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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Watercolor is for flowers, spring is for motion.

April has sprung.
 The last two weeks looked at me, blinked and flit away. I find this to be an unfortunate pattern of this job. Or maybe it's just the world indicating that I'm an adult and this is how time actually passes. (dislike)
I love being at sea, but when it eats so many consecutive days, you feel like you've not been gone at all, yet time has moved on, blatantly. More flowers are blooming and dying. I'm pretty sure the yard maintenance crew visits my house more often then I do. The months slip away. It's April. What the hell.

BUT on the April flip side, I get to plant my hoarded seeds (which a friend accidentally reminded me of yesterday while steaming in)! When I plant things, leave then come back to sprouts, it's probably one of my favorite bits of being gone. For example, today I noticed that a potted plant was Not dead (sprout!), and that my gladiolas from last year are alive!!!! and three inches tall.
Small victories.

Any who...
I've been on the tidbit train but not having an SD card slot on my computer is a blog killer.
Effort.
SO to my excitement, when my new weatherproof YELLOW camera arrived, I noticed it came with a delightful bit of app convenience. The beast has WiFi. Oh glorious day.

I've started a new contract! New boats, new fishing efforts and therefore new species!
Meet yander hatchetfish on the left, and mr. pacific tomcod on the right.
The part of my job I love. New things.
 
Tidbits: Let the pen-bits continue!
 Pen sketch technique applied, real life attempt, uno.
My first attempt at "squiggle pines". I received a compliment from a woman standing behind me. She must have thought I was touched in the head in the hour preceding. Her compliment came from surprise when she realized I was scribbling the trees in the distance. Proof that they looked like trees. Success.
(Yes it might have taken an hour to draw pen trees in one corner of a 9x12 but
I was attempting to cheer.)
 In the brief but dense time that was the last two weeks, I watched a soccer game in a huge field of halflings. They call them 8 year olds. So just imagine little kids scurrying around in maroon and black uniforms in the lower blank space.  Also, while I fear children and their encroachment on my life via friends and all social medias, I realized that I missed being out at sports events. To my list of supposedly misplaced phobias, add: interest in being a soccer mom.      


Pen "techniques" attempt two, on a group of watercolor cards. With watercolor overlay.
Tonight I got my watercolor on. Hard. Not saturating everything in bright color negating dimension, is Hard.
 Mer fav is the lower left tulip. I don't know how I feel about the tree thing, before and after paint. Trees are hard. They have lots of pieces and dimension. rude.
 I visited my local botanical gardens earlier in the month. I learned a lesson attempting some quick flower sketches. Apparently I'm old and crouching in order to stay dry for the time I need to draw a tulip, it's boarder line life ending. As though my tendons and ligaments in my legs all seized at once. Grace failed me the following 10 minutes. Now I know why middle aged ladies sit in camp chairs while sketching their majestic fields. (I've seen this. It's real.)

Subject change!
New purchase: "Identify and Paint Butterflies: A field guild for the artist and naturalist"
I don't usually buy art books. But it seems I've been on a roll.
It's like the book went into my mind and steered me to the crap book table in Walmart. You know, the table where concerning compilations of Justine Bieber, cookbooks and bibles go to die. And there it was all askew and alone. I'm pretty sure it called to me. Well, now it's adopted and lives in my home. butterflies!

Finally, and completely unrelated to everything.
 I also bought a freaking Hula Hoop of green spangly GLORY.

Happy Tidbitting,
And
Hula hoop on my people, hula hoop on.
+M

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring flowers and Paint-by-numbers

Happy Pi day.
 
At the end of last week I went on a movie marathon spree. (I've been sick for the month of March.) The spree started with Harry Potter and ended with the Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings led me to this (red painty squiggles below). It's an ink doodle, with colored-in acrylic. I have new respect for the people who complete actual 'paint by numbers' kits. I always scoffed at them. Not to mention those horrible brushes. It wasn't real painting. But what do I really know about what's 'real'.  Now they mostly remind me of my architecture class from high school. Confined. Something that I don't hate, but it makes me a smidge Itchy.
Painting in the lines is on a different plane of tedium, that of which I typically avoid.
 
That being said:
Tidbit 1: 
 I stare at water a lot. Yet staring at CG fire made me end up drawing a semi likeness to light reflection on water. Kind of.
 
 
 
 
Tidbit 2: Pen sketching some yard flowers
I recently purchased a pen and ink book. A review is still in development. But I figured I'd just do some free sketching. I'm still attempting to loosen up. Let alone applying techniques. Anyway, afterwards I went back and flipped through the technique pages of this book. Patients to not literally squiggle, but to make succinct marks...that's going to take some more conscious effort.
However, thus far, my opinion of Drawing in Pen and Ink by Claudia Nice is a positive one.
 
 Meet my yard. 
 
Happy Tidbitting
+M

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Acrylic and pen and winddddd


Yesterday was gorgeous. Forest and I made a fire in the back yard. There wasn't any wind to speak of. It was, overall, a lovely day. 
Today, there is a storm outside trying to blow flat my house. My poor wind chime is being mercilessly pulled apart.
AND SO, I put on Harry Potter and found some time to finish up or just not know when to stop, this:
Tidbit: 
 
.
 
There is nothing.
 Or is there?
Happy Tidbitting!
 
+M

Sunday, March 2, 2014

New things: material and scientific.

This week.
Whoa.              (prepare for lots of aimless talking)

Last weekend, I was at sea. It was quite pleasant for being the end of February.
    
 
BEHOLD: shrimp
Even though we got to the dock at 0550...ten minutes before offload and ANOTHER 7 hours of work(Sleep is for the weak) the Sunrise was beautiful!
After the delight of a sleepless (2hours is more like a nap then sleep) night and exceptionally long offload, I drove home and attempted a few chores then headed north straight away in Forest's diesel Beast.
Reason? I and the lovely Chandra got work off to attend the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. (Biggest fish nerd-out of my life!)

Oh. But wait.
In the obscenely short hours between dawn and heading to Eugene, from Salem, with Chandra at noon...I went all Adult.

I consider this three steps (Very Large steps) diagonal from babies, one step back from marriage, two steps left of a mortgage and one step right of college loans.  ((Note: this is Not a hint OR implication that these things are occurring. So whoa there.))
I bought a new car from a dealership!
 Of course by 'new' I mean used (counting dead fish doesn't pay that well). I am now the proud owner of a white '08 Jeep Patriot. Apparently my deeply imbedded fear of the 'Credit-God' is  working itself out.
Luckily my best friend is a very tolerant lady when it comes to her friends. She finished her appointment in Salem about 10 minutes after the revelation of buying a car came to light. I tend to have amazing timing like that. The poor thing had to wait while we finished. Making us late LAAATE.

I was so buzzed from getting onto shore, offloading, driving north, and then buying a car that it took almost the entire conference for me to believe that I'd actually bought a vehicle. I literally bought it, drove it (a quarter mile away) left it with forest and his parents and peaced-out south with Chandra. Who does that?!  The prospect of driving around a brand new vehicle in Eugene where I have NO idea where I'm going ever... Sounded horrifying. (And I go to sea for a living) So yes, I literally bought and ditched this vehicle in the course of 3 hours, not to see it for another two days.
 However, since Friday afternoon I've put about 400 miles on it. 'cause I'm cool like that.

BUT back to the Science! Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society It was the 50th anniversary of the Oregon chapter. Random, but awesome. (Free coffee cup!)  I got to be involved in a 'student/mentor' "speed dating" type ensemble that kicked off Chandra and my stay. It caused me to experience one of those brief moments in my college career where I distinctly feel backhanded by the Biology department of OSU. 'Fish and Wildlife' where have you people been all my life!
Between the networking availability, the bazillion talks, the food, the inexhaustible coffee and drunken scientist tomfoolery, this was one of the best fish related vacations I have ever taken. 
So awesome, that I must do it again. Next year the National AFS meeting will be held in Oregon. I officially have a formal appointment in 2015, and will not be available August 16-20th.

For the first time in the history of my observer job, whenever some learned of my employment (who wasn't another observer), there was a series of questions and abounding interest. Not confusion over why anyone would ever want to deal with dead fish and Fishman. Talk about refreshing. Even WITH this job, I never in a million years thought I'd have anything to contribute in these conversations. What up world, your move.

AND BOOM 7 days passed.

I appreciate your love if you read all that. It all boggles my brain still.
I shall leave you with: an educational
 Tidbit
Saturday, after I failed to buy more car keys, I went to the art store and bought shiny things instead. The link takes you to amazon and you can look inside for yourself.
Since I've adopted pen art, I thought maybe I could look into some technical whatnots. I'm also always pro-supporting a local art supplies shop.
Drawing in Pen and Ink by Claudia Nice
 
 
Happy Tidbitting!
+M


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Crossroads with Mr. salamander

 (The wind, she continues...)
I took an interest in Salamanders.
Behold! Acrylic, meet zentangle!

Tidbit: Crossroads
 I even made up the color scheme of the little dude. I'm kinda proud. I typically find difficulty in wavering from reality.
Happy Tidbitting!
+M

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ravens and paint!

It's been an eternity.
I've been doing important things.
Knitting things.
I have in works a honeycomb knitting explosion including a mute alpaca scarf, and bright rainbow baby-blanket-modified tote. No babies. Small projects = finished pieces. Besides, the word 'blanket' conjures images of huge unfinishable doom.
BUT a complete blow by blow of my knitting tomfoolery is for another post.

Tibit: A Raven On A Branch

With all the rain storms coming down the coast, I've had a few days of free time on my hands. Not only have I cleaned, done laundry, and bum Bum BUM filed my taxes, I whipped out me some paints yesterday! After spiffing up a canvass. I needed a thing.
...and I thought. Raven?! Cue Google.

Firstly, I had to find out if I could draw a raven. Feathers are like scales...there are a gillion.


Good enough, as it was just going to be a silhouette. Well...that fell through. But I really like the final product!
 
The base is hard to see(and the bastard wouldn't enlarge), but with a little antique clothing pattern recycle, glue and copper spray paint I put together a canvass. The paint is actually Ink rather then acrylic. It's Inkier and therefore better.
The final raven is the same scale as the original sketch.


 
 
How people sketch birds in motion is beyond me.     ....for now.
+M
Happy Tidbitting!

 


Sunday, January 12, 2014

To knit the rainbow.


Tidbit:
This week, besides driving to my house and then back to Sheridan with Forest, I knit a hat! The rainbow effect held my interest. Therefore, it's finished!
 I'm pretty stoked. I lurves it!
The needles had been cast-on for...a few months. All ready to go. Alas, my drive to knit is weak. I'm not good with what the knit-natives call 'patterns'. Also, I'm what some call shorthand illiterate. The eternal-like time between projects causes perpetual relapses of 'beginner'. 
 
To you Pattern, I say Pushaw! I've got the classics down. Knit 2 pure 2. 
...VoilĂ !  
 

A shout out to Diana Paris. The teacher in the use of 5 needles...at once...~5 years ago. Much more engaging then just two.
Happy knitting and Tidbitting!
+M