Watching Naruto Shippuden Episode 280 while I write this. In case you're not caught up (like me), Deidara's back. He's arguably one of the most annoying characters in this show, but I can't help but laugh at his obsession with art. I won't give away the plot, but he's still shouting ridiculous things like "I will find the Super Ultimate Art!" and "True art is an explosion!"
Right now my desk is a bit of an explosion. It has no chair (The Other Half is using it currently while he plays video games since his chair is broken), there are four works-in-progress strewn about, basing materials that still need to be cleaned up, and my almost-dried-out wet palette has been there untouched for almost two weeks. It's pretty scary.
While I've been missing my coveted paint time, there's a good reason for it. In just the past week-and-a-half, we've hosted a friend visiting from out of town (whose drunken shenanigans sent me flying into the kitchen island after a mistimed tackle-hug), traveled out of town for a sibling graduation, picked up my grandma from the airport and accompanied her to her dentures appointment (yay, she now has teeth!), attended two holiday office parties, played 9 hours of Dungeons & Dragons, and celebrated the memory of a loved on on their birthday in one of their favorite vacation spots. We're keeping busy for good reason. Any time we spend alone can be a blessing and a curse. Sometimes the last thing you want is to be left with your own thoughts and become painfully aware of the people you've lost since the last holiday. We've since started grief counseling now that we're strong enough to work through some of the complicated things we're feeling. I equate it with removing temporary bandages in order to clean and stitch wounds to make sure it heals properly and doesn't become infected. Still, it doesn't feel good to revisit things you've tried to bury in order to function properly... and I just busted out laughing at the anime I'm watching-- Sai just had a flashback as he nervously prepares a complicated sealing justu. "Releasing your emotions can make you susceptible to negative emotions. It can be very dangerous... Release your negative emotions and restrain them". Couldn't have said it better myself, Danzo! That reminds me, I can't wait to paint that shinobi I've started on.
Alright, back to happy painting stuff. No more sad rambling! I prepared my fox mini for the miniature exchange and have since primed her. We had some issue with the bow tip that kept falling off, despite trying to reattach it with super glue. It just popped off when I tried to sand it down and it's once again lost in the explosion of a mess that's my desk right now. Argh, I'll search for it later. I've glued this miniature on a pre-cast base from Micro Art Studio-- nothing too fancy, since this is a piece I'll paint quickly and send off before Christmas for a complete stranger who I hope likes it! Spreading holiday cheer one secret miniature gift exchange at a time.
I also purchased three online versions of "Figure Painter Magazine", issues 29–31. I'm reading through my first issue now-- so far, I'm enjoying the balanced content and the nice range of high-quality images in different styles. I particularly like the in-depth tutorials and the "Show Report" segment where they review different shows, competitions, and conventions that take place around the world. I'll share more thoughts as I read more-- I'm sure some of these will inspire me to start some new projects but not until I get my commissions taken care of!
Last but not least, I took advantage of the post-Thanksgiving sale at Secret Weapon Miniatures. I purchased weathering pigments for a great price and I'm looking forward to using some on steampunk miniatures and fantasy armor. It will be my first time using weathering pigments and I'll be writing about my experience soon! Which ones should I start with? Basic rust patterns? Some tarnished bronze armor? Verdigris? So many options-- I look forward to this new, and probably quite messy, weathering adventure :)