Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Painting Angels and Slow, Slow Boats *Updated!

One thing I miss about college is the fact that the constant demands of various classes would force creativity. You were told to "create or die" in a sense. I feel that since I left the academic environment my endeavors of an artistic nature have taken a back seat to those more mundane. Recently, I've been trying to change that. Odd sometimes what sparks your initial creativity. I do a lot of illustrative work, some for business, some for pleasure, but I've let my skills in other areas wane. Painting and book arts in particular. This is the first thing I've painted in several months! Thanks to a creative mission sparked by my spectacular friend Mystic, I was inspired to return to the canvas. Today, it's somewhere on the F/V Wizard...after spending many long weeks on a slow boat (thanks parcel post!) up to Unalaksa/Dutch Harbor.

Due to a short time span to paint this particular painting, I used acrylics...I'm not as confident with them as with oils due to their quick drying time, but maybe that's good. Sometimes it's better to step into the unfamiliar than to continue to walk the well trod...oh gosh, cue Frost!

It felt good to break out the brushes again. There's something soothing about painting. Even when it frustrates the mess out of you, it's still better than a great many things.

I particularly liked working with this color scheme, verging on monochromatic for the most part. Blue is my favorite color, cerulean in particular and mixing and blending and discovering the various hues and values was exciting.

I started the painting with a yellow ochre outline as you can see in the outline of the Wizard. I personally find it easier to work with a guide than immediately begin applying paint...however, I often deviate from the guide. Also, you can see here where the sea is lacking in its white foam...which I was actually very timid about adding in the formative stages of its application.

I also employed a technique I'd never used before. (keep branching out!) A grisaille, is a gray underpainting that provides a tonal guide for the colored layers that consist of thin glazes of paint to create a transparent luminosity. It is especially useful when trying to paint skin tones.

Finally, I finished the painting off with a glaze to protect it and to restore the original sheen of the wet paint. After that, it was boxed, shipped and sent off with a wing and a prayer. It's no "high art" but it was an absolute delight to paint and the meaning behind it is heartfelt. I'd jokingly been promising Capt. Keith a painting for a cheer up the bathroom of the Wizard...the scariest place on turns out I actually painted something...but if it ends up in the head...well, your guess is as good as mine!


Turns out, it ended up in the office on the Wiz! I received this pic on Sat...put a big smile on my face! :) Thanks Capt!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big City, Little River.

The falls at Little River Canyon

From the raw power of nature to the bright lights of the city...

Everyone together for a little Mongolian, Chattanooga style.

Chattanooga and Little River Canyon make for a pretty good weekend. It all started out with a little Mongolian food at the Genghis grill.

Jared's got everyone's number.

My endless bowl at the Genghis grill!

Anna telling her basketball woes to Meg

Chattanooga was good food, good times, and good friends. After a night's sleep, we headed to Little River Canyon, which is right here in North Alabama. It's a gorgeous area and I could wax poetic, but I'll let the pics speak for themselves...

Just me. There are more pics on my myspace and facebook.

We hiked down to the falls, over rocks and under,taking our time. We enjoyed the fresh dawning of spring and the rush of the waters from fall and stream. It was a good day to be in God's creation. It's amazing how renewing a day in the woods can be. Hmmm, well, I guess I had to wax poetic a little bit.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tennessee Bound!

I'm heading out for Tennessee tomorrow afternoon! I'm so ready for a couple of days of...something that doesn't involve the office! Although, tomorrow will be pretty nice. It'll only be a half day there and it's time for the monthly 5% lunch club! Now what is 5% club? Well, given the current economy, our company decided to cut salaries 5% across the board. That's not so bad if you're exec-u-man making a couple hundred K, or a salesman who can make that up with one good order, but if you're just the average worker (like the 6 of us in the club) it hurts! So in an effort to raise moral and have some fun, we instituted the club. Once a month, we bring a dish and make a salesman provide the meat! Tomorrow, will be ribs, corn, potato salad, bread, and fresh fruit for dessert! After that I'm off to Chattanooga for some hanging out with good friends and hiking on Saturday. Everyone have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all! I'm Irish by heritage...I'm a lot of things by heritage. Today however is the day when everyone is Irish! It's also my beloved Aunt's 48th birthday. She loves all things things green and all things Eire! So this blog post is for you Aunt Leslie, Happy Birthday, I wish I could be with you today to celebrate, I love you!

Image from the Las Vegas Adventurer

A lovely field of shamrocks for you...
Image from Richmond Environmental Network

A nice green beer...I know you're drinking one...haha, "one"

Image from TravelIrelandPictures

A view of the Irish coast to enjoy...

Image from Marci and Deth

Some corned beef and cabbage (had some for lunch, dinner will = a replay!)

Image from irokm

A wee bit o' the luck o' the Irish...

Image from myspace

...And a blessing for your birthday and every day between. Happy Birthday! I love you!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Deadliest Forums

Poster in the Lockspot Cafe in Ballard

For those of you that were members of Deadliest Forums or have an interest in Deadliest Catch, Deadliest Forums (DF) is very sadly gone...however, there is a new site "Deadliest Crabbers" that is now open, but still under heavy construction. Familiar faces are already showing up and hopefully by the start of Season 5 the place will look a little more like "home." Grab your hard hat, check it out, join up, and start posting!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hey, Don't I Know You From Somewhere? (and more!)

Thanks Jenny!
Oh yeah! I used to hang out with you pretty much everyday! This Saturday I got together with some good friends. Life has moved us around a bit and we don't see each other as much's been a good couple of years since we've actually had a decent get together.
I brought some apples and dip...

Jenny brought some veggies...

Chad grilled up some burgers...

Thanks Jenny!
Heath can attest to the fact that we all had plenty to eat!
We mostly just sat around the fire and talked and caught up and discussed our next get together...which will take place next month and NOT years from now! It was great to have the old crew together again...not everyone was there, but it was like old times. It's amazing how quickly you can pick things up like it never changed at all...

Keith with mom.
Speaking of changes, my nephew Keith, my little guy, turned 18 this Friday and we had a little party for him. I can't believe he's legally an adult now...all 6'7" and 300+ lbs of him! I was only 9 when he was born, we've always interacted more like bro and sis than aunt and nephew. Regardless of how big and burly he gets, he'll always be my little Keifer!
This also arrived in my mailbox on Saturday...which put a huge smile on my face! Capt. Keith is really a stellar guy and so are all of the F/V Wizard crewmen. The fact that they took time out of their extremely busy schedules to let those of us back home know they appreciate us for appreciating them is pretty awesome. I feel really fortunate to have gotten to know some great folks all because of a TV show. Thanks to them and to CB of Dutch Harbor Dirt for his hand in the project. I never suspected one of those envelopes would be winging its way to me!

Of course, being the complete dork that I am, I totally photoshopped myself a nice little Wiz army picture. hehehe.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


SNOW!!!!! Finally, finally SNOW!!!!!! *jumps up and down like a little girl!!!*

To say I am giddy would be an understatement. This is the most snow we've had since 1993. Granted, it was only about 3 inches and most of it's already melted away, but...SNOW!!!!! I got so much enjoyment just watching it swirl and whip about in the wind. I'd forgotten the sound of snow, that wonderful, quiet roar. To think only a couple of days ago, it was balmy and in the 60s and by the end of the week we're expecting the 70s. I was skeptical that we'd actually get our little dose of snow this winter, but we did!

I loved watching it swirl about in the wind!

Oreo put one paw out in it, gave me a dirty look and ran back in towards the fireplace.

The back deck totally covered!

The neighbor's tree

A gorgeous cardinal in the backyard.

A panorama of the back.
The birdfeeder (all of my birds will apparently starve to death. *note* buy birdseed.)

I'd kill a man for a cigar and an RV right about now.
March is in like a lion, but it looks more like a lamb! :)

UPDATE*Here is "Pookie" the saddest/awesomest snowman ever!