Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Vacation

My travels this summer took me home to Reno for the Fourth of July, to San Francisco with one of the coolest kids on the block (and her cat Taco), and to Monterey for some ocean meditation.  I got quite a few sketches in!  The scanning quality is quite poor - especially with color.  The last one had a very clear blue double border all around, which is nearly gone.  Urg.  What's the point of working on my Balclutha skin tones if they bleach out?  

Fireworks at the Nugget after watching Despicable Me 2


The funky-cute overnight outside of San Francisco.


The awesome singing of everyone on the Balclutha.  People took turns and everyone learned the chorus quickly and joined in.  Nothing like hanging out on a tall ship at night with cider.  Signatures were of some of the people that lead a song.


Watched the SF Symphony in the park for free (with suggested donations).  The guy I gave to donation to said, "Donations make you 50% more sexy!"  I responded with a donation and, "I'll take that 50%!"  To which he said, "Girl, you don't need it!"  And then he gave me a giant SF hug.


And, of course, my Disneyland is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The Weedy Seadragon is one of my new favorite animals.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Moon Stamp

Since I was little I talked to the moon.  The moon helps anyplace seem like home.  I feel comfort of the moon watching over me even when I can't see it.

Last week there was a "super moon"  where the moon is very close in its elliptical orbit.  I knew I wanted to do a stamp with the moon, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  On Saturday, I thought about painting the moon, but Adam pointed out that one more day would be the official super moon.  However, if I did it Sunday night, I knew that the next eight hour day of physics classes would be a challenge.  But what is art without suffering, eh?  The only hinderance to tomorrow may be if there was cloud cover, at this both Adam and I laughed.

Sunday afternoon, I set out my easel, canvas, and scope.  I thought about what style I wanted to paint in.  I've been working fairly realistically, which is safe for me.  Drawing with a unique approach bares one's soul and therefore is much more nerve-wracking.   However, I knew late at night only moonlight would restrict my attention to detail, so I needed to develop a different approach.  I also knew my color sense would be gone, so I premixed four greens and blues and added a dollop of white off to the side.  I was ready.

At 10 pm I headed out to start painting, and to my dismay - clouds.  I set my alarm for midnight.

Bzzz!  Bzzz!  Clouds yet again.  I set my alarm for 2 am.

Bzzz!  Bzzz!  Moonbeams dappled the carpet and I slinked out the back door.

First the face of the canvas and the face of the moon were direct to me, but I could not see the canvas at all as it was shadowed.  I turned the canvas, so the moonlight washed over it.  I could see quite clearly and set to painting while listening to Pete Droge.  The four colors I had mixed earlier were all the exact same value range, and I had no clue which was which.  All I could see was gray and white.

I tried looking through the scope at the moon to get more details, but it was so bright, it took nearly a minute for my eyes to adjust to see the canvas again.  I grabbed some binoculars instead.  The moon was also bright through them, but there was better turn around time.

I layered circles upon circles.  Some still wet, some dry, and continuously referenced the moon.  About 3:30 am I crawled back in bed.

The next day, I was a zombie.  But a contented zombie.


I like that when I'm far away (or squint) it looks just like the moon, but up close the brushwork is apparent.  I credit my Ma for recognizing that this should be a forever stamp!