Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This is supposed to be SPRING. Instead, it rains, every other day, and not a warm seasonal rain, but frigid north pole rain, that has even threatened snow on our mini-mountains. My birthday approaches. In my 67 years of existence, it has NEVER rained on my birthday. This may be the first time. Meanwhile, this is very inconvenient for my life here in the little yellow house without large closets. My fall/winter wardrobe traveled to the back closet in the studio weeks ago, when we had about two days of 70 degree weather. It is boxed up in canvas cubes, on a high shelf. The boots and heavy shoes are in the flat boxes under the bed, and the flip-flops and ballet flats are on the floor of the miniscule bedroom closet. I put on my anklet and polished my toenails, for heaven's sake! That should mean WARM weather. Someone needs to get with the program. It rained today. It is supposed to rain again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after. Okay, that means I do not have to mow the pseudo-lawn. There is always a blessing in the trial, you know. But I will also have to put socks on over my pedicure. I hate it when that happens. Probably no one but me ever has these problems.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Part of my I-really-do-love-myself program is to buy myself flowers. A lot. And fortunately, Trader Joe's has these funky little bouquets for $3.99, so loving myself does not break the bank. Then I immortalize them with a painting or two. And photograph them for later use. I get a lot of mileage for $3.99. This particular little work gave me lots of new ideas. I was actually supposed to be loving myself by doing the laundry when I started it, and, as often happens when I am distracted, things got kind of fuzzy and out of hand. Well, that seems to be working kind of okay so far. Best thing to do is not to think, just keep applying pigment, get over myself in all kinds of ways. I see possibilities here I have not explored before in this medium. Very excited. And the laundry, well, it awaits.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Nothing says loving like something new on the paper. I saw that one artist put up colored pencil drawings in one of our local galleries, and I thought "I can do that!" So I did. Somehow, mine is not as artful as his was. It is, however, on top of the drawings in my portfolio that I am assembling for the fall semester, when I am thinking of applying for independent study. There is a whole upper division to academia that I would love to explore, but cannot afford. And despite my daughter's kind offer to explore scholarships and grants, I don't feel it is my place to step into that where another, younger artist may profit greater than I, at my advanced age and all. Nevertheless, I think I have something going on that is kind of special, and I know a lot of the teachers at our local JC would be happy to work with me. I like being guided, and pushed in directions I would not think to explore. Staying in the learning mode is an excellent idea as 70 looms for me, keeps the old gray cells perking. Plastic brain, that's the ticket.
Here is the shotgun view through the bedroom through the bathroom through the laundry room through the living room through to the backyard. Oh, and through the dog door, too. Always going through doors here. And one can do a complete circuit of the little yellow house inside by virtue of the two doors into the bathroom. Now that I have relayed that terribly interesting fact, may I gripe? Yes, Virginia, I do feel better. Also feel pretty weird, which is to say not like my miserable self. That should be a good thing. Working overtime instead to make it more misery. Now, isn't that interesting? It is said that an unexamined life is not worth living. Welcome to my microscopic mind. I went to Target the other day, one of my three favorite destinations, the other two being Costco and WalMart. I was searching for haircoloring, you know, the $8.98 surprise in a box. Tired of being blond in a yellowish tint, so I got lightest ash blond shade. Also some frozen dinners, and a tube of tinted moisturizer, lightest covering possible hoping wrinkles will disappear beneath it. Anyway, I was noticing the people at Target. More affluent clientele than WalMart, it seemed. Most had this truly blank expression on their faces. The most prevalent emotion displayed was confusion. I smiled at everyone coming my way, I do that regularly because it always perks me up when someone does that for me, and I always hope a big grin will lift me out of pitiful mode, but no one that day even looked at me. Now, that is interesting. A whole store full of unexamined lives. After paying, I spent a happy ten minutes searching for my car in the vastness of Target's parking lot. That is the price of feeling good, it seems, a new pall of brain fog. Must work on that today. There are no doors that offer quick fixes, it seems.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Happy to report that, after three days taking the teensy dose of hormone, thyroid is purring happily. I hedged my bets a little and took myself off to the movies to see Bridesmaids, mostly because the Tomatometer at RottenTomatoes.com gave it a whopping 89% and those strange folks on Roger Ebert's show both did a thumbs-up, too. I felt the need to laugh, and this film did not disappoint. It had some really crude moments, but somehow missed the tone of an Adam Sandler epic, where everything and everyone is just plain stupid. Some of the humor was physical, but most was in the snappy script, and the faces of these obscure and totally luminous actors in the cast. It is a rare moment when I feel good about a movie not playing at the Smart People's Movie Theater, but I was thrilled to join the throngs of the great unwashed humanity at the local multiplex. And there's another one coming on this one's heels, Bad Teacher, that looked like it could promise a few chuckles, as well. So, huge and ugly Roxy 14, I will return.
I have just spent a frustrating two days (read daze) wrestling with Google to get back into my blog. It didn't like my old email address, and insisted I use my gmail address to get aboard my dashboard. But it wouldn't let me reset the password, over and over and over again. Very vexing. I was ready to dump the whole thing and start over with a new blog, because I find that I cannot live without venting my spleen here online, while the whole world watches. Well, not the whole world, but they COULD if they wanted. And I am still thinking of doing that. If I do, for those who are interested, I will put up a link. Meanwhile, relief oozing from every pore, because here I am, finally with my newest weinie bird pastel. Now there are ten or so, and I figure another ten or so will yield a dozen that I like. And anyone who thinks there is no God ought to spend a few minutes perusing this little old fashioned bird book I have, that shows only a thousand or so of the varieties that populate this tiny blue ball orbiting an insignificant star in the great big infinite Universe. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Yes, that bird really looks like that when seen full frontal. Really interesting, isn't it, how things kind of come together in this truly odd way. HP made all these little flying creatures, probably out of big stomping around kind of creatures, now scaled down and lightened up, and there are millions of them, with thousands of variations on a theme, enough to fill volumes of tomes on library shelves everywhere. Grace notes, for sure. Here in the little yellow house, it is cold again, and raining. I will be poring over the drawing board all day, trying to make sense out of this one, or just throwing up hands and doing something else, endeavoring to stay dry. Not the happiest of campers, although have been out to Costco to get my thyroid hormones, which I cannot take till tomorrow, on empty stomach. I realize I am expecting to feel uber-better instantly, and that will probably not happen, never has before. Could that be the problem with this mini-mess I just made? Oh, whatever. Just not up to snuff, on any level at the moment.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Feeling like a new woman, like Eve here, getting hers from Big Daddy. You all know the cowwoman has been dragging her derriere for the past few months, expecting that THIS TOO SHALL PASS, except it just wasn't. So off to the Dr. for tests, like that was going to help anything. Probably I was just as nuts as I felt, wishing every day I could just stay in bed all day long, like forever. And I was cold all the time. Had to wear a sweater in the summer to go to the market and traverse the refrigerated aisles. So I had blood tests, and today, big surprise, it turns out my thyroid has abandoned ship. There really was a reason for the lousy way I have been feeling for the last year or so. It fluctuates, of course, so every so often, I felt almost human. Then it would tank again, and crash, I would be picking myself off the floor wondering what happened. So, tomorrow, off to Costco for some nifty thyroid hormone, just a teensy dose to begin with. You know what this means, don't you. Faster metabolism! Easier weight maintenance, and loss, which I need to do, just a few pesky lbs. It is always a surprise to find that, symptoms notwithstanding, I really do have that ailment-du-jour up on WebMD! And I am not nuts! Well, still a little, but, then, all the best people are.
Sometimes I wonder- is this all there is? Is this enough? Can it be that there could be something more? After all, how silly is it to spend one's days scraping chalk on paper, doing pictures of such prosaic subjects: flowers, birds, apples, lemons, pears, tomatoes. Nothing mysterious or very important about this endeavor. And yet, my soul is so soothed every time I pick up a pastel stick or pencil or nupastel, or brush, for that matter. Not intimidated by the blank page any more, not like writing, which seems so much more labor intensive. There is a solace in the physical motions, too. And yesterday, when I was more pissed off than I had been in many a moon, I just carved this painting out of my angst, left it all smeary and messy. It is more real and more ME than any I have done so far, because it is not at all fussy, no patient pushing the pigment into the margins and smoothing it all out. That is where it gets interesting, in the intersection of things. Well, that is where it gets interesting everywhere, right? If I never intersected with anyone, how peaceful life would be. And how dull. Nothing dull about this piece. It is screaming with me-ness. Today, another image. Can barely wait to see it happen.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Once upon a time, when I was newly sober and grieving horribly, I spent many hours out in the yard of my little townhouse tearing at the weeds. There was something really cathartic about this endeavor. It seemed to go on forever, and I just kept my head down and kept yanking. I burned up two teapots in one day, I was so intent. Of course, I was 21 years younger then. Today's efforts need to be punctuated with frequent moments of stretching my back, and even the occasional break. But I find this to be the ideal thing to do when I am pissed off, as I have been lately. Taking it out on the weeds is ever so much better than yelling at Pickle, who keeps barking and rolling in the loose stuff and traipsing into the house, dripping little pieces of yard in her wake. I have stopped for a while this time to put Bandaids on war wounds on both my hands, one from the rake, one from the trimmers I am using to ferret out the low-lying weeds the weed-whacker missed. I now realize I should have been more specific with the guy I hired to do this job. Expensive lesson. On my frequent sojourns into the house, I also peck away at the latest bird pic. Funnily enough, I think I am done. Pissed off also means less pickiness, because I am now tired of these particular birds and want to get on with the next ones. There will undoubtedly be a time when I will visit these little guys again. Just not today.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Sometimes it seems like there is nothing to get out of bed for. Today, even the dogs looked like nothing. Lower than I have been in a month of Sundays, and struggling, which is exactly what I am not supposed to do. Program teaches me that we don't struggle. So I know I am in trouble here. Did the things that are guaranteed to not harm anyone, like rake up into piles all the weeds that got whacked yesterday in the backyard, and stuffed most of them into garbage bags, then filled the yard waste can to brimming and (TA-DAA!) put it at the curb to be emptied in the AM so I can fill it up again tomorrow. Went to my sweet little AA meeting, where I ran into two sponsees, one who is visiting from the coast and will be taking my to lunch later in the week. Then on to Trader Joe's, as I was out of crispy almond cookies, as well as eggs and yogurt. Home to heat up an Indian entree, one of my favorites, now bringing up burps of pleasure. Then I made the mess you see here, just not worried about anything here, slap, slap, scrape, scrape. Have peeled some of my pastels so I can use the side of the stick. That lays pigment down ever so much more quickly, and HP knows, cowwoman likes things done INSTANTLY. While working away, I saw how pissed off I am at the moment. Nothing really new, just another round with the core wounds, and this is progress, usually I am a soggy heap of woe around this stuff. Pissed off, well, that's ever so much more righteous. Eckhart would say I am becoming my pain body again. Whatever, Big Guy. Just don't mess with me here.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
First, ITunes kept burping and refused to play my favorite classical stream, RMF Classic from Krakow, Poland. Okay, I found another station that was similar, from France, I think. But the music was not as bouncy. That is, I think, because Polish people like to jump around much more than the French, who just glide about in that oh-so-elegante, snooty way. Their station played all this flowy, airy stuff. Then my daughter sent me an email saying my Facebook account got broken into and sent out a lot of stuff that was, well, rude. Now casting about to find out how to change my password, though I think this happened because I left the page open when I went out today, bad idea, I guess. Hey, I'm already feeling crumby here, Universe! Let's get it together for a better tomorrow. Thanks.
Friday, May 20, 2011
On my channel surfing safari the other night, I came upon a program about the brain. I learned all this stuff in Psych 1A, most of which is now in the personal trash basket somewhere in the nether regions of my being, but I did remember feeling particularly sympatico with the amygdala. It is part of the reptile brain, the one underneath all that superb frontal and prefrontal cortex that is our species organ. In it live the emotions. Yes, I love my amygdala, because it lets me feel so magnificently. Why, only yesterday, I was in tears over Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto, a piece of music I first heard over 50 years ago. Yet I can still be moved. Of course, my amygdala has also gotten me into lots of trouble over the years, especially when the higher functions of my brain are restrained by a whole big bunch of booze. And wouldn't you know it, it was that stinking amygdala I was trying to shut down! Whatever is going on in there today, I am pretty sure the amygdala is no longer in charge of my actions. Unless I am working at my art. It may be a poor little weinie talent, but it lives at the core of my emotions. When I am there, higher functions do not serve me. In fact, they make things too neat, so that I cannot love them. My heart loves a big colorful mess of a painting, with just enough explaining to make sense of what I want to portray. Perhaps the day will come when higher functions will not even need that. Ah, I think I am on to something here. Meanwhile, the bird opus continues. I am aiming for a dozen bird paintings, and will probably need to do twenty to get the twelve I will like. This is number seven, still in the works. New paper, more tooth, interesting effects. Lots of fun. Have learned that I need to unwrap and break up my sticks of pastel so I can scrape the color on with the side. They are not precious objects, my pastel sticks. They are tools.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
While it is not a happy thing, it is a good thing to be aware of one's limitations. And I reached the end of my proverbial rope yesterday and toddled off to see my Dr. about this crappy mood I have been in all year so far. Well, not every moment, but it falls on me like a pall and there I am, swimming in the murk. I know there are worse things happening in other folks' lives, but hell, this is my life, the only one HP gave me, and I want it to be a whole bunch more happy than it has been lately. A wise woman once counseled me to always look at the physical first, because it is the easiest to deal with, much clearer than the emotional, and many ailments cause emotional difficulties. So, this morning, I got up, brushed, flushed and headed out to the lab without even a sip of coffee to start my engine. I have to admit, the little gal who drew my blood really knew her stuff, not the slightest sensation when she inserted the needle. And I apologized for the lazy way my fluids filled the vials, so she explained it was a small needle and everyone's blood, even those much younger than I, took its time. Gee, that made me feel a lot better. Because I was such a good girl, and because a friend made a payment on her painting she is purchasing from me, I took myself out to breakfast at IHOP, where I had French toast with sausage, the senior plate, just enough and I ate the WHOLE thing. Lots of coffee later, I feel much better, though still lower than low. So I will be putting two or three more layers on this painting I started yesterday. It has passed the what-was-I-thinking stage, and feels like it will become something I am not ashamed to show. Well, obviously, because here it is! There were some prints of amazing landscapes at Quest Laboratories this morning that gave me an urge to lay a palette of oils, something I have not done so far this year. Hmmm.
Monday, May 16, 2011
The cowwoman is home from the Superior Court Dept. 3, and happy to be back on her own turf. Honestly, I was happy to do my duty as a citizen of this county, but I really thought those attorney-types thought we were all numbskulls. First, they herded us around like, well, cattle. This morning, we lounged around the lobby for nearly an hour and a half while they did their secret things inside, then in we went, only to deplane not 10 minutes later for yet another secret confab. The jury was sworn in just before noon, and I thought, whee, now we get to go home! No such luck. I plodded back through the security (left my watch at home because it set off alarms, then found that my bra underwires did that too, and not leaving THAT at home), and sat for another hour and a half while they selected three alternates. Never got to go answer their questions, many of which I thought were imbecilic. Like the defense attorney asking what my impression was of his client, before and after hearing the charges against him (attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and unlawful detainment, of his MOTHER). Like that's important. Look, I wanted to tell him, it's like sirens. You know that something not good is happening. Ditto this situation. Only thing I need to know for sure is that the DA thinks your client did something bad. Not my place to judge him as a person, only to review the evidence to see if it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the DA is right. Lots of questions about why do we think a victim would not testify, gee, maybe because he is her SON? And were we going to be prejudiced if the defendant did not testify? Gee, I know that all he could tell us would be his sanitized version of the facts, and I would not be inclined to be very invested in the truth of it. If my decision came down to what I ASSUMED or THOUGHT, I would surely acquit, because there was not enough compelling evidence. I noticed that the DA challenged mostly young people, and since the defendant was a really young, seriously cleaned-up guy, would perhaps commiserate. And the defense attorney tended to challenge older, more highly educated (read SMART) folks, because he was depending on the pity factor to cut in, for sure. Would love to be a fly on the wall, and will check in about 7 or 8 days from now, because they said it would only take 4 or 5. The wheels of justice grind slooooooowwwwly. Tiny bit of aftershock to burn off before I am back to normal. It was all exhausting. And boring. And educational, in a sad kind of way.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
It's Sunday, again. Least favorite day of the week. At least I got to sleep in late. Got up really early Friday for a happy day swimming in a jury pool at Superior Court Section 3. Lots of other really unhappy people there. Honestly, the defendant seemed happier to be there than any of us. District Attorney was a Michael J. Fox clone, just stretched out a bit. I will probably not get empaneled, but have to be back at 9:30 AM tomorrow to find that out. So I guess I just got all flummoxed and did this somewhat stylized little bird picture. Honestly, these guys wouldn't look real if they were sitting on my porch railing. And I guess they are, because there they were in my big bird book. I took several photos of this one before conceding it just stank. Then I went back in with lots of dark pigments, and it felt a little better. Now, it is at its best yet, but probably not done. Whatever, it is going into the pile for a bit before I look at it again. Me, I'm off to Barnes and Noble for a look-see, then to my 2 PM meeting, civilized hour, that.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I was already fragile when I became an artist. I went around seeking validation from the world at large, like, am I okay here? Please tell me I am okay. Dressing right for the occasion was paramount to my comfort level. A pimple could send me into paroxsyms of fear and dread. I still cannot look at myself in the mirror with my glasses on before leaving the house, or I may never leave it, what with the network of wrinkles all over my face. Okay, it's not THAT bad. And I do check my eye makeup, otherwise I tend to have this raccoon thing going on. When it comes to the art, I always start out just wondering if I can capture my subject. Funny, because I have never really failed at that, not with a modicum of persistence and a whole big bunch of stubborness. And then, well, gee, now what? I notice the Artist of the Day all have gimics, do I need one, too? Is my art too traditional? God forbid, could it be ORDINARY? That is my greatest fear. Well, I like the hawk now, and I didn't for a long time. And it may change a bit more, too. Complimentary colors, that's the ticket. He got all fierce, too. A couple of lines did that. Values are good. And then there is that iridescent blue that I picked up at Dick Blick. Tricky, it's all very tricky. I am sure I will get braver as I go along. With this medium, I can always go back to what it was. Layer by layer.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
It is what it is. Here's the deal. Once upon a time, at the house on the edge of the world, we had the summer of no summer. Gray and foggy 24/7. Not unusual. It is usually foggy at the coast in the summer. That's why the whole population of California would wind up in our tiny town during those irritating (and fortunately, infrequent) inland heatwaves. But here, in the valley, with a whole range of hills between us and the ocean, we are having the spring of no spring. Oh, we have an occasional day of 70+ temps, and everyone sighs. At last! Then, back to 61 degrees with a chance of rain. I drove to Berkeley yesterday, and from the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge, San Francisco was a smeary gray blur. That was on the way over. Coming back, it was shrouded in its own cloud cover. At 1:30 PM. Today it is even cooler, and my 4 day forecast says rain by Saturday. Oh, well. I just keep diddling away at the pastels, now that Dick Blick has provided me with several new pigments, some new pads of paper, and another can of fixative. The trick to these works is just keep layering, just keep layering. More and more is revealed, and suddenly, they pop. Here is an homage to Mother's Day. I think that's what I will call it.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Not impressed with this so far. Something is off, and I have changed a lot of things, but have not hit on it, yet. Just not very excited, though he is a handsome beast. Probably just needs to pop out more. More layers! Lots of pigment! Bah. I think I will put him aside, and have some Haagen Dazs. Meanwhile, major barking day for the poopies. Must be a school holiday, because the young'uns have been running up and down the driveway by the side of the house all day, whooping and screaming. Boo and Pickle are hysterical most of the time, anyway, but add a whole big bunch of excitement, and we will need Valium by bedtime, for sure. Or maybe I am the one who needs Valium? Don't do that any more, actually. Maybe a soothing bath, and a cup of vanilla chai.
Tired of messing around with the roses. Can't make them be anything but what they are, anyway. I added the little bird, and it gave me some ideas about future paintings, of doing a big one of all those little glass birds that live in the glass case in the back living room, the ones that I never pay any attention to. They are actually rather precious, as all are gifts, most from my adorable son, who gave me another one for Mother's Day. And, on that note, let me say what wonderful people my children have become. They both felt exactly as I did about the demise of Osama, sad and appalled at the revelry. Never a moment to cheer the death of another human being, even one as misguided as this one. I am so pleased that they, too, feel the rip in the fabric of our existence here, that we are all connected in a great cosmic web and need to honor that so we don't become what this man did. Okay, way off subject of kind of ordinary little work here, but, gee, this is my blog and my opinions, so everyone should get over it.
Sunday, May 08, 2011
I believe that everyone has objects in their lives that defy the laws of physics and just evaporate of their own volition. One half a pair of socks leaps to mind. In my tiny life, the objects most likely to leave the earthly plane are scissors, umbrellas, and dog leashes. Notice that these are things that, when required, are required with some urgency, like when wrapping a Mother's Day present five minutes before I am due to arrive at said mother's door, a fifteen minute drive away. Well, strange things are happening in the little yellow house. After so diligently removing these objects, the universe has started to give them back! I found a perfectly strange pair of scissors laying beneath my camelia bush in the front yard. When I put them in my desk caddy, I realized there was another strange pair already there. Oh, wait, I think those were in a box of oddities I had accumulated and spread among my other thingies a year or so ago. Okay. But, all of a sudden, there were two pairs on my sewing table, where I was sure there was only one yesterday. And, lo and behold, I found yet another pair in one of my junk drawers while searching for viable batteries. Ah, the Universe is feeling generous. Okay. Send money.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Caught up in this fury of activity, just don't want to stop coloring paper. It makes me feel about five years old, messing with crayons, diligently staying inside the lines. I have always thought of myself as a good girl, even when I'm not. It's always a momentary aberration whenever I step outside the lines. Maybe I need to be there more often. Oh, this one is barely begun, and will change bunches before I pronounce it finito, but it just came up so majestically from the paper, rising almost of its own volition. That is magical when it happens, and precious. I cut these roses from a bush in the backyard jungle. Wow, they are really RED! Feeling the presence of the divine today. Savoring that, as it will shift soon. Shift happens, you know.
Just finished sweeping, brushing up, and generally trying to rid the house of dog hair. Like that will ever happen. I forgot that once it gets warm, and I leave the front door open a lot, barking season begins. I can judge my spiritual fitness by how many times I yell at the dogs to shut up. It helps to get all engrossed in an artwork. I am thinking of calling this one You Don't Say. Hard to believe these birds are taller than I. Not exactly magnificent beasts, but truly fun to work up. Learned a lot, too, like much easier to work light over dark than vice versa. Many, many coats of fixative needed to get the slimness of those mighty necks. And never quite got away from the comic book look, but then, these are not beautiful animals and have their own wondrous comedy about them. My, God was having an interesting day when She made ostriches.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
It has always been my MO to study others around me before acting. You see, I have always been DIFFERENT, taller, more clumsy, either incredibly shy or incredibly visible, never anything in-between. Others have taught me what to wear and how to behave. Not by what they TOLD me, never could tell me what to do, but by how they demonstrated and by how successful that was for them. Now, as an artist, I still look at what others are doing. And what others are doing is ANYTHING THEY WANT. Looking back, that is always what great artists did. They learned the craft of art academically all right, then bent it to their particular angle. I think I am still finding mine. But here's the delightful thing that seems to be happening at this time - if I am patient and observant, I can almost always get what I want onto the canvas or paper. Here is that little messy thing that I was despairing over recently. With just a couple dozen more layers, it has popped right off the page. Birds are so full of grace, you know, just little blips of color that inspire joy. We don't have this particular species in our part of the world, but they can live on the wall of my house quite happily now. Not at all unhappy this time. My quest for COLOR has been full realized in this piece.
Monday, May 02, 2011
Sometimes I think I am ALWAYS just starting over, again and again. I got my fluffy butt to the gym today. It felt ever so good. And so far, since I have been home, not much is happening. I did stand at the kitchen counter and dab away at this painting. It is going to take a lot longer than I thought, because these are persnickety little birds, and they will require attention to give them each their own personality. Perhaps this is just a little too detailed for pastels? Nah. It will all be just fine. Or not. Paper, fortunately, has two sides, and no effort in this regard is ever wasted. Every stroke of pigment teaches me something as I putt-putt along.