Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Black Widow

Yep, this was found in my parent's garage. My dad caught it with tweezers and put it in this small jar. I think it's a baby-food jar. That gives you some perspective.

She's looking at you!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Artist's Diary

This summer I was completely flattered when a friend of mine actually requested that I paint her something. She had seen some of my amateur art pieces around my house, expressed her love for them and her desire for one of her own.

As if that wasn't enough flattery, she also insisted on paying me to do it. My first artist job. I have to say, it was pretty fun. Blog-worthy, even.

Thus commences the tale of my journey toward artistic masterpiece for my dear friend, Kim.

Before I began to actually paint:
  • I sent Kim a few verses that could be written half on one canvas and half on the other. She chose Psalm 139:13, one of my favorites.
  • I decided to paint sunflowers because they are happy. I wanted to avoid the 2-dimensional, unidentifiable flower as seen above. I researched what sunflowers look like and took out the paint.

Step 1
(left): Paint a base for depth. My oil paint set came with an amber shade that does the trick quite well. Zane's friend saw it and thought it looked good enough to leave amber. I was flattered.

Step 2
(right): Paint the background. I usually paint the foreground first, fun part. Then I get frustrated and hastily paint a background.

Step 3
(left): Start on the foreground. I enjoyed painting the petals. I told Zane which petal was my favorite, but now I can't remember.

Step 4
(right): Add a center on to the sunflower. It was hard to make that brown color. I kept trying to get the center of the left flower to coordinate with the green on the right flower.

Step 5:
Lastly, I added some dimension to the center of the left flower and adjusted that green on the left to match a little better. I added the words, which was probably the most stressful part.

Once as a senior in high school, I painted a cut-out of cartoon character, Howdy Doody. I painted his name Hodwy Doody, and no one noticed except a freshman. I felt lame. I took my time with the words on this one.

Thanks for joining me as I relived my adventure in painting! I saw major improvement between this painting and the one that compelled Kim to ask me to do this.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New York, New York! in upstate New York.

For those who aren't aware, I'm a lover of travel. I dream of traveling to far off places and many of my favorite movies involve distant journeys and adventures. Once Zane and I save up some travel money, we'll start checking off the international list. For now, we go stateside.

This summer it was upstate New York. The, uh, Binghamton, Endicott, Newark Valley, Maine, Whitney Point, Vestal area.

I realized there are two different types of travel. The first type involves visiting tourist attractions. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Empire State Building, Largest Ball of Twine, etc.

The second involves nature, escaping your reality to go into a beautifully different climate. Yellowstone, Niagra Falls, Grand Canyon. Sometimes nature attracts tourists, but the focus is God's creation, not man's.

We visited upstate New York primarily to visit family. It was lovely to see them and even meet some relatives for the first time. Plus, the outdoor experience along the way was delightful. We discovered tiger-lilies (top right), hidden pathways (top left), and country cemeteries (right). Small adventures make daily life fun.

Okay, so the "hidden pathway" was actually just a mowed stretch of my aunt's lawn. Still looks pretty mysterious. Could it lead to the secret garden? Or the Quileute camp? Where do you think it leads?