Getting to Know You Week!

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I realize Monday is almost over, but my day was derailed by a few unexpected tasks. Sorry, but I’ll try to make up for it now. Let’s get to know each other a little bit better. Many of us only know the other TWS members by their books…not that it isn’t wonderful to know about each other’s writing…but I think it would be fun to learn a bit more about what makes us each unique. So, through this week, I’d love to see you guys post something about yourself that most of the group probably doesn’t know. It can be little or big, personal or career-oriented, whatever you’d like to share that you think would be interesting, or even surprising. You contributors can just go right ahead and post, and if you want to share, but aren’t a contributor yet, just let me know. I can set you up to do it directly, or I can post for you, whichever you’d prefer.

I’ll start. Most of you may not know that I’m a painter. I started dabbling in oils as a teenager, and continued painting off and on over the years. Eventually, I taught acrylics to beginning painters for a large franchise with several stores in our area. Then, I got interested in digital art. I discovered the joys of painting pictures with a Wacom tablet and electronic pen, and for several years, earned my keep painting custom pet portraits. I’m not a trained artist, nor have I ever done Fine Art. But tole and decorative painting, acrylics on canvas, and digital painting made up my creative life for a long time. Here are a couple of pictures of some of my digital pet portraits just for fun.

This is a hugely reduced jpg of an Arabian I did several years ago. The finished painting prints out in fade-resistant ink on heavy watercolor paper. I also made greeting cards and other smaller items from all of my paintings.

arabian35%final

This is a portrait of a pit bull named Ginger, done as a memorial after she had passed on. The owner assures me they had nothing to do with her ears being cropped so badly, but they were glad I painted them exactly as they were. The actual painting is about 5 times the size of this.

gingerforprinting

Close up of nose and eye detail, so you can see how it looked as I was working on it. This isn’t photo manipulation, btw, but stroke by stroke “painting” just as I would have done with wet paints.

gingereyedetail

gingernosedetail

There. Now you know something about me most of you probably didn’t know before. Your turn. Do you have an interesting avocation or hobby? Were you once an entertainer? Have you traveled to somewhere wild and exotic we’d all be envious of? Can your wiggle your ears? Hold your breath a very long time? Whatever. Inquiring minds wanna know! Let us hear from you.Β  Oh, and the Dalmation at the top was my daughter’s dog, Dexter, who lived to be nearly 15, which I’m told is ancient for a Dal.

26 thoughts on “Getting to Know You Week!

    • Thank you, Skye. Painting is something I miss, now that my eyes bother me so much. I’m going to try to get back into a little bit of it one of these days. And I’m a firm believer that ANYONE can learn to paint. Not everyone will become an artist like Rembrandt, of course, but with a good teacher, anyone can learn to paint a basic scene or still life they can be proud of. In the old days, it was taken for granted and young women, especially, were always taught the basics. No one told them they couldn’t, and that’s the key. πŸ™‚ It’s never too late to enjoy a local class. Check it out. πŸ™‚

      And now it’s YOUR turn. Share something we don’t know about you. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks, Sue. Yeah, those details are the reason I had to quit doing the digital work. It lends itself to painting every tiny hair, and being the detail-oriented person I am, I spent hours upon hours doing them. To the detriment of my right hand, arm, and shoulder. Repetitive stress became a real problem. But I had so much fun. Painting digitally means you have have every single color of the rainbow available to you, every time. And hundreds of “brush tips” that will vary the width and style of your stroke…from spraying little tiny texture dots, to filling in larger basecoated areas with one click, then blending the shadows and highlights over it. THEN adding those pesky but fun details on top of that. And no having to wait for anything to dry. I truly loved it.

      NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! (Am I shouting here?) Tell us, or show us, something we don’t know about you. Big or little, grand or funny. We want to know you better.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are too kind, Patty. My painting is a modest talent, for sure, but one I enjoyed thoroughly. And you wouldn’t have trouble drawing stick figures if you’d taken one of MY classes. Teaching is something I’m really, really good at, and I could have helped you learn how to paint some pictures you’d be proud to hang on your wall. I’m not saying I could have turned you into Monet, but you don’t have to be Monet to enjoy creating art. Now share something with us we don’t know about YOU, my friend.

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      • I would love to learn how to paint. Wish you lived closer! I should do this on my blog, but I am so far behind on my writing…but since you asked – I love old movies and can watch over and over again. I can watch all day and easily become a couch potato! Turner Classic Movies can be deadly at times. lol

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        • I don’t teach any more, Patty, so you aren’t missing anything. πŸ™‚ My husband is an old movies buff, too. I like some of them, if they are good and have stood the test of time. But my husband will watch anything in black and white from the good old days, even if it’s awful. He doesn’t believe me when I tell him they made bad movies back then, too. Maybe not as many as they do now, though. πŸ™‚ Thanks for playing along! Glad to know this about you.

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          • I do agree with you on that one. there have been some odd b&w movies. I saw one the other day thoght it would be good and turned it off. there are some pretty good stuff today, like when they make your books over into a movie!

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    • I love that expression, Callum. Thank you so much. Not great, museum-worthy art, but so much fun, and I miss doing it. However, the thing I’ve always wanted to do most is write, and now I am. And no matter what level I’m writing at, I’m loving it more than anything I’ve ever done, so I’m not going to complain about swapping art forms.

      Now, my Scottish friend, it’s YOUR turn. Tell us…or show us…something about you we don’t know. It could be something from your travels, (since I do know you’ve done a wee bit of that lately), or something you enjoy besides writing poetry. Just something, big or small, we would enjoy learning. We want to know you better! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love art as well but have never been all that great at it myself. That doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy it though πŸ™‚

        I’ll see if I can come up with something vaguely interesting about myself to post later in the week πŸ˜‰

        On another note, I’ve actually just finished reading your poetry book, so I’ll post a review today.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Your art is excellent, Marcia! And this is coming from someone with more than 15 years of experience working in art galleries (back when I had day jobs. Now I just work at a local gallery one day a week so I don’t forget how to socialize).

    As for me…I first appeared on Off-Broadway when I was 16. I am also technically a trained Shakespearean actress. However, writing is my first love and I am also a control freak…so this is a much better lifestyle for me. And a bonus fun (or lame, depending on your viewpoint) fact: even though I write about dead writers, old books, and silent movies (all huge passions of mine), I am also a punk rocker.

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    • OH, I love that, Maedez! And I remember your old avatar had a decidedly punkish look to it, as well. Sort of. That’s a cool fact to know, plus the acting thing. At sixteen, no less. Wow. I’m impressed. This is just the kind of thing I hope more folks will share with us. Although, most of us can’t claim stage fame. But I’m happy you shared with us, and I do feel I know you better today.

      Thanks for your kind comments on my paintings. I really miss doing the digital thing. The sky is the limit with that particular art form. Such flexibility. And thanks for sharing!!

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      • Yeah, I am actually growing out a mohawk (I never shared pics here on WP). Sometimes I look more overtly punk, but not always as I like an element of surprise. πŸ™‚

        I cannot claim stage fame, either. I was good at acting (and still dabble in it), but writing is my true love.

        Your art is lovely. The gallery I work at now partners with a local artist who does custom artistic dog photography. It’s really rewarding to see how happy it makes people. I am sure your art did/does the same.

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        • No, the picture wasn’t TOO punk-ish…just a bit, with a very different hairstyle than this one has.

          It’s very rewarding to paint people’s pets. Some might think it silly, but then, they probably haven’t loved a pet as much as some of the rest of us have. Or maybe they just choose to keep them alive in their memories, and who am I to judge? But the folks who wanted the portraits done would often cry when they saw the finished work, and that lets you know you’ve really moved them.

          And if you walked out on the stage and said some lines, you are closer to stage fame than most of us will ever dream of, so I think it counts! That’s my story, an’ I’m stickin’ to it! πŸ˜€

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          • One of the artists I work with does incredibly interesting pet photography (as well as cityscapes, which are his main thing). I know that he finds it very, very rewarding to work with people and their beloved dogs (and horses and cats, on occasion).

            Ha! You are correct, I suppose. Most people never walk out onto a professional stage, so there is that. πŸ™‚

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    • Aw, thanks, Louis! Not an expert at any of it, but I’ve always enjoyed painting, and now, I’m enjoying the heck out of writing. Been finishing Die Laughing today…down to the last 10%, and still have no earthly idea (that’s a pun, btw) where you’re going with this, overall. What a unique and creative story this is! And it’s your turn to share something we don’t know…big or small. Funny, or serious. An event or a personality trait. Just share! Ned, Maedez, and I can’t be the only ones playing, you know. πŸ™‚

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  2. Wow, what a talent! I’ve always wanted to be able to paint, but I just don’t have that particular talent, sigh.
    Fortunately we have a great pet portrait artist as a friend, so our house is full of paintings of the pets we’ve loved over the years – always lovely to see them up there on the walls, even long after they’ve gone to the rainbow bridge.
    Off to write my own post now…

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  3. Aw, thanks Deborah. I never got around to painting my own cats, sadly. I do have one or two of a dearly beloved dachsie who’s off playing with your animals over that bridge. πŸ™‚ How wonderful to have a friend to give you beautiful memories for your walls. That’s great!

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