Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kitten Spots

I'm currently resurrecting a number of decade-old spot illustrations based on my kitten logo that I had intended to use as a sort of branding - on letterheads, business cards, invoices, etc. Here are two of them:I'd even started paintings for all of them, but got sidetracked by other work at the time and never came back to them. I probably won't use them for their original purpose, but I thought they might make for some more good digital practice.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Escape to the North

Finding that last summer's 'escape to the north' vacation worked well to disrupt our protracted Texas summers, we repeated the venture again this year, this time visiting New England. Unfortunately, we were met by a number of less than ideal circumstances - I contracted some kind of illness almost immediately upon our arrival and Hurricane Irene was on the approach.

We spent a very long first day making up for all the hiking we didn't get to do this summer - first at Flume Gorge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Following lunch we started hike #2 on Falling Waters Trail, intending to climb all the way to the summit of Little Haystack Mountain. We thought surely this would be no problem at all as the trail was only 3.25 miles one way. I knew it was a steep mountain just from reading about it, so I must have been deluding myself that the trail would gently meander it's way up the mountain. I was wrong. It was 3.25 miles of up. Boulders, stairs, crossing streams here and there. It was beautiful - just what we've been missing out on in Dallas, but it was too strenuous for us out-of-shape, currently non-hiking hikers and we decided to give up after learning from several descending hikers that after about two and a half hours on the trail we still had an hour of up to go before reaching the summit. Even so, we enjoyed several gorgeous waterfalls along the way. I think this one's called "Cloudland Falls:"Having a little bit a daylight left and suffering the disappointment that we didn't get to enjoy a view from the top, we cheated our way to the top of a different mountain by way of the aerial tram on Cannon Mountain. We had a nice view of Echo Lake from the tram:And a nice view of a black bear too!Hurricane Irene, turned tropical storm, did ruin our plans to spend a day in Cape Cod where I'd hoped to capture some good beach reference for my "Sand Lion" painting (see previous post), but we did manage to drive through the blustery wind and rain to Plymouth, MA. Being near the coast, we were really lucky to miss out on the worst of the storm. I know a lot of people were not so lucky and I hope they're recovering well from the damage... Our day in Plymouth was aimless and relaxing. The power had gone out mid-day, so we weren't the only ones out wandering around the waterfront in the wind and spitting rain.It seemed so fitting that the night we spent in the oldest town in New England happened to be completely blacked out. We spent a candlelit evening in a house built in 1782 and even enjoyed an impromptu ghost-tour of some nearby houses led by a friendly neighbor.

We briefly visited both Boston and Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA before finishing our vacation in Newport, Rhode Island where we visited six of the impressive Newport Mansions and finished out the day strolling along Cliff Walk.Our vacations always seem to be a bit more busy than relaxing, but we can always say we're never bored! It was great to get away for a short time, but it was also good to come home (despite all my complaining about the heat!). Hopefully some of those pleasant New England temperatures (and rain) will follow us here soon!