Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bringing up the grades

It's been three months since my son graduated from boot camp. I spent the summer waiting for and readying for him to come home, and then, after he left, adjusting the house around for one. Then I "loaned out" his room to one of his friends, temporarily, and adjusted the house back around for 2.

It's a weird crossroad, this empty nesting. I've had plenty of time to invest in the things I like to do: I've done some photography, and hung out with The Mom, and cooked for friends and family, and done some hiking, went on a vacation, and hung out with friend at the coffee shop and the beergardens. I remodeled the sunroom, took care of the yard and the house.

I run my tail off each day, and yet lie down at night thinking "man. I didn't get jack done today."

Day after day.

Hm. Why do I feel, lately, like my grades are slipping, when I'm generally keeping everything up to par?

More importanlty, what's it going to take for me to feel like I have more of a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day?

The answer is a no-brainer, for me. I need to create something. I need to re-organize, and buckle up, and MAKE time at the easel. I need to set some goals, and get busy. I goofed off for my first semester of this empty nesting stuff, and it's time to regroup.

I've been doing just that. Leaving work around 4, walking an hour, tidying up the house. Fixing a HEALTHY dinner early in the evening, and staying off of the dessert and wine for the rest of the evening. Vitamins and flossing, and all that jazz. There. The basics are covered, in a manner that leaves me with an extra 2-5 hours, at least 3 evenings a week. Maybe more.

And the paints are out now. And I'm choosing some of my photographic images to base my paintings on, and putting a few grids over them, and scrutinizing which elements I'll leave in, which I'll take out, and what I might add to this one or that one.

And I'm doing this.

And I feel great.

Here's a pic of one I worked on tonight; it's a little dark; I increased the contrast so you can see the pencil lines. The canvas is slightly larger than is shown here, and the 3 characters on the left are still pretty rough. I'm using the image "boys.jpg" from my LA Favs smugmug gallery. I'm removing the blue drop cloth from the back, turning the head of the guy in the middle (so that he's not looking at the painter) and changing some of the colors.

I'll post the progress, periodically, of this one and more. Sharing this with you is going to help me stay on track.


  1. I love your art. I'm glad you're doing it. So, good for you, good for me.

  2. Its hard to get started again after a layoff.
    I'm glad your pushing yourself to get started again and can't wait to see what you come up with.
    I need someone to kick me in the ass to get me started on those UFO's I have laying around.

  3. Your proportions are awesome. That's hard to do, even with a grid.

    I think I'll commission you to do one for me, but I want one with the hard pencil lines, before the paint. One million dollars sound like enough?

  4. Whatever you need to do to get yourself "on track" - I support it!

    Can't wait to see your art!

  5. Love it .. Looking forward for it ..


  6. Looks like a good one brewing, there....

    I kinda like the blue in the background. It would look better if it were draped better. What are you going to have there instead? All hay?

  7. That pic really takes me back. My step-father taught art and I would go with him and hang out when he taught night school.

    I'd see stuff like that everywhere. Beautiful.


Back talk! Comment here!