This blog has been horribly quiet, and I blame one thing. It’s a horrible obsession, developed from the innocent pleasure of buying a few packets of seeds for less than a dollar, planting them in a foam kit, and adding water. Months later, I’m tackling garden projects that have been sitting idle for years around my parents’ home. Yes, I’ve found myself addicted to gardening.
I’m constantly busy, even when I’m not doing strictly ‘job-related’ things. I’m tackling digging trenches, moving heavy stone and tons of dirt, cleaning abandoned areas, etc. My ankles and wrists look like I’ve gotten chicken pox from all the bug bites, but you get to be in a state of zen when working in the garden. The heat wave has yet to stop me, though everything stops about 1-3 PM. Indiana has problems with humidity, though I would bet the states south of me have an even harder time. Humidity is the part that can kill you- with the air already filled with moisture, there’s no real way for the body to stay cool, even through sweating. On the hottest days, I take frequent breaks, or not go outside at all.
My art has not been affected; I’m the sort who prefers the quiet of the evening hours anyway. Working in the garden has actually helped me art-wise; my enthusiasm has gone through the roof. There’s nothing more satisfying than to go to bed with the realization that, not only have you hauled nearly a ton of stone around, you’ve also finished that watercolor. My only concern is making sure my hands aren’t too strained- a bruise on my left thumb made things especially difficult for a few days. I may have to invest in some serious heavy-duty gloves to protect my hands.
When it comes to art, things have been slow business-wise, but active otherwise. A lot of what I do right now is commissions for friends, people who like my work online, and personal projects. While I take any popularity I get on Deviantart with a grain of salt, I *did* recieve a Daily Deviation recently. I’ve used the site before my college days, and it continues to be a nice way of finding new artists, keeping in touch with friends, and as a fast way to put up artwork. It’s handy, though I consider it a far different tool that something I use for entirely promotional ends, such as my own website and my Directory of Illustration profile. it’s also been a great community for resources, including a very active stock community. When I’ve had a moment or two to do so, I’ve been placing my stash of reference photos I’ve taken on a separate account in order to give back, and it’s encouraged me to take more reference photos entirely for my reference library.
I’ve been continuing my series of watercolor birds for my grandpa. In the future, I may use prints of my best ones to send in to card companies. While I’m protective when it comes to my rights when it comes to my Cattisms (I like the freedom to use them in promotions and sales- also, I just like doing them!), these have the benefit of having a wider audience appeal. I just completed a Carolina Wren, the digital version of which I need to clean up. I’m still perfecting how to properly display my watercolors; even after using a calibration card I’m still not satisfied. I may start not editing out the texture of the watercolor paper at all- I’ve seen work presented this way by other watercolor artists, and it brings a better feel of the medium this way.
Anyway, the garden calls to me, and the day, for once, isn’t hot and humid! Time to lather on the sunscreen and get my hands dirty.