At least I’ve been drawing.

This was supposed to be Film, Part 2 so I could show you the photos I took on our trip to FL. But then I hit a hitch: Ritz Cameras mangled my 2nd roll. Yup, you heard that right…the first 10 or 12 are okay, and then they get progressively grainier and grainier before screeching to a halt somewhere in Texas (a quick look at the negatives reveals that this is because all of the photos after that are completely black). And I never really liked the way the ‘good’ ones turned out either because the grain is all weird. So anyhow, I’m spreading the word: don’t trust Ritz with your film! Especially not film from a can’t-afford-to-repeat-it experience. Because you will feel very, very angry at the poor guy at the counter, even though it’s not his fault that some moron at the Development Lab cannot even load a machine properly.

But hey, at least they don’t charge you and will ruin your stuff for free.

End rant.

(I will scan the better photos, but only after I can look at the ruined ones with forgiveness in my heart.)

My backup plan was to post pics I took last week of our mostly-finished living room, but then I got the urge to rearrange everything on the wall so it doesn’t really look like the photos anymore. Sigh. I really need to just find an art arrangement I like and then stick with it. I have spackled a lot of nail holes this week.

Fortunately I also have a backup-backup plan: I just finished a double portrait yesterday and remembered to take a photo while the sun was shining. This piece was commissioned by a very lovely lady who asked me to do a pastel portrait of her daughter a few years ago. Aren’t her kids gorgeous??

Photo.

This was the photo she sent me. The setting is nice and the composition (when cropped) isn’t bad at all, but the flash has completely whited out their faces. In case you are ever taking a photo to use for a portrait, please don’t use a flash! Shining a light at the front of a person’s face eliminates all of the side shadows that tell an artist what the person’s bone structure is like. When this information is gone, he/she has to make it up or just make do.

Pastel portrait.

This is the final piece. The style is not my favorite, but it was really, really fun to play with the pastels. To be honest, I procrastinated a bit on this because I haven’t used pastels in ages and wasn’t dying to get back into the medium. But as soon as I sat down in front of the paper and drew the first line, it became the most enjoyable experience — they slide along so nicely, and you can mix SO many colors together.

Portrait detail.

Another great thing about pastel is how vibrant the light pigments are, especially on dark paper. The yellows especially can be so, so bright (these photos seem to be a bit dark, unfortunately).

Portrait detail.

Anyhow, I have kept my pastels out because I want to finish another 4-6 small pieces in the next two weeks. Pensacola has something called Gallery Night on October 3 (sort of like the Moscow Artwalk, only there’s a trolley going to a bunch of stops since it’s not all within walking distance). Thanks to Lauren, I was introduced to the owner of a small children’s boutique called Ty & KC and KC asked if I’d be the featured artist at her shop. I’m going to take all of my Etsy prints and try to have a few new originals and the painting from the Ren Fair poster. My big problem now is figuring out how the heck to afford to get all of this framed. [Well, that and how to get people to a) come to the shop and b) buy my stuff. Ty & KC is only a couple of months old, so I am crossing my fingers that the trolley will bring some new folks to the store.] If you think that an artist is making a lot of money off of art that you buy in a store or gallery, think again. The breakdown on the sale of a $300 framed painting will be something like: $150 to the gallery, $30-$100 for framing (depending on whether the piece has a custom or a regular frame, paid for up front by the artist), $20 for supplies (paid for by artist), up to but probably less than $100 in profit for the artist. And if the piece took longer than 10 hours to paint, he/she is not making a particularly good wage and had to shell out a lot of cash up front for something that may sell now or in November.

So that’s the economics of art, people. And it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

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Film, part 1.

Before we left the northwest, husband and I made one last trip to see his parents and my grandfather. After we had driven down the highway for a while, it occurred to me that I had forgotten my camera. Whoops.

In light of the nature of the trip, I decided that photodocumentation was absolutely necessary and picked up a disposable Fuji point ‘n’ shoot camera (a la 8th grade, before your parents decided you were responsible enough to own a real camera). Because you can’t really control the focus on the thing, the results are a bit unpredictable and — I think — kind of charming in their own way. I’ve got to get me a Holga one of these days, but in the meantime I present my first film photos in A Very Long Time.

Fuji photos 1.

Husband, just after he (somewhat inexplicably) decided to shave his head.

Fuji photos 2.

Brian, my father-in-law.

Fuji photos 3.

Connie, my mother-in-law. (Husband and I decided that they look very much alike here, no?)

Fuji photos 4.

Pip, husband, and grandpa, who is proudly showing off his new set of wheels. [Incidentally, the dog was later run over by this very machine but seems to have survived the incident just fine. Have I ever mentioned that she likes to chase cars? And run right by the wheel?]

Fuji photos 5.

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the road is quite steep and the Kubota handles it just fine. (The passengers, on the other hand, are all having visions of roll-overs and praying very hard…)

Fuji photos 6.

The joys of the cheap camera: wife = fuzzy, random couple = crystal clear.

Fuji photos 7.

This phenomenon is called a “glory.”

Fuji photos 8.

Back at home again, these photos are from our last family barbecue at Kamiak Butte. (That’s byoot, for all you non-northwesters.)

Fuji photos 9.

Jacob and husband.

Fuji photos 10.

Marian attempts to keep Alice busy with a stuffed animal.

Fuji photos 11.

Throw it again! And again! And again!

Fuji photos 12.

Dad and little mum.

Fuji photos 13.

Er, I kind of miss this view right now.

Fuji photos 14.

Note the extreme dustiness of our dog, who had to have a bath afterward.

Fuji photos 15.

Twilight in the woods.

Fuji photos 16.

Livin’ la vida Florida.

Lest you get the wrong impression, let me first explain that we do much, much more than go to the beach all the time. It just so happens that the beach is more interesting and photo-worthy than the rest of our lives. We had a really wonderful day on the water yesterday courtesy of the fabulous Barnes family, and the photo evidence follows.

(I put the captions in Flickr this time, so click on the photo if you want more info.)

Popes and Barneses.

Henry Pope.

Putting on life jackets.

Posing.

Teachers and student.

Pretending that it's his.

The view from our lunch table.

After lunch at Lulu's.

Gibbses (Gibbesi?).

Popes.

Husband was coaxed into the water.

And he had so much fun!

Baby Jane.

Lauren.

Henry and Bryce.

The family that tubes together...

Henry is thrilled; Miles, not so much.

Jon Paul gets up!

But gravity wins in the end.