Tuesday, December 24, 2013

(sheepish wave) Happy Holidays

Hi everyone, it's been a while.

No, things haven't been settled yet, but some progress has been made and we agreed to wind things down over Christmas/New Years.

I've been sick a lot the past few months, currently I've been running a fever for the past 2.5 weeks straight, but all my Christmas shopping is done and I'm looking forward to seeing family & friends over the holidays.

Hope everyone is doing well. I've been keeping busy… want to see a couple pictures?

I finished those two new-baby painting projects (and had to increase physio on my arm since painstaking brushwork is really bad when all the tendons/muscles in your elbow and rotary cuff are stuck together and pinching the nerves). And yeah, they look pretty simple, but they did take about 30-40 hours each, including all the design time.

This one was for the girl baby:

 Yes, you can see the reflection of my hand/phone in the forehead if you look closely…

 They are lotus flowers, if you can't tell. Also, you can see my artist signature on the ear… I always sign work in two places, so on the pigs, it's on the ear, and on the bottom where I painted each baby's name, birthdate/time/weight.

I am never again doing a 10 point… anything. Do you know how difficult it is to measure so everything is even? 8 is easy, since you just quarter a piece of paper, then fold it again… for this, I have a ruler which you can bend around a coin (like, a quarter), which I was using to mark millimetre by millimetre where each petal needed to be… it was a huge pain and not worth repeating, even though 10 petals looks way cooler than 8.

And this one for my Chinese friend who had a baby boy:
 At the time, I didn't pre-know the gender, so I made it a sleeping-pig with the midnight blue sky and fire-coloured clouds.

 I love how the clouds turned out…

The Chinese characters on the four 'T' shapes are the four Chinese blessings (si fu), happiness, prosperity, longevity, and good luck. The characters at the bottom say, 'blessed', and the ones at the top are peace, happiness, faith, and joy (these friends are Christian).

The 'T' shape was just a traditional Chinese design I found and modified, but oddly enough, they ended up giving their son a name beginning with 'T', so they both thought that was a really cool coincidence.

Linework is the most difficult thing to do with porcelain painting, and the difficulty level skyrockets when it's an oddly shaped, non-flat piece because you have to hold it in one hand the entire time… and normally you use your second hand/arm to steady your painting hand.

I painted them with lustres (which is why they're so reflective and photograph badly), all the linework is in gold (2 layers), and there are accents of raised white enamel (you can see it easily on the blue/orange pig, but on the lotus pig, there is a dot of enamel on every bubble, in the centres of the flowers, and on the seeds). The blue/orange pig needed a second layer of gold for the Chinese characters, but I ran out of time and wasn't able to finish, which is why they look duller than the rest of the gold.

For my birthday (in September), my sister & her boyfriend promised to take me to a Seahawks game, and we did that on November 17th. The Hawks won, so it was pretty awesome :)
This is walking up to the stadium, and the blonde head in the right corner belongs to my sister.

I also donated my hair again (12-14 inches"), like I've done every second fall/winter for the past 10 years, so my hair is super short again, only about 1-2" long and really curly in the back.
Yup, the usual no-smile. This time the picture was taken right after I got up (hence, messy bed-hair), and you can see I'm super flushed and googly-eyed from the fever.

We got actual snow in Vancouver a few days ago!!! Like, not just a dusting which melts in a couple hours… this hung on for about 2 days, despite it being followed up by rain which eventually washed it all away:
 This is what I see when I step out of my apartment and look left. I love the snow, and Kitsilano is full of old heritage houses. Just a nice area to walk in.

 I think it's so cool to see ferns growing in trees… I think they're anchored into the moss. Not surprising, I guess, considering most of BC is a rain-forest...

 This is the pond at Jericho beach. All the poor ducks were standing in huddled clumps on the ice looking quite sad.

 These are the trails I usually let Eva off-leash, and normally she's really good about staying with me…

 Can you see far up ahead in this picture there's a bench? Around there, someone stopped me to ask for directions. I was distracted for maybe 30-40 seconds, and when I looked down… no Eva. I was out in the snow looking for her for 2.5 hours, freaked out that a coyote got her, but no, she had found three ladies with a springer spaniel and decided it would be a great idea to follow them to the parking lot. My phone had shut down because of the cold, so I was very grateful both my phone number and my parent's number was on her ID tag. My fever was insanely high by the time I got home...

That day, 'beagle' was a curse word…

BUT, aren't her footprints both weird and cute? They are set perfectly next to each other… not even staggered a bit...

Okay, that's all for now. Typing is harder on my arm (and un-focusing eyes) than I thought, so I think I'm going back to bed for a couple hours before I walk Eva.

See you all in the New Year!