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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Medley of Thoughts Played in My Head

After setting up the tripod and camera and shooting a few self portrait shots while drinking my morning coffee, a medley of thoughts played in my head as I warmed up my drawing hand using one of the shots:

One: I hate those scrambled words I have to fill in to prove I am not a robot when I leave a comments. They are turning me off. I like to visit everybody I'm following and it's seldom I don't have anything to say. But writing the comment,then scrolling down to those scrambled words, guessing what they are, hoping I guessed right and then scrolling down to publish are wearing me out. Is all of this necessary? I don't like the fact that I can't get around to everybody who has posted recently. If I'm going to follow, I want to follow easily.

Two: Strathmore Charcoal paper demands accurate drawing from the get go. Mistakes don't lift up entirely with my knead eraser. My goofs will be visible. I know it's just a practice drawing, but the paper is too expensive not to behave well with the medium it's intended for.

Three: If that's the way Strathmore paper is going to behave, I'm going to have to look for other manufacturers. --Maybe it's the kind of charcoal I'm using? Maybe I have to practice more contour drawing? Maybe.

Four: my patron is coming to see the painting this weekend. It's looking good. I'm going to push it. I'd liked to be finished by then--but I'm still going to keep it here to dry. I have to review opinions on varnishing. I think a varnish finish coat is a good idea--to protect the painting from exposure and the paint from fading or yellowing--no gloss though. Semi gloss.

Five: I must get a mahl stick AND a Silicoil brush cleaning jar. I don't need any solvent. After my closing date... along with some acrylics...I have to get out there and sell stuff just to pay for the supplies I'e been buying. --If that woman asks me one more time what I'm going to do with all these paintings, POW right in the kisser Alice!

Six: My right arm looks concave. The hell with it. Publish. Go have lunch.

ADDENDUM: I think I've turned off the WV setting. Will someone tell me if I did please.


  1. haha---LW, what woman is asking that?

    Nice self portrait! I was just told the other day that I have NEVER turned down a cup of coffee. I guess that is true. Is that coffee in your cup?

    There is a way to turn off the scrambled words. You have them on your blog too. Are they on mine? I THINK I removed them.

    My ex h's brother was President of Strathmore for many years! (now retired) Strathmore used to be very accessible. I don't know if they still are. Email them!
    Ask them anything. I bet they answer.

    Happy lunch!

  2. LW (and anyone else who wants to turn off the word verification):

    You can turn off the word verification from your dashboard.

    1. Go to your dashboard:
    2. Click "Settings"
    3. Click "Comments" in the Settings submenu (there is also a tab named "Comments" but that is the WRONG place).
    4. Scroll down to where it says "Show word verification for comments?" and click on the "No" radio button.
    5. Scroll down and click the "SAVE SETTINGS" button.

  3. THANK YOU CASEY, CELESTE! After I left your place Celeste I did just that. Then added an addendum for the next person who comments to tell me if it worked. Casey was and did. I am thrilled. I never realized I was an offender. NOW IF WE COULD ONLY SHARE THIS WITH OTHERS.

    Thanks Casey. I'm afraid I'm going to bore everybody to death doing pics of myself till I can get a likeness in less than an hour. On this paper I bought, it looks like I'll be using my white pastel when the knead doesn't lift enough. I've always relied on the ability to add highlights by subtraction.

  4. (I love lists too) #1 I'll check on the WV setting in a sec.
    #2 Your charcoal drawing is a work of art in itself! It's awesome!
    #3 Yes, experiment with your papers, that's fun to do sometimes. It always brings new suprises as to what effects you can get.
    #4 Funny, I saw a post about varnishing on facebook just now! In the Oil Painter group.
    #5 You're so funny! I never used the mahl stick, but I have a 'steadystick' from Dickblick. And about the woman's question... I'm laughing out loud here because people say that to me too!
    #6 If your arm being concave is your worst body worry, you are in good shape!
    #7 Thank you for a delightful post!

  5. Thanks Kathryn. Did you know that Amazon has mahlsticks and silicoil jars. Their prices seem to be a bit cheaper. Then I was in the best art supply store in town--about a half hours drive from me so not a run in--and their prices were a lot less than Dick Blick's. Blick wanted 26 bucks for a studio tube of yellow ocre--not exactly an exotic color--while my art supply store wanted sixteen. Online shopping maybe like Art Van, the furniture store that killed off all of their competitors?

    I'm sorry you have people who say that to you. That "friend" annoys the hell out of me. All she does everyday is go from mahjong to bridge to canasta. How does that leave the world in a better place I ask you?

  6. Fantastic self portrait, and by the looks of your photo, a good resemblance! More importantly, lots of character.
    Happy Painting.

  7. Fantastic self portrait, and by the looks of your photo, a good resemblance! More importantly, lots of character.
    Happy Painting.

  8. Funny post and I love the self-portrait.

    I have two silicoil brush jars--now I don't know what to do with the stuff in the bottoms. I don't want to pour it in my yard and don't want to put it down the drains. (I'll just have to get another jar).

    I hope I don't have word verification on my blog. I think I removed it a while back. At any rate I can't find it under Dashboard>Settings>Comments.

  9. I've just turned mine off as well - maybe there'll be more comments now!

  10. Thanks Nora. With the exception of my country western doo, it is a pretty good likeness. I was a bit thrown by the paper though. I'm used to doing charcoal on newsprint OMG. I thought I'd treat myself to some of the good stuff. Well it was either too good or too bad. Not being able to lift errors when you're pron to making a lot of them, as you learn the strategic points and planes, isn't good in my book--It wasn't my grade of charcoal either. I'll keep trying or go back to newsprint. I've got a drawing I did when I was seventeen on newsprint as intact now as it was fifty four years ago OMG.

  11. I DO enjoy you posts, linda! :) And I must try that tactic C. mentioned in your comment.
    Happy charcoaling!!!

  12. Hallie--first I hope everything is going well with you and your honey. Now what to do with the gunk in the bottom of the jar. When I had one years ago, I wiped it out with toweling and just trow it in the trash. Now that we're in the green age, I'm going to wipe it out and put it in a coffee container. I've read that all oil paints--and I think acrylics too for they do nothing good for our plumbing--that we want to discard should be contained. Makes sense to me as long as the receptacle doesn't deteriorate in a land fill. Plastic. from what's read, doesn't deteriorate.

  13. I hope so Carol. Thanks for following. I will reciprocate and comment,I promise. Comments are the most enjoyable part of blogging. I get excited when I see them and often commenters suggest things to me in between the lines. Blogging is the form of social networking I prefer.

  14. Thanks Kathryn. Charcoal is a wonderful medium for working our the quirks. It's a medium that allows mistakes and corrections so naturally you want the paper to be compatible. Did you get that Mr. Strathmore?

  15. A comment regarding the oil paint sludge - I spread out some newspaper, add a good heap of kitty litter. I then pour on the paint sludge. If you mix it around a bit the litter absorbs the sludge and makes a disposable parcel.

  16. Carol, I take it you have cats? Hopefully Hallie does too. I do not--nor will I anytime too soon I hope. After our dog died, my Honey wants nothing else in the house to take care of but us.