Showing posts from January, 2020

Oh Sweet Anticipation- January 31, 2020

I finished Part 1 of my big project at work and I visited my mom-in-law at the hospital (2 kinds of flu!) (we wore masks!). We bought takeout on the way home, read scriptures after dinner and I am now free to amuse myself. 

You would never know from this pic that my art room really is well-lit.

In the Pink - January 30, 2020

When I have a big project hanging over my head at work, I fret and fuss and fiddle around while I gear up to starting it. It's a painful way to live, not being able to relax when I can't work on it and not being able to work on it until I finish up other projects. 
I finished up a few of my other chores enough so I could start a collection analysis of one of our library branches.  It closed abruptly last May due to an emergency and all of the books and furniture have been locked in huge containers in the parking lot.  I have no idea what condition the materials are in after all this time.  My job is to figure out what we (theoretically) have, what we have room for in the remodeled building and order $25K's worth of new materials to celebrate its grand reopening in a few months. I need to report on my analysis on Monday.  Today I figured out how much inventory they have (broken down by collection). Tomorrow I will figure out what the borrowers from that branch actually check…

One Man's... - January 29, 2020

I've been making paper things for years and years now. There were bags and bags of ornaments in my garage.  There were shelves of folded books. A few months ago I nearly threw them all out by because I couldn't figure out what to do with all of them.

A coworker came to me asking for ideas on decorating the children's area in our library. I told her about the bags in my garage and offered them for whatever she wanted to do with them.

This afternoon she was called me at my desk and asked me to come out to the children's area. 

She had taken all of my things and created an underwater scene using my pieces like coral and shells. 

It really shows that one man's trash is another's treasure.  (And it's not really trash! I just can't use it!)

Quirks - January 28, 2020

Fun fact about my art practice: hot water.
There is steam rising from this container of water. Some time back, I started using the hottest water I could get from the tap and now it doesn't feel right unless I have it each time I rinse out and refill my water. 
Tonight I found two colors that don't play well together:  quinacridone coral and cobalt turquoise (both Daniel Smith). 

I just can't shake this exhaustion, so it's off to bed I go. And it's only 10:30pm. (snort)

Procrastinating - January 27, 2020

I heard recently that we procrastinate because of fear. There may be truth in that statement. 
A few weeks ago,  I enrolled in an online class taught by someone whose art I love, but who works in a medium I do not. It's not the first time I've done this and I learned a lot from the other class I took. 
This time it was acrylics and I was sure I'd be able to simply use the techniques in watercolor.  Ugh - the more I saw of the class, the more I felt I should try acrylics. 
But the cost! It's not just the materials (canvas, brushes and PAINT), but also having to go back to Square One. I like being in the high squares in watercolor 
I went to Hobby Lobby and used the 40% off coupon to get the large set of tester-sized acrylics. 

And then a cheap set of brushes that I hoped to goodness would be good enough since brushes are a huge investment.  

Last of all, I bought a surprisingly inexpensive set of four small canvases & some cheap watercolor pads. 
Then I looked at them all …

Salt Science! - January 26, 2020

I know that one of my favorite things about watercolor is the fun you can have with it interacting with salt. It occurred to me one day that there are other kinds of salt than just regular table salt that might have different effects. Then my husband, Brian, suggested other types of salt than regular old sodium chloride. I was intrigued.
Brian works at a really cool place - an organic pesticide manufacturer. The company grows microorganisms (it used to be nematodes, but now it's something else) that affect crop pests at different points of their life cycle, killing them without dangerous chemicals. Chances are, if you are eating organic produce, the farmer used this company's product. Brian's in shipping and receiving and is responsible for sending out orders all over the world. Like with every manufacturer, sometimes raw materials get contaminated when bags break or spill & they have to be tossed. Brian collected some of this spillage and brought home different salts…

Science Can Be Fun - January 25, 2020

I love fun patterns and textures in my watercolors. Table salt creates pretty little starbursts, but everyone uses table salt. I cannot be like everyone else. 
Brian works at an organic pesticide company with a chem lab (can you see where this is going?) and he's in charge of shipping and receiving raw materials and finished products. Bags of chemicals bust open in the course of his work and have to be disposed of because they're considered contaminated.  I asked him if he had any kinds of salts I could practice using in my watercolors. 
The next day he brought me home five plastic bottles. 

Potion-making ingredients!  I decided to experiment with prussian blue since it takes table salt so well. I drew out several hearts onto paper.  Then I painted a heart with color and carefully sprinkled some of each kind of salt (from the lid because I didn't want to touch them) onto the heart.
Look what happened...
The rectangular shape on the right was my control - no salt! I also tried po…

Burned Out & Up - January 24, 2020

It's been nonstop busyness all month. Every weekend we've had plans and my calendar is full to bursting with "shoulds".
We had a mandatory meeting at work that all supervisors had to attend - even though it had only 2% to do with me. I busted my backside trying to get caught up enough to attend without a huge cloud of unfinished work hanging over me. (I still haven't finished orders for January)
Some didn't show and I realized there aren't consequences for it. (One of them has missed two mandatory meetings now) (not that I pay attention) (I totally do) (eldest children keep score of injustices)
I admire people who can take time off when they need it. 
How much could I give up if only I were brave (or self-caring)? I want to rest, but feel "duty" keeping my nose on that grindstone.

How's this for something COMPLETELY different?

Imitation - January 23, 2020

I'm taking a class from Paulette Insall ( and channeled her color palette and mark-making in tonight's heart.
And I fixed this one a bit.
The weekend can't get here soon enough.

Suggestibility - January 22, 2020

I got to work this morning and sounded like a frog. Immediately, my coworkers called me out: "SICK!!! WHY ARE YOU HERE?!"
I wasn't sick - I had a slight cold and that's never stopped me from coming to work before. Besides, there is SO MUCH TO DO. If I don't do my job, there isn't work for other people. 
Then I didn't feel so well. I must be sick! My inner self scowled at my brain. I most certainly was not sick. I must be seeeeeeeeeeeeeeck! So sick! DYING!!!!
Sometimes it really stinks being so suggestible. I left a short time later and went home where I proceeded to bake a cake, prepare sourdough starter and mess around until my kid came home from school and we went to our eye exam - definitely not too sick.
Being "sick" kinda put me off my groove. I had time to paint tonight, but was off-kilter. Truthfully, I haven't been as good about reading my scriptures (sometimes I get very bleh about them). And I can't sleep because there's a …

Light-handed- January 21, 2020

Here are the light touch results. It's going to take awhile to get the hang of it.

Heavy Handed - January 20, 2020

I want to do more large-scale heart paintings and thought a rainbow would look nice. I made swatches of each color family and chose my favorite shade from each to make my rainbow.  
Then I made a swatch of all the rainbow shades to make sure they worked well together. 

I hated it.
The rainbow is lovely, but too heavy-handed, too saturated.  The artists I follow on social media use a light touch which is probably why I admire them. That's not my usual thing.
Since I already had the colors out, I thought I would try again. I put down the water - so MUCH water - there was no way it would work. Then I touched teensy bits of color down, ROYGBIV. I flicked color and more water.

And it worked.
Never give up! Never surrender!

These are My Entree Days- January 19, 2020

Ultramarine turquoise is beautiful.

I've always loved the phrase "salad days" from Shakespeare. It means those days of one's life characterized by youth, innocence & inexperience & "green judgment".

After the salad comes the entree. I'm in the entree days of my life. Lately, I've had meat. Hearty grains. Healthy vegetables & fruit. And mashed potatoes & gravy. After so many years of darkness & confusion, there have been more than tiny moments. There have been days, weeks, and now, months where I'm experiencing so much growth. I'm happy. I'm thankful. I feel like I'm GETTING IT.

In Sunday School today, we were studying Lehi's dream. Although I've heard the story a million times, the teacher asked us about the symbols in the dream. I know those, so I thought it was going to be a snoozer of a lesson, until we went a little more in depth. The tree is the love of God (yada yada yada) and the fruit of the tree…

It's a Beautiful Day- January 18, 2020

To celebrate Kiff's birthday,  we went to the Los Angeles temple as a family to do work for our ancestors. Here's a glamorous shot of me scrunching my eyes from the glare, but with the building behind me. This is where Brian and I were married,  where both of our sets of parents were married and a place that makes us so happy to visit. I had time alone while Brian and Kiff were in the baptistry. I did initiatories and went up to the Celestial room afterwards. It's a gorgeous room that is quiet, with lots of couches or chairs for you to sit with others or by yourself to pray, talk reverently or meditate.  It's the only time I've ever had it to myself. I sat for a good long time and had a good long talk with Heavenly Father about ...things. Then I had a good long think. In the quiet. 
We had a family baptism to attend this evening,  so we left early (no Getty today! 😭) to drive home. I love blue California skies.

Just as we came down the Grapevine,  a cloud appeared o…

Prussian Blue and Teenagers- January 17, 2020

I'm working from a hotel tonight so I only brought a few colors with me on my trip.  Is nine "a few"? Prussian Blue is the common color between all the hearts. I put salt on each of them and it's magical how different they look from moment to moment! 

Seeing them in the morning will be a treat.
A coworker has had a terrible cough all week and my lungs feel really messy and I'm afraid I've picked up the same thing. 

Hopefully I can make it through the night without coughing my lungs out. Blech - what a way to start a three-day weekend! 
Oh, this guy turned 13 today. On Facebook,  I posted this picture of Kiff with this caption:  12 years and 364 days ago, I wrapped up my last dd's ay of work before maternity leave. There were 2 whole days before my scheduled c-section (I take after my grandmother who had 2 c-sections in the 30's! She was diagnosed with "rigid pelvis". Yay for genetic legacies!). I couldn't wait to enjoy them!  Then my water br…