4 SIAs, 1 Post

I’m making up for my absence in the last few SIA challenges by posting the outfits I would have worn for them, had I been able to participate. I know that I’m “breaking the rules” again (wait, there are rules?…) of how an SIA post is supposed to go, but I figure that with the little extra time that I had last week, I would include the last few, along with the current one to make one nice “package” to show my support. That’s not so wrong, is it?

Anyway, let’s start with the current one, presented by Salazar over on 14 Shades of Grey (https://14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com/2021/08/16/sia-inspiration-john-singer-sargent-3-0/). She chose the piece by John Singer Sargent, known as “Lady Macbeth”, portrayed by actress Ellen Terry. You can view the image of the painting on her blog by clicking the link above, or you can “Google” it.

I went with the turquoise/teal that I saw in the painting. Years ago, turquoise was one of my favorite colors, which was why I gravitated towards it when deciding on which shirt I would wear for this one. I hope to be able to go back to that color one day…

I even threw in the stance that Ellen was making in the painting to give it more “pizzazz”. Not too shabby, eh?

That’s it for this SIA. Be sure to check out Salazar’s blog on Wednesday, August 25th for the full round-up to see everyone else’s interpretation of this awesome SIA painting.

Okay, let’s run through these other three SIAs real quick as it’s real late for me at the moment, and I’m writing this post with just 2-3 hours of sleep to my name. Bedtime as soon as I’m done.

This is from Terri’s SIA choice, Dining Room In The Country by Pierre Bonnard, on her blog, Meadowtree Style (https://meadowtreestyle.com/2021/08/01/style-imitating-art-pierre-bonnards/). Lots of vermillion (red-orange) in the painting, which you can see by clicking on the link, leading to Terri’s blog with the image of the painting. I of course had to match my backdrop with that of the one in the painting, as well as mimic the woman’s pose. My shirt’s more red than vermillion, but my light blue “shirt jacket” more than makes up for this slight inaccuracy, as I see bits of light blue in the painting as well.

Next up is the SIA chosen by Daenel, over on Living Outside The Stacks (https://livingoutsidethestacks.com/style-imitating-art-inspiration-girl-in-rose-and-gray-miss-carmel-white-by-robert-henri/) and she chose a piece by Robert Henri called Girl in Rose and Gray. Miss Carmel White. Very neutral colors here with lots of tans, browns and blacks. More my style than the last two challenges as I’m all about muted neutral colors. So of course, I had to break out my light brown sweater (even though the weather was scorching hot!!!) with the dark brown buttons being a great visual to go with this cool painting. Nice!

And finally, I’m back to Salazar’s previous SIA hosting (https://14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com/2021/07/05/sia-inspiration-elsa-schiaparelli/), a cravat jumper by fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli. I included this one because, well c’mon, it gives me a chance to wear my “all black” attire, which is my favorite! I can never pass up an opportunity like that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Be sure to check out her round-up post (https://14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com/2021/07/14/sia-cravat-jumper/) as it’s pretty awesome. Everyone incorporated black in their outfits, which I’m all for (great job everybody by the way!)!

Well, that just about does it. I’ve pretty much come full circle and covered a whole “SIA cycle”, including a recent SIA challenge from each of our wonderful hosts. I’ll be back on my super busy schedule starting this week, so I may not be posting for a while, or participating in any SIAs for a while. But not too bad, right? I mean, last week, I managed to get some postcards painted and posted. Today, I covered about a month’s worth of SIAs; what’s next? Maybe I’ll manage to get some book reviews posted, as I’m working on getting some read as I speak. I think I’m actually able to stick with the ones I’m reading so who knows? I may get a decent amount of books read by the end of the year after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s been fun, you all. Until next post!

Postcard Post: “Cliffside Falls”

Here’s another painting that I did using acrylic paint and mixing the three primary colors. Again, pretty basic scene with nothing too special going on here. The background is a little weak as it doesn’t really take you back into “deep space” (I should have mixed the green a little better), but I was pretty happy with the waterfall and cliff.

Postcard Post: “Mountainous Sunset”

This is my second postcard that I painted using the aforementioned acrylic paints in my previous post. A MUCH better and improved painting compared to the last one, which was me experimenting with color mixing. Pretty standard scene here; nothing too impressive as it doesn’t really “blow you away”, but overall a pretty decent painting.

It’s been at least a decade or more since I last used acrylic paints, and after doing these last two paintings, I’m remembering how much I enjoy the medium and the advantage it has over watercolor. Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean that I’m packing away the watercolor paints, as I still plan to continue using them. But for the time being, acrylic is in and watercolor is out.

Experiments With Acrylic Paints

Before I begin this post, I’d like to say how happy I am that this day, 8/14, is finally over. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the worst day in my life; a day that I will never forget; a day that I can remember every detail of it painstakingly and wish that I could forget… A decade may have passed since then, but the events that unfolded on this day back in 2011 stick in my mind like an old movie projector or broken film strip (and if you don’t know what either of those are, you’re pretty young. Go look them up, or “Google” them, or whatever).

I wasn’t sure how I was going to “commemorate” the day and find a way to finally put it to rest… It’s been the center of my whole life for the past 10 years after all. Can I finally let go of the pain and hurt and move on? I really don’t know. I’d like to, believe me. But I’m not sure that I can. But one thing that I do know is that a single day can’t hold a person in bondage, nor can any one person, unless we allow them to. It’s taken me a long time to realize that, and even now, I’m not sure if I can fully accept it. But I’m working on it. 8/14/2011 is long gone (3653 days ago [1 day for each of the 3 leap years between that time span] for all of you number nerds, like me, that are out there) and is not coming back (thankfully). And I don’t have to keep revisiting it. There will always be more 8/14s. I’ll have at least 113 more that I will face (yes, I said 113, meaning that I plan to make it to 150 years in age!). But whether it’s 113 more, 63 more, 38 more, 13 more, or 1 more, I’m declaring now that 8/14 will no longer hold me captive, as it had in the past. It will no longer hurt me. I’ve been reading quite a few blog posts over the past several weeks with many being very inspirational to me (one blog in particular where a new friend that I recently made has been writing). I just read a post the other day where one of my longtime blog friends says that she’s not afraid to speak her mind on things that she feels strongly about. I really like that. I’m wanting to be more like that as well; polite and respectful, but assertive and strong too. I’ve been feeling stronger and better about myself more and more. And happier too. Who knows? I might one day decide to brighten up my everyday wear, the way it used to be before my “color” was “tainted dark”… My favorite color back when I was little was red, so maybe…

Anyway, now that I got all of that out of my system, let’s talk about the real reason I’m writing this post. Recently, I decided to add to my art supplies and bought 5 tubes of acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby as they were having a sale (I basically paid like half the of the original price) on a lot of their paints, and I couldn’t pass up that deal. I decided on these 5 colors:

For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to mix my own paint and not just use whatever comes in the tube or color palette. And while I have mixed colors when using watercolor paints, I never felt like I was giving the process real justice because I often had so many colors to choose from still. But I really wanted to challenge myself and use colors that require mixing in order to create other colors; the 3 primary colors, red, yellow and blue.

These 3 colors are pretty much your base or starting point to creating every color that you can imagine, with black and white added in for value of the colors that you create. To give you a brief color mixing lesson, let’s start with how to make the secondary colors, green, orange and purple.

red + yellow = orange

red + blue = purple

yellow + blue = green

I won’t get into the more complicated color mixing, such as tertiary and analogous colors, but once you get the hang of these 6 basic colors, the others aren’t too difficult to figure out.

With that said, here is the painting that I produced from the 5 colors that I bought:

I obviously used a lot of green, which is necessary when painting spring/summer scenes, so I mostly mixed yellow and blue, with small amounts of black and white for the various values, and presto! Green. Now you ask, how did I get brown for the tree trunks when I didn’t have brown to start with? Simple. Red and green make brown. You can also make brown mixing blue and orange for a more “cool” brown, but I wanted the more “warm” variety, which is why I went with the red and green combo. But now do you see? I started off with the 3 primary colors. From there, I got the secondary colors. And from those, I created another color that I had already mixed with other colors in order to get the color that I wanted. And while the painting isn’t one of my greatest works (I see so many flaws!), this served as more of an experiment in order to “test drive” my color mixing skills that I learned a long time ago, and am finally putting to good use. And it has been a while since I’ve worked with acrylic paints, which are quite different from the “less forgiving” watercolor paints that I’ve become accustomed to. I will go into the advantages and disadvantages of both mediums in a later post, but for now, I’d say that this whole thing was a success. ๐Ÿ™‚

And with all that said, my little experimental painting closes the book on 8/14. Things can only get better after this. At least, I hope so! Until next post… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post SIA Post: Letting My Readers Know That I’m Still Alive And That I’m Loving This Latest SIA

My blog has been long overdue for an updated post, with me finally having a free moment to write something worth while.

While surfing through a few of my friends’ blogs, I happened upon the latest SIA project, hosted by Terri, over on Meadow Tree Style (https://meadowtreestyle.com/2021/06/30/style-imitating-art-round-up-booky-by-patty-carroll/) and immediately felt sad that I had missed this one.

Terri chose a photo piece by Patty Carroll called Booky. I can’t post the image here, as it’s copyright protected, but you can see the image, as well as other images of a similar nature by her by following the link here (https://www.anothermag.com/), as well as seeing it posted on Terri’s blog and the other SIA hosts’ blogs.

Well, needless to say, my post is almost a week late, as the SIA round-up was posted on Terri’s blog last Wednesday. But this one struck me as quite interesting. And as I finally had some time to snap a few photos and write about them, I figured why not?

Check these out:

Now truthfully, this isn’t a true SIA Post, as my “outfit” doesn’t match anything in the image. But on the other hand, I interpreted Carroll’s photo as being “very relaxing” and peaceful. And that’s how I feel when I wear black, my favorite color, so I guess I got it right after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyhow, all of the books that you see are mine, many of which I bought within the past two years. And these represent only about a third of all the books that I own. My closet, that you see behind me (when I’m sitting on the side of the bed) is where I keep most of the rest of them.

Yeah, I’m a true book hoarder.

And no, I don’t read my books in the positions seen in the photos. That’s just for show. I usually sit up when I read as I usually doze off if I try to read when I’m laying down. ๐Ÿ˜›

So that’s my [late] SIA Post, hosted by Terri. Be sure to check out her blog (link above) to see everyone else’s interpretation.

And now for a little disclaimer; a brief explanation for my blog absence over the past few months.

I’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression the last few months. I’m not talking about just having a few days of “the blues”. I’m talking several months of mental and emotional breakdowns. An incident that happened a few months back broke my spirit, as well as my heart. And even though it was resolved (thankfully), I’m still reeling in its wake.

Anyway, not to get too deep into this, I just wanted to let all of my faithful readers know that I’m okay and I’m still here. I may not be as consistent in posting like I used to be, but I’m still here. I’m still here for you. And if you leave a reply anywhere on my blog, I will do my best to reply to it. Thank you all for being here because without all of your support, this blog wouldn’t even exist. Appreciate you all!

Oh, and as per Terri’s blog question in her SIA post; what we’re currently reading? For me, that question is a little difficult for me as I (try to) read several books at once. But as my reading has slowed down over the past few years, I’m thinking that I don’t have to try and read more than one book per month and don’t have to feel embarrassed about it either. I’m a work-in-progress when it comes to my reading. Here’s what I’m currently reading:

What I find to be interesting about this book is that the text switches back and forth from the traditional print to a hand written style, like a type of diary. Also, the dropped capitals, or drop caps (the super enlarged letters that you often see in printed materials, such as books) are incredible; like mini drawings. Take a look.

Aren’t these amazing? I could just stare at these things before even reading a single word on the page. No wonder I can’t finish a book. ๐Ÿ˜‰

SIA Post: Man With A Coffee Cup

I apologize for my being late with my post. I’ve been super busy this week, and I’m still struggling with some personal issues.

In any case, let’s move on.

This SIA challenge was hosted by Daenel, over on Living Outside The Stacks (http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/style-imitating-art-inspiration-woman-with-a-coffee-pot-by-paul-cezanne/).

She chose the work of Paul Cรฉzanneโ€™s Woman With A Coffee Pot, which you can see below (this is a public domain work, so I am free to use the image).

https://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-cezanne/woman-with-a-coffee-pot

And below are my photos, interpreting this piece.

Since my outfits are rather lacking, I mainly rely on props to interpret pieces for SIA. This is the corner of my room where I do my postcard art, reading (as you can see from the stacks of books), and now currently a jigsaw puzzle, as you can plainly see. In the top left photo, you can see some of my art stuff on the floor (which I have since cleaned up). I’m a homebound kind of guy. I don’t like to travel or go out, so this is my space where I can decompress and settle down after a stressful day or recover from a breakdown (which have been more frequent lately).

As for the outfit, I went with muted colors (gray and black, my favorites!) to match the grayish tones of the painting. And of course, being a coffee drinker, I had to include my favorite cup as a nice “add on”.

And that’s all for me. Be sure to stop by Daenel’s blog to see how everyone else interpreted this piece and leave a polite comment while you’re at it.

Today’s number:

SIA Post: Man With No Dog

I’m late with my SIA posting, as well as late for the round-up, which Salazar hosted on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey (https://14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com/2021/03/01/sia-inspiration-pierre-bonnard/) today. She chose a classic painting, Woman with a Dog, by Pierre Bonnard. Please check her blog for more details, as well as an image of the painting.

Sorry guys… this was all I could come up with. My health hasn’t been too good lately, so its been difficult to muster up much will to be “fully present”. I’m hoping to be better the next time around…

Postcard Post: Backlogged Postcards 1

I mentioned in an earlier post that because of my long hiatus from blogging, I would have a lot of material to write about. And so I hold true to my promise and presenting two postcards that I did back in July.

The first one is called River Valley, and the second one is called Luke’s Rapids (named after the newborn baby one of my co-workers had).

Pretty standard scenes here, with no real special details to speak of on either one. I will say this. I’ve been making great use of the liquid white and palette knives that I have to really help create depth in each painting. It’s amazing what a few extra strokes can do, isn’t it?

River Valley
Luke’s Rapids

Today’s number:

90,753 is a 5 digit composite number, with a total of 4 prime factors (3ร—13^2ร—179) and 12 positive divisors (1, 3, 13, 39, 169, 179, 507, 537, 2327, 6981, 30,252, and 90,753).

SIA Post: “Counting Lesson”

First off, I want to apologize to all of my readers (and my SIA team) for posting late. Life has been super busy for me lately, and I simply didn’t have time to sit down to write anything, let alone, even participate (I almost didn’t due to time constraints). But I’m here and that’s what matters.

So, moving on, this time, Daenel, over on Living Outside The Stacks (http://livingoutsidethestacks.com) hosted the SIA challenge, and came up with one that I really enjoy.

“Counting Lesson” by Albert Huie is a Jamaican artist that Daenel chose because February is Black History Month, and she wanted to start it off with a Black artist, which I whole heartily agree. You can read more about him on her blog, as well as from the link within her blog post (see above). And let’s face it. The title alone was enough to make me like this painting because I’m a total math/number nerd. ๐Ÿ˜›

So here’s what I came up with for this one.

No, I don’t have anything that’s polka dotted. I prefer stripes myself. But this came out pretty well too I think. I have a lot of white and a whole lot of black in my wardrobe, so I went with the obvious choice; the black and white seen on the woman’s dress.

Those of you who know me well know how much I like the color black and will try to incorporate it in my photos whenever possible. At first, I was thinking of going a different way with this one, like maybe wearing a dark navy blue shirt with a white logo on it to represent the small bits of white seen on her dress. But the more I thought about it, the more I began edging towards the whole black and white idea, keeping it simple and representing me a lot better (I’m very “black and white” in my ways of thinking, if you know what I mean; a type of dichotomous way, without the extreme personality disorder part (I think!). ๐Ÿ˜› Looking at it now, my attire reminds me a little of Two-Face’s outfit (the DCAU’s version). I wasn’t going for that look, as I don’t do cosplay, but it is a nice homage to one of my favorite DCAU villains I suppose.

But there you have it. I’m sort of taking an idea from one of my readers, Shelbee (https://www.shelbeeontheedge.com/), and taking multiple photos, instead of just one. I really like that idea and will be incorporating it more and more in future SIA posts.

Be sure to check out Daenel’s blog (link above) to see how everyone else interpreted this painting and leave a polite comment to show your support. ๐Ÿ™‚

And because this is a counting lesson, here is today’s number:

25,881 is a 5 digit composite number, with 2 prime factors (one being the numbers 1 and itself, and the other being 3ร—8627) giving it a total of 4 divisors in all.

SIA Post: Nebra Sky Disk

We have another SIA challenge, this time hosted by Salazar over on 14 Shades of Grey (http://14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com), and this time, she has chosen this awesome piece, a disk showing off a series of celestial bodies, in this case, the moon. You can see an image of it here (https://14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com/2021/01/18/sia-inspiration-nebra-sky-disk/).

It wasn’t too difficult for me to find something to wear for this SIA challenge, though I wasn’t quite sure how I would go about it.

I got the colors right, which was what I was going for. But I feel like I could have played around a little more in terms of how to present it. The yellow in my coat was a nice addition and really matched well with the gold found on the disk. But as I was photographing this, I thought about maybe having a bit more yellow (I have no idea how I would incorporate this) and eliminate the gray in my coat. I don’t know… to me, it doesn’t look as good now as it did when I first took the pictures and if I had more time, I could have come up with something better. What do you think?

Anyway, this is my interpretation for this week’s SIA. Be sure to visit Salazar’s blog this Wednesday to see the interpretations by the other participants. Hope to see you there!

Today’s number:

A 5 digit composite number, with 3 prime factors (5ร—41ร—467) and 8 divisors.