I am now concentrating on the writing part of book-making, dear readers, and since I can’t seem to get anything down at home (the cats see me sitting at a desk and, being illiterate, have no respect for the typing part of writing and park their butts right on the keyboard, the better for offering me their sweet chins for a good chin-scritching session). So last week I retreated to the reference room at the Port Washington Library on the Long Island Sound (New York) because they have special
dungeons quiet rooms for deep thinkers:
I ease myself into a cubicle, push my piles of paperwork to the far corners of my desk, and start checking my emails. You ever know. Maybe Julia Roberts has read Le Road Trip and wants to star as me in the movie version.
Then I am immediately bored, so I wander out to the lobby and stare out at the rain:
Then I go to the ladies room, and mosey to the cafeteria for a cup of tea in a paper cup, and on the way back to my cubicle I drop by the Travel Department to check for new gossip :
Then I go back to my desk, fiddle with some papers, get nothing done, check for emails a few more times, step out for lunch, come back and sit at my desk, feel depressed, do a few random Google searches, and then pack up and go home.
In other words, I treat my writing just the same as if it were a real job.
Good thing I have this painting hobby to help me de-stress from my writing job.
Today I am illustrating the two kinds of palm tress, those that are fan-like and those that are feather-like.
Each brush stroke must articulate palmate and pinnate fronds in a most expressive way.
Bark, whether on a real tree or on a palm tree (which is not really a tree, it’s a grass masquerading as a tree) is mostly grey with a little bit of brown:
I didn’t draw lines here. I let the paint dry, then I painted in between the dry sections and let the paint itself make the striations (this works awesome for waterfalls — I really must show you this in a whole separate tutorial):
Going deep dark green on the feather fronds:
If I hadn’t been sure that all the foliage here made an interesting pattern at this stage, I would not have continued with the illustration:
Now I draw lines for the house I want in the background, from a reference photo of a Key West property (the porch gives it away as classic Conch architecture):
Whew. There’s only a little bit left to go, and as you can see there’s only a tiny bit of this picture left to
screw up paint:
But that’s enough painting for one day. So I put it away and
gorge on crap TV for five hours before falling asleep in the middle of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills start fresh again the next morning. And in the end I have this:
Jeeze. I almost like the unfinished picture better. And now that I look at it I see an obvious flaw that I have to remedy — I need to add purple flowers to the blobby green stuff on the left hand side to give the picture more balance (it looks as if it’s listing to the right, to me). Easy fix. By the time this gets published it’ll look as if I knew what I was doing all along.
And now for the Great Koi Pond Picture Give-Away (from last week’s post). I had to leave it up to Top Cat to pull a name at random because I can’t stand having to pick — I have the best Commentors in the ether and I wish I could send stuff to each and every one of you all every week. Smart, funny, artistic, cultured: you Commentors are the reason I dread having to write this blog every day of my life, because it has to be the best thing I do week in and week out in order to be worthy of you readers. Thank you.
And this week Top Cat pulled Gigi‘s name out of the mix — and she also happens to be a brand new Commentor too! Talk about beginner’s luck — and congratulations Gigi. Please send your mailing info to me at vivianswift at yahoo dot com.
And I know I promised you all a cat picture, but this week I came across a fabulous dog photo that I know you will love (2 fabulous dog photos, with sacred monkeys at a temple in Rajasthan, India):
Thank you, Cyril Ruoso from Lailly, France for shooting and sharing these holiday snaps.
BTW, if you are at work when you read this and are thinking of Google-Earthing Lailly, France (it’s a small town on the Loire river near Beaugency) try doing Giverny, France — Claude Monet’s home and garden. WHAT A TRIP to see it from a satellite!! Better than a tea break (and I should know).