Thursday, July 27, 2017

painting progress

Did an hour on the painting last night.. just to block things in but not to get too entrenched.  My next step might be to start the fish but also I want to take some more sketches of the plant in the middle in a light study so I can get the highlights correct.

Doing laundry (sale linge) and a Welsh lesson, and making rice for my dinner tonight.  We've all been getting up quite early to get used to school schedules again, which tonight I close, so it will be a long one.  I've noticed my brain really doesn't feel 'active' in the same places when I am studying Welsh as studying French.  The Welsh feels like a 'shorter distance' from English because of the tenses, while the French (although I know more of it) seems like I'm going through more hallways between thoughts, making more turns and 'curlicues' to get to the same places.  The Welsh just feels like I'm remembering to pick up different things on the same routes most of the time, with a few oddities.

Finished 'The Other Language', although I admit I skimmed and skipped through most of the last story because I was just ready to be 'done'.  I have three more loans that have come available from the library and my Paul Auster book 'In the Country of Last Things' has arrived (which I can read anytime).  The beginning of that book really does have reminisces of  'In the Cities of Coin and Spice' by Catheryne Valente I read a few months back...

Esme starts school next Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

bit o bits

Still reading 'The Other Language' by Francesca Marciano.  Some of the stories are sweet, most are tragic and leave you with a sense of 'other' but 'why' at the same time... I'm not sure why I'm still pushing on through it, because it is very different probably, and the whole reason of the book is to show how all of these people change - some slowly, some drastically (and not all for the better) when they encounter a new language that separates them from something, then joins them to something, and then many of them (but not all) play a balancing game between wins and loss, change and stability, progress and regression.  I've got at least four other library books that are waiting on the queue on my Kindle..

I'm waiting on a book - Paul Auster's 'In the Country of Last Things' to come in the mail.  And a CD (used buy), Seven Nations... something I used to listen on Spotify discover back when that was free.  Both of these I bought with my survey-taking rewards... hoping I like the other songs on the CD... 'Under the Milky Way' is the one that earwormed back into my brain while I was working freight the other day - an echo from years ago.. a little piece on repeat - not even full lyrics, just the 'shape' of the sounds, then trying to catch that bit and 'taste' what song that was from, turning it over in my mind like pieces of a tangible wooden puzzle.. then suddenly remembering it and really wanting to turn up the volume and hear the whole thing again enveloping my eyes and skin until it reminds me why it has become a part of me.

I have an hour before I need to put Esme to bed.. I've started her on the early routine again.  She doesn't like it, but she isn't digging her heels in and making a terrible face as much as she did the first night.  And I'm getting her up twice during the night.  I think there is some anxiety about back to school happening.

I didn't work much on the new painting - we did grocery shopping tonight and I didn't want to get into it when I had so much to read and I knew one dip of mixing one color to fill in one space would probably be two hours.  I'm tired enough to nap now, but staying up an hour until it is 9:30.  Maybe I could do a sketch... colored pencils aren't half as addictive as paint that is one more dab before it dries, one more drop before that color is gone, one more dab, etc etc.. in repetition.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Painting stage two

This is as far as I got last night- Mark said it had changed enough to need another progress picture taken... I'll get some more filled in before I work on exactly how the light needs to come across the stones to the left.

And it is so hard to get pictures of this dog, Freckles.. but I caught one that wasn't a blur.  She is sitting there in front of her father Spud at the top of the stairs.

I've had dreams of painting and drawing the past few nights.  One dream I just swished a pen and an entire detailed drawing of a brick building came out.  It wasn't quite satisfying, though.. because it happened all at once and that wasn't right.  I went with it in the dream, because I wanted to see what happened.. but I kind of mourned the process at the same time.  In my dreams last night I had a yarn and bead and art supply store just across the street from a new apartment we had to move into.  But the brakes on the truck wouldn't work and I was playing bumper cars trying to get it to stop without breaking something up.  But in the store there was a place I could set up an easel and paints and nice light.. and I realized the dream was because I did finally have a nice place to set up this canvas and paint and it was working so well.  I even used more than one brush so far.. which is almost unheard of.. in fact, so far, I've used three.  It is a terrible habit of mine my art teachers used to chastise again and again that I would only use one small brush to do an entire painting no matter how huge it was...

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Had the day off, got a few things done.  I've been waiting to get a better idea of what to do with this painting for a few days.  I had transferred the fish drawing to it but there was all the rest of this space... did a depth sketch of a real aquarium photo in colored pencil then, with that to think on, went to the sketch on the painting and did this.

I also finally finished Esme's longer pink scarf that was started probably a year ago.  It took a long time, but that was the last knitting project unfinished not counting the huge afghan that has been on the needles for several years... Esme was very glad to have it done.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


We are now two weeks from the start of school.  We're trying to get Esme up earlier so she gets used to it again... she is not happy with that.  I'm continuing with Welsh and French simultaneously.  Not a lot else going on except that it is super hot outside and we have been shorthanded at work so my schedule has been even stranger than usual...

Off to work now.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Here we go

Finished the rest of Esme's school supply shopping the other day.  I'm halfway through my French learning app and making some headway on Welsh (un dau tri pedwar, pump (I can't spell six but it begins with ch), saith, wyth, naw, deg).. Counting in Welsh has made my brain fold over a little, it makes sense, but it is different (un deg un is eleven, literally one ten and one)....

I'm reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and waiting for In the Country of Last Things (Paul Auster) to come in the mail.  I read that book so long ago and it has been sending back little tendrils that I need to finish it finally.  I might take a stab at my novel again after reading it.. I have six chapters but I felt there was something big changing so I need to sweep through it again when I have actual brain time.

I have a close tonight and an open tomorrow.  That is never good for my brain.  My sense of time is already messed up, and then put me in a short sleep cycle between two workdays and I sometimes have a thought-breakdown about four hours into the second shift.  Protein helps.. but several times I've just had to take my lunch with an ice pack on my forehead and a cup of coffee and see if I can get the reaction to go away before it turns into a migraine.

Not a lot else hapening... School starts on the 1st.  Still no word when we will have a teacher orientation meeting... they always announce those at the very last minute and then I have to rearrange my schedule on the fly.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


We've been out of our air conditioning most of this week.. coping it with many ways, including popsicles and hanging out in the basement.

I did a little work towards the canvas I stretched the other night.  I painted it white (which wasn't all that easy, as the fabric had been a heavy blue cotton), and began to sketch out in green paint this drawing I made the other day.  These are koi fish I found pictures of online.

Monday, July 10, 2017


We've had a very busy day - fixed the water heater again, and took the old one out to the dump...  Then I took a load of things into town to donate that had been waiting for months.  Esme was a big help.  We also got her basic school clothes shopping done, the things I needed her to try on etc...

Our air conditioning has also went out and my main computer has been dying for a week in the heat of its own processor...  so I am trying to adapt to using my tablet, which previously I only listened to audio books on - it was a tablet Esme had years ago that she couldn't run her games on well....  but, it seems to do this and my French lessons and social media OK enough...

I have gotten to halfway point on the French which is awesome... more than a month straight practice.  And yet I have not yet learned the word for forest or tree or stone... l'eau et les chaussures oui... heh

I am reading Patricia McKillip's "Wonders of the Unseen World". Many of the stories are delightful - many of them are complicated and leave rabbitholes of thought to fall down.

Thinking about making banana bread here soon tonight but not wanting to heat up the only cool place myself and three dogs have taken refuge in the cement floored kitchen.

Saturday, July 08, 2017


Sketches of roseate spoonbills, 7/7/2017 Marie Lamb.  Graphite pencil, overlay with Micron pen, colored pencil background.  11x14 inches on canson sketch

Thursday, July 06, 2017

town houses painting

The big thing about this painting is that I didn't outline everything in black.  I usually get to doing that when I add so many details.  I saved the black for the wrought iron and a few small places where it should be.  Apple Barrel acrylics over pencil on standard sketchbook paper.  It's about 14" by 9".

I had a painting from 2002 that I finally put up in my kitchen, of fish swimming in a pond.  It makes me happy to see it there.  It took me a very long time to admit that I saw it in my mind's eye often and wanted it on full display.  Tonight, I finally acted (with some nudge from Mark pointing me towards the frame I had forgotten I had) and hunted down this little cat drawing.  I knew I had seen it recently, and it is another one of those that comes to mind again and again... it is joyful, and the lines are elegant.

So, here it is imperfectly 'matted' with a sheet of wallpaper with a hole cut in it and some artist tape hinges behind it.  It is hanging up in my sewing room where I will see it often.

Monday, July 03, 2017

ma belle fille de minuit

 ma belle fille de minuit
"my beautiful midnight girl"
Our cat Minion laying claim to my lawn chair because it matches her eyes 
and she uses it more than I do.

 And I caught a big lazy bee wandering around my nasturtiums.. well he was flying low and slow, but he was definitely into every flower he could find, so maybe 'lazy' isn't the right word.. he was taking his time but he was on the ball.. heh

I so love the nasturtiums this year.. they haven't grown well in the past, but this year they are making up for it.

I got a cucumber, a tomato, a small green pepper and some beans today - blended them all up with some mayo into a salad to eat with tortillas and cheese today at lunch.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Fish painting (second)

second try at one of my favorite paintings I've ever done, that is hanging in our kitchen.  I had a migraine headache last night and thought I'd try the theme again to see if it relaxed me some.  This painting is smaller, but has even more fish.