Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wildflower Season

Here's a couple pictures we took at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center:

I was hoping for sweeping fields of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush - I didn't quiet get that since this year's only an 'average' wildflower years as opposed to a 'spectacular' year, but even so, it was a nice place to visit. It's quite an attractive facility and even features a rain collection system that stores something like 10,000 gallons - very eco-friendly. So, I am still on the hunt for sweeping fields of bluebonnets. I hear the best spots are often to be found alongside highways.

After I caught up listening to the entire archive of "This American Life" over the last year or so, I started listening to the archives of "Speaking of Faith" which I'd occasionally hear on public radio in LA. They don't seem to play it here in Austin... But I just listened to this one a couple days ago and it is just so good I thought I'd share. If you're looking for something moving, here ya go:

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Harpist

Seems I'm not yet finished with my long hair kick or maybe, rather, it isn't finished with me. This sketch is somewhat vaguely inspired by some Japanese fairy-tales I was reading not long ago:I think this is going to be an experiment in style and technique. I'm thinking I'd like to ink the line work, paint it in watered-down acrylic for more of a watercolor look and then slap in some brighter, more opaque color in the sky and flowers. Might be tricky... It's hovering between two styles in my mind's eye and I'm not entirely sure how to approach it yet. We shall see how it turns out...

We intended to hike a 2.5 mile trail last weekend, but it somehow, magically turned into nine miles! We started out at Barton Creek - South Gus Fruh Park and ended up somewhere far, far away. The trails followed along both sides of a broad, dry creek-bed (looked wide enough to be a river to me!) We were pretty tired when we hit the half-way point and completely worn out by the end of the hike.

Wildflower season is nearly upon us and I am so looking forward to it! I hear the bluebonnets are quite a sight to behold. Now I just have to find all the bluebonnet fields!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Crane's Captive Revisited

My, oh my - seems I've been a bit neglectful updating here. Has it been a month already? Well, I haven't loads of news or anything, just the usual weekend hiking and, oh yes, a finished painting. It's been more or less finished for some time, but I've been picking at the details on and off for a while and therefore stalled in posting it online:The major problem I see with this one is in the closeness of value between the girl's face and the background. They just kind of blend together when the image is small, but it's actually looking a bit better since I added a touch for color to her pale face. This was a nice, relatively quick piece for me since I managed to leave the backgrounds very washy and really only build up the paint on the characters. The scan here is looking a bit warmer than the original for some reason. The original's just a bit cooler in the grays.

I am still debating whether this piece can be a print or not since it's a rather unusual size. Maybe a magnet or sticker... Well, either way, that will have to wait until our new computer is 100% up and running! Yes, we have a new computer! We decided it was time to replace our ancient seven-year old machine after many blue-screens-of-death, full scratch disks, and myriad other bizarre behavior. "Hobbes," the computer, still clunking along even today, was a loyal machine for a long time and will enjoy a quiet retirement in our closet.

Chris has been itching for a trail with ruins and 'urban decay' these days, so last weekend we trekked over t0 Balcones Park which is a green space that runs behind and between apartment and office buildings. Hopefully his urban decay cravings were satiated with the several bridges, tunnels, and battered concrete paths we came across in the park:

There was a nicely designed path starting at one of the office buildings and trailing off into the forest to join up with the rougher paths. Seems like it'd be such a lovely way to go to work - trekking through the forest!

Well, I think I'd best be off. The plants need watering, the laundry needs put away, and my husband will soon need picked up from work!