Well the last couple of months have been stranger and certainly more stressful than most.  It all started when my computer crashed.  I took it in to the Apple store for an analysis and they said the video card was done so they would replace it and I would have my unit back within 3-5 days.  Considering it was already Thursday that didn’t seem too bad but when I called on the Tuesday to see if it was ready they said that somehow they must have pinched a cable as the heat sensor was no longer working and they would have to order the part, another 3-5 days at least.  I called them later in the week and it turned out that even though the heat sensor needed to be replaced, it wasn’t the cause of the problem but that it was the logic keyboard, so in total it took almost 2 weeks and I couldn’t access any of my work.  Having become reliant on my big 27″ screen for display when I’m working on my art, I found those 2 weeks to be very frustrating.  Once I was up and running again, I had lots of emails and correspondence etc, to catch up on so I did all that hoping to start fresh with a couple of pieces I’d been contemplating for a bit.  I got the basic sketches done and was prepared to dive in but life had another challenge in store.  One evening I developed a sniffle and within about 15 minutes I had a full-blown head cold that lasted about 3 days but then I started to cough and cough and cough some more.  If I had 3 or 4 lungs I would have coughed them all up.  By that Thursday I was so weak and sick I decided to go see my doctor to make sure it wasn’t pneumonia.  She told me I had a throat infection and gave me a prescription for antibiotics.  3 days later I was worse so off to the hospital we went.  Every bone and muscle in my body ached.  I had a fever, non-stop cough and a few other issues I won’t mention.  After waiting almost 5 hours to get in and another 4 or so before the doctor saw me, I had an X-ray – no pneumonia!  That was a good, good thing.  The doc said I had Viral Bronchitus and that’s why the penicillin wasn’t helping so he said I was in for the long run and to take Advil for pain.  By the Monday I thought I was getting better but guess what – I now developed Strep throat so I needed those penicillin pills to start working as I had stopped taking them when the doc at the hospital told me they wouldn’t help anything viral.   So in total about 2 weeks have gone by and I’ve been living on Gatorade.  Needless to say through all of this I completely lost my appetite and the only saving grace in all of this is that I lost 15 pounds which I needed to shed anyway.  I do not however recommend this routine as a weight loss program.  I’m not back to snuff yet, as my taste buds are still missing in action but I’m feeling much better and I hope it’s almost over.  I’m back in my studio and I hope I can make up some lost time as I have truly missed doing my art, not to mention being able to sit down to a meal and taste all the wonderful flavors again.  My mom always used to say wise things to us girls when we were growing up and feeling down or defeated.  One I remember quite well was “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”  They were days when in tears, I thought I’d never feel well again but getting past those days now has helped me to realize the fragile nature of our lives and it’s important not to waste any time but fill each and every moment with good things and who knows? – maybe even check off a few items on our bucket list.

Here’s a peek at one of the pieces I got sketched up and now am more  able to start working on – a macro of a Shasta Daisy I took last year.  For some reason this picture always talked to me and I guessing it was the play of light on the leaves in the background that caught my eye that did it, so now I’m finally getting to work on it.  I wanted good coverage on the dark background but didn’t want to spend as much time filling in all the black areas so I started out by scribbling in quickly with Black Faber Castell Albrecht Durer (watercolor pencil) and then with a damp angled brush blended it to created the coverage I needed for these areas.  I then went in with my regular Polychromos Dark Sepia to touch it up so it wasn’t as harsh as pure black.  I left out the areas of the dappled sunlight and gradually married them up to the dark.  I’ll be posting things as I progress.



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