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self-portrait thursday 082808

not a flattering angle for the nose, eh? I think sometimes I want to accept looking as bad as I feel. but it's not easy to do that. no, I mean, it's very easy to do, not so easy to reveal. the tiredness under the eyes is new this year. 

now Kat has just come in and informed me that this does not look like me at all. so, er, perhaps I'll try another, but this is at least a representation of how I feel most of the time; for what it's worth, an inner-self-portrait. 

acrylic spilled across canvas fields...

Some of you enjoyed the painting I shared recently, so I decided to show you a few more. I've cropped in to showcase just the canvas, rather than sharing them in their home wall context. And I didn't take proper photos so there's a curve to them all. If you click twice, you can see the very large images. 

This next one has a bit of damage on it from a move. 
It has more structure than the others because I was really happy while painting it. 

These next two are on canvas boards that were taped and painted together. 
And this is also a canvas board. I started it last week and have not finished it, which is unusual for me. I will probably do that this evening, though. 
Soon I hope to buy a very large stretched canvas to do a painting for my living room. But they are very expensive. 

25 Août 2008: Les Fleurs d'Été

(If you are in my neighborhood and have not joined Monday Musée, it's not too late to beg for an invite!)

Hey, I found a place where you can make flower pictures. And it's a bit cooler than it first appears, as you can adjust size and color with pressure and drag length. 

Of course you can just keep using the art pad instead or as well, or whatever else you like. :-) Be sure to tag both the photo and the post with monday musee!

I'll post some flower pix of my own tomorrow. Here's something I did very quickly just to check the thing out. 

self-portrait thursday

I was thinking about how I like having photos taken, but have a harder time taking them of myself. the ones I do take, I mostly can't share here. but here's one I thought captured the lonely mood I was in very well. 

I realized at that point that I should not be unwilling to shoot and share photos of my face; I'll work on that this week. 

Monday, 18 August, 2008

Hi! Wanna make some art? Let's start simple. Go here, whoop it up, and post your results. :-) Add the tag monday musee, and whichever others you like. It's up to you whether you share it in your regular blog as well, or just here. 

It's already Tuesday for some people; that's okay. Post here once or all day on Monday, or post once a week and call that Monday. But don't just post here all week, as that's not special, plus you have all those other groups to keep up with!

I'll be posting links to the art-making sites, as well as sites about actual art, etc., soon, and through the weeks. 

If you want to make a Monday Musée banner, just follow the Vox banner guidelines and then send it to me. If I get lots of them, I'll switch them up every other week or so. Maybe we'll have a contest sometime, I dunno, I'm not really into the competitive thing. 

Have fun, and invite your friends who love to make art, too. This group can be viewed publicly but can be joined by member invitation only. 

Just remember, it doesn't have to be good. If it's posted in the Musée, it's art, and that's good enough for us. :-)

why it wasn't all an epic fail (fitness challenge update)

Looking back over the past 12 weeks, watching as I crashed into a fairly deep depression that I have not climbed out of, I'm still proud of the fact that I got to where I wanted to be in most senses, though I still weigh about 5 pounds more than I'd like. I stopped progressing about 5 weeks ago. But I haven't lost ground. So there were 19 (really about 22) weeks headed in the right direction, and then a long miserable plateau. 

However, there was a master plan to all this which actually began last fall. It took a lot of mental shoring up to get started, but my goal was to become the cyclist I'd always wanted to be, a goal which was sometimes hampered in the past by unexpected pregnancy, and then really set back by the onset of mold- and weather-induced asthma. I was chronically ill for half the year for several years, and just as I was getting a handle on that, the build-up of relative inactivity caused a painful ongoing back problem. 

That started on January 1, 2007. And it took about a year to work out what I needed to do to fix it. It's been one year since I started planning my reentry into cycling, 7 months since I started in earnest to do something about it, nearly 6 months since the world came crashing down around me, 6 weeks since I reached my original weight goal, and 1 week since I began real training on my bike again. Slow, careful, middle-aged person training. But it's really good, and I'm excited about where the results will take me. 

Before gardening, cooking, LIFE magazine, the love of French and Italian language, and the relative hungers for gin, sushi, and sex, there were only two things that counted in my life: book-reading and bike-riding. 

There hasn't been nearly enough of either for a long time. Especially the bike. I remember imagining as a teenager living in a place where I could get anywhere I needed to on a bike. I didn't want to need a car. 

I never even imagined having children. 

But here I am, and so here I am. 

At the end of my personal 12 week challenge, which overlaps the Vox fitness one a bit, I'm going to a cycling weekend in Virginia. It sounds just beautiful. And then next year? Next year? I'm finally completing the century (100 mile ride) that got halted because of rain, the one that got halted because of a baby (oh, he's so great, you know, at 14, but man, I had no idea that was the beginning of a long exodus rather than the end of one,) the one that got halted because of one more fucking fickle interruption in my world followed by another and another and another. 

And then I'm doing another one. Or maybe I won't, maybe I'll just take another weekend tour, or several weekend tours. 

I can't be run over anymore by ridiculous circumstances, and ridiculous people, and the ridiculous serendipitous nature of the universe which seems designed to laugh at me despite what it created me to be. I am made of awesome, and it's high time that started counting for something for me, not just for everyone around me. I don't really know how to do that, as it's anathema to my nature. People who arrange circumstances to please themselves without regard to how it affects those around them just completely confound and upset me. But I might figure out how to please myself without taking anything away from anybody. 

I just want to ride a bike and write a book. There are about a thousand specific things heading my way to try to prevent me from accomplishing either one. Life is getting harder, not easier. But I just can't let the stuff stop me anymore. I am too broken up inside as it is, and each day is a struggle to get through. I am not eating right and I haven't slept well in ages, at least not slept well for me. I've never been a person for whom sleep is anything like a challenge. These days, though, it is. So there has to be something I'm winning at, in order to just keep going.

Right now, I look great on the bike, but feel really awkward. Realizing I'd actually done about a 12 mph pace today was both rewarding and frustrating, because that was nothing special in decades past. It's kind of an old people and little kid pace, actually. But it's an improvement over the last few rides, so it counts, and is an indicator I'm moving forward again. At least with something. 

I got too depressed to do the fitness updates on this "blog" but I think it would be good for me to do them while preparing for the cycling weekend, so we'll see how that goes.