Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Summer Heat

As with most of the nation, we have been in the middle of quite a battle with Mother Nature over whether it is appropriate to turn on the heater in the middle of summer. As we are finding out, she has control of that thermostat.

 It is baking here.

Temps hit over 110*F yesterday and I  can officially say I am tired of summer. All the heat has put a damper on my plans to get to the studio every day to paint in oils. but I have decided that on the days that I don't make the 45 minute drive to the studio, I will spend my time working on watercolor paintings and drawings. Those supplies and paintings I can keep/do at home since the cats do not seem to be attracted to them.

 I have been spending a little more time than is probably financially feasible at used books stores lately and have found quite a few out of print art book gems at crazy low prices as opposed to their secondary market value on Amazon. Score! After reading through my cache of goodies, one of thing has caught my eye and has really started to sink in. All of the artists in the books I bought emphasize doing detailed sketchbook value and composition drawings before ever putting the brush to the canvas. I usually just dive right in and work it out as I go along, which does not always turn out well. So in the future, I will keep my sketchbooks at hand and follow the advice of the other artists and make value sketches and comp sketches first. It seems so simple, not sure why this has not been a habit for me.

Also on the art subject, I have decided to add pastels to my "stuff that I do". It seems like a cross between painting and drawing and I have been intensely attracted to the velvety richness of the pastel paintings that I have seen, so I decided to give it a whirl. Given the fact that it is a medium notorious for producing dust and all kinds of pigment stains, this is definitely something that I will be doing at the studio. I ordered a 90 color set from ASW along with some clear Artspectrum pastel primer and a spray fixative, so as soon as the crazy business of this week is over, I plan to hit the studio to experiment. I was a little concerned about buying aerosol fixative in these temps--can you imagine how much fun that would have been if that package had been left on my unshaded doorstep for the day?! Luckily we were home when it got here. The cans were really hot even with just being in the truck. A friend of mine works for 911 dispatch and she said that this heat has been causing propane tanks to explode--I had visions of having a flaming box on my front porch.

School starts up in a couple weeks and I have to say I am really looking forward to it. The summer has been nice, but I am looking forward to the routine of getting up and being with people in a classroom every day. Since I am transferring to Wichita State University to finish up a BFA, I will have an art history and a foundational design class and lab. Lots of reading, I am sure. Unfortunately, only one art related class at Butler Community College will fit into my schedule. I will be taking jewelry design 2 since I was pretty sure I would not have time to get from one campus to the other in time to take any other classes. I do have to say I am excited about transferring to WSU. We toured their art department and it seems like it is going to be a great atmosphere for learning and growing.

On the home front, we are gearing up for the start of the school year for the twins. They are going to be seniors next year, which just doesn't seem possible. Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday I was the room mom in an elementary school classroom. Both boys decided they want to go military after school. Mark has gone with the Marines and Jeremy has gone Navy. Both boys are early entry, which mean they have signed and sworn in now, but won't go until after they graduate from high school next year. It just doesn't seem possible that they are that age...That means next year this time, my nest will be empty. Not even sure how I am going to handle that. I'm sure it will be interesting to enter this new season of life.

No pics today. My computer and Blogger don't seem to want to talk to each other today.