Over the festive period I felt that I hadn't done much arting for a little while, so I put some effort into it. Now my brain seems to have entirely tuned itself in to visual stuff and I don't seem to be able to concentrate on writing! I am actually doing fairly well on concentrating on work for a change, though, so not all bad...
But it would be so nice to feel in charge of what my brain does instead of it just behaving like Rosie and randomly moving off in its own direction, towing me behind it without any real indication of why...
Also, I am getting to the end of my fully written, edited and beta-read chapters of Rexque Futurus, having just published Chapter 9 (and introduced Jormundgandr to begin the downfall of London). I have made some progress on the unfinished chapters 12-15, but I could really do with getting going on those now, otherwise I shall have to break my chapter-a-week streak, which would be sad.
Anyway, here's a fairly quick watercolour Celegorm & Huan in Valinor.
Suddenly the skies are clear and very blue, and the ground thick with frost in the mornings. The areas in the shade don't melt at all, so a lot of our Northern side of the hill is now covered in long sparkling crystals of ice over all the grass that get longer every freezing night.
But at mid-day on the river, it's beautiful. The sun as it touches the icy grass releases streams of mist that flow across the river from the shady to the sunny side, and the river at high tide was so still it was almost a mirror.
The Tavistock Group of Artists is having an 'American theme' this year for their summer exhibition, in honour of the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. This strikes me as excellent potential for a crossover with that American Diner on the A38 with the cactuses on each table that is plastered with pictures of James Dean and Coca Cola logos, but does not actually sell Coca Cola. I anticipate it being Extremely English and possibly somewhat Problematic.
Anyway, I was trying to think what to paint and started browsing Wikipedia for something Historical and encountered this horrible man, who packed off four small children onto the Mayflower as indentured servants because they were his wife's and her lovers, not his. No wonder the poor woman wanted anyone else. What a bastard.
In other news: I painted some nude elves. I consider nudity to be simply what everyone is wearing underneath, and there is nothing particularly sexual or adult to acknowleging that under clothes lies skin. But I know there are other opinions on this matter, so I put them on my website, here.
I have not been able to read my LJ friendslist for a couple of weeks, I just kept seeing a spinning loading screen icon in Chrome. Have finally got around to trying it in Firefox. It might be just me, surely even now, LJ would notice an issue as large as 'friends lists don't work in most popular available browser'.
I haven't finished my customary Christmas wood-carving, but it looks like it's going to be a weird Star Wars alien sort of thing, partly because that's what was hiding in this year's Christmas tree wood, and partly because we went to see Rise of Skywalker last week, and enjoyed it. We went to the 11pm showing, since that meant we could put Theo to bed in his crate and not feel guilty.
Christmas: we cooked a duck, and my mother and Pp's father came over and helped us eat it. A fabulous sunny day for a change, so the dogs got two walks: one with me and one later with me and my mum, whose ability to walk seems to be improving again after several years of hip and foot problems.
Mum bought the cats new catnip toys, and Gothmog and Nenya proceeded to indulge in them with great delight: they were drunk last night, and still drunk this morning! I think they've had enough now though, Gothmog is now fast asleep.
Boxing Day: the sun came out and the day looked promising, so we decided to take the dogs to the beach. This was optimistic of us. Shortly afterwards VERY wet. It was raining a little as we made our way down the long steep winding path to the open sands, raining more as we wandered past the cliffs, and at the point where we were coming down to the waves, it POURED so enthusiastically that the hounds were crying to go home.
Still, we made the effort and had a walk. Theo met piles of dogs (including a saluki who wanted to play with him, but she was too full-on and made him squeal for mercy. This is ironic, since I often have to stop him nipping Rosie's legs to encourage her to run.)
And! I am now dry again and warm with a glass of wine, mince-pies with clotted cream, and a new snuggly dressing-gown, and I think I shall do some writing.
Lots of Shop on the Borderlands orders are waiting to go out, (including several where people got gift vouchers for Christmas and couldn't wait to spend them!) but they can wait until tomorrow to be packed.
It's time to admit that I've pretty much failed on the Christmas card front this year. So, Merry virtual Christmas, a jolly Yule, Happy Hanukkah, a blessed solstice, or bottoms up, depending on what sort of winter celebration you prefer.
This has been a tough year for a lot of people I know, so I hope it doesn't seem too annoying when I say that for me personally, it's been a good one. I've managed to *mostly* escape gloom, let go of excessive stressing about things I can't change, accept that it's OK to focus energy rather than trying to do everything, and focus more on positives.
I hope it will be a better year next year for those who haven't been so lucky.
This time last year, I bought Pp an infra red camera so he could see the elusive, terrified, growling cat he had adopted.
This year, I have to be careful not to trip over the cat because now, Fankil greets us with joyful cries and insists on weaving closely around my legs and demanding cuddles, particularly first thing in the morning when I'm not very awake!
In other news, I did a re-paint of this old Christmas painting, using my New Skills:
Arguably it is a little cheesy, but I don't care, I like it.
I keep forgetting to take a camera on sunny days when walking the hounds. I really want to try to capture the eyeroll that Rosie gives when Theo bounces at her hopefully once they are both off-lead. If he's lucky, she then takes off at, maybe warp factor six - not TOO fast, and he follows excitedly at warp factor 1.5. He could probably manage warp factor 2 if he wasn't putting so much energy into yapping.
(Logo & text added digitally: I am not much good at hand-lettering!)
I'm still struggling with photographing stuff like this. The camera seems to be having difficulty with the difference between the pinky-orange background and the green of the orcs. I upped the contrast and reduced brightness, and that helped, but now the background books look more distinct and foregroundy than they should do, and the detail on the orc's arms look clumsy and less subtle than they should.... at least the miniatures and the big dice on the table looks about right. And I do like the orcs expressions.