Tuesday, May 25, 2021

"Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably Priced Love! And a Hard-Boiled Egg!"

The glorious 25th of May. If you have to ask, you weren't there.

But I'll do you a solid and tell you where to look: Terry Pratchett's beautifully written Night Watch. 29th in the Discworld series, it remains one of my favorite books and is always a go-to comfort read. 

 From the synopsis:

For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of bloody revolution.

For Commander Sam Vimes, it all feels horribly familiar. Caught on the roof of a very magical building during a storm, he’s found himself back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck. Living in the past is hard, especially when your time travel companion is a serial killer who knows where you live. But he must survive, because he has a job to do: track down the murderer and change the outcome of the rebellion.

The problem is: if he wins, he’s got no wife, no child, no future…

In writing about policemen Sam Vimes and John Keel back in 2002, Pratchett teaches us the difference between what is right and what is simply expeditious for the powers that be. He shows us the foolishness of mindlessly following orders and mindlessly following the rebellion, both.

In all honesty, This could have been written today, in the wake of the massive wave of police protests and the justifiable anger of Black Lives Matter. I only wish we here in Roundworld had a Sam Vimes to show us the way!

He even wrote "an old army song" for the rebels to sing. Beware, it is a soldier's song...

Click on the pic for a soldier's song...

And to all who wear the lilac and toast John Keel, it is my fervent wish you all rise up!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

More WIPs

 Sorry that it's been a bit since my last post! I've been busy with lots of things and there are only so many hours in the day!

I'm currently training myself on some new pottery forms. While Halloween ceramics are still undoubtedly my bread and butter, I'd like to make some more art pots so I can start submitting to international art shows, again. As the time my kiln is expected to arrive draws nearer, day by day, my desire to make new and beautiful art intensifies!

I'm taking the time to start carving porcelain, again, and I'm pushing myself to make larger pieces, too. Since my shoulder is still recovering from a nasty case of tendonitis, I'm learning to compensate and not over-stress the area so that I can continue to make new pots.

It'll be interesting to see how the larger piece turns out. Honestly, I'm just hoping it will survive my poking and prodding it into shape!

And I'm behind on Hallowe'en making, but I think I'll be able to catch up with it soon!


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Playing with Colors

I've been sketching out some new ideas with the intention of using them for my ceramics. A while back, I bought both watercolor markers and alcohol-based markers to putter around with. I'm not much of a sketch artist because I'm very rusty at sketching and drawing, let alone color and color blending. I know just enough to know that I'm out of practice!

Even knowing my current limitations, it's been fun! I've really enjoyed just playing, not worrying about developing a new, saleable, piece of work. I try to do them quickly, without thinking a whole lot about it. I find that I overthink my art if I let myself, so I try to let go of the spectre of making it "perfect," and just let  my imagination roam.

Of course, I do want to improve my technique, so I've started to watch beginner's videos on using Copic markers.

HOLY COW! I had no idea they were so damn expensive! And if you're a pro, you need to buy multiple sets to get the full color range of skin and metal and all the rest of it! I don't doubt that they're worth it, they're just a little north of what I need to spend.

Yeah, for now I'll stick with my little cheapie markers. I've got a new kiln coming, after all!

Meanwhile, I'll keep puttering around with my new little critters and see what they tell me about themselves, and where they take me!


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Beltane DIY

I admit it. I have got that Spring gardening fever going on this year! Maybe it's from a year of lock down. Maybe it's a natural part of my healing process. Who knows? All I know is the garden is calling me and telling me it needs a facelift! I decided to start with re-potting a favorite plant.

I brought some Kahili ginger back from the Big Island. It's horribly invasive, so it's been in a pot from the beginning, and I intend to keep it that way! Its blooms have a gorgeous scent, though, which is why I brought it back in the first place.

My dad potted it in one of the multitudes of terra cotta pots we have around, but I was never 100% happy with it. So I went hunting for a new pot and found one of those concrete-looking ones at Home Depot. I didn't like the color, but I did like the shape of it. It looked like it would be easy enough to change the color, so I ambled over to the paint aisle to find something suitable. Rust-oleum has those nifty "2X" colors, and I grabbed an aqua that I couldn't live without.

Yesterday morning, Grace and I were up early and I got everything set up to paint. I did a scuff sand on the pot, wiped it off with a damp cloth, and I was almost ready to go. I have a heavier-duty sculptor's "lazy susan," which I covered with newspaper before putting the pot on top. I hung an old sheet we use for a drop cloth up, creating a poor-man's spray booth, of sorts.

Of course, since it was after her breakfast and part of our morning routine, Grace had to bring me the ball for a good game of fetch, in between being my self-appointed paint supervisor! I swear, anything they absolutely and under no circumstances shouldn't get their noses into, is a sure-fire invitation to them to stick their noses into! It's like she knows there is no way I want her inhaling spray paint, so she's just going to come on over and try to, anyway.

Hence the distraction of the ball-tossing while trying to lay down a first coat of spray paint!

VoilĂ ! First coat done! That lazy susan really made it easy to keep the flow going nice and even.

I laid down the second coat when I got back home from work.

And the end result, while not immediately impressive, is still pretty good! I like the pop of color.

Dad says he's planning to re-do the outside of the house, so I'm holding off on any major plantings until that's done. I can't wait to see what happens.