Saturday, October 31, 2009

I give up. For now.

I spent most of the last 7 hours working on my Halloween costume until, at 11:30, I realized that I was crossing the line between fun and painful. It was going well, and I like what I've done, but I had to honestly assess how much more time I was going to need and what that time was going to cost me. I think, if I really hurried, I could finish it in two more hours. However, I really don't want to be up for two more hours, and it would cause me grief tomorrow.

Also, I think, if I hurry, I'll be less happy with the finished product. I might even be unhappy with it. It would really be rotten if I stayed up those extra hours and was unhappy with the result. This isn't a school project that's due tomorrow.

So now it's all in the garage again, and maybe I'll take it out and work on it well before next Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I've been working on getting my Web site past the amateur level. It still needs work, but it looks much better now than it did a couple of hours ago.

I am up much too late.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sylvia Street, Germantown

This is a small painting, only 8 x 13 inches, but it’s taken me a long time to get around to finishing it. I actually started it one year ago this month. I think it’s the best painting I’ve done in at least five years; if someone said it was the best I’ve done in a decade, I wouldn’t argue with them.
I actually posted a photo of this on here once before, but it wasn’t completed then.

New house drawing

This one is 5 x 7 inches.
Black walnut ink on paper. I'm very happy with how it came out.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I have oil, and good orchestra, and bad air.

I am officially changing my name to Houston,. Nevada. The apostrophe is my middle initial, short for ,texas. It is capitalized, though it's hard to tell. Also, my own mental parliament is about to vote on my official song.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

What I've been doing

1. Reading the Harry Potter books. I'm on number five.

2. Being sick. I think it's too mild to have been the flu, but it might have been a very mild flu. Probably a cold. I'm improved to the point now to just feeling run-down frequently thoughout the day, and coughing a lot (the coughing at night might be what makes me feel tired during the day.)

3. Halloween costume: Major progress has been made, but the chance of me having it completed by this Halloween is slight. Twelve to one.

4. Two house drawings. One completed, one being developed. The first came out very nicely. Photos to follow.

5. Photographing paintings. I'm trying to get paintings, new and old, photographed so that I can show them on the Web, such as on my Etsy site and on my art Web site. I'm not a sophisticated photographer and I don't have a good tripod, so it's been a challenge, but it's coming along.
Here are photos of the girls from school's Fall Festival last weekend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Art Auction Items

My painting of the Peterson-Dumesnil House is now up on the LVAA Art Auction site:
It's on page nine. There's a lot of good stuff up for auction, and a lot of names I recognize. I'll be happy to see the works in person.


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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's been a house of illness here lately. The worst so far has been Erin, who has been running a mild fever (between 98.9 and 99.2) with ibuprofen in her system. 50% of her sentences today have been one of these four: "I'm so cold," "I'm bored," "My head hurts," and "I miss Mommy." Very pitiful, huh? But I've been lovin' on her and doing my best. We played about 20 games of hangman, which she loves, and watched a Strawberry Shortcake movie.

Jill kept us better entertained when she got home from school. At dinner she sang a wonderful made-up-on-the-fly song (she does this a lot) about how our bodies work work work to push the bad germs out and we have to eat healthy food so we have healthy arms and legs and heads and armpits. Her songs stretch out for lonnnnng minutes of interesting improvisation.

Erin misses Kim because Kim left last night at 9:00 to help one of her doula clients. It's now been more than 27 hours, and I just got another text message from Kim saying that her client is going in to a C-section. That's a very disappointing outcome for Kim and her client, but I'm sure that the outcome of the outcome (the baby) will be awesome. I am exremely proud of Kim; I know she makes a huge difference for the people she helps, and they are always profoundly grateful to have her there. When she gets home, she will be totally. worn. out.

Both last night and tonight I stayed up too late, working on prints. I ran six more of the first color last night, six tonight, for a total of 22. I will not run more because I'm really running low on white and I just plain tired of it. I want to move to the next stage. I just hope that I don't ruin any of them with the next colors. I've improved my inking ability, my registration technique, and my consistency all around, I think; therefore, I should at least be able to get as many of these as I did of the giraffe prints (of which I had 16 total).

Here's a photo from tonight.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Boo at the Zoo"

Here are pictures of our first, and last, trip to the Boo at the Zoo. The line atually started--I shit you not-- on Poplar Level Road in front of Kmart. Seriously. You start in line there, still in your car, and the line ended after you had parked, entered the Zoo, and made it to around the Islands exhibit. Around that point it finally sort of broke up into a general loosely defined stream of people.
Now, I'll grant that it might have been an unusually crowded night. And I'll grant that the attractions that were there, though feeble and frustrating under the circumstances, might have struck me as a set of somewhat tolerable family-friendly scenarios had we not been queued to hell and back. But we'll be doing something else next October.
There were a lot of really cute kids in really cute costumes.

Bowling at Doulapalooza

We went to Doulapalooza at Vernon Lanes on Saturday. The girls bowled for the first time, and both liked it. The younger sister did it a few times before succumbing to illness and crashing; the elder absolutely loved it, jumped up and down excitedly as she watched her ball slowly roll toward the pins, and generally got a kick out of the whole process. Even she, though, tired of it after about seven frames. Of the six players in our game, I was the only one left bowling by the middle of the seventh frame, so I ended up finishing for everyone.
I know it doesn't look like it in the photos, but those balls were actually rolling.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Last night during and after dinner, Jill was pretending she was Dora and that I was Swiper. That morphed into a pretend game within the pretend game a little later in the bath tub, when she put a wash cloth on her head. She pointed at me and said, "Let's pretend that I'm Mother Mary and you, Swiper, are Jesus."




I noticed a bright heavenly body between Venus and the sun as I drove to work. I wondered if it was Mercury, but I figured that it was much too bright. Then the thought struck me that it might be Saturn, and that I was perhaps looking between and past Venus and the sun and back out into the solar system.


I checked an online star chart, and it turns out I was right.  So if you are out just before sunrise sometime soon and look to the east, you'll see Venus shining very brightly; and just below that is another star, not quite as bright as Venus. That's Saturn. 


Mercury is currently situated very close to Saturn from out point of view, but I don't know if it can actually be seen right now. I've never seen it.



 The picture I posted here is of the preliminary sketch for my next house drawing. I am forwarding it to my customer for her approval before I start the actual drawing.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I stepped out the door this morning and figured out where the stars Castor and Pollux were, just to make sure I had accurately pegged Mars. As I looked, I saw a satellite, and then a moment later saw a shooting star. It's busy up there.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

New print in progress

This is how far I’ve gone on my newest linocut reduction print. I am starting to print a run of the first color, which is the toned-down yellow. I’ll print as many of these as I can stand, (or until my ink runs out, which will be really soon unless I scrape together enough money to get more yellow and white) and then move on to cutting more from the plate in preparation for the second of three colors, which will be a medium-value blue-gray.

The second image is the same thing in black, which I printed as a good proof to see how it looked. I like.

Dog Tax

I metal detected for a short while on my lunch break yesterday. Here’s my oldest identifiable and datable find yet. Not exactly a hoard of ancient Anglo-Saxon gold, but I like it.

Hike on Sunday, part 2

This photo is from the same hike as my previous post. We stopped at a bench to draw what we had seen, and later came back to that spot to eat some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Jill didn't have a book so I let her use my sketchbook.

Hike on Sunday

I took the girls for a little hike over at E. P. Sawyer. My suggestion sent them plunging into the undergrowth to explore. OK, that’s an exaggeration; they were exploring behind an evergreen, in a tunnel of bushes.