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I used to be a really good cook. Sigh.

I made polenta today, because even I can still make polenta and throw an egg on top of it, right? However, one part cornmeal to four parts water does not equal 1/4 cup cornmeal and two cups of water. And there was the failed chicken curry. A long series of meals that I forgot one crucial ingredient. and the quiche where I forgot BOTH the white pepper and the nutmeg, AND set the timer but didn’t start it. And the thing where I set fire to the cutting board. Sigh.

Fortunately, throwing another 1/4 cup of cornmeal in twenty minutes into the process still yields a good product – perhaps better, because the original cornmeal had become fully hydrated – yes, I looked up how to cook polenta on one of those food sites – and so the resulting mass was smooth and creamy with a bit of crunchiness. Put a soft-cooked egg and some cottage cheese on top, and gobble it down. I’ve given up on the original spinach and garlic and maybe curry that is supposed to go on this, because I was failing at spinach and possibly onion too. That’s right. I have been failing at onion. It’s just depressing. I can still bake a frozen pizza with the best, so all is not lost.

In better news, we went down to Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see the Guillermo del Toro exhibit which was AWESOME! The paintings and drawings were fantastic, the video compilations on various themes were intriguing, the detail in some of the props was amazing! The gauntlet that Rasputin wore when he tried to open the gate was on display, with all the tubes and wiring. We weren’t allowed to touch it, unfortunately. Not enough Hellboy, no Samaiel, no Abe. A brilliant homage to Edgar Allen Poe, with rain-lashed windows.

While we were waiting, we cruised through the Asian exhibits which were AWESOME! also, All I could think was how much time and effort went into the pieces, weavings, sculpture, pottery. I feel like a hack. After we got through the del Toro exhibit, we wandered around looking at paintings. Van Gogh, O’Keeffe, Gauguin, Renoir, Degas. Too much for the short amount of time we had. Daughter got bored – “they were just paintings.” We were all tired, and my companions basically dragged me away. Fortunately, Daughter is cool with me going down by myself to spend more time. You better believe I will.

In other strange and unrelated news, I seem to have an allergic reaction to jelly beans.

And I don’t know why.

I do know that I like drawing flowers, because here is another one.Scan 2017-5-7 19.00.54

I was practicing drawing circles and ellipses, and drawing with a loose grip, and all of a sudden there was an almost-a-sunflower. Weird, how that happens. (Too much like a chrysanthemum, no sense of the meaty disc that is a sunflower, no green – bracts? hanging out behind the petals. I got the sawtooth leaf on one side, so there; sunflower.)

In other flowers, I pulled a bunch of geraniums last year and stuck them upside-down in paper bags. They started sprouting, so I stuck seven of them into a pail of water, and then one bright day in April, I planted them out. Of course it snowed the next day, so I nailed plastic over the box they’re planted in, and they seem to be about ready to go nuts – if we get two days nice weather in a row. I’m wondering if this will be a year when we get snow in July. Photos to come.

I’m knitting a sock, la dee da, and a boring one at that, and thinking about a sweater, because The Cat has taken over my thrift store Fair Isle, and this would be perfect weather for such a thing. And of course, none of the ones I’m seeing appeal to me, and so of course I’ll design my own, and so of course I will curse myself for it because it is so much easier to follow someone else’s pattern. Sigh.

In less pleasant news, the Cat pooped on my bed. I know, it’s a message, what with her not speaking english, and actually has nothing to do with me except that I’m in charge, and I should get the staff to do better. I don’t know, it’s put a damper on my feelings towards her.

I think my plan of getting her a puppy is a good one.

 

This was the third print of the tulips. You can see how faint it was getting.

This was . . . the second?

The lines were nice and dark. I was putzing with ideas for reworking the plate, and then aliens invaded and took over. I had nothing to do with it. But I like it. (The radiating lines are gold paint, and the stem is silver paint. Scanner can’t cope with that.)

And then I did this.

Dune grass up at Cornucopia (8×10 plate). Obviously, something must happen to this image, but I don’t know what. I’m enjoying this process, especially now that I have a clue how to do it.

Speaking of grass, my lawn is greening up nicely. And there are crunchy tasty birds – or so Katniss says. Over and over again. Loudly.

Tomorrow is a new day. Or a great big fish.

Which is good, because I can come here and say “See? I do do things.

Drypoint on acrylic sheet, printed on some paper that I didn’t use in college because uck. Sort of a pinkish tan. Uck. And then watercolored, making it a monotype, I think.

Same plate, third or fourth print. I believe the lines are so thin on this one because I soaked all the cut paper and then put it in a towel to hold. The first print was on a softer, fuller piece of paper, so it printed darker.

The thinner lines are more appropriate for the subject, I think, and for the size – 3 1/2 x 5 inches. But I solved the mystery of the later prints coming out lighter and lighter, and I learned something about the kind of line I want. Although you can’t see it in these photos, there are a couple of fine scratches that printed beautifully! except I didn’t want them. I think they might be coming from my rings, or the acrylic sheets are goofy.

But there. I know a lot more about this than I did on Monday, and I am ready to think about bigger plates and more diverse subject matter.

And a note on process; heh. This image was supposed to be upside down, with the tulip turned so the stem was towards the middle of the frame and the very top of the tulip cut off. Maybe I’ll do that next time.

In other news; I got a new-to-me mattress, a Serta Ultra Vibrancy Whee! It’s got memory foam and some sort of gel for moderating temperature. I tested it out, and it seems comfy, but it’s been either shampooed or Febreezed and I’m not sure I can sleep on it till it quits smelling. My old mattress is in the garage on a pallet. I suppose I could go out there. It’s only getting down into the 20’s.

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This little beauty came to live with me! Margaret Owen, Daily Painting. I see she just added another cute little thing. Mine is a 4×4 canvas, but it truly commands the space it is in. I’m looking for a place it deserves. I’ve learned a huge amount from Ms. Owen’s blog over the years, and am happy to finally support her in a small way.

Other good things? Daughter and I drove over to Duluth today. I was crabby and wanted to stay home and do things, but I’d put her off already, so we went, and had a good time, and had several long talks, and made a big long list of things we are grateful for. Such positivity out of two incredibly sarcastic people! But really. I like my phone, we like our car, the sky was blue, we have a place in the life of our town. And we aren’t the kind of people who shop for clothes.

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Special Princess Farty Unicorn, sleeping in her comfy spot. I DO NOT HATE THIS SKETCH! Possibly because I got parts of the cat right. Possibly because she moved before I could do much comparing. The line of the back could be different, to imply a more correct foreshortening.

What else? I went for a walk, wearing a hoodie and a scarf and no coat because winter seems to be over. It’s fun to consciously remember that one does not have to do the penguin walk, and relax into walking.

Also, I’m reading Wuthering Heights, and am maybe having issues with people being that cuckoo, except that the people in question really have limited experience with humans, so of course. And it is a story, which would be no fun if Catherine said, “Hey, Heathcliff you are so not where I’m at,” and convinced Linton to move to London so she could see plays and museums and stuff. Also, Ellen, the narrator, brings up a memory of Mr. Earnshaw giving her a shilling for her Christmas box, which brings us really nowhere nearer understanding what Boxing day was all about, except a box is involved somehow.

Also, all those things that are happening. Ack.

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Uck. And smeary. Part of the lens is good. I’m crabby about this one.

Part of the problem is I get tired of working on an image, and walk away. I also dance back and forth between line and rendering, and between seeing and thinking.

I called Duffy’s office today, and was told that in the staff meeting today, the representative made a big point of telling the staff that while there might be a vote to repeal, by the actual end date there would be a new plan in place.  The woman who answers the phone is nice, and I make a point to be nice also. Dialogue!

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“Draw your bed.” So I did a quick 30-second sketch of my bed, the one where I’d taken a nap and kinda tossed the covers back, the one where I have five pillows and three blankets and no bedspread, in the room where I don’t turn the overhead light on after dark, and realized that might be too much. So I did one corner with two pillows and a blanket all tumbled, and while I failed in so many ways, parts of the top left pillow are good. And I remembered how great it is to draw folds in cloth. I’m glad I’m doing this. I had forgotten how great it is to sit and draw.

In good citizenship, I called my representative in Washington and left a message explaining that cutting people’s salary to $1/day was petty and vindictive for the party that won. I think I’m averaging a call a day. No going gently into this particular abyss.

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Ack. I hate honesty.

The one on top is more true, and is also the second one. I get the feeling if I’d done a third, it would have been all right.

I’m glad I’m doing this. Obvs, this particular skill has rusted. I just read an article on creating elipses, and that helped. I had also just watched a youtube that said to not draw hard lines, but sketch in little short lines, till you get to the shape you want. In the second sketch I came closer to starting with the darks and progressing to the lights like a good girl. Of course in the second sketch I also had so many mistakes fresh in my head, and was able to skip some of them. We just won’t talk about the three light sources, rendering shadows chaotic. Or the pen that leaked all over my hand, which I then smeared across the paper.

More honesty: in scanning and prepping these, I’m pumping in contrast and skewing the levels. I’m noticing that you can’t see the guidelines I used.

In the real world, I called Wisconsin Senator Johnson, mentioning that gutting ACA would kill me. We’ll see.

EDM Challenges

Day 1: Shoe

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I think I’ll find an actual 2B pencil for tomorrow.