Earlier this month my girls performed their last dance recital. They’ve moved on to other activities as mentioned in a previous post. This was a bittersweet performance not only because my daughters won’t be dancing anymore (my oldest just loves ballet and lyrical), but also because a girl at the dance studio committed suicide and it came as a shock to everyone. She was only fourteen years old. She was a beautiful girl with a kind heart. It’s heartbreaking that no one saw her internal pain. My oldest daughter was a good friend to her and she is having a hard time dealing with the loss. The last group photo (the 9th photo) below of my oldest daughter and the other dancers was a tribute dance to the girl.
These are photos from rehearsal since we’re not allowed to take photos on the actual day of performance.
My kids have been busy with summer activities so I haven’t had much time to do anything really. Both the girls have left the world of dance. One moved on to Poms and the other to swim – although swim is only for the summer. I haven’t decided if I’ll be putting her in anything in the fall and winter. She isn’t too enthusiastic about physical activities, except for maybe running, but even that I don’t think she takes very seriously. I’m still looking for a voice coach for her because she’s very passionate about singing but I just can’t seem to find anyone in the area.
With the “no time” I have, I’ve somehow managed to finish four layouts I’ve tried to finish since March. These layouts are from a year-long course I’ve been taking online by Wilna Furstenberg who is an amazing artist. I’m actually taking two of her online classes: Art to Heart and Artventure. Art to Heart focuses on the self following scriptures from the bible and Artventure focuses on family. I’ve learned so much from these courses. I’ve learned not to be afraid to mix different types of media and it’s been very fun and stress relieving, except for the journaling part. I always have a hard time journaling. I find that strange because I love to write. The mind is so mysterious.
Here are the latest layouts. As mentioned, they were started in March and I completed them earlier this week.
Here are close ups.
On a side note, I purchased a couple of different coloring media: Derwent Watersoluble Pencils and Caran D’ache Neocolor II Watersoluble Pastels. I’ve been watching YouTube videos on these two products and comparing them to Prima Marketing and a few other brands with similar items. I chose to go with these two because they’ve been in the market longer and I wanted to get a feel for them before trying the newer brands.
I’m in the process of moving some large files over to another external drive to make room for those REF files from my camera, so while that’s moving along in the background, I thought I’d share what I was painting the last couple of days.
This was done using a reference digital painting by Larry Wilson. I decided not to make the girl an elf since I wasn’t feeling it at the time, but I do love elves! I used watercolors by Jane Davenport and Copic Markers.
I’ve been reading and writing and just haven’t been able to post a lot. I’ve also decided to return to college to finish my master’s degree. I only have 7 classes left so I figured I might as well go for it. I’ve also begun to edit other writer’s work because that’s what I’d like to focus on doing while in the process of completing my novel.
Anyhow, life’s been busy with the kid’s school and after school activities so there hasn’t been much time to post. I just did a photo session of my niece early this week so I’ll be doing post production on those photos in the next few days. I was able to slip some watercolor + mixed media in my painting journal. Drawing and coloring (painting, etc.) have always been a stress reliever for me + music. This piece was done yesterday using watercolor and charcoal.
This morning, I found this beautiful piano piece and I think it kind of matches the portrait’s expression.
“Unbreakable” by Josh Kramer (emotional epic piano)
The kids are on spring break so I get a break from driving everywhere. With this little down time, I’m able to do a ton of stuff: write, draw, write, spend time on FB writing groups, etc. It’s nice. I’m also reading a book that I’m almost done with and getting ready to review.
A few song favorites that I have on rotation:
“Wayfarer” by Clau M
“About Me and You” by Clau M
“Where Is My Place In This World” by Soundmopi
“A Boy and His Cat” by Kari Sigurosson
Practicing on some quick portrait sketches. Wish I had more than just 5 Copic markers. I’m really loving them but I just can’t fathom shelling out the money for them as a hobbyist. As you can see, I can only really color one girl with the Copics. I want to give the elf queen in the top left grayish white hair, the girl in the bottom left red hair, and the girl on the bottom right jet black hair.
The Song Rising
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genre: Fiction, Sci-fi, Paranormal, Post-apocalyptic
The Song Rising is the third book in The Bone Season series. It begins right after The Mime Order ends. If you haven’t read the first two books, the third book would be a bit confusing. This series is dependent on each other.
In this story, the MC (main character), Paige, learns of a weapon that could detect clairvoyants and destroy them. Her goal was to locate the source of this weapon but she finds that it’s harder than it sounds. She’d have to make a decision that could lead to her death.
“The only way to survive is to believe you always will.”
I found this book to be more interesting than the second book. The second book was mainly about creating the Mime order, a collaboration between a clairvoyant group and some Ranthens, in order to defeat the Rephaite sovereign. It also felt a bit slow moving. This book was pretty fast paced. A lot happened and we blow through quite a bit of flashback/history. I’m glad for that because it adds to the world building and characters development, setting the story for what’s to come. It was done nicely. There was a lot going on in this book. The characters were more defined and Warden played a bigger role. I happen to really enjoy his character and every part he’s in. I’m fascinated by his kind, pretty much. We learn of a hidden world underground. We also learn a little more about Paige’s old boss, the mime-lord, Jaxon Hall and his role with the Rephaite sovereign.
The only downside for me was that there wasn’t much said about the Emite (aka buzzers). At first I got the feeling that these creatures were going to destroy the world if not controlled. It appeared as though the Rephaim had kept them under control but somehow, through a portal of sort, some escaped. I thought Warden was spending all his time tracking the escaped. In the end of the story when Warden was to leave Britain, it didn’t make sense. Who was going to do the work of keeping the Emite away? I hope to learn more about this part of the story in the next few books only because in the first book, when Warden was training Paige, the Emite seemed to have been the focus. I thought she was going to have some part in their demise or at least in keeping them from escaping.
Overall, I enjoyed it. It was one of those books where I had to almost read straight through because it’s that good.
“The wonderful thing about living in a morally bankrupt world is that every human being can be bought in one way or another. Everyone accepts a currency. Money, mercy, the illusion of power – there are always ways to purchase loyalty.”