Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Post-Holiday Post

I hope the New Year's finding everyone well and that you all had a relaxing holiday season. I'm just beginning to settle back down into something of an art-routine after a pretty busy holiday season. We spent the week of Christmas in Winslow, AZ with husband's family. Since changing our plane tickets was ridiculously expensive, we ended up making the fifteen hour drive (straight through on the way there!) . As much as I'm not one for long car-trips, I do enjoy the change of scenery and seeing parts of the country that I'd otherwise never see. There's something strangely reassuring about seeing vast undeveloped tracts of land - it's nice to know that not everywhere has been paved over and built into mini-malls! Our visits to Arizona are always so relaxing. I usually manage to get in some solid chunks of reading - this year it was Urchin of the Riding Stars - Book #1 of The Mistmantle Chronicles. I'd picked it up mostly for Omar Rayyan's illustrations, but I enjoyed the story too.

Toward the end of the week we drove over to Jerome, AZ which has got to be one of my favorite places to visit. It's a tiny town situated along a switchbacking road on the side of a low mountain overlooking a wide, open valley. The town consists of this odd mix of boutique shopping and crumbling, decrepit buildings. I guess back in the day it was a booming copper-mining town. I think the mine is still there, but no longer active. Now it's a tourist attraction. The first time we visited several years ago, we spent the day just roaming around taking pictures. This time, I decided to check out the shops while Chris hijacked the camera and shot reference photos for his work. If you ever make it over to northern Arizona, check it out. It's such a truly unique place.

Shortly after we came back to Austin, my parents came to town to visit. It gave us a good opportunity to check out some of the local attractions since we still haven't done much around here since arriving from LA. Unfortunately, everyone was sick at one point or another during their visit, so we had to keep our activities low-key. We did manage to visit a couple museums and walk along the river. All in all, it was a very relaxing holiday season.

I have a traditional painting in progress right now and otherwise not much to show, but I'll post this little digital piece that I whipped up the other day:

This isn't too far off from what my usual color studies look like, although my color studies are even sloppier than this piece. I saw some trees on my drive to church the other day and noticed how extremely dark the shadow was under the trees and how bright the grass was comparatively. So, this little painting was my attempt to capture that image before I forgot all about it. Can't say I'm too thrilled with it - the color throughout is just not very unified, but it was a quicky - another minor effort to get a little more comfortable with digital media.

Oh! And I finally picked up the last Harry Potter - I know, everybody's already read it but me. I've just barely started, but just like the ad campaign, I can't help but wonder - friend or foe? Friend or Foe?!