01 September 2015

Creative Ventures

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been in creative mode, since we've moved into the new house. Sometimes, I've even allowed that urge to take precedence over getting things unpacked, organized, put away, etc. Should I be chagrined about that?

Surprisingly (to me, anyway), much of this creativity has come out in paint. I've never been much of a painter, but it seems to be something I do these days. Part of the problem is that I can see what I want something to look like, but I don't have the technique down to get that out of my head and onto whatever it is I'm painting.

Now, I have not been exclusively paint-bound, but it has accounted for the majority of what I've done, lately. I've painted concrete, canvas, fabric, and paper. I'll show you a few of the things. Please pardon the cell-phone pictures. I don't have a good lighting/photography setup in the new house, yet. None of it is great, but there are some bits and pieces that I'm pretty proud of. It'll take some time for me to be proficient enough to do this well, though.
The first two projects were before we moved into the new house. My mom needed her paper towel holder repaired and repainted, which I did, though I didn't take a picture of it. And my aunt was getting rid of a concrete garden frog that she no longer wanted.

I took him off her hands, and took him home. He was just bare concrete, and I didn't take any before or during pictures. Wish I had, now. I had originally used some yellow paint that couldn't stand up to the elements, and it washed off the first time he got wet. I have since redone his belly (much better) with the proper type of paint, and he's clear coated and everything. He lives on my front porch and greets visitors with his big grin.

I was surprised to be invited to join a friend of mine at her painting class, on 6/30. When I got there, I found out that it was watercolor painting, which, elementary school aside, I've not done. I didn't have any supplies with me, or for that matter at all. Except paint brushes. I have tons of cheap paint brushes that I've bought over the years for various craft projects. At the class, my friend handed me some supplies, pointed me toward a stack of "inspiration" pictures, and told me to get started. That was very humorous to me, since I had no clue what I was doing. But, I did as I was told, and wound up with something that, while not great, I'm not too ashamed of.

I think someone said these are plumeria. Is that right?
Not too lousy for a first attempt at a new medium
without any instruction, eh?
I'm continuing to attend the painting group with my friend, and I'm working on quite a few other things at home, too.

Since my handsome husband and I are both nerds, I have been trying to figure out how to add elements of the nerdtastic to our home decor. Our lovely new abode is a 105-year-old stately old lady of a home. I truly want to do her justice, and therefore I am feeling somewhat torn between keeping everything true to her era origins and the reality of the fact that houses change to accommodate the years. Fortunately for me (and her), she feels like the sort of house that morphs into what her family needs her to be. She's not SO Victorian that it seems impudent to do anything non-Victorian. She's not fancy, but she is stately.

Another watercolor attempt. 
Due to the alterations to our budget, both by my layoff and by virtue of the move, I am doing my best to not purchase decor for our house. That leaves me three options. The first is to not decorate, leaving holes for things I can purchase as I budget accordingly. The second is to make do with what I have and pretend that it's fine. The third is to make, preferably with supplies I already have, anything I need to use as decor. Truthfully, I'm doing all three. There are things that I'm leaving holes for, until I have them made or bought. I am making do with what I have (read as "no new furniture or shopping sprees"), though not pretending that it's fine. And I am creating. Oh, so much creating. :)

One of the things I've done lately was to paint a few nerdy items to add to our decor. Still to come on the nerd-front are some needlepoint/embroidery pieces, which feel era-appropriate to me, while still making space for my inner geekdom. Smile.

I have long planned to do a post about fandoms and creativity and how that intersects with faith, specifically Christianity and the Judeo-Christian God. Hold tight on that. I will get to it. It might go on Choosing Holiness instead of here, but I will write it. I am writing it. It's just not finished yet.

My nod to the TARDIS. Attempted
watercolor on canvas. Not great.
Not horrible. 
Anyhoo, we are participants in multiple fandoms, as well as being Christians. Some of them are Firefly/Serenity, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Discworld (me), Star Wars (my husband), Stargate, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, Narnia, Sherlock, etc. So, it's only natural that some of these things creep into our surroundings. They make us smile (and cry and scream and sigh and laugh and stuff...), and they point us back to our infinitely creative God in their own ways.

I have started several projects, not pictured here, and have planned several others in great detail. But these two I did before I learned enough about watercolor to know that I couldn't do them. Well, at least not the way that I went about them. Heh heh. Funny how things get done when you don't know that they can't be done. Now, admittedly, there are things that I could have done to make them turn out better, had I some of the technique information that is now at my disposal, but for creating out of sheer ignorance, I'm not too upset. I will probably either do some more work on or entirely redo the TARDIS picture at some point in the near future. I wasn't thrilled about how the sky under the clouds turned out, and that's one of those technique things that might turn out better if I knew what I was doing.

This little dragon is from the Discworld series (by Sir Terry Pratchett). His name is Errol, and his original artist is Paul Kidby, who is the official artist for Sir Terry's work. My apologies to Mr. Kidby, but I love his artwork and this is one of those "sincerest form of flattery" things. I'm pleased with how this one turned out. Kidby has done some really great Discworld art, and there are many pieces that I'd like to use for practice in developing this skill set. Now all I need to do is some sort of protective clear coat to prevent Errol from being damaged.

I'll prepare some other posts for some of the other projects I've been doing. Right now, my Pinterest boards are burgeoning with ideas for various things, for my home, to develop talents and skills, and to figure out how to make some additional income. (More on the income topic is coming soon, too. See? I told you my brain is bristling with blog post plans...)

Much love,

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