Colin and I have both been working on a ton of new art.

I'm not sure if it's the season changing around me or what, but I've been amping up my work. I'm trying to learn better ways of doing things, painting wise. Not that my previous ways weren't working for me, but I'm always anxious to make improvements where I can.

Part of the issue is just working on so many at once. I feel the need to do more and feel like my brain is stretched thin at the same time. I guess I'm trying to balance those things, so I can do more without losing my brain.

Specifically, I've been trying to take notes, and jot down ideas in my sketchbooks to better plan out my attack. If I can make decisions ahead of time, it will help eliminate errors. Often I decide to do something and then forget what I decided a few hours later because I was trying to be "spontaneous" with my creativity.

I'm also trying to have more paintings going at all stages of the process at any given time. Hopefully this will help close the long gaps between finished paintings, which I generally complete in groups. Right now I have 5 paintings almost finished, if you don't count the 2 bigger ones that I've been threatening to finish all month.

Production is key at the moment, so that I can both hang stuff in coffee houses and galleries *and* have more work in my Etsy shop at the same time. (Madness!)

Beginnings . 12x24 inches . 2008

1. natural lighting
2. artificial lighting
3. artificial and UV lighting combined
4. UV lighting only
5. no light

Ingredients: acrylic paint, beach sand, glass, and varnish on canvas.

I've been fine-tuning this painting since, oh... November, I think. By "fine-tuning," I mean restarting about 4 times. 5? I have no idea anymore. Needless to say, it has captured a great portion of my soul in the process.

In some ways, it's hard for me to look at it. I feel as though I've been looking at it for so long now. My vision has become blurry, and I see the many different paintings it almost was.

I think part of my difficulty was venturing out and exploring a new canvas shape. It's so long! Granted, I'm in love with horizons, so it seemed like it should be relatively easy.

I am very happy to have finally accomplished it. I'm actually well suited for this style canvas, so it would have been quite a pity had I not gained such experience points. In fact, I happen to have a shiny new 12x36 inch canvas staring me down from next to my work bench. I'm really excited to give it a whirl. Maybe not right away, though...

I should mention that, although you cannot see it at all, the painting is covered in those tiny glass pieces I've been obsessed with lately. It shows up as little white "dots" on the non-reflective sections, because that's all the camera flash can pick up. (See the second image above.) You'll have to trust me when I say (as I always do) that this is an incredible effect in person. Also, the greenish color in the glow image fades much more rapidly than the rest of the color, ultimately leaving you with a dark night sky filled with stars and magic that should last for hours. :o)

Of course I'm glad to have reached the end of this particular journey, but all that means is that I've cleared more mental space to begin something brand new. This art thing is addictive.

Procrastination. Bad.

Normally, Wednesdays are for working and being productive.

Instead, today I decided to send off my first contest submission of the year, only to discover that my slides were not where I had intentionally put them, and had in fact, mysteriously vanished into thin air. As in, poof. Gone. I came to this realization after removing every drawer from the dresser, as well as the entire contents of every drawer, which I distributed all over the bed. I further checked the clothes drawers, the bathroom drawers, the kitchen drawers, Colin's closet, and uncovered every single surface in the house, including between the couch cushions, just in case one of the animals was playing some sort of mind game with me.


Although, I have not checked the water heater closet on the patio.

Meanwhile, in my downward spiral of panic and despair, I accidentally kicked over the 4 foot long blacklight fixture that was leaning against the wall next to my in-process paintings. So, instead of continuing to wallow and fret over my slides, I had to clean up the millions of tiny pieces of black glass that had exploded all over the entire front half of my apartment. This resulted in further confusion and upset from the animals, since I had to ban them from the affected area in addition to bringing out the terrifying horror that is the Vacuum Monster.

Getting them to fess up now is unlikely.

Instead, I'll be paying 20 bucks for overnight shipping in order to get new slides in time to mail off my submission before the January 15th postmark deadline.

I might want to throw a few organizational skills into my 2008 goals and plans.