscles, and I am sure that they are getting nice and tight because of it. Mostly I just have to remember not to push with it too much. I even drive better, because abrupt movement is what sends searing pain around my wrist and down my hand. Never thought there would be a moment when I pined for an automatic transmission, but here it is. Not missing any school, or letting it interfere with drawing or painting, though. So how bad could it be, anyway. Nuisance, this getting old is.
Friday, October 19, 2007
It is a rainy, gray day. Boo is laying on the rug kind of whining, because he wants to go outside. The back door is open, as always, but does he want to go there? Oh, nonono. He wants to go out front, where there is no fence to keep him from the road that those yahoos in pickups like to scream down. I am feeling kind of deflated today. I couldn't finish my math homework I turned in yesterday. I was not alone, most of the class was in that boat. But I still hate it when that happens. Thank HP we have moved on to a new discipline, sets. Very interesting ways of looking at groups of things, ie days of the week, students in a class, etc. Very esoteric. And I finished my painting in class, four fruits on a saturated colored backdrop. After the painting in a limited palette of earth tones, this was a feast. I painted four fruits, artistically arranged against a ground of violet (compliment of yellow) and backdrop of bright blue (compliment of orange), a lemon, a peach, an Anjou pear and a squatty green pear. All are much larger than life, and it turned out not too badly. I got lots of interesting ideas while working on it, and am now ready to move on. To onions, probably. I came home yesterday pretty wrung out, and now am resting. Well, I had to run to the store for milk for my pancakes, and am now about to embark for Costco for coffee, then laundry and cleaning and a meeting, and, well, I'll rest later. There is a big pot of split pea soup bubbling on the stove, perfect for this dreary day, and cornbread leftover in the fridge from my first-of-the-season pot of chili. Smells really yummy. Onward into the day, little soldier.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
In addition to my triumphs in sociology and math, the in-class critique of the latest two paintings went splendidly indeed. Everything the teacher pointed out was good and to my credit. Well, actually to her credit, because I have been following her directions. I am pretty much the only one doing that. With instructions to use definite props (black shoe, shoebox, two lemons and a potato), limited palette (earth tones only), and an 18x24 canvas, other students showed up with 10x14 blue paintings of peppers, onions, red apples, etc. What is that about? Well, I don't know how it served them, but I got an A, on every painting I have done so far. It pays to 1) show up and 2) follow directions. And I have learned a lot. Really.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
It has occurred to me that I may have only 20 little years left on our big blue ball, so waiting to have things is pretty, well, stupid. So, I replaced a couple of older things that were less than wonderful lately. First was my digital camera, poor little 3.2 megapixel thing that it is. The new one is 8 megapixels (!) and cost less than half of the first one. Ain't technology grand. It is also terribly tiny, soooooo cute, with a bigger viewing display, too. Thrilling. Then I got this $20 off coupon for a phone system that set me yearning. Mine was a funky AT&T model, with only one cordless extension, and the handset had a cord, which always made me feel tethered to my desk. The display was kind of murky, and it had an irritating ring (I didn't know that until I got the new, melifluous one). So, off to Costco on the first day the coupon was valid, and now I have four cordless phones sitting in the office, the studio, the kitchen counter where I can get it from the living room, and of course, the bedroom. They all have a well lighted display I can (almost) read without my glasses. This gizmo does some really nice stuff, like keep track of the last Caller IDs and I loaded a boatload of numbers into the head handset, and taught all the others my phonebook. I don't even need to look at the display, however, because the phone speaks to me, and tells me who is on the line! Very handy when I am in the bathtub, let me tell you. So no more fear that I will trip over the dog on my way to pick up a call from the Society toBeautify the Desert and spend what is left of this life in a neckbrace. It is pretty wonderful in the end. Ah, the good life, short though it may be.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
WARNING: I am about to brag. That is different, I know. Usually I gripe. Or moan. Or thrash about in my existential angst. But today, folks, is triumphant, indeed. I got an A on my math midterm! Who'd of thunk it? I assure you it was just a fluke. I didn't study all that much, just let it go and understood that if I didn't know it, I wasn't going to know it. This is the last math class I will ever take, thank the gods, and really, I am not all that invested in terrific grades as I will not be using the scholarship program next year. However, it never hurts to shine. And my spirit is buoyed considerably. I thought I was really stinking up the place this semester, kind of burnt out on academia. And then, WOW! So, if you see an old woman dancing around and acting tres heureuse, c'est moi!
Monday, October 08, 2007
Last Wednesday was my first midterm in sociology. Have I mentioned that this is what I thought college was all about? I didn't find it in philosophy ( and couldn't tell you a thing about the subject now, either), or in psychology, which was all about brain parts and neurotransmitters, very little to question. But sociology is all about questions, about seeing the strange in the familiar, and taking it all apart to examine our norms, our values, our beliefs. Culture. Soooo interesting. And that is showing in my performance. Now, I have been kind of hanging my head, getting 14 of 15 on little papers, 17.5 of 20 on bigger ones. But today, I got my test back and I got 78 out of 80, the highest grade in the class! In fact, with 96%, I have the highest grade overall to date! Now, that's hot. This little mild-mannered professor is no pushover, for sure. I really have to put it together just the way she wants it, pay attention to every little thing. I am getting better at that all the time, as my paper got 20 out of 20 for the first time, because I read and followed the directions. So, even though I say I am not invested in grades this school year, it is really nice to know my efforts are being noticed. Very nice, indeed.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Time for test, already. Good news is they will all be over by 10 AM Thursday, and then it is free-wheeling time again. Bad news is they happen bang, bang. Not much time between them, and tons of stuff to review. Luckily I am up to snuff. I hope. And then there is the painting critique Thursday afternoon. We had a homework assignment, kind of a doozie. Paint a still life of a shoe, two lemons, a shoebox, and a potato, ala prima (all in one session of three hours or less), using only earth tones (yellow ochre, burnt sienna, raw umber, black and white) on an 18x24 inch canvas, in palette knife. Well, it is done, and I like it. It makes me laugh. I will probably keep it, because there is so much paint on the canvas I will never be able to paint over it. While I like palette knife paintings, I need a whole lot more work with this medium before I get it to where I don't make a mega-mess. This definitely feels like college for kindergarteners. I think it would have been neater to do this with my fingers. And what a good girl am I! I followed the directions, did the work (early, too) and I should get a pat on the head, for sure.