Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tubing or Not Tubing

Believe it or not, one of the Reese Hazel family traditions is to play hooky together once a year. It all started when we ran out of money for grand vacations, but were still desperate to do something fun and cheap. So the day before school starts, we skip church, pack the suburban, drive three hours to San Marcos, have a picnic, and go tubing. At best count, this is at least the tenth year we've done this.

For a few years now, one or two of our daughters would drive in from Austin to join us. Some years we smoke cigars while we float. Some years friends join us. There's nothing particularly noteworthy about floating down a river.... it's just pleasant. The water is cold. The day is hot. The conversation is lazy. We give ourselves one last day to fully embrace everything about a hot Texas summer.

After floating a few hours, we have a snack, pack up, and head home. It's always a relaxing way to spend the time before the urgency of the calendar that inevitably starts each school year.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fill in the Gaps

It's finally happening! The mosaic table top that I began two years ago is this close to being finished. It will be such a relief to be done with it. All but one corner is set, and beyond that, all that's left is to fill in the gaps.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Not Spilling the Beans

It's not possible or practical to write (on this blog) about every little detail that happens around here that relates to art. If that were the case, gentle reader, you could be, no, would be bored to tears. One particular heretofore unwritten about opportunity that has been a huge part of my summer is a commission. But alas, it's a surprise for someone else's loved one, and therefore, out of courtesy to the client, has been off-limits as a blog topic. I didn't want to spill the beans if this particular person was a blog reader...or if someone recognized the subject in the painting and innocently mentioned it to said loved one....way too may variables. It has been one of those projects that has been worked and re-worked through times of elation and frustration. It had gotten to the point where I wanted to start over from scratch. The Amazing Reese encouraged me to keep at it. He reminded me of other paintings that I had wanted to chuck out the window, but with perseverance turned into happily completed paintings. With Reese's gentle persuasion, I painted and painted and painted. As of this afternoon, I'm VERY happy with the completed painting and am certain the client will be, too. Some day soon, when the time is right I'll share a photograph of it....but not yet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Painted Sketch

This was an exercise to see if I could re-create with paints what I do when sketching with grey scale pastels. It's quite different. In order to not be tempted to add color, I painted one of my small indoor concrete statues. What I stupidly did not anticipate was the way oil paints cover the surface. With pastels, one can move, erase, smudge, add, and manipulate to continue to alter the drawing until it is what one wants to portray. If one does all that mixing with oil paints, one ends up with a big messy muddy mess. So this painting, even though it looks like a sketch, took several sessions to complete, because I had to let it dry between painting, in order for it not to be a muddy mess. It's 8" x 10" painted on a prepared linen canvas, which mostly means that I had painted the orange red background and let it dry before beginning the painting.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

First Cousin Twice Removed

"Drop anchor!" said my friend, John.

We've been away from here for a couple of weeks. While it's nice to be back home in Houston, it was great to see sister, brother, in laws, nieces, nephew, and various 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cousins while celebrating Papa's 70th birthday in Mississippi. One of the highlights of this trip was when Erin was able to identify her 1st cousin once removed, or maybe it was my 2nd cousin once removed or her 1st cousin twice removed. Whatever it was, she got it right, I whooped, high-fived her, and a small victory dance ensued.

This is a photo of some 9th and 10th generation of Heidelberg cousins after several cousin families had left the small "Heidelberg" celebration. We missed the Heidelberg family reunion this year, so it was terrific that so many came to visit while we were in Jackson.

On a sad note, my glasses are nowhere to be found. Naming this blog Finding My Glasses was a play on words -- my glasses are oft misplaced, and these artistic pursuits are a fresh new vision (of mine) being applied to linen canvas. This time, however, I'm pretty sure that my eye glasses were left in a pew at First Pres after church on Sunday.


Reese and I went back to church Sunday afternoon to find my glasses with no success. Reese is still hoping that they will be found in the car or in some luggage....we'll see.