Monday, January 27, 2014

A Fast Week

Last week went by in a blur.  With the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday, babysitting on Tuesday and Wednesday, and back to the mountains on Thursday, I had almost no time at home!

I bought a new book called Watercolor Tips and Techniques, by Cathy Johnson.  I am working my way through, from brushstrokes basics to mixing colors.  I did not have my good brushes or tube paints with me in the mountains, but I had fun playing with a few pages.

This page was an attempt to mix some juicy colors by letting the paints mix on the paper, rather than on the palette.

This one was just making a color wheel and experimenting to see which were warm or cool colors.  In the mountains I have a set of 24 Pelikan pan watercolors.  I forgot how pretty some of the colors are!

I have only attempted one painting recently.  Karlyn Holman, one of my instructors at Art of the Carolinas, had an article in the current Watercolor Artist Magazine about painting backlit winter trees.  I am not thrilled with this one, but might try it again.  I think I should have started the tree line closer to the foreground.

I had plenty of inspiration for winter scenes in the mountains.  It was freezing cold, and snowed off and on all weekend.  

Here is our new cabin, still not finished, but looking welcoming in the wintry weather.

The creek and pond were frozen, with icicles coming over the dam and also on the rocky cliffs between Laurel Springs and North Wilkesboro.

When we got home, the somewhat icy pond in our Raleigh back yard was reflecting the afternoon sun coming through the evergreens.  It looked so pretty!  I will have to add this to my wish list of future paintings.

After we got home, we went to the Apple store in Crabtree Valley Mall.  I got a new iMac laptop.  I don't think I've mentioned my computer problems since someone broke in our house in November and stole our laptops and wedding silver.  I waited a month to get the insurance check, then bought a Sony touch pad laptop with Windows 8.0.  I hated and did not understand that version of Windows, so I went online to watch some tutorials.  While I was watching one on the Microsoft site, a pop-up window said "You are watching a video about using Windows 8.1, but your computer has Windows 8.0. Would you like a free upgrade?  So I said yes.

When you upgrade to 8.1, you have to have a wireless router that runs on a different system.  All of a sudden, I had no more Internet, e-mail, or printing.  It did not work on anyone else's router that I tried.  I did not want a new Router, and there was no fix for the problem.  

So, I tried going back to Windows 8.0.  OOPS!  You can't, unless you created an image on your computer before upgrading.  I don't remember any window advising me to do that.  Anyway, I got mad and sent the Sony laptop back.  The refund for it just came last week.  

So now I have an iPod, iPad, iPhone, and iMac, and everything is playing nicely with each other.  Charlie already had an iMac and has a back-up drive and CD/DVD drive for it that we can share.  

And we have a good alarm system and are much more careful about hiding our stuff when we leave the house.

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