Monday, December 30, 2002

Happy holidays!

Last night -- a little after midnight -- I made one of my world famous custom martinis. I should call it a Brytini. Or perhaps, even better, a Tiptini. As New Year's Eve approaches, my recipe is as follows:
- 6 parts gin (Tangueray, although Bombay Saphire works equally well)
- 1 part vermouth (Martini & Rossi Extra Dry)
- 1 part Triple-Sec (Hiram Walker)
- 4-5 drops of bitters (Angostura)
- 3 large jalapeno stuffed olives
The ingredient list reads a bit eclectic, but somehow they all work together. For me, a "part" is equal to half a shot, so the martini amounts listed above will equal a total of four shots. Enough alcohol to induce a coma. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Completed my first acrylic painting on wood this afternoon. Wood definitely has a different feel than canvas. It absorbs water and paint quickly, so there is less forgiveness, but it makes up for it with its smooth surface. I'll be trying it again.

Acrylic is a resilient medium. You could take a finished canvas, tie it around your neck like a cape, dive under water, and sans sharks and unruly penguins, return with it largely unscathed. Despite this fact, it's a good idea to seal the canvas with coats of varnish. I just picked some up last week and am now in the process of going through all my acrylic canvases and covering them with varnish (which resembles diluted glue). I'm using a medium matte type, so it doesn't appear to change the colors or look of my finished paintings. However, I encountered a problem when using the varnish on my painting that is a combination of acrylic and ink. The varnish makes the ink disolve and run. Not good. Fortunately, I was able to minimize the damage, but am now confused on how to protect my other combination acrylic and ink paintings.

Friday, December 20, 2002

My friend Martha recently informed me about the 50% off canvas sale the Art Store in Little Italy (San Diego) was having. I'm not sure if this is a natural progression for most artists, but I feel a desire to work in larger formats, and I have seen myself progressing to bigger sizes. Canvases can be expensive, so with this sale, I decided to buy a decent size canvas. I ended up with one 30x40". It's difficult to realize just how big this size is until a blank one sits in your living room.

I'm not able to articulate my reasons precisely, but I believe that London women are the most attractive in the world. If I was limited to one city to pick a prospective girlfriend, it would be London. They have an independent, down to earth quality I cherish, while also possessing a wonderful sense of humor. Plus, as I have said before, I believe that women growing up in colder climates have an additional quality to them I find most attractive. Resourcefulness? Common sense? A survival instinct? I don't know. But I do know it's present. One night in London I rode the Tube from Holborn station to Leicester Square, on my way to see the musical, Les Miserables. Across from me sat the most amazing girl. We both sat quietly along my two stops. Her with hands clasped on her lap. She non-descript and unassuming. No make-up. Dark, shoulder length hair. Her wearing long coat in the bitter chill of a London evening. Subtlely subdued. Perhaps sad, but with a smile lurking on the surface. And for these two stops I wished she was my girlfriend. On my 30x40" blank canvas, I want to capture this scene, and call it Cosette.

Along with my large canvas purchase, I paid twelve dollars for a piece of flat maple wood measuring 10x10". Tonight, I started painting a portrait on it and while it's a bit strange painting acrylic on wood, it has an ease about it I enjoy. Although from here on out, I'll start buying it from the standard lumber yard for much less money.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Added Cameron to my Watercolor section.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Been a busy couple of weeks.

Over Thanksgiving I drove to my sister's place in Phoenix where my mom and step-dad met, too. It was great spending time with family and the drive went well for it being almost 400 miles.

My best friend since 7th grade, Jason, and his wife came down from Anchorage to visit for four days. Had a lot of fun drinking beer, hanging out at the beach, and touring around town.

Made a recent discovery at the grocery store this past weekend. Found out that the grocery store carries the French cookies I became addicted to in France. They're called Le Petit Ecolier.

After Thanksgiving I received a rejection letter from the Anchorage Quarterly Review for my short story, Naive Ants. Need to find a new magazine to send it off to.

Went to the San Diego Museum of Art this afternoon where they recently opened up two new exhibits that were both great. The first is titled Mastering the Medium: American Watercolors from the Museum's Collection, 1870-1970 and features great watercolors from three of my favorites, Frederick Frieseke, Andrew Wyeth, and Winslow Homer, in addition to other fabulous artists. The second exhibit is titled, Painting Women: Fragonard to Bouguereau, and features various artists' stylistic depictions of the female form. I really enjoyed both.