life

Sick days + trial of drawing on wood panel

As far as being sick goes, these two days have been very kind to me. I'm feverish and achy enough where I definitely had to take off from work, but not so horribly bad that I was immobile or vomiting. Even the congestion has been moderate and I could sleep to my heart's content without coughing or breathing problems. 

So how have I been spending my "pleasant" sick time thus far?

  • The number one priority is SLEEP. I've been sleeping and half-sleeping and thinking about sleeping when I'm awake. At first I slept because my head and body both hurt. Then I slept some more just because it was so nice getting to sleep as much as I wanted. 
  • For nourishment I've had mom's homemade chicken soup for 2 days.
  • I almost finished reading a book. (Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science by Lawrence M. Krauss. ) Still have 50 pages or so left. Even though much of the physics in it is not fully clear to me, I feel some connection to the way that Feynman works. Throughout the book, he's described as having an intuitive approach where he can picture the answer and arrive at the answer in his own way, but then has to go back and figure out how to have that make sense in acceptable science jargon. When I'm painting. I have an image in mind of where I'm going and I somehow try to arrive there. Along the way, I don't think about it very technically. After I've put my brushes down, someone might say to me, "I see you used warm vs cool colors there." Then I do go back and put some thought into what I did in art terms in order to communicate with other people about it. But, on my own, my mind is usually quiet while I'm painting and I just do what feels intuitively right to me.
  • I also experimented with drawing on a wood panel while resting in bed. Oil painting is too physically taxing in my current state but gimme a pen, a handful of color pencils plus a couple pillows to prop me up and I'm a happy gal.  
 unfinished attempt at drawing on wood panel w/ a sepia micron pen and prismacolor color pencils

unfinished attempt at drawing on wood panel w/ a sepia micron pen and prismacolor color pencils

My zany planner

The last few years I used electronic planning for my schedule and to-dos. I still keep track of some major tasks that way, but this year I've returned to good ol' paper planning. Actually, it's more like a planner, journal, and scrapbook condensed into one book. (I mean, who in the world has time to keep one of each?) When I want to record something quickly, I stick on a particular color or pattern of tape across a time slot to mean something (dark green for shopping, purple for art-related tasks, fork and spoon tape for meals, etc.). Sometimes I have time for more than just sticking on tape and I get fancier with it. I have tons of stickers on hand for my art student kids anyway so some of those get incorporated too. It's totally colorful and juvenile. I love it. 

planner

These careful clippings

These careful clippings are the work of my grandmother. From newspapers, magazines, advertisements, she gathered them and folded them into a large yellow envelope kept inside her desk.  On the envelope is a single column of handwritten Chinese characters: "art reference materials for Haohao". (Haohao is my nickname in Chinese.) Sadly, it is very hard for me to read the articles. My Chinese reading skills are fairly low, having lived in the U.S. from the age of 5. At least images have no language barrier and I am able to look at all she wanted to show me. 

In the middle right of this photo, you can see that two of the images are the same. I think they are advertisements that ran in the paper for a collection of painted plates, but the dates on the papers are different. Perhaps the image caught my grandmother's eye on one day, slipped her mind, and caught her eye again in the same newspaper a week or so later as if it were meeting her for the first time. She turned 90 last fall so her mind is understandably foggy every now and then, but both times she thought of her granddaughter and diligently stored them away.