Restless hearts, it has been along time,
Out here on the journey, for a glimpse of paradise,
It’s getting hard to find a place to go,
Where peaceful water flow.
— Chris de Burgh
A walk in the park
Away from all the busy streets of my mind
I seek a straighter path
I seek a shady glade in which to unwind
Jeremy yawned. Camping was bad enough; if only his Dad didn’t insist on having these pointless conversations. Did he exist? Well, obviously! Yes, like a drop of water joins the sea, he would die one day – who wanted to be old, anyway? But unlike a drop of water, he would enjoy life along the way.
Could he prove he existed? Sometimes Dad was like little Louey, really! Told the knight couldn’t move in a straight line, Louey had gone berserk: Prove it! he had shouted. Those are the rules, dummy. You don’t prove them, they’re just there. If you don’t like them, don’t play chess.
Family was really the limit. After lunch he’d find a way to slope off.
* * *
T. Mastgrave’s philosophical story challenge: Can you be sure you exist?
Where waters smoothest run,
there deepest are the fords,
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move;
The firmest faith is found in fewest words,
The turtles do not sing, and yet they love.
– Edward Dyer
All roads indeed lead to Rome,
but theirs also is a more mystical destination,
some bourne of which no traveller knows the name,
some city, they all seem to hint, even more eternal.
– Richard Le Gallienne
The Travel Theme: Mystical
You know when you look everywhere for your glasses, and you can’t find them? And then they turn up on your head? Or the book you hunt for high and low? That was on your bedside table all along, lying the wrong way up? You get so annoyed while you’re searching, and then a little embarrassed…
No, it’s not age. You see, something I’ve always been looking for. One day I realised, suddenly, it was in my hand. It always had been. But I couldn’t see it because it didn’t look like I thought it did.
What I was looking for? Didn’t I tell you?
I was stumped by this week’s 100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups (…suddenly it was in my hand…), but when I saw the weekly photo challenge it suddenly fell into place.
The most common of everyday articles for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Have you ever really looked at a glass of water? Try painting one!
How not to do it.
- Paint the outline slowly to make sure it’s crooked, and do it in a highly staining colour, so it can’t be fixed.
- Forget about perspective and paint the oval closest to your eye (here: top) with the strongest curve.
- Worst of all: try very hard to leave out fiddly little bits of lighter colour from the very start. This results in the confused lines that you see on the water surface and the bottom here.
So how do you do it?
Artist and blogger Dayna Bordage often posts beautiful paintings of transparent water containers: bottle, vases, reflections, more. Recently she created this 7-step guide with step-by-step illustrations. What I learnt was this.
- Instead of identifying the light edges and trying to paint around them, try to identify areas larger areas of at least a little colour, and paint those.
- Then in the next step identify areas that are at least a little darker. Repeat. This way the pattern of highlights and shadows emerges naturally.
- Finally add highlights with gouache, or if you’re a purist, sprinkle gum or dab a white oil-pastel crayon before you start.
I’ve often read about the principle of painting from light to dark, but I never understood that it also means painting from large areas to small. I guess in order to learn, you have to do it … wrong.
What calms you down?
Looking at something natural at a distance, ideally something blue or green: water, leaves, green grass, sky and clouds. When I do that I can instantly stop thinking. It gives me a feeling of peace, of connection, of groundedness, and then I can stop taking myself and my own little problems too seriously.
Whats your favorite fantasy sandwich?
Provided they’re vegetarian, I am partial to all kinds of sandwiches: classic cucumber, grilled cheese and tomato, on occasion even peanut-butter and jelly.
What was your nickname growing up either as a kid or now?
I tend to go by my initial “K”.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
If I were a crayon, I’d be a Jaxon 2000 ultramarine blue, which is a highly saturated deep blue, tending to purple. My absolutely favourite colour! 🙂 And the crayons are a dream…
Reflect upon your present blessings,
of which every man has many,
not on your past misfortunes,
of which all men have some.
― Charles Dickens
Jakesprinter’s challenge: Reflections