Jan. 25th, 2013

abendgules: (downhill)
I'm now feeling more human, as in functional and thinking, rather than just walking, talking variety. Coughing mostly limited to morning, and far less serious.

This bout reminded me that my dad suffered from lingering coughs for years and years, long before his most frail years.  I wasn't terribly sympathetic at the time - Dad was a hypochondriac of the first order so giving any time to his ailments was risky (one of those vexing people who, if you said, 'how are you?' as a greeting, he'd tell you, in detail!) - but as I'm aging, I'm remembering him.

Dad was a longterm smoker, and lived with smokers, like the rest of his generation. He grew up in an industrial region of NE England, long before anyone considered occupational health, and then lived through WWII. I've always thought his asthma and emphysema (now called COPD) was life-related, rather than genetic.

Similarly, his father was a painter and decorator, and worked with all the best chemicals for that purpose that the 20th century could create (lead paints, solvents, etc) with little concern for his breathing, and unsurprisingly he was short of breath in old age.

Returned to the gym this week, testing the waters cautiously for coughing fits. Haven't keeled over yet.

Am still working on my 30 day challenge, but have taken time to do commissions. I'm expecting to incorporate gilding into at least one.

Even though I've not mastered authentic gilding, the main upshot of the 30 day challenge for me is that I'm not afraid of it anymore; afraid of getting it wrong, and afraid of using the wrong stuff. I've now seen that both the authentic stuff works (for flat gilding) and the easy-peasy one-step gilding sizes, and I can use what works, as needed. 

This is a good thing (TM) since I've long avoided exemplars with a much gilding, and have grudgingly used gouache as needed to accommodate any. I can now do better, and am free to choose those exemplars that include gilding without fear.

Ok it's not fear like fear of the dark or something - more that I don't like biting off more than I can chew artistically, and falling short (though this is a tried-and-true method for lots of folks, and guaranteed to teach you lots).

I'd much rather do something well within my capability, and do it really well. I generally avoid human figures, a lot of naturalistic details, and complex shading on this basis.

But adding gold to the repetoire, even in small quantities, opens up loads more options. 

Last weekend we went to the Hobbit, and I started a review, but now that I have a brain, I'm actually working at work, rather than blogging, so it's not finished.

Short version: The Hobbit - a disappointing journey. 


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