Saturday, September 21, 2013

Back from Italy and getting back on track.

Firstly, I blogged about the Italy trip here:  Italy Trip 2013 - Modigliani

I haven't been very good at keeping up with my computer stuff lately, we all need a break from things from time to time.  It's been a long time (4 months ago) since I worked on the "George the Bardender" painting that wanted to finish as part of this year's goals.  What happened was that I got hung up on the face portion of the 5 foot tall painting.  Since the face alone was the size of an 8x10 painting, I wanted to improve my portrait skills, or at least, get back to where I was many years ago when I was doing portraits more often.  To that end, I took a detour.  I've been going to the Haverhill Art Association portrait days, second and fourth Saturdays of the month, and working with Mark Hayden (once a week).  He's a Copley Master specializing in portrait work, the style of portrait work that I admire.  I have revived my love of portrait work and find that I look forward to it and enjoy it.  Since there isn't much left of this year (3 months) I guess I had better get back on track and see what can be done with "George".

Another aspect of this year's work, is the teaching aspect.  My student is coming along very well and is diligent and likes the routine of coming once a week and painting but doesn't work on her own.  I'd like to have a couple other lessons join her on Monday mornings, and need to work on that. 

I've tried not to attend workshops this year, but the Italy trip was irresistible, and it was wonderful.  Even though I did do more paintings during the trip this year, there are things to learn about painting on these trips other than the painting itself.  Last year I had uploaded over a thousand photos onto my iPad, and had to spent  a lot of time backing them up.  This year I used several memory cards, one every few days, and didn't upload any except to my adventures blog. This is a change in my thought process.  The other workshop I'll do is coming up in mid-October and to that end I have purchased a few new tubes of paint and done a little experimenting.  My quest at furthering my understanding of color is the reason for attending as Dreama uses a more high-key palette of only transparent colors.

Another of my many (perhaps too many) plans for this year was to do large flower paintings in the hopes that I can display them next spring at my favorite local restaurant, The Rhythm Cafe in Merrimac, MA.  I did do a number of paintings of flowers in my garden this summer and took hundreds of photos.  I know that after my October workshop and when it gets cold outside I will retreat to my studio and put my nose to the grindstone, my shoulder to the wheel, etc.and incidentally listen to podcasts.

Making a new web site was another unfinished goal.  I got to the finish line, sort of speak, then I didn't like what I had done, and it took me about a month to do it, so that's on hold for now.  Perhaps that was what caused my lapse in working on the computer on my blogs.  I'd like to enhance my blogs somewhat as well by listing some blogs, websites, videos, that I recommend.

On other fronts, I've lost 30 lbs this year (and gained 6 back in Italy), did my morning walks almost every day (3 miles), enjoyed my experiences with coaching my skaters (roller) more and built up the skating club and artistic dance skating session and enhanced the program with a slightly different structure and made new music which looks like I'll also be going digital with it.  There was some stress about purchasing the land next door to our skating rink, and now converting it to a parking lot is next.  Our rink is owned and operated by my son, my husband, and myself.

I've written this lengthy report as a way to fill in the gap since I didn't report to it often lately. 

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