Tag Archives: art

5 Things on Vacation

tropical body

Dr. Tanya continues her #5Things series by asking about favorite vacation activities. I don’t travel much, except to visit my family, nor do I plan to start. It’s too expensive and I don’t want to leave my kitty. Honestly, I don’t have many happy travel memories, except for the two times I traveled solo with my daughter. My parents were too hyper on vacation for my taste, and my ex-husband, well… let’s just say we had different ideas. Anyway, besides family visits, here are my favorite activities to engage in during days off work.

1. Wandering. I like to get a cup of coffee or tea and window shop, peruse the bookstore, maybe check out some artwork, and just drift to wherever my feet take me.

2. Painting or crafting. I enjoy spending a bunch of uninterrupted hours engaged in a hands-on creative activity. Sometimes I color to relax on any random day.

3. Visiting Catalina. I don’t really consider this to be travel, since it’s nearby, but it’s really fun to take the ferry over to Catalina and see the island. Last time, there was a Chihuly glass art exhibit there, which I love.

4. Watching a matinee. It’s nice to indulge in an early movie by myself. The theater is pretty empty and I can choose something silly that my friends wouldn’t enjoy.

5. Gaming. I like to play board games with friends, and it’s great to have the time to indulge in the longer strategy games, which can take hours to finish.

Another reason it’s hard for me to become enthused about travel is that fact that I’m so often in pain. The idea of having to deal with a migraine on an airplane is no fun at all. I don’t want to spend money going to a new place only to have to lie in a dark room cuz my head is throbbing. Strange food usually neither agrees with me nor appeals to me, so there’s that as well. I’m just an old fuddy duddy, but I like what I like! Pffft.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

A Colorful Escape

coloring

Today I took a break from my side work, blogging, writing, etc. and colored with some Meetup peeps. It was so great not to look at a screen for two hours… I should do this more often. It was a sweet escape for my tired eyes. I’m loving my new coloring book with black background pages. I’ll do more soon.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Last Shot 04/30/22

Van Gogh

Yesterday we went to Beyond Van Gogh in Del Mar as part of my fabulous birthday celebration weekend. I can’t even begin to describe what an amazing experience it was to become totally immersed in Vincent’s incredible art. My pics don’t do it justice at all, but I have lots more, including a lovely video that I’m proud of because I usually suck at taking vids.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Posted for Bushboy’s Last on the Card.

Things I Miss

Puzzle pieces

In this week’s episode of Throwback Thursday, Maggie asks about objects or places we miss having in our lives. Since that excludes people, I won’t write about my mom (or dad) again. They’re always on my mind though, especially in Spring when the dates come up for birthdays, death anniversaries, etc. And of course Mother’s Day is coming soon…

I miss doing huge jigsaw puzzles (besides the fact that I did them with my mom). These days I don’t have space to dedicate to a puzzle, nor will my back appreciate hunching over a table as I look for that elusive piece. On that note, I miss doing crafts generally. I don’t have the space to store supplies, nor do I want to spend money on them even if I could make room. As far as needlework, my eyes aren’t what they used to be, and after staring at the screen all day at work they just say no to counting stitches. I do have painting supplies, but I hate the results so much I haven’t bothered in months. Also, I end up hunching over when I paint, which my back does not like. Before anyone suggests an easel, my back also protests at standing in one spot for too long.

It’s not as though I pine away for these things. I miss them lightly and most days not at all.

shrug woman

Scrapbooking was tons of fun ~ Lauren’s A-Z posts this month remind me how much I enjoyed creating the pages. I have a dozen or so books that I revisit from time to time. But those days have passed, and while I get an occasional impulse to do a collage of the grands or kitties, I definitely do not have the urge to run out and buy supplies. Printing photos is relatively cheap, but the books and paper and all that add up quickly. It is nicer to have the books though than to search my phone for photos.

I don’t really miss “things” I’ve dumped. I used to have tons of books and all sorts of knickknacks, but I downsized (a few times) and threw out or donated most of my collections. I rarely if ever think about those items. I’ve also tossed out zillions of shoes, which ~ OK ~ I miss a little. It was nice to be able to wear cute heels with an outfit and not worry that my back would hurt in an hour.

red shoes

There are places I miss having in my life. I sometimes miss Chicago. I lived right next to Lake Michigan, and I could go out and take a nice long walk along the shore by myself. (Not when it was 40 below, obviously!) Now, I need to drive to the beach for a shore walk and it’s often crowded and a hassle. There were other good things about the city (back then), such as great public transportation and a bunch of stuff to do all conveniently located in one area ~ restaurants, movies, museums, etc. Out here in SoCal, most events require a significant car trip… and I hate driving.

I miss some restaurants like The Good Earth and Jerry’s Deli, both of which used to be nearby in Costa Mesa. I miss when things weren’t so crowded and you didn’t have to reserve a place in advance. I miss when the price of gas was only $4.99/gallon!

Most of all, I miss my fabulous memory and test-taking ability…

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Walking Away…

walking moonlight umbrella

In his ongoing Truthful Tuesday series, today PCGuyIV asks the following:

What hobby or pastime have you recently set aside, either partially or completely, even if just for the time being? What has made you set it aside? Has another hobby or pastime taken its place? If so, is it a new interest or has something previously put away caught your attention again?

To begin, I want to say that I disagree with the prevalent notion that we mustn’t give up on anything, that we must struggle, and that if we walk away from something that isn’t working, we are failures. That’s ridiculous. There are plenty of things that should be abandoned: bad marriages, disloyal friends, terrible jobs, destructive habits, and kale. Kale sucks!

With that out of the way, I will answer the questions. YES, I have recently set aside some hobbies/pastimes and here they are, in no particular order.

1. Dating. I have learned the hard way that sticking your hand into a bag of glass hoping to find an elusive piece of candy is stupid. It took me a long time to grok this because candy is yummy, but I ran out of bandaids, so…

2. Painting. I enjoy painting when the end result pleases me aesthetically, but it takes a lot of time and energy to create a project, and most of them turn out yucky. I don’t have the patience to improve right now, so maybe this is something to revisit later on. I would say painting falls into the set aside category rather than the abandoned one.

3. Writing novels. I have proven to myself that I can finish a novel (more than one), so that’s crossed off the bucket list. With so many self-published authors out there now, it’s too difficult to get noticed and make enough money to justify the time outlay. Maybe this hobby will be revisited when I retire, but for now my writing urges are satisfied via blogging.

4. Baking. I used to love to bake cookies and cakes, and I enjoyed decorating cakes too. But with everyone avoiding sugar or carbs or being on some keto type diet, I just can’t be bothered. Store-bought desserts are almost as good and much easier to deal with. This weekend however I plan to make something TIGER themed ~ not because I care about sportsball, but it is an excuse to go TIGERY!

5. Phone games. I dumped these last year when I wanted to focus on reading 100+ books. Accomplished that. Crossed item off bucket list. This year, I’m reading at a more relaxed pace, and the games are baaaaack.

Good questions!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

The Rainbow Tree [socs]

The Rainbow Tree is the best picture I have painted. I made it during a visit to my daughter in 2020 and got so excited by how well it turned out that I ordered a whole bunch of canvases and paints as soon as I returned. But unfortunately nothing I’ve painted since has pleased me at all. I’ve posted some here (since removed) and appreciate all the compliments, but the truth is… the pictures really sucked. I found more flaws in each one the more I looked at them until the point came when I couldn’t bear their existence at all. So I dumped them in the trash. But this tree… I love it so much. I have it sitting on my dresser so I see it every morning. It makes me happy. If only I could figure out how to make something else that pleased me to this degree.

I think maybe it’s time to change tutorials. I had a favorite art tutor and followed her videos, but lately my feeling is that she’s more interested in chitchat than walking us through step by step. Sometimes she gets so caught up in a side convo with her hubby or a YouTube commenter that she forgets to tell us how to paint the next part of the picture! When I try to improvise on my own, I screw it up. There must be no assumption whatsoever that I have any natural talent ~ I need the tutor to explain each thing in detail.

I really should find a good tutorial, since I have a ton of paint just waiting for the next Rainbow Tree. This will be one of my New Year’s goals.

~*~

Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Fascination

forest owl dark night snow

When Maggie @ fromcavewalls asked this Throwback Thursday what fascinated me as a youngster, my initial impulse was to look up “fascinate,” and I discovered it originally meant ”to hold spellbound by an irresistible power.” We’re talking magic spells here, a raptor’s gaze (“enraptured”), or even a hat. What? Yes, those feathery, lacy concoctions women wear on their heads at the track and other fancy events are called fascinators.

There are a bunch of interesting words from the Latin rapere (to seize/carry off): rape, rapt, raptor, rapture, raven, ravenous, ravage, etc. What does this have to do with fascinate? Welp…

I’m fascinated by words, always have been. As far back as I can remember, I was surrounded by books to read… to drift off into other worlds via the power of the written word. Songs that can create a story/mood with their lyrics hold a special place in my heart. I also had plenty of paper and pencils with which to write my own words and/or color and draw. I began writing silly poetry as a child and continued with typical angsty poems in my teens.

The power of creation in general interested me. Whether it was baking cookies, drawing doggies (or attempting to), crocheting a rug for my Barbie dollhouse, forming candles, or beading a string necklace… I loved to make things. It follows that creative people also hold my attention. I respect the desire to come up with something new and to leave something behind.

These days I’m a little more discerning with my creative impulses. I’d love to get into jewelry making, but it’s expensive and I’d constantly be shooing Gatsby away. While I am often seized by an idea for a new book, I’ve been resistant, due to the immediate and intense demands of time and energy. Baking? Forget it. At my age, I don’t need a tempting platter of sweets enrapturing me…

~*~

Image from Pixabay.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Primary [socs]

Primary colors paint

For Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, we were given the instructions to grab the closest piece of printed paper, close our eyes, and point. My finger landed on “primary” as in primary cardholder. Yes, it’s time to renew my Costco membership, which may seem silly because I never go there. I find many things/places intimidating and huge open spaces top the list. There is just so much at Costco and everything is enormous. I can’t deal with it at all. Plus, it’s always super-crowded and even before the pandemic I had an issue with crowds. I feel I can’t breathe and get panicked. Generally, I am OK with crowded outdoor places as long as everyone isn’t swarming toward an exit or whatever. I don’t even get gas at Costco because saving two bucks isn’t worth the line and feeling pressured when it’s my turn. I hate when there are people behind me making me feel rushed.

So why do I have a Costco membership at all? Simple. It’s for the eyeglasses. If you don’t know, the eyeglass industry is a huge rip-off with almost every retail outlet controlled by Luxottica. Even Target optical is in this boat. Many years ago, I thought I could get a good deal on glasses at Target, since I like them for almost everything else, but the price was insane. I paid it because I felt I had no choice… and it was a little cheaper than Lenscrafters. But it turns out Target is also a ripoff for glasses. Some friends order glasses directly from places online to get a great deal, but I have to try them on. It’s not for fashion so much as comfort ~ my ears are very choosy about the shape and weight of the stems. Anyway, Costco is not affiliated with Luxottica and sets their own prices, which are half or better than anywhere else you can go in-person. This alone is worth a $60/year membership, even though I don’t buy new glasses every year. I will be going in for an exam and new glasses (maybe sunglasses too) in 2022.

On another note, when I searched for an image to use for this post, a lot of school pics came up because of primary school. Also, some political banners came up, yuck! At first, I was thinking to use something about prime numbers or Amazon Prime, but the word is “primary,” and I wanted to be true to that. A lot of images of supposed primary colors are not ONLY of those colors but a whole rainbow. Hello, if I wanted ALL the colors I wouldn’t have specified primary. There were primary color balloons and some abstract cubist thing, but I liked this paint doodad. It makes me a bit sad though, since I still have all my paints and brushes and blank canvases… but I have absolutely zero desire to paint anything now. It’s because I’ve been so disappointed in the quality of my work. I really do not have any innate talent and need a simple and clear tutorial, not one of those draw a circle and a dot and then suddenly there’s a dog. FFS. The only thing that ever came out well was my rainbow tree. Maybe if I could find another tutorial like that and not something weird and complicated I would be interested. The thing is, it’s super-hard to know before you start. Some of the paintings look simple but are a ton of work and require some artistic ability. The rating system a tutor gives is useless I have learned. I guess I could watch the whole tutorial before deciding to begin and then I’d know if what appears to be easy actually is or isn’t.

Before anyone starts up, YES, I know it is supposed to be a “fun” hobby without worrying how something turns out, but it is not FUN for me if I spend 6 hours on a supposedly “easy” painting only to have it look like a 6 year old did it and end up throwing it in the trash.

~*~

Image from Pixabay.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Connector

Kitty by the door

Art imitates cat

Cat contemplates empty space

Space gives way to art

~*~

Image is mine. Poetry form is haiku. Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

The Art Forger [repost]

coffee notebook pen write list

I loved The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro. Surprised the hell out of me, it did. Here are some notes…

1. It’s in first person, present tense. Eww, right? But it works well here.

2. There are constant flips to a backstory from 3 years ago. Yucky, normally. But it works to build suspense and character, and Shapiro does it well.

3. There’s a series of old letters from 100 years ago. OMG noooo! But they are oddly… interesting.

4. A whole bunch of technical stuff is plastered in about painting technique. Weirdly fascinating. Plus how can I not adore the word “craquelure?”

5. The heroine’s attraction to a certain dude annoys me, but I’m cheering for her anyway. Go figure.

None of the characters are very likeable, in that they have glaring ethical flaws, yet I can totally sympathize with the heroine regardless. Eh, probably because of her ethical flaws! It’s all in the writing, which kept me invested in the story, the characters, and the outcome. These factors (1-5) often turn me off, but a good writer can overcome them.

Thing is, I never would have found this book, much less bought and enjoyed it, if it wasn’t for the Kindle Unlimited program. I don’t have unlimited funds for book purchases, nor do I feel like lugging around library books. Ebooks are perfect for me and KU keeps me well supplied with new titles.

[Written in 2015. Still true.]

~*~

Image from Pexels.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.