Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weedin' - Paintin' - Talkin'

We had such a lovely, comfortable day today.  The weather was warm but not too warm, breezy but not windy, and partly sunny with low humidity.  My favorite kind of weather!  I pulled lots of weeds, trimmed lots of finished daylily scapes, mulched a little, planted a little mugo pine and a miscanthus grass, and generally did some garden tidying.  It felt good to be outside.

I've finally got a little mojo going with my art.  I had three 11x14 canvas boards that I'd started to work on last year, playing with color.  For whatever reason, I lost interest in them and they were shelved.  I pulled them out this week and finished laying the base colors - one in graduated shades of green (chartreuse through spring into forest), one in sunset russets and golds, and one going from deep blue to intense red.  I looked at them for a few days, wondering what design  to draw on them.  I hesitated to begin with the markers - why, I'm not sure.  I wanted to do something different, but spun my wheels for a while.  Heaven only knows why I didn't think of this before, but I suddenly got the idea to get a new set of squeeze bottles with fine applicator tips (the same ones I use for glaze on ceramics) and to put moderately thick acrylic paint in them.  Voila!  Instant acrylic paint "pen."  I've been working on the sunset-toned canvas board creating designs in black for a couple days, and I really like the effect of the thicker, raised acrylic paint over the vibrant, satiny background color.  It's very textural, and catches the light.  I can imagine someone visually impaired enjoying this kind of painting - it just begs to be touched and explored with the fingertips.  Best of all, I'm having fun.  I'll have to get more bottles and keep them filled with other colors.  Ah, the possibilities!

I'm trying to get my "bike legs" back after not riding for so long.  I'd promised Princess Yakyak that I'd go for a ride tonight, so we did that at our favorite time of the evening - not long before sunset.  Our excursion took us  through a couple neighborhoods, and along a field, pond, and water-filled ditch.  Something about the scent of the field and the warm, damp, slightly compost-y smell of the pond and ditch reminds me very powerfully of my childhood.  We lived near a stretch of high tension wires, underneath which were some ditches and small catch-ponds, and an access road lined with brush and grasses, and I spent untold hours there in all seasons.  I caught frogs and tadpoles, avoided crayfish (they creeped me out), picked wild strawberries and blackberries, created trails, made hideouts, played in the mud, rode my bike, had adventures, chased grasshoppers, and generally ran wild.  Good memories!  All brought back by that indefinable late summer fragrance of a field, a pond, and a ditch.

Oh, the interview this morning went very well.  I like the Vice Principal I interviewed with.  He asked the usual assortment of teaching-related questions, and asked me some good questions about how home schooling and teaching in a co-op for home schoolers differs from teaching in a public school.  After that, we spent some time talking about Safety Guy and his transition to junior high school next month.  He wanted to get some information about Safety Guy's interests, anxieties, strong points and weaknesses.  I came away feeling that our son will be in good hands.  And, I think that I have a good chance of being hired as a substitute.  I'll know for sure after the next board meeting, where they approve new hires.  Thankfully, certified subs are usually in demand.  And, this vice principal definitely valued my experience teaching my own children and teaching in the co-op - a most refreshing attitude to encounter in a public school!

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