Monday, June 30, 2008

I've Joined a Gym!

Ok, so with the post about the freaking heat, the hubby and I have sent up the white flag and joined a gym. But in the spirit of our electronics buying, it is the BMW of gyms! It's open 24 hours, so surely, even with my insane hours I can make it in there. They sent us a promotional offer that waived a lot of the joining fees, so we're signed up on their uber platinum level, which was all they were sigining people up for. But this way, we get almost all of the otherwise add on things included in our fee (things like classes and fitness tests). Our friends were gold members that got rolled or grandfathered into the platinum, and we've had fun telling them all the free stuff they get now that they were unaware of.

What I didn't expect when we started working out is to have such a noticeable change in my state of mind. I mean, it's like someone put me on Zanex, or something! I guess it's endorphins or released pent up stress. It's scary to think that I could feel this much better without really realizing that I felt so bad before. I also, wrongly, thought you only suffered from stress if you were unhappy about said stress (like you're only a workoholic if you don't enjoy it). This year's been stressful, the good kind of stress, as in I have books under production and coming out soon and the company is making great headway, but there's quite a lot of putting out fires as they pop up.

So while I have physical goals I want to achieve, it's already worth it on a deeper psychological level: work out = no creative burn out!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Images from my Rain Forest Show

Sorry I didn't use the "good" camera, but these are some of the paintings I did for my show in April. I picked bold/colorful wildlife and painted on what I consider large scale for me. I sold several in the show, and got many inquiries on the frog, but he's sitting above my desk here now, and I think that's where he belongs. The viper, too, I couldn't part with in the end, and it's actually covering the hole of our fireplace, with the screen place in front of it. It's a neat effect, because the black of the canvas looks like the depth of the fireplace, sort of freaky.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Its. So. Freakin. HOT!!!

Here's a quote from the News here in Austin:

In a typical year, we hit 100-degrees eleven times in Austin. Its only mid-June and we have surpassed that number... the high of 101 at Mabry today makes it the 13th for the year. And that now puts us in 2nd place for the all time for number of 100+ days during the months of May and June.
I've finally become the delicate Southern Belle my Mom secretly always hoped I would be (just kidding, Mom), but honestly, I step outside and my Scarlett O'Hara comes out, "Oh, my, I seem to have succumbed to the vapors, clutch the pearls!" I'm pretty sure I got a mild case of heat exhaustion over the weekend: I had no appetite and felt what Mike and I call "loagey" and blech. I resent this, as I'm no shrinking violet, but I dare anyone to put up with this heat and be at the top of their productivity game.

And I'm pretty sure the heat has zapped my brain, too. I start the day with a pretty well rested brain, thinking of all the things I could do at work and at home. Step outside in the sticky 105 degree heat and ten seconds later I'm drooling in the coolest part of the house wondering why Texas won't legalize your birthday suit as suitable work attire.

Tonight it's driven me to Tequila. I thought, Hey, maybe there's something to the equatorial favorism of margarita as an elixir, and by jove, I think they're on to something there. A big fish bowl margarita later, I'm more worried about the numbness in my face than the sweat rings in my shirt. And it's like getting dehydrated on MY TERMS, none of this atmosphere ripping out my precious bodily fluids, that's what the salt on the rim of my glass if for, thankyouverymuch.

It's time like this I'm glad I'm not a little black Italian Greyhound. Poor Enzo is like a cell phone with half a bar left. He shoots out of the house all happy, then the warning tone goes off alerting that he has about 5 seconds of juice left. It's like watching the evolution of man in reverse, turning the vibrant, bouncy dog into a lowly primordial bottom feeder. Sigh...

So, more creativity to come when the brain can withstand the heat :) Check the Weather Channel.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Feeling Patriotic

Well, this color pencil drawing started, actually, with me finding a really nice paper at my favorite art store in town (Jerry's Artarama). It's Strathmore's heavy weight dry media paper, and it felt so much like a lithographic stone I used to do prints with, that I bought then decided to do some portraits with it. And with it hot as blazes here, I thought I'd do something to commemorate the fourth of July. I also really got into the John Adams HBO series, especially the opening sequence that showed the early revolutionary war flags, like the snake one shown in the corner.

The scan was, I'm sorry, sort of half assed, so some on the edges got cut off. The bottom shows a little more of the "Join, or Die" motto, and the e in people above isn't cut off. But this was a big drawing (18x24") so I'm only going to do so much scanning and puzzling together the pieces.

I think I'll find a buyer in town for this one. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The only traced/transfered part is the "We the People," everything else, the faces and all were free hand. The overall design of the piece was thrown together pretty fast, too, from several references. I did enjoy reading about the snake flag. Ben Franklin actually carved out the woodcut design himself, and it ties in with his recommendation that if Britain kept sending them convicts, that America should send England their rattlesnakes. Some say that the rattlesnake came darn close to being our national mascot (the whole Don't Tread on Me came from this flag, too).