Autumn in the wet

Just a quickie here, as I’ve been so very busy and not feeling quite up to par this past week.

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Autumn Wet-3 WM

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Autumn Wet-4 WM

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It’s been a very long six days…

…since I last posted, and I’d like to fill you in on things.

Last Friday, my doctor found I was suffering from hypertension and prescribed an ‘add-on’ pill to the BP pill I already take.

In addition, the pain medication I have been taking hasn’t been working well, so a new med was prescribed, as the rise in blood pressure is aggravated by constant pain.

When I arrived home, I took one of these as prescribed, and began to feel ‘loopy’, then spent Saturday and Sunday taking it easy (watching reruns of “Inspector Morse” on Hulu!) so my body could adjust to taking only half a pill at a time.

Then came Monday.

I’ve been going to bed between 9 and 10 PM, always reading for a while–but waking three or four hours later…sleeping in shifts is not something I enjoy, nor is it healthy!

So I returned to bed around 5 AM, woke at about 8:30, and quickly found the horrific events going on in Washington, D. C., which kept me riveted to the screen most of the day.

I used to live in Alexandria VA, just across the Potomac River, and knew D. C. quite well then, even after all the changes in the city.

I also had a son who was US Navy, so you can understand my interest in the situation there.

Another night of sleeping in shifts followed, but the pain was almost absent, so to take my mind off things, I began the very arduous task of priming my ugly kitchen walls.

It's a rather small galley-type kitchen, and with the appliances pulled out, there's still not a lot of space to maneuver. Oh, and it wasn't 'dirty yellow'...that comes from an additive to the gas(you should see my oven interior--within a week after a thorough cleaning, the same 'dirty yellow' is inside, which really can't be very healthy, can it?

It’s a rather small galley-type kitchen, and with the appliances pulled out, there’s still not a lot of space to maneuver.
Oh, and it wasn’t ‘dirty yellow’…that comes from an additive to the gas (you should see my oven interior–within a week after a thorough cleaning, the same ‘dirty yellow’ is inside, which really can’t be very healthy, can it?).

Five hours later, the kitchen walls and ceiling were finally finished…

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I took this shot Wednesday morning, before continuing climbing up and down to prime the ceiling area above my dinner table and little 'office area' where my computer/scanner/printer is located. More moving furniture back and forth really did me in--but everything looks great and is ready for the final coat!

I took this shot Wednesday morning, before continuing climbing up and down to prime the ceiling area above my dinner table and little ‘office area’ where my computer/scanner/printer is located.
More moving furniture back and forth really did me in–but everything looks great and is ready for the final coat!

Today, I had an appointment and some shopping to do–so of course, it was heavily raining!

Last night, there was an awful lot of lightning and thunder, but here there was very little rain, unlike further south in the city, where underpasses were flooded, cars were stalled, and a young sewer worker was washed away while working underground (I’m unsure if he’s been found at this point, but it’s another sadness to add to a very sad week).

I did manage to get some shots from my window of a few glorious sunsets, which I finally had time to work on today.

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Stormy Sunsets-3

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Stormy Sunsets-2

Soooo…that was my week, and although I’m tired and a bit achy, I’ll probably be able to finish the kitchen tomorrow, if I can just get a full night’s continuous sleep!

Any of you who have done your own painting know the upheaval necessary, and I’ll be very thrilled to put my ‘NEW’ kitchen back in order over the weekend–that’s the way it has to be for this old gal!

“A place for everything, and everything in its place!”

The cloud formations…

…from Friday evening’s storm were exceptional.

Thankfully, there were no tornadoes, as these mammato-cumulus clouds are frequently accompanied by one or two!

30AUG2013 Storm-3

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30AUG2013 Storm-4

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30AUG2013 Storm-6

Regretfully, I never seem to be able to capture the lightning!

 

Last night…

…this wondrous storm came rolling in slowly from the west.

21JUL2013 Storm NW

You can see a heavy rain falling at lower camera right, such a heavy rain that the view of downtown Evanston was almost not there at all!

21JUL2013 Storm N Downtown Evanston

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Many of you know I am also a painter, and I have been spending some amount of time in the studio, working on a project dedicated to my deceased younger son.

I’ve had his business card for all these seventeen years, and needed to do something with the Chinese characters which translate to:

Gold(en)

Silent

Man

Its progress was interrupted last year by my nine days in the hospital and a fairly long recuperation time.

Recently, I pulled it out, and struggled to find a ‘good’ direction…of course, it’s not finished yet, as I have many other projects going on, but I feel you’ll get the idea?

The border was taped off, then stippled in with a mixture of regular joint compound mixed with flexible white glue (SOBO brand), a combination I've used for many years, beginning way back when I was a Scenic Artist.

The border was taped off, then stippled in with a mixture of regular joint compound mixed with flexible white glue (SOBO brand), a combination I’ve used for many years, beginning way back when I was a Scenic Artist.

The characters are painted in a pointillistic manner with Liquitex Deep Hooker’s Green Heavy Body acrylic…it took four passes to get this texture.

The border was then given several coats of acrylic polyurethane, which, while still wet, I sifted some variegated gold leaf pieces over.

The border was then given several coats of acrylic polyurethane, onto which, while still wet, I sifted some variegated gold leaf pieces.

I then carefully washed with a thin Venetian red, but still was not getting what I wanted to see…so I brushed on an oil-based deep gold, then sponged it off–NOW I was getting somewhere!

The last step (I hope!) will be washing in shadows along each edge of the border in the Deep Hooker's Green...I may or may not also add a drop shadow of the same to the characters.

The last step (I hope!) will be washing in shadows along each edge of the border in the Deep Hooker’s Green…I may or may not also add a drop shadow of the same to the characters, which need a bit of touch-up…and possibly add a bit more selectively-placed gold leaf to the border.

Here’s the entire 12″ x 16″ work in its current state:

I know my dear friend Ng Tom in Hong Kong has been patiently waiting to see this ouevre...it shall be finished soon, Tom, and of course I'll post it, completely framed!

I know my dear friend Ng Tom in Hong Kong has been patiently waiting to see this ouevre…it shall be finished soon, Tom, and of course I’ll post it, completely framed!

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You might also want to visit Tom’s blog, that’s how I see the world, just to understand a bit more of the beauty in Hong Kong.

It’s been a week of storms…

…and hot weather here, with some beautiful images taken from my windows.

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Stormy Weather-3

There have been some wondrous sunsets…

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…and I managed to capture a beauty of a beginning twilight.

26JUN2013 Twilight 832 PM

I’ve been extremely busy trying to get mundane things done during this steamy weather…it tires me so that I must lay down for a short nap in the afternoons, then awake groggily only to try and sleep again a few hours later.

Sleeping in ‘shifts’ is not my forte!

In addition, we had a power outage late Wednesday afternoon for about an hour and a half, which gave me the opportunity to walk over to the next street and see how the apricot-colored Lilies were coming along.

Here are a few…you be the judge!

Of course, I had to apply some of Photoshop's filters...this is Watercolor.

Of course, I had to apply some of Photoshop’s filters…this is Watercolor.

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Poster Edges

Poster Edges

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Fresco

Fresco

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Vertical Grain

Vertical Grain

Sumi-e

Sumi-e

Shooting these helped bring me out of my ‘funk’, and after working it, the last image will become a 24″ x 30″ painting!

Yesterday’s ‘first day of Summer’ weather…

…was a bummer!

Look closely at these two images, taken at 1:20 PM (CDT), and you’ll see how the rains distorted the Farcroft building a block and a half to the north.

No Photoshopping here, it was just that dark and gloomy!

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Looking down to the parking lot wasn’t very inspiring either!

Window-5 125 PM

I’ve been feeling in a kind of funk the past few days, so I went out earlier and walked over to the lake.

Boring!

I did find a few flowers along the way, which need to be processed–ho hum, more flower shots!

Then I captured an image which best-describes my mood:

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Perfect!

A reflection in a puddle…nice and dark and dreary!

I think I’ll slow down a bit, and post every other day or so…until the adrenaline begins to flow again!

After last evening’s glorious sunset…

...the temperature, which had been around 88 degrees F., had suddenly dropped over thirty degrees!

…the temperature, which had been around 88 degrees F., had suddenly dropped over thirty degrees!

 

This morning, it was 55 degrees F. at hal past 5:00 AM, when I awoke to rain, fog, and a chilling north wind!

This morning, it was 55 degrees F. at half past 5:00 AM, when I awoke to rain, fog, and a chilling north wind!

 

Breakfast time, and what better way to ward off the chill than a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal, with fresh blueberries and a good-sized dollop of Greek yogurt!

Breakfast time, and what better way to ward off the chill than a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal, with fresh blueberries and a good-sized dollop of Greek yogurt!

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I hope your weather is greater than this, a typical June day here in Chicago!