Monday, April 02, 2007

My First Pastel - A Mandrill

This morning I made my first image with pastels - an 11 x 14 inch mandrill.

I've posted the scans I made of the work in progress because I think they look cool. The whole thing took about 5-6 hours with breaks. Next time I think I could save a lot of time by laying down a watercolor wash for the background before using the pastels.

I love pastels; it felt like painting. I had to remember to wash my hands after smudging before moving on to another color zone. Like watercolors, pastels are very forgiving. In time I plan to make a monkey series; I'm aiming for 12.

This afternoon Sleyed and I toured for-sale houses. We found several that had potential studios. One, maybe two, had enough space for a separate his & hers studios. Weaving on one wing and paper arts on the other! Trouble is, I won't be offered a position soon enough and we won't be able to sell our house soon enough to get the one we both liked the most. Someone else is sure to snap it up first. It's in the right neighborhood, the right size, has all new up-dated interior, nice landscaping, and a yard large enough to start a flower and flowering tree nursery. And, it's about $20,000 under-priced. Crazy.

Oh and a while back I blogged about how happy I was to find a replacement Le Petit Prince "book on tape." This morning while making my mandrill I listened to it and found out that the 60 minute recording included excerpts from The Little Prince and other St. X stories like Night Flight. Humpf! The entire thing was in French, which is what I wanted, but I did not want any other St. X stuff. My attention wandered so I'm not sure how the Little Prince portion ended; I'm not sure whether he actually died. I do remember the little guy meeting Le Renard, so at least one of my favorite encounters is in there. I will have to listen to it again. My French is not what it used to be.

Tomorrow I am going to attempt to boil my dissertation down to a 20 minute talk. I will not be listening to a book on tape in French in the background! While I find it slightly intimidating to narrow my defense talk down so much, I will just adopt the strategy I use for conference presentations and set it up more or less like one of my HBES talks. I like putting presentations together, so that helps! My defense is a week from this Thursday.

I think I will do another monkey pastel the day after and listen to my first Japanese lesson while I do it. I have got to get started with them. There are thirty 30 min lessons and I want to have all of them under my belt before I leave. I still have aboout 2 months but I know I will need to repeat lessons. That was my experience with Arabic so I assume Japanese will be the same. I still need to shop around for a good work book so I can learn to read and write a little. I really like being able to write.


Rose Connors said...

Great pastel! I wish I could do that.

Alasdair said...

I, like Rose, wish I had your 2-d art skill. Alas. But what a great mandrill!

B said...

That is really great! Mandrills always seem so intense to me.

Chase said...

Nice! I could try to do a pastel of a mandrill as well, sadly the mandrill himself could create a more lovely picture.