Sunday, March 28, 2010

Royal Tern

Detail from test painting

Last month Paul bought me some new acrylics made by M. Graham. I've been itching to try them and I finally found a few minutes this weekend to give them a go. I'm no connoisseur of paints, but I definitely liked their consistency (very smooth - I suppose what people describe as buttery) and the color seems nice and vibrant. The sand has Naples yellow in it - a new color to my palette and one I like very much. I think I will have to get a few additional colors as I wanted the water to be a turquoise but my only blue is Ultramarine and that's just too dark for it.

We went for another walk along the river this afternoon. The osprey should be back any day now, but we didn't see signs of them today. We did however hear a spotted towhee, which is always a good thing. Tree swallows should be the next birds to return. This time of year is so exciting as every week brings new arrivals.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Landscape paintings are not something I have a lot of experience with nor a burning desire to paint, but my last two paintings just happened to have both been landscapes. One of the coast and then this one of mountains. Maybe my latest subject choices are subconscious symbolic representations of my own search for a new personal landscape/home. I just love the color scheme of this one. The muted blues and browns are so soothing.

Our apartment search continues. I think I am beginning to have a problem with my craigslist habit. I have it bookmarked both at work and at home and I find myself checking it constantly just in case the perfect new apartment has just popped up in the listings. We've toured quite a few apartments in the last week or so. This being a college town, there are a lot of apartment listings that sound good on screen but end up being pretty shabby in the light of day. But we've also seen a few promising places along the way. Having lived in a basement apartment for the last 6 years, I find myself willing to overlook some cosmetic issues if a prospective apartment has big windows with lots of light. For example, one of the places that is tops on our list so far features a bedroom painted an orange that harkens back to the 70's, but I can work with that because of the fantastic windows with mountain views. At least there's no shag carpet.

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Signs of Spring

A robin joined the throngs of sun-starved people along the river this past Sunday.

Where the winds of disappointment

dash my dream house to the ground
and anger, octopus-like, wraps its tentacles around my soul
I just stop myself. I stop in my tracks
and look for one thing that can
heal me.
- Maya Angelo

I found this inspirational poem by Maya Angelo on a blog* that I find very inspirational anyway, so it was a double-whammy of inspiration, which is A Good Thing because I've lost count of how many whammies we've had of the uninspirational kind lately. Our apartment saga took a major turn for the worse this past week and it is looking very probable that we will have to move. We spent the weekend looking at available apartments, except for a lovely one hour walk along the river on Sunday. However, that one hour walk did us a world of good. Firstly, every person in town that owned a cute dog was out walking, too. Secondly, the birds were amazing. Not a lot of diversity yet, but the few species present made up for it in sheer exuberance. The red-shafted flickers were dueling through their calls, as the song sparrows were dueling with their songs and we spotted a female common merganser floating down the river, her beautiful dark green head glistening in the sunlight.

I know that I have hardly posted any art lately. I've just been so distracted by things that it has affected the success of my paintings and I am loathe to post this particular set of paintings publicly. However I AM STILL PAINTING, regardless of the outcome of the pieces. Come hell or high water, I WILL complete the challenge - even if my art table is a packing box and I have to sit on the floor!

*If you or someone you know is dealing with post traumatic stress disorder, I highly recommend Parasites of the Mind: a Healing Blog
It is so important for PTSD sufferers (and their loved ones) to know that they are not alone and that there is a way to heal!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Female Hairy Woodpecker enjoying the sun

It was in the 50's and sunny this past weekend. Today it snowed. That's March in the northern Rockies for you. You may have noticed that I've switched out my Blog Header. It was high time for a change. The jury is still out as to whether I'm going to stick with this one or try another idea. It's been a long, dark, weird winter this year and I am ready for some serious revamping and rejuvenating this spring. I've got the restlessness of spring-fever for sure!